BloombergThe financial wreckage of 2008 has left no part of our country untouched. It exposed the bankruptcy of business models employed by mortgage companies, investment banks, and rating agencies as well as the flaws of innovations such as structured finance and credit default swaps. It also highlighted regulatory gaps and failures at almost every level of oversight.
In 2008 Bear Stearns Cos. and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. imploded, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed into conservatorship, mainstay Wall Street firms like Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. were forced to merge with other companies, and giant institutions such as American International Group Inc. clung to existence on federal life support.
More painfully, too many Americans face the twin perils of home foreclosure and job loss as frozen credit markets signal an increasingly deep economic slowdown.