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The Great Recession

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Every few years, countries experience an economic decline which is commonly referred to as a recession. In recent years the U.S. has been faced with overcoming the most devastating global economic hardships since the Great Depression. This period “a period of declining GDP, accompanied by lower real income and higher unemployment” has been referred to as the Great Recession (McConnell, 2012 p.G-30). This paper will cover the issues which led to the recession, discuss the strategies taken by the Government and Federal Reserve to alleviate the crisis, and look at the future outlook of the U.S. economy. By examining the nation’s economic struggles during this time period (2007-2009), it will conclude that the current macroeconomic situation deals with unemployment, which is a direct result of the recession.
It can be argued that the economic hardships of the great recession began when interest rates were lowered by the Federal Reserve. This caused a bubble in the housing market. Housing prices plummeted, home prices plummeted, then thousands of borrowers could no longer afford to pay on their loans (Koba, 2011). The bubble forced banks to give out homes loans with unreasonably high risk rates. The response of the banks caused a decline in the amount of houses purchased and “a crisis involving mortgage loans and the financial securities built on them” (McConnell, 2012 p.479). The effect on the economy was catastrophic and caused a “pandemic” of foreclosures that effected tens of thousands home owners across the U.S. (Scaliger, 2013). The debt burden eventually became unsustainable and the U.S. crisis deepened as the long-term effect on bank loans would affect not only the housing market, but also the job market.
What at first seemed to be an economic slump turned into a brutal crisis, and all eyes looked to the Government and Federal Reserve to help the economy. With the large amount of debt the economy faced the Federal Reserve stepped in and bailed out the banks in an attempt to smooth over the financial struggles of the economy. The banks that survived took precautionary measures, making it difficult for businesses and consumers to borrow (Love, 2011). Thus leading to businesses failing and less jobs being created. The large amount of debt had also taken its toll on the job market. Between 2007 and 2009 employment dropped by 8 million workers, causing the unemployment rate to go from 4.7 percent to 10 percent (McConnell, 2012).
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