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The Economy: What Are The "CREDIT MARKETS"? In these tumultuous days, it is often overlooked that the fate of Wall Street is, in this particular case, especially intertwined with the fortunes of Main Street. The connecting link isnt just a matter of stock market volatility, but rather underlying problems in the credit markets. Lenders on Wall Street, and those who provide lenders their capital, are unable or unwilling to lend or invest because of the mortgage crisis. If nothing is done, the already large and growing impact on the routine borrowing of businesses will become even more acute. Businesses will face problems meeting payroll, purchasing inventory, and making investments—consequences reaching far beyond Wall Street. Personal credit for auto loans, student loans, credit cards and, of course, mortgages will also become harder to come by. The housing, mortgage, and financial mess have already ensnared the labor market. Jobs have declined for eight consecutive months in total non-farm employment. Not all job loss can be directly linked to the current financial mess, but it is safe to say that job losses have continued and the economys ability to mount a recovery is hampered by the turmoil. Since the start of 2008, the economy has lost a total of 605,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate hit 6.1 percent in August 2008, up from 5.0 percent at the end of 2007. The number of unemployed climbed to 9.4 million from 7.6 million over the same period.
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