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By 2007, the first cracks in the financial ceiling started to show. The US housing market was over its peak, oil prices were spiraling out of control, and consumer confidence sank. As people started to lose their jobs, default rates on mortgages started to creep up, affecting initially the subprime mortgages, but later on, prime mortgages as well. In June 2007, two Bear Stearns hedge funds collapsed. It would take another year for the fire to spread to other Wall Street banks. After the collapse of Lehman Brothers, governments on either side of the pond scrambled to rescue their banks as European banks had invested heavily in American toxic mortgages. Amid the financial panic, the huge imbalances within the euro area became apparent too.
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- The Global Financial Crisis
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