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Financial Crisis of 2008

A Guide to Finding Government Information

Web version of this guide includes links to web resources.

Search Tips:

Mix and match these terms in searching the library catalog, WestCat , or use them to search journal articles and law reviews via the library's Databases page. You can also use them to search government information sites listed on our Starting Points page - click the tab and pay particular attention to the Top Six.

  • Global Financial Crisis, 2008-2009
  • bailout
  • derivatives
  • derivative securities
  • credit default swaps
  • great recession
  • financial services industry subsidies
  • Subprime mortgage loans
  • Troubled Asset Relief Program
  • TARP
  • AIG
  • Dodd-Frank
  • wall street
  • securitization

Related Topics:
  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
  • income inequality
  • austerity

An important source for many research topics is Congress. Congressional committees and subcommittees hold hearings on a wide variety of controversial and timely subjects. Simply add the word "hearing?" to a search string in WestCat .

Search Engines

Google and StartPage
Use these search engines to search for government information by typing "site:gov" in the search box preceding your search terms:

  • site:gov "great recession"
  • site:mil financial crisis

Federal Government Information

Congressional Budget Office
Government Accountability Office
Bureau of Economic Analysis
Federal Reserve

The Financial Crisis Timeline

You can browse the timeline by year or topic or view the entire timeline at once. It begins in early 2007 even though the fallout wasn't apparent till Spring 2008.

Financial Crisis Inquiry Report

The official report of the National Commission on the Causes of the Financial and Economic Crisis in the United States is over 600 pages long. It goes into detail on all of the factors that caused the financial meltdown.
Y 3.2:F 49/2/C 86

Wall Street and the Financial Crisis: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse

This Majority and Minority Staff Report from the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in the U.S. Senate details the regulatory failures, the corruption, and the collusion (with credit rating agencies) that all contributed to the financial collapse.

Hearings from the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, U.S. Senate, Concerning Wall Street and the Financial Crisis:

The Role of High Risk Home Loans
Y 4.G 74/9:S.HRG.111-671
The Role of Bank Regulators
Y 4.G 74/9:S.HRG.111-672
The Role of Credit Rating Agencies
Y 4.G 74/9:S.HRG.111-673
The Role of Investment Banks
Y 4.G 74/9:S.HRG.111-674

SEC Enforcement Actions Addressing Misconduct That Led To or Arose From the Financial Crisis

The SEC has ordered $1.39 Billion (as of July, 2012) in penalties on investment banks and financial companies for their parts in the financial crisis. This is a list of who was fined, for how much and for what behavior.

The U.S. Financial Crisis: the Global Dimension with Implications for U.S. Policy

This CRS Report from 2008 describes the global impact of the financial crisis by region and Congress's role in stabilizing the financial markets.

Financial Crisis Response in Charts

These 24 charts from the Treasury Department detail the effects of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) on various sectors of the economy.

Legal Information
Public Laws:

Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, P.L. 110-343
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, P.L. 111-5
Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, P.L. 111-203

Risky Business: the Credit Crisis and Failure: (Part I), (Part II) ,(Part III)

Part I focuses on industry risk management failures. Part II focuses of regulatory failures. Part III focuses on the need for financial literacy and the costs associated with ineffective regulation.
Northwestern University Law Review Colloquy, v.104, p.398, p.421 &p.441 respectively (2010) via  Nexis Uni

The Worst of Times: Perspectives on and Solutions for the Subprime Mortgage Crisis: Article: The Subprime Mortgage Crisis: Will New Regulations Help Avoid Future Financial Debacles?

This article does a good job explaining what happened to cause the financial crisis and focuses on the Paulson Plan put forward soon after the collapse.
Albany Government Law Review v.2 p.217 (2009) via  Nexis Uni

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