Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Government

Reader 1

George Thomas

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© 2013 Patricia Ingrassia

Abstract

The 2008 subprime mortgage crisis is characterized by an increase in subprime lending and default on such mortgages. A combination of factors, such as risk excessive risk taken on by financial institutions, poorly implemented government housing policies and biased regulation are perceived to have caused the crisis. In response to the crisis, Congress approved the largest bailout of the United States financial system in taxpayer history. Signed into law by President George W. Bush, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) authorized the federal government to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to purchase distressed assets, including mortgage-backed securities, and provide liquidity to banks. Comprehensive financial reform followed the bailout package in the form of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This paper examines how both pieces of legislation threaten the constitutional protection of economic liberties.

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