Economist Eugene Fama in a selection from a fascinating interview opines that:
I think the global crisis was first a prob- lem of political pressure to encourage the financ- ing of subprime mortgages. Then, a huge recession came along and the house of cards came tumbling down. It’s hard to believe that without a pretty sig- nificant recession, the financial system would have come crashing down like it did. Subprime was basically a U.S. phenomenon, yet the crisis spread around the world.