The U.S. Government Engineered The Current Economic Crisis
These people (the U.S. government) need to be stopped. Every time we get ourselves into an economic mess, there's usually some milestone idiocy we can point back to as the government action that made the meltdown inevitable. Take the current housing crisis that has now spread to the financial markets in general. The cause was too-easy credit that fueled a massive increase in housing prices as people bought houses they couldn't afford with mortgages they weren't able to pay off. In 1999 there was roughly $5 trillion in total U.S. mortgage debt. That number ballooned to $12 trillion by 2007, and we know what happened from there (data is from the U.S. Office of Federal Housing Enterprice Oversight). To put this into perspective, total U.S. GDP is about $11 trillion annually, and U.S. government debt is around $9 trillion. If the housing market really falls apart (meaning more than conservative estimates of a 20% drop), there's no way the government can simply cover these losses. Why did it happen? Let's go back to 1999, when Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, was under pressure by the Clinton administration to find a way to get more loans to "borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans." A pilot program was launched, which soon became general policy. Money flowed to people who couldn't afford to pay it back.