Credit

Credit (from Latin credit, "(he/she/it) believes") is the trust which allows one party to provide money or resources to another party wherein the second party does not reimburse the first party immediately (thereby generating a debt), but promises either to repay or return those resources (or other materials of equal value) at a later date.[1] In other words, credit is a method of making reciprocity formal, legally enforceable, and extensible to a large group of unrelated people.

The resources provided may be financial (e.g. granting a loan), or they may consist of goods or services (e.g. consumer credit). Credit encompasses any form of deferred payment.[2] Credit is extended by a creditor, also known as a lender, to a debtor, also known as a borrower.

Credit-cards
A credit card is a common form of credit. With a credit card, the credit card company, often a bank, grants a line of credit to the card holder. The card holder can make purchases from merchants, and borrow the money for these purchases from the credit card company.
2005private sector credit
Domestic credit to private sector in 2005

Etymology

The term "credit" was first used in English in the 1520s. The term came "from Middle French crédit (15c.) "belief, trust," from Italian credito, from Latin creditum "a loan, thing entrusted to another," from past participle of credere "to trust, entrust, believe"." The commercial meaning of "credit" "was the original one in English (creditor is [from] mid-15c.)" The derivative expression "credit union" was first used in 1881 in American English; the expression "credit rating" was first used in 1958.[3]

Bank-issued credit

Bank-issued credit makes up the largest proportion of credit in existence. The traditional view of banks as intermediaries between savers and borrower is incorrect. Modern banking is about credit creation.[4] Credit is made up of two parts, the credit (money) and its corresponding debt, which requires repayment with interest. The majority (97% as of December 2013[5]) of the money in the UK economy is created as credit. When a bank issues credit (i.e. makes a loan), it writes a negative entry into the liabilities column of its balance sheet, and an equivalent positive figure on the assets column; the asset being the loan repayment income stream (plus interest) from a credit-worthy individual. When the debt is fully repaid, the credit and debt are cancelled, and the money disappears from the economy. Meanwhile, the debtor receives a positive cash balance (which is used to purchase something like a house), but also an equivalent negative liability to be repaid to the bank over the duration. Most of the credit created goes into the purchase of land and property, creating inflation in those markets, which is a major driver of the economic cycle.

When a bank creates credit, it effectively owes the money to itself. If a bank issues too much bad credit (those debtors who are unable to pay it back), the bank will become insolvent; having more liabilities than assets. That the bank never had the money to lend in the first place is immaterial - the banking license affords banks to create credit - what matters is that a bank's total assets are greater than its total liabilities, and that it is holding sufficient liquid assets - such as cash - to meet its obligations to its debtors. If it fails to do this it risks bankruptcy.

There are two main forms of private credit created by banks; unsecured (non-collateralized) credit such as consumer credit cards and small unsecured loans, and secured (collateralized) credit, typically secured against the item being purchased with the money (house, boat, car, etc.). To reduce their exposure to the risk of not getting their money back (credit default), banks will tend to issue large credit sums to those deemed credit-worthy, and also to require collateral; something of equivalent value to the loan, which will be passed to the bank if the debtor fails to meet the repayment terms of the loan. In this instance, the bank uses sale of the collateral to reduce its liabilities. Examples of secured credit include consumer mortgages used to buy houses, boats etc., and PCP (personal contract plan) credit agreements for automobile purchases.

Movements of financial capital are normally dependent on either credit or equity transfers. The global credit market is three times the size of global equity. Credit is in turn dependent on the reputation or creditworthiness of the entity which takes responsibility for the funds. Credit is also traded in financial markets. The purest form is the credit default swap market, which is essentially a traded market in credit insurance. A credit default swap represents the price at which two parties exchange this risk – the protection seller takes the risk of default of the credit in return for a payment, commonly denoted in basis points (one basis point is 1/100 of a percent) of the notional amount to be referenced, while the protection buyer pays this premium and in the case of default of the underlying (a loan, bond or other receivable), delivers this receivable to the protection seller and receives from the seller the par amount (that is, is made whole).

Types

There are many types of credit, including but not limited to bank credit, commerce, consumer credit, investment credit, international credit, public credit and real estate.

Trade credit

In commercial trade, the term "trade credit" refers to the approval of delayed payment for purchased goods. Credit is sometimes not granted to a buyer who has financial instability or difficulty. Companies frequently offer trade credit to their customers as part of the terms of a purchase agreement. Organizations that offer credit to their customers frequently employ a credit manager.

Consumer credit

Consumer debt can be defined as "money, goods or services provided to an individual in the absence of immediate payment". Common forms of consumer credit include credit cards, store cards, motor vehicle finance, personal loans (installment loans), consumer lines of credit, payday loans, retail loans (retail installment loans) and mortgages. This is a broad definition of consumer credit and corresponds with the Bank of England's definition of "Lending to individuals". Given the size and nature of the mortgage market, many observers classify mortgage lending as a separate category of personal borrowing, and consequently residential mortgages are excluded from some definitions of consumer credit, such as the one adopted by the U.S. Federal Reserve.[6]

The cost of credit is the additional amount, over and above the amount borrowed, that the borrower has to pay. It includes interest, arrangement fees and any other charges. Some costs are mandatory, required by the lender as an integral part of the credit agreement. Other costs, such as those for credit insurance, may be optional; the borrower chooses whether or not they are included as part of the agreement.

Interest and other charges are presented in a variety of different ways, but under many legislative regimes lenders are required to quote all mandatory charges in the form of an annual percentage rate (APR).[7] The goal of the APR calculation is to promote "truth in lending", to give potential borrowers a clear measure of the true cost of borrowing and to allow a comparison to be made between competing products. The APR is derived from the pattern of advances and repayments made during the agreement. Optional charges are usually not included in the APR calculation.[8]

Interest rates on loans to consumers, whether mortgages or credit cards, are most commonly determined with reference to a credit score. Calculated by private credit rating agencies or centralized credit bureaus based on factors such as prior defaults, payment history and available credit, individuals with higher credit scores have access to lower APRs than those with lower scores.[9]

See also

References

  1. ^ Credit (def. 2c). Merriam Webster Online. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  2. ^ O'Sullivan, Arthur; Sheffrin, Steven M. (2003). Economics: Principles in Action. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458: Pearson Prentice Hall. p. 512. ISBN 0-13-063085-3.
  3. ^ "Credit". www.etymonline.com. Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  4. ^ "Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin 2014 Q1 - Money Creation in the Modern Economy" (PDF).
  5. ^ "Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin 2014 Q1: Money Creation in the Modern Economy" (PDF).
  6. ^ POPLI, G. S.; PURI, S. K. (2013-01-23). STRATEGIC CREDIT MANAGEMENT IN BANKS. PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd. ISBN 9788120347045.
  7. ^ Finlay, S. (2009-02-02). Consumer Credit Fundamentals. Springer. ISBN 9780230232792.
  8. ^ Finlay, S. (2009). Consumer Credit Fundamentals (2nd ed.). Palgrave Macmillan.
  9. ^ "What are FICO Scores and How Do They Affect US Consumer Credit?". FinEX Asia. FinEX Asia. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  • Logemann, Jan, ed. (2012). The Development of Consumer Credit in Global Perspective: Business, Regulation, and Culture. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-34105-0.

External links

Quotations related to Credit at Wikiquote

American Express

The American Express Company, also known as Amex, is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in Three World Financial Center in New York City. The company was founded in 1850 and is one of the 30 components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The company is best known for its charge card, credit card, and traveler's cheque businesses.

In 2016, credit cards using the American Express network accounted for 22.9% of the total dollar volume of credit card transactions in the US. As of December 31, 2017, the company had 112.8 million cards in force, including 50 million cards in force in the United States, each with an average annual spending of $18,519.In 2017, Forbes named American Express as the 23rd most valuable brand in the world (and the highest within financial services), estimating the brand to be worth US$24.5 billion. In 2018, Fortune ranked American Express as the 14th most admired company worldwide, and the 23rd best company to work for.The company's logo, adopted in 1958, is a gladiator or centurion whose image appears on the company's traveler's cheques, charge cards and credit cards.

Bank

A bank is a financial institution that accepts deposits from the public and creates credit. Lending activities can be performed either directly or indirectly through capital markets. Due to their importance in the financial stability of a country, banks are highly regulated in most countries. Most nations have institutionalized a system known as fractional reserve banking under which banks hold liquid assets equal to only a portion of their current liabilities. In addition to other regulations intended to ensure liquidity, banks are generally subject to minimum capital requirements based on an international set of capital standards, known as the Basel Accords.

Banking in its modern sense evolved in the 14th century in the prosperous cities of Renaissance Italy but in many ways was a continuation of ideas and concepts of credit and lending that had their roots in the ancient world. In the history of banking, a number of banking dynasties – notably, the Medicis, the Fuggers, the Welsers, the Berenbergs, and the Rothschilds – have played a central role over many centuries. The oldest existing retail bank is Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, while the oldest existing merchant bank is Berenberg Bank.

Citibank

Citibank is the consumer division of financial services multinational Citigroup. Citibank was founded in 1812 as the City Bank of New York, and later became First National City Bank of New York. Citibank provides credit cards, mortgages, personal loans, commercial loans, and lines of credit.

The bank has 2,649 branches in 19 countries, including 723 branches in the United States and 1,494 branches in Mexico operated by its subsidiary Banamex. The U.S. branches are concentrated in six metropolitan areas: New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Miami. In 2016, the United States accounted for 70% of revenue and Mexico accounted for 13% of revenue. Aside from the U.S. and Mexico, most of the company's branches are in Poland, Russia, Pakistan, India and the United Arab Emirates.

Citibank's private-label credit card division, Citi Retail Services, issues store-issued credit cards for such companies as: Costco, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, The Home Depot, Staples Inc., American Airlines, Shell Oil and until January 2018, Hilton Hotels & Resorts.

As a result of the financial crisis of 2007–2008 and huge losses in the value of its subprime mortgage assets, Citigroup, the parent of Citibank, received a bailout in the form of an investment from the U.S. Treasury. On November 23, 2008, in addition to an initial investment of $25 billion, a further $20 billion was invested in the company along with guarantees for risky assets of $306 billion The guarantees were issued at a time markets were not confident Citi had enough liquidity to cover loses from those investments. Eventually the Citi shares the Treasury took over in return for the guarantees it issued were booked as net profit for the treasury as Citi had enough liquidity and guarantees did not have to be used. By 2010, Citibank had repaid the loans from the Treasury in full, including interest, resulting in a net profit for the U.S. federal government.

Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse Group AG is a Swiss multinational investment bank and financial services company founded and based in Switzerland. Headquartered in Zürich, it maintains offices in all major financial centers around the world. As the second largest bank in Switzerland, it is considered a "Bulge Bracket" bank providing services in investment banking, private banking, asset management, and shared services. Credit Suisse is known for its strict bank–client confidentiality and banking secrecy practices.

Credit Suisse was founded in 1856 to fund the development of Switzerland's rail system. It issued loans that helped create Switzerland's electrical grid and the European rail system. In the 1900s, it began shifting to retail banking in response to the elevation of the middle class and competition from fellow Swiss banks UBS and Julius Bär. Credit Suisse partnered with First Boston in 1978. After a large failed loan put First Boston under financial stress, Credit Suisse bought a controlling share of the bank in 1988. From 1990 to 2000, the company made a series of acquisitions dramatically increasing their market share via the purchases of Winterthur Group, Swiss Volksbank, Swiss American Securities Inc. (SASI) and Bank Leu, among others.

The company restructured itself in 2002, 2004 and 2006. It was one of the least affected banks during the global financial crisis, but afterwards began shrinking its investment business, executing layoffs and cutting costs. The bank was at the center of multiple international investigation for tax avoidance which culminated in a guilty plea and the forfeiture of US$2.6 billion in fines from 2008 to 2012. In 2017, Credit Suisse had CHF 1.376 trillion of assets under management, an increase of 9.9% from 2016.

Credit card

A credit card is a payment card issued to users (cardholders) to enable the cardholder to pay a merchant for goods and services based on the cardholder's promise to the card issuer to pay them for the amounts plus the other agreed charges. The card issuer (usually a bank) creates a revolving account and grants a line of credit to the cardholder, from which the cardholder can borrow money for payment to a merchant or as a cash advance.

A credit card is different from a charge card, which requires the balance to be repaid in full each month. In contrast, credit cards allow the consumers to build a continuing balance of debt, subject to interest being charged. A credit card also differs from a cash card, which can be used like currency by the owner of the card. A credit card differs from a charge card also in that a credit card typically involves a third-party entity that pays the seller and is reimbursed by the buyer, whereas a charge card simply defers payment by the buyer until a later date.

Credit card fraud

Credit card fraud is a wide-ranging term for theft and fraud committed using or involving a payment card, such as a credit card or debit card, as a fraudulent source of funds in a transaction. The purpose may be to obtain goods without paying, or to obtain unauthorized funds from an account. Credit card fraud is also an adjunct to identity theft. According to the United States Federal Trade Commission, while the rate of identity theft had been holding steady during the mid 2000s, it increased by 21 percent in 2008. However, credit card fraud, that crime which most people associate with ID theft, decreased as a percentage of all ID theft complaints for the sixth year in a row.Although incidences of credit card fraud are limited to about 0.1% of all card transactions, they have resulted in huge financial losses as the fraudulent transactions have been large value transactions. In 1999, out of 12 billion transactions made annually, approximately 10 million—or one out of every 1200 transactions—turned out to be fraudulent. Also, 0.04% (4 out of every 10,000) of all monthly active accounts were fraudulent. Even with tremendous volume and value increase in credit card transactions since then, these proportions have stayed the same or have decreased due to sophisticated fraud detection and prevention systems. Today's fraud detection systems are designed to prevent one-twelfth of one percent of all transactions processed which still translates into billions of dollars in losses.In the decade to 2008, general credit card losses have been 7 basis points or lower (i.e. losses of $0.07 or less per $100 of transactions). In 2007, fraud in the United Kingdom was estimated at £535 million.

Credit default swap

A credit default swap (CDS) is a financial swap agreement that the seller of the CDS will compensate the buyer in the event of a debt default (by the debtor) or other credit event. That is, the seller of the CDS insures the buyer against some reference asset defaulting. The buyer of the CDS makes a series of payments (the CDS "fee" or "spread") to the seller and, in exchange, may expect to receive a payoff if the asset defaults.

In the event of default, the buyer of the CDS receives compensation (usually the face value of the loan), and the seller of the CDS takes possession of the defaulted loan or its market value in cash. However, anyone can purchase a CDS, even buyers who do not hold the loan instrument and who have no direct insurable interest in the loan (these are called "naked" CDSs). If there are more CDS contracts outstanding than bonds in existence, a protocol exists to hold a credit event auction. The payment received is often substantially less than the face value of the loan.Credit default swaps in their current form have existed since the early 1990s, and increased in use in the early 2000s. By the end of 2007, the outstanding CDS amount was $62.2 trillion, falling to $26.3 trillion by mid-year 2010 and reportedly $25.5 trillion in early 2012. CDSs are not traded on an exchange and there is no required reporting of transactions to a government agency. During the 2007–2010 financial crisis the lack of transparency in this large market became a concern to regulators as it could pose a systemic risk. In March 2010, the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (see Sources of Market Data) announced it would give regulators greater access to its credit default swaps database.CDS data can be used by financial professionals, regulators, and the media to monitor how the market views credit risk of any entity on which a CDS is available, which can be compared to that provided by the Credit Rating Agencies. U.S. Courts may soon be following suit.Most CDSs are documented using standard forms drafted by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), although there are many variants. In addition to the basic, single-name swaps, there are basket default swaps (BDSs), index CDSs, funded CDSs (also called credit-linked notes), as well as loan-only credit default swaps (LCDS). In addition to corporations and governments, the reference entity can include a special purpose vehicle issuing asset-backed securities.Some claim that derivatives such as CDS are potentially dangerous in that they combine priority in bankruptcy with a lack of transparency. A CDS can be unsecured (without collateral) and be at higher risk for a default.

Credit rating

A credit rating is an evaluation of the credit risk of a prospective debtor (an individual, a business, company or a government), predicting their ability to pay back the debt, and an implicit forecast of the likelihood of the debtor defaulting.

The credit rating represents an evaluation of a credit rating agency of the qualitative and quantitative information for the prospective debtor, including information provided by the prospective debtor and other non-public information obtained by the credit rating agency's analysts.

Credit reporting (or credit score) – is a subset of credit rating – it is a numeric evaluation of an individual's credit worthiness, which is done by a credit bureau or consumer credit reporting agency.

Credit score

A credit score is a numerical expression based on a level analysis of a person's credit files, to represent the creditworthiness of an individual. A credit score is primarily based on a credit report, information typically sourced from credit bureaus.

Lenders, such as banks and credit card companies, use credit scores to evaluate the potential risk posed by lending money to consumers and to mitigate losses due to bad debt. Lenders use credit scores to determine who qualifies for a loan, at what interest rate, and what credit limits. Lenders also use credit scores to determine which customers are likely to bring in the most revenue. The use of credit or identity scoring prior to authorizing access or granting credit is an implementation of a trusted system.

Credit scoring is not limited to banks. Other organizations, such as mobile phone companies, insurance companies, landlords, and government departments employ the same techniques. Digital finance companies such as online lenders also use alternative data sources to calculate the creditworthiness of borrowers.

Credit union

A credit union is a member-owned financial cooperative, controlled by its members and operated on the principle of people helping people, providing its members credit at competitive rates as well as other financial services.Worldwide, credit union systems vary significantly in terms of total assets and average institution asset size, ranging from volunteer operations with a handful of members to institutions with assets worth several billion U.S. dollars and hundreds of thousands of members. Credit unions operate alongside other mutuals and cooperatives engaging in cooperative banking, such as building societies.

"Natural-person credit unions" (also called "retail credit unions" or "consumer credit unions") serve individuals, as distinguished from "corporate credit unions", which serve other credit unions.Credit unions in the US had one-fifth the failure rate of other banks during the financial crisis of 2007–2008 and more than doubled lending to small businesses between 2008 and 2016, from $30 billion to $60 billion, while lending to small businesses overall during the same period declined by around $100 billion.. Public trust in credit unions stands at 60%, compared to 30% for big banks Furthermore, small businesses are eighty percent less likely to be dissatisfied with a credit union than with a big bank.

Debit card

A debit card (also known as a bank card, plastic card or check card) is a plastic payment card that can be used instead of cash when making purchases. It is similar to a credit card, but unlike a credit card, the money is immediately transferred directly from the cardholder's bank account when performing a transaction.

Some cards might carry a stored value with which a payment is made, while most relay a message to the cardholder's bank to withdraw funds from a payer's designated bank account. In some cases, the primary account number is assigned exclusively for use on the Internet and there is no physical card.

In many countries, the use of debit cards has become so widespread that their volume has overtaken or entirely replaced cheques and, in some instances, cash transactions. The development of debit cards, unlike credit cards and charge cards, has generally been country specific resulting in a number of different systems around the world, which were often incompatible. Since the mid-2000s, a number of initiatives have allowed debit cards issued in one country to be used in other countries and allowed their use for internet and phone purchases.

Debit cards usually also allow instant withdrawal of cash, acting as an ATM card for this purpose. Merchants may also offer cashback facilities to customers, so that a customer can withdraw cash along with their purchase.

Financial crisis of 2007–2008

The financial crisis of 2007–2008, also known as the global financial crisis and the 2008 financial crisis, is considered by many economists to have been the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.It began in 2007 with a crisis in the subprime mortgage market in the United States, and developed into a full-blown international banking crisis with the collapse of the investment bank Lehman Brothers on September 15, 2008. Excessive risk-taking by banks such as Lehman Brothers helped to magnify the financial impact globally. Massive bail-outs of financial institutions and other palliative monetary and fiscal policies were employed to prevent a possible collapse of the world financial system. The crisis was nonetheless followed by a global economic downturn, the Great Recession. The European debt crisis, a crisis in the banking system of the European countries using the euro, followed later.

In 2010, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was enacted in the US following the crisis to "promote the financial stability of the United States". The Basel III capital and liquidity standards were adopted by countries around the world.

Financial services

Financial services are the economic services provided by the finance industry, which encompasses a broad range of businesses that manage money, including credit unions, banks, credit-card companies, insurance companies, accountancy companies, consumer-finance companies, stock brokerages, investment funds, individual managers and some government-sponsored enterprises. Financial services companies are present in all economically developed geographic locations and tend to cluster in local, national, regional and international financial centers such as London, New York City, and Tokyo.

ICICI Bank

ICICI Bank Limited (Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India) is an Indian multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra with its registered office in Vadodara, Gujarat. As of 2018, ICICI Bank is the second largest bank in India in terms of assets and market capitalisation. It offers a wide range of banking products and financial services for corporate and retail customers through a variety of delivery channels and specialised subsidiaries in the areas of investment banking, life, non-life insurance, venture capital and asset management. The bank currently has a network of 4867 branches and 14367 ATMs across India and has a presence in 17 countries including India.ICICI Bank is one of the Big Four banks of India. The bank has subsidiaries in the United Kingdom and Canada; branches in United States, Singapore, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Qatar, Oman, Dubai International Finance Centre, China and South Africa;

and representative offices in United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia. The company's UK subsidiary has also established branches in Belgium and Germany.

Mastercard

Mastercard Incorporated (stylized as MasterCard from 1979 to 2016 and mastercard from 2016 to 2019) is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in the Mastercard International Global Headquarters in Purchase, New York, United States. The Global Operations Headquarters is located in O'Fallon, Missouri, United States, a municipality of St. Charles County, Missouri. Throughout the world, its principal business is to process payments between the banks of merchants and the card issuing banks or credit unions of the purchasers who use the "Mastercard" brand debit, credit and prepaid to make purchases. Mastercard Worldwide has been a publicly traded company since 2006. Prior to its initial public offering, Mastercard Worldwide was a cooperative owned by the more than 25,000 financial institutions that issue its branded cards.

Mastercard, originally known as "Interbank" from 1966 to 1969 and "Master Charge" from 1969 to 1979, was created by an alliance of several regional bankcard associations in response to the BankAmericard issued by Bank of America, which later became the Visa credit card issued by Visa Inc.

PayPal

PayPal Holdings, Inc. is an American company operating a worldwide online payments system that supports online money transfers and serves as an electronic alternative to traditional paper methods like checks and money orders. The company operates as a payment processor for online vendors, auction sites, and many other commercial users, for which it charges a fee in exchange for benefits such as one-click transactions and password memory. PayPal's payment system, also called PayPal, is considered a type of payment rail.

Established in 1998 as Confinity, PayPal had its initial public offering in 2002, and became a wholly owned subsidiary of eBay later that year. eBay spun off PayPal in 2015.

The company ranked 222nd on the 2018 Fortune 500 of the largest United States corporations by revenue.

Post-credits scene

A post-credits scene (also called a tag, stinger, coda, button, after-credits sequence, end-credit scene or credit cookie) is a short clip that appears after all or some of the closing credits have rolled and sometimes after a production logo of a film, TV series, or video game have run. It is usually included for humour or to set up a possible sequel.

Subprime mortgage crisis

The United States subprime mortgage crisis was a nationwide financial crisis, occurring between 2007 and 2010, that contributed to the U.S. recession of December 2007 – June 2009. It was triggered by a large decline in home prices after the collapse of a housing bubble, leading to mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures and the devaluation of housing-related securities. Declines in residential investment preceded the recession and were followed by reductions in household spending and then business investment. Spending reductions were more significant in areas with a combination of high household debt and larger housing price declines.The housing bubble preceding the crisis was financed with mortgage-backed securities (MBSes) and collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), which initially offered higher interest rates (i.e. better returns) than government securities, along with attractive risk ratings from rating agencies. While elements of the crisis first became more visible during 2007, several major financial institutions collapsed in September 2008, with significant disruption in the flow of credit to businesses and consumers and the onset of a severe global recession.There were many causes of the crisis, with commentators assigning different levels of blame to financial institutions, regulators, credit agencies, government housing policies, and consumers, among others. Two proximate causes were the rise in subprime lending and the increase in housing speculation. The percentage of lower-quality subprime mortgages originated during a given year rose from the historical 8% or lower range to approximately 20% from 2004 to 2006, with much higher ratios in some parts of the U.S. A high percentage of these subprime mortgages, over 90% in 2006 for example, were adjustable-rate mortgages. Housing speculation also increased, with the share of mortgage originations to investors (i.e. those owning homes other than primary residences) rising significantly from around 20% in 2000 to around 35% in 2006–2007. Investors, even those with prime credit ratings, were much more likely to default than non-investors when prices fell. These changes were part of a broader trend of lowered lending standards and higher-risk mortgage products, which contributed to U.S. households becoming increasingly indebted. The ratio of household debt to disposable personal income rose from 77% in 1990 to 127% by the end of 2007.When U.S. home prices declined steeply after peaking in mid-2006, it became more difficult for borrowers to refinance their loans. As adjustable-rate mortgages began to reset at higher interest rates (causing higher monthly payments), mortgage delinquencies soared. Securities backed with mortgages, including subprime mortgages, widely held by financial firms globally, lost most of their value. Global investors also drastically reduced purchases of mortgage-backed debt and other securities as part of a decline in the capacity and willingness of the private financial system to support lending. Concerns about the soundness of U.S. credit and financial markets led to tightening credit around the world and slowing economic growth in the U.S. and Europe.

The crisis had severe, long-lasting consequences for the U.S. and European economies. The U.S. entered a deep recession, with nearly 9 million jobs lost during 2008 and 2009, roughly 6% of the workforce. The number of jobs did not return to the December 2007 pre-crisis peak until May 2014. U.S. household net worth declined by nearly $13 trillion (20%) from its Q2 2007 pre-crisis peak, recovering by Q4 2012. U.S. housing prices fell nearly 30% on average and the U.S. stock market fell approximately 50% by early 2009, with stocks regaining their December 2007 level during September 2012. One estimate of lost output and income from the crisis comes to "at least 40% of 2007 gross domestic product". Europe also continued to struggle with its own economic crisis, with elevated unemployment and severe banking impairments estimated at €940 billion between 2008 and 2012. As of January 2018, U.S. bailout funds had been fully recovered by the government, when interest on loans is taken into consideration. A total of $626B was invested, loaned, or granted due to various bailout measures, while $390B had been returned to the Treasury. The Treasury had earned another $323B in interest on bailout loans, resulting in an $87B profit.

Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. ( or ) (also known as Visa, stylized as VISA) is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in Foster City, California, United States. It facilitates electronic funds transfers throughout the world, most commonly through Visa-branded credit cards, gift cards, and debit cards. Visa does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers; rather, Visa provides financial institutions with Visa-branded payment products that they then use to offer credit, debit, prepaid and cash-access programs to their customers. In 2015, the Nilson Report, a publication that tracks the credit card industry, found that Visa's global network (known as VisaNet) processed 100 billion transactions during 2014 with a total volume of US$6.8 trillion.Visa has operations across all continents worldwide with the exception of Antarctica. Nearly all Visa transactions worldwide are processed through VisaNet at one of four secure facilities. The data centers are located in Ashburn, Virginia, Highlands Ranch, Colorado, London, and Singapore. The data centers are heavily secured against natural disasters, crime, and terrorism; can operate independently of each other and from external utilities if necessary; and can handle up to 30,000 simultaneous transactions and up to 100 billion computations every second. Every transaction is checked past 500 variables including 100 fraud-detection parameters—such as the location and spending habits of the customer and the merchant's location – before being accepted.Visa is the world's second-largest card payment organization (debit and credit cards combined), after being surpassed by China UnionPay in 2015, based on annual value of card payments transacted and number of issued cards. Because UnionPay's size is based primarily on the size of its domestic market, Visa is dominant in the rest of the world outside of China, with 50% market share of global card payments minus China.

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