Date Added: May 2009
On the surface, the meltdown of the U.S. subprime mortgage market should not have triggered a worldwide financial crisis. Worst-case estimates put subprime mortgage losses at $250 billion - a drop in the bucket compared to the many trillions of dollars worth of financial instruments traded around the globe. In a credit crisis, some financial players, uncertain of the rules, hoard liquidity. Others stay out of the market entirely. The result is chaos.