Subprime Contagion

 moved to Washington in July 2007, at a time when what was then quaintly referred to as the “subprime crisis” was starting to cause some consternation on Wall Street and Capitol Hill. With housing prices falling, banks found themselves holding on to packages of subprime loans that were hemorrhaging value. Every day, it seemed, another bank announced it was writing down a bunch of these loans, which were just starting to be called toxic assets, and the total of such write-downs was, by July, already tens of billions of dollars.

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