Sarah P. Gibbons

Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Fellow in the Humanities

20082009 Forum on Change

Sarah P. Gibbons


College '09

The Savings and Loan Crisis: A Morality Play of Modern American Finance

Owning your own home is often considered as big a part of American life as voting or apple pie. But who or what created this culture of home ownership, and has it always been beneficial to America's economy and citizens as a whole? I will explore the encouragement of home ownership by the U.S. government and how it has lead to economic catastrophe for America in the form of the Savings and Loan Crisis of the late 1980s. I will trace the government-sown culture of home ownership beginning with the New Deal, explore historical motives and reasoning for this mission, and explain in an historical context how this culture lead to, and worsened, the Savings and Loan Crisis.