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Financial Shock: A 360° Look at the Subprime Mortgage Implosion, and How to Avoid the Next Financial Crisis by Mark Zandi

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14Back to the Future

As this is being written, about a year after the subprime financial shock hit, the worst of the crisis appears to be over. The financial turmoil reached an apex in mid-March, when the Federal Reserve stepped in to engineer the sale of Bear Stearns—then on the brink of collapse—to JPMorgan Chase. While conditions have improved since then, the shock continues to reverberate: House prices are still declining, fore-closures continue to mount, the economy hasn’t found its footing, and the financial system remains unsettled.

Falling house prices are particularly unnerving. With no clear bottom in site for the residential real-estate market, financial institutions remain unsure of their losses on mortgage loans and securities. ...

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