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The Financial Crisis in Perspective (Collection) by Mark Zandi, Satyajit Das, John Authers

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14. Back to the Future

As this is being written, the financial and economic crisis rages on. While progress has been made in quelling the panic in the financial system, it remains far from normal and the global economic downturn remains intense. The global economy will likely continue to shrink in 2009; the last time that occurred was during World War II. The subprime financial shock thus continues to reverberate.

Continued sharp declines in house prices are particularly unnerving. With no clear bottom in sight for the residential real-estate market, financial institutions remain unsure of their losses on mortgage loans and securities. Many have already written down their portfolios by large amounts, subtracting from their balance sheets both ...

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