When the Board of Editors began planning this issue last winter, there was some concern about growing issues in the subprime mortgage market. While no one could predict the massive
scale of this crisis, the downturn in the housing market and the buying and selling of complex mortgage-backed securities seemed ripe for disaster. Additionally, in recent years,
homeownership in the United States has reached record levels. While a high rate of homeownership is a laudable goal, the shaky financial ground upon which an enormous portion of these mortgages were based provided the impetus for our current financial meltdown. Today the crisis has become impossible to ignore and has spread to virtually every corner of the world. Our country and our world are in the midst of a global financial crisis.