This article that appeared on The Street.Com is neccessary reading to get up to speed with what is happening economically in the world. The statistics given in the extract below are shocking. This is an extract from the article
"According to Das' figures, up to 53% of the $2.2 trillion of commercial paper in the U.S. market is now asset-backed, with about 50% of that in mortgages.
When you add it all up, according to Das' research, a single dollar of "real" capital supports $20 to $30 of loans. This spiral of borrowing on an increasingly thin base of real assets, writ large and in nearly infinite variety, ultimately created a world in which derivatives outstanding earlier this year stood at $485 trillion -- or eight times total global gross domestic product of $60 trillion. Without a central governmental authority keeping tabs on these cross-border flows and ensuring a standard of record-keeping and quality, investors increasingly didn't know what they were buying or what any given security was really worth."
For this important article in full find it by visiting this link:
The Street.Com article on the credit crisis