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Economic Crisis and its Impact on People


There is hardly any person on this Earth whose life was not affected by the economic crisis which hit the entire world in 2008. The economy of every single country was greatly influenced by the crisis which resulted in high unemployment rates, increased prices for food, a subprime mortgage crisis, and declining dollar value.

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The economic crisis is reported to have started already in 2007 with the liquidity crisis which began due to the investors’ loss of confidence in the value of securitized mortgages. The crisis deepened in September 2008 and the stock markets worldwide crashed.

The Great Recession of 2008 is believed to have affected immigrants most of all doubling the rates of their unemployment. Thus, the unemployment rates of Asian Americans increased from 3.0% to 6.9%; similarly, the unemployment rates among Hispanic workers increased from 6.9% to 12.1% (Organization for Economic Cooperation 17).

The number of unemployed people worldwide has increased by around 50 million people with 20 million jobs being lost. The biggest victims of the global economic crisis were people who have been engaged in construction, financial services, auto sector, and real estate.

The consequences of the crisis are unlikely to be dealt with in the next several years. On the contrary, the unemployment rates are predicted to increase further. The economy of the United States is expected to be first to recover; however, the recovery is still going to take some time.

Barack Obama sees the ending of economic crisis in dealing with the mortgage crisis in the first place. According to him, the crisis started because American people starting taking out mortgages which they could not afford.

Almost every person has been affected by the crisis at least indirectly. Those who have lost their jobs are trying to find the means to survive, while those who managed to preserve their jobs pray daily not to be dismissed on the grounds of redundancy.

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Nevertheless, most the American citizens believe in the power of their government and are quite optimistic about their future and the future of their country.


The interviews with three people of different occupations have revealed the American’s ideas about the economic crisis of 2008-2009 and its effect on the economy of the country and the lives of ordinary people.

Betty Stones (aged 28), a high school teacher, Langdon Willick (aged 42), a financial expert, and Ann Green (aged 64), a pensioner were the interviewees who answered the most various questions about the Great Depression of 2008-2009 and its influence on their lives.

Each of the interviewees has been asked the following questions (in the following sequence):

  1. What’s your name and what do you do for a living? How old are you?
  2. What do you think caused the economic crisis?
  3. How have you been affected by the economic recession? Can you provide examples?
  4. How have others you know been affected?
  5. Who or what was most to blame for the mess?
  6. Do you think the Obama administration is doing all it can to revive the economy? What else might it do?
  7. Are you optimistic or pessimistic about your economic future? How about the country’s future?

Betty Stones

Betty is 28; she is a high school teacher who has been working at school since her graduation from college. Betty likes her job despite the fact that her payment is relatively low. She notes, “Communicating with teenagers helps me stay up-to-date; it feels great when they ask me for advice, even not regarding the classes” (Interview with Stones 2009).

The economic crisis has often been a subject of discussion in her classes, “I teach social sciences, so the discussions of the crisis are almost a part of the curriculum. I agree with my students in the idea that the cause of the economic crisis lies in the excessive confidence of the government in the stability of the country’s economy” (Interview with Stones 2009).

The economic recession has hardly affected Betty’s job, but her life has changed drastically. She shares her concerns, “The school did not cut my salary or fired me, thanks to God. Still, the increased prices, especially for accommodation, are hard to live with” (Interview with Stones 2009).

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Betty admits that the crisis has changed her life, “I had to give up gym and now I visit my parents only once in a month, though I used to go to the neighboring town where they live once in two weeks. If the situation does not get better, I will have to move out and look for a cheaper apartment, maybe farther from the center” (Interview with Stones 2009).

Some of Betty’s friends lost their jobs because the companies they worked for either turned bankrupt or had to significantly reduce their staff, “Most of my friends work in private companies or in banks… They lost their jobs almost as soon as the crisis began. My cousin was fired only because she was 10 minutes late. She says that most of her company’s employees were fired on the absurd grounds” (Interview with Stones 2009).

Answering the question about those who should be blamed for the crisis, Betty smiles, “The most important here is not who is guilty, but who is able to lead the country in the right direction now […] Obama and his team seems to be doing the right things […] I truly believe that our government will revive the economy and the things will get back to their places” (Interview with Stones 2009).

Langdon Willick

Langdon Willick is 42 and he considers himself an experienced financial expert. He has been working on the audit committee for almost 20 years and he is proud of his job, “Financial experts are almost always in demand. We’re doing a very important job, you know” (Interview with Willick 2009).

Langdon seems to have been asked questions about the causes of economic crisis before for, on hearing this question, he started a long and quite sophisticated monologue. His speech was indeed rich in content and he concluded it by stating “But I think that the main causes were sub-prime losses in 2007. They over-inflated asset prices and exposed risky loans… This is where it all started from” (Interview with Willick 2009).

Langdon personally has not been affected by the crisis, “No… not really. To tell the truth, I even have more things to do now. People keep calling me and offering me job, because, you know, the companies need experienced people now” (Interview with Willick 2009).

However, at this, Langdon mentions his wife who has lost her job because of the crisis, “My wife, Lily, worked in the real estate. She changed her job in September 2009… She worked only for two months at her new job this is why she was almost the first who was fired. But it’s not that bad. I earn well enough for her to stay at home for some time, till the things get settled” (Interview with Willick 2009).

Mr. Willick has his own ideas of who to blame for the crisis, “I blame those people who failed to properly assess mortgage-backed securities. I know that this was difficult to do, but those people work for the government! The whole country … the whole world trusts them! If it were not for them, everything would have been alright now” (Interview with Willick 2009).

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The interviewee thinks that Obama administration is heading in the right direction, “Obama and his team are doing a great job. Mortgage crisis indeed should be dealt with first of all. But I think that they should deal with unemployment as soon as possible, because people are getting angry, and you know what angry people are capable of” (Interview with Willick 2009).

Langdon seemed quite confident and calm when answering the last question, “My future? Well, I think everything will be alright. I’m pretty optimistic about it. The same is about the country. America is a strong country; I cannot state for sure about the rest of the world, but I think the US will be the first to revive the economy” (Interview with Willick 2009).

Ann Green

Ann Green is 64; she is a pensioner now but she used to work as an accountant. The woman smiles pleasantly when hearing the question about the way she makes her living, “Well, dear, I would not be able to survive on a pension, I think. This is why I used to work hard when young; I knew that such times will come” (Interview with Green 2009).

Mrs. Green seems to know about the causes of the economic crisis from newspapers, “I read about the causes. Something about mortgages and people not paying them off. I have always known that this credit system is not reliable enough” (Interview with Green 2009).

Though Ann’s money was “in a safer place than all those banks” (Interview with Green 2009), she still felt the influence of the crisis, “Food is getting more and more expensive, let alone the clothes. The prices for medicine have risen. Now I spend almost twice as much as I used to last summer” (Interview with Green 2009).

Mrs. Green’s family has been considerably affected by the crisis, “My daughter is a single mother. Now she is afraid to lose her job most of all. I help her as much as I can, but she still has her son’s tuition to pay” (Interview with Green 2009).

Ann answered the last three questions as if predicting that she would be asked about Obama and the future of America, “This is not the mess yet. The war was a mess. This is just temporary. Our President is an extraordinary person. I am sure that everything possible is being done and I know that the United States will get through this quite soon. And me… I will also be alright” (Interview with Green 2009).


The economic crisis can be predicted, but once it began, there is no way to stop it from affecting the global economy. The interview with American people who have been affected by the crisis shows that either they or their relatives and friends suffered from the crisis. Most people think that the government is to blame for the crisis because of its inability to predict it and to react to it properly. However, at this, all the interviewees believe in their President’s power to revive the economy of the country and bring back those times when America prospered.

Works Cited

  1. Bruner, Robert F. and Carr, Sean D. The Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned from the Market’s Perfect Storm. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2009.
  2. Green, Ann. Personal Interview. 2009.
  3. Organization for Economic Cooperation. International Migration Outlook 2009. Paris: OECD Publishing, 2009.
  4. Stones, Betty. Personal Interview. 2009.
  5. Willick, Langdon. Personal Interview. 2009.

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