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The financial crisis that has been wreaking havoc in markets in the U.S. and across the world since August 2007 had its origins in an asset price bubble that interacted with new kinds of financial innovations that masked risk; with companies that failed to follow their own risk management procedures; and with regulators and supervisors that failed to restrain excessive risk taking. A bubble formed in the housing markets as home prices across the country increased each year from the mid 1990s to 2006, moving out of line with fundamentals like household income.
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