Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Advisor/Committee Chair

Ingrid Fisher


The financial crisis of 2008 was the result of a number of factors affecting the global economy. Although the problems originated with subprime borrowers and the fear of loan defaults, several other factors contributed to the crisis. The Federal Reserve, rating agencies and the shadow banking system played significant roles in the 2008 collapse. The shadow banking in particular affected the financial crisis in unprecedented ways that magnified the problem and created a global credit crisis. The government sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made loan guarantees and involved themselves in other questionable practices that the American taxpayers have funded. At the same time the other side of the shadow banking system, namely Wall St., magnified problems through the securitization of mortgages and the use of repurchase agreements to fund investments.