by Colin McIntosh
The credit crunch started to bite in 2008, with a whole lexicon of terms, some new and some previously confined to the vocabulary of economists and bankers, making an appearance in the news. Most of them are still with us, and some brand new ones have joined them in the Cambridge English Dictionary.
Toxic debt (debts that have little chance of being paid back or of being paid back with interest) was one of the main factors that caused the crash, with subprime loans (used to describe the practice of lending money, especially to buy a house, to people who may not be able to pay it back) made by the US institutions Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Many home owners were faced with foreclosure (having a property bought with borrowed money taken back because the money was not being paid back).
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