Lesson 8
Understanding Financial Markets, 2007-2009

This lesson pulls together the events in financial markets from 2007 to 2009 by examining the persons and financial institutions that played key roles in the crisis, including why it occurred, who was affected, and the aftermath. How better to understand the complexities than for students to ask questions of certain people or entities concerning their complicity involving the crises? Students will do so in a mock trial, where witnesses such as Mr. Wally Banker and Mr. Mainy Street will be called to testify in The People v. Ulysses S. Economy. Because the people have been harmed, they have filed suit against the economy, personified by Ulysses S. Economy, who feels that he is the victim, not the instigator. The defendant is accused on four counts: the deterioration of consumer confidence, the failure to create jobs, the weakening of GDP growth, and the worsening turmoil in the global economy. Students with computer access can link to several sites that highlight the market turmoil. These supplemental sites, along with the trial transcript, will be used to complete an exercise that requires them to place 20 decisions and events that are associated with the 2007-2009 financial crisis in correct sequence, beginning with the changes in banking regulations and ending with questions and concerns beyond 2009. The goal is for students to be able to understand, describe, and demonstrate knowledge of this crisis.


  • Collateral
  • Credit
  • Fiscal Policy
  • Monetary Policy
  • Mortgage
  • Regulation

Standards in Economics and Personal Finance

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Related Lessons


James R.
"I thought this lesson was very well written, and the students were very engaged. I think the students enjoyed when visuals were shown on a screen during the testimony as factual evidence, this was very helpful. Also, the trial helped to explain terms in a way that they were easily understood. Overall, I really thought these lessons were very well done, and I am looking forward to using all of the financial crisis lessons in the future."