The Recession

Origins of Financial Crisis Start to Reveal Themselves

| by Common Cause
Even though Americans have felt the pinch for over a year now with
decreased wages and rising unemployment, the the official declaration of America's
economic recession
was only recently announced.
The National Bureau of Economic Research said in a statement that it
"determined that the decline in economic activity in 2008 met the standard for a
recession."

That confirms what economists have long surmised, but
analysts have already turned their attention to how severe the downturn will be
and when the economy will begin to recover. New economic data today indicated
that the downturn continues to be worse than expected.

This, of
course, continued to stifle confidence in the market and has kept America headed
down a path of economic uncertainty. However, there is an element to this
economic crisis that is becoming more certain; its origins.

Catering to interests from financial and banking
industry lobbyists
, the Bush administration and members of congress feigned
warnings that the massive deregulation of increasingly risky credit schemes
would wreak havoc on the economy.

Bowing to aggressive lobbying -- along with assurances from banks that the
troubled mortgages were OK -- regulators delayed action for nearly one year. By
the time new rules were released late in 2006, the toughest of the proposed
provisions were gone and the meltdown was under way.

Deregulating
the financial markets - making way for the highly profitable rise of sub-prime
loans and credit default swaps - most certainly produced record profits for Wall
Street CEOs. However, such recklessness and greed has not only devastated Main
Street but is now destroying the solvency and liquidity of the financial
industry.

Such an addiction to profit, no matter the consequence, has
infected the the private financial sector and has also influenced the public
sector that was supposed to regulate and temper the dangers of short-sighted
self-interest and greed.

To read more economic analysis from Common Cause, click here.

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