Investment Grade Debt Default Insurance Increased From $1 Trillion Outstanding At Year-End 2001 To Over $34 Trillion At Year-End 2006

“In 2003 there had been a few tens of billions of dollars of subprime mortgage loans. From June 2004 until June 2007, Wall Street underwrote $1.6 trillion of new subprime-mortgage loans and another $1.2 trillion of so-called Alt-A loans—loans which for some reason or another can be dicey, usually because the lender did not require the borrower to supply him with the information typically required before making a loan”

“I’m convinced that our input into the system led to a substantial portion of the increase in housing prices in the U.S. We facilitated a trillion dollars in mortgages,” says one trader. “Just us.(AIG)”

From “The Man Who Crashed the World”, by Michael Lewis

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