Since the summer of 2008 the world has experienced the greatest destruction of wealth – paper losses measured in the trillions of dollars – in its history. No industry in the world has been left untouched. The financial powerhouses of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers have gone bankrupt and mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had to be bailed out. Attempts by the US government to save industries led to an increased budget deficit, making some experts predict that the global power epicenter might shift away from the US before the crisis ends. On the other hand, it has become clear that Asian countries need to restructure their domestic economies to encourage consumption. They cannot continue to rely on credit-fueled American consumption to promote growth. Consumer confidence remains low with fears of a double-dip or an anemic recovery being voiced daily. Some poor countries, insulated from foreign finance, suffered from reductions in tourism, remittances and foreign aid. What began as a local problem of excess credit in the United States is likely has affected every member of the global community. All crises in the twentieth century have had world-wide consequences but the crisis of 2008 will go down in history as the first full-blown global crisis.

Why the Financial Crisis and What Is the Way Out

Causes and solutions in dealing with the financial crisis
Carmen Reinhart
October 7, 2010

If You Thought the Bank Bailout Was Bad, Wait Until the Mortgage Defaults Hit Home

A bailout of bondholders calmed international markets, but will lead to mortgage defaults
Morgan Kelly
November 16, 2010

Debt Plan Ideas Draw Scorn of Liberals and Tea Party

Proposal to cut US spending exposes massive debt, igniting anger and debate
Jackie Calmes
November 15, 2010

The G20: Captive in the Prison of Mercantilism

The G20’s failure to take action on coordinating economic policies risks global stability
Ernesto Zedillo
November 13, 2010

G-20 to Push Current Balance Guidelines

Leaders of the largest economies pledge to resist protectionism and global imbalances
Kim Yon-se
November 12, 2010

Only the Weak Survive

Many nations will lose if the currency wars lead to trade wars
Nouriel Roubini
November 12, 2010

Income Inequality: Too Big to Ignore

Concentrated wealth squeezes the middle class, eroding US strength and happiness
Robert H. Frank
October 29, 2010