Subprime mortgage crisis

The subprime mortgage crisis is an ongoing financial crisis triggered by a dramatic rise in mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures in the United States, with major adverse consequences for banks and financial markets around the globe. The crisis, which has its roots in the closing years of the 20th century, became apparent in 2007 and has exposed pervasive weaknesses in financial industry regulation and the global financial system.

Many USA mortgages issued in recent years are subprime, meaning that little or no downpayment was made, and that they were issued to households with low incomes and assets, and with troubled credit histories. When USA house prices began to decline in 2006-07, mortgage delinquencies soared, and securities backed with subprime mortgages, widely held by financial firms, lost most of their value. The result has been a large decline in the capital of many banks and USA government sponsored enterprises, tightening credit around the world.

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