If you’re like me, you’ve certainly wondered why economic growth has been so sluggish after the worst post-war recession — the Great Recession, or Great Financial Crisis as some have callednthe 2007-2009 crisis. Normally, the economy should have surged, after such a deep slump.
Instead, we’re proud of economic growth figures around 2% in Britain and the US and cheer when the eurozone posts a meager GDP advance of above 1% almost a decade after the crisis.
Another trick to keep UK house prices rising is taking center stage: the extra-large mortgage. It’s the mortgage lasting half a lifetime, or more, which allows you to buy a home even if, under normal circumstances, you would not afford it.
The news that Wells Fargo, the US bank that is the world’s biggest lender by market value, targets millennials with its mortgage loans is seen as a sign that we’ve finally gotten over the crisis that nearly brought down the world economy in 2007-2009.
The Financial Times reported that the head of the bank’s home finance business said he was keen to lend more to first-time buyers, who, the paper said, have so far “put off settling down.”
But what is good for America is not necessarily good for the world. While in the US there has been some deleveraging and restructuring that allows the housing market to re-start from a cleaner basis, it is not the case in the rest of the world.
A small step for the ECB, a big step for eurozone banks could be one way of looking at a recent announcement by the European Central Bank that it is widening the array of financial instruments that it is accepting as collateral for its monetary operations.
One piece of good news about the eurozone has been overshadowed by the ongoing, Syriza-orchestrated drama on Greece: lending continues to improve, and with it, the prospects for the single currency area.
The financial crisis of 2007-2009 has left a lot of collapsed Spanish castles in its wake, hitting Spanish banks hard.
Pictures of Spain’s ghost towns were splashed across the world’s newspapers at the beginning of the eurozone debt crisis. True, they weren’t as impressive as the Chinese ghost cities, but they show what excess debt and an inflated real estate sector can do to a country – and to its banks.
However, more than five years on since the crisis, the story is slowly changing.