The fuel and engine for the sub-prime mortgage meltdown and the credit crunch was Allen Greenspan and the doubling of the global monetary supply, according to the This American Life episode “The Giant Pool of Money” I just got around to listening to. Basically, a bunch of poor countries got rich all of a sudden selling TVs and the like, and in 6 years, doubled the worldwide supply of money. The giant pool of money was hungry for places to invest itself.
At the same point, Greenspan told them that the interest rate on Treasury bonds was going to stay low for a long-ass time. The giant pool of money went to Wall Street to buy mortgages and there just weren’t enough mortgages to go around, unless, somehow, more mortgages could be created… Plug this nugget into everything you learned from the Stickfigure Powerpoint Explanation Of The Subprime Mortgage Meltdown, and now you nearly know it all. The This American Life also does a good job of filling in the rest of the blanks of the bad decisions made by each person in the toxic money chain.
The Giant Pool of Money [This American Life]