Credit Crisis

Definition of 'Credit Crisis'


A crisis that occurs when several financial institutions issue or are sold high-risk loans that start to default. As borrowers default on their loans, the financial institutions that issued the loans stop receiving payments. This is followed by a period in which financial institutions redefine the riskiness of borrowers, making it difficult for debtors to find creditors.

Investopedia explains 'Credit Crisis'


In the case of a credit crisis, banks either do not charge enough interest on loans or pay too much for the securitized loan, or the rating system does not rate the risk of the loans correctly. A crisis occurs when several factors combine in the marketplace, affecting a large number of investors.

For example, banks will charge teaser rates on loans, but when the initial low payments change, they become too high for borrowers to pay. The borrowers default on the loans, and the loan's collateral value simultaneously drops. If enough lending institutions reduce the number of new loans issued, the economy will slow down, making it even harder for other borrowers to pay their loans.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Genuine Progress Indicator - GPI

    A metric used to measure the economic growth of a country. It is often considered as a replacement to the more well known gross domestic product (GDP) economic indicator. The GPI indicator takes everything the GDP uses into account, but also adds other figures that represent the cost of the negative effects related to economic activity (such as the cost of crime, cost of ozone depletion and cost of resource depletion, among others).
  2. Accelerated Share Repurchase - ASR

    A specific method by which corporations can repurchase outstanding shares of their stock. The accelerated share repurchase (ASR) is usually accomplished by the corporation purchasing shares of its stock from an investment bank. The investment bank borrows the shares from clients or share lenders and sells them to the company.
  3. Microeconomic Pricing Model

    A model of the way prices are set within a market for a given good. According to this model, prices are set based on the balance of supply and demand in the market. In general, profit incentives are said to resemble an "invisible hand" that guides competing participants to an equilibrium price. The demand curve in this model is determined by consumers attempting to maximize their utility, given their budget.
  4. Centralized Market

    A financial market structure that consists of having all orders routed to one central exchange with no other competing market. The quoted prices of the various securities listed on the exchange represent the only price that is available to investors seeking to buy or sell the specific asset.
  5. Balanced Investment Strategy

    A portfolio allocation and management method aimed at balancing risk and return. Such portfolios are generally divided equally between equities and fixed-income securities.
  6. Negative Carry

    A situation in which the cost of holding a security exceeds the yield earned. A negative carry situation is typically undesirable because it means the investor is losing money. An investor might, however, achieve a positive after-tax yield on a negative carry trade if the investment comes with tax advantages, as might be the case with a bond whose interest payments were nontaxable.
Trading Center