Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2009

The First Global Financial Crisis of the 21st Century

by Laura Alfaro and Renee Kim


The global economy was expected to suffer from negative growth for the full year in 2009, a phenomenon not seen since World War II. While the U.S. subprime mortgage disaster was blamed as the original instigator, it was noted that the "global imbalances" of the U.S. current account deficit funded for many years by other nations such as China were also a chief culprit of the crisis. Policymakers around the world recognized that the scope and scale of the financial crisis required a coordinated global response. Yet there were conflicting views on what kind of action was needed to address the first global financial crisis of the 21st century.

Keywords: Financial Crisis; Mortgages; Globalized Economies and Regions; Policy; International Relations; Business and Government Relations; Conflict and Resolution;


Alfaro, Laura, and Renee Kim. "The First Global Financial Crisis of the 21st Century." Harvard Business School Case 709-057, April 2009.