Compare the panic of 1837 with America's recent financial and economic crisis.

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Both the 1837 and 2008 recessions were mainly driven by real estate bubbles that burst due to government intervention and bankers restricting credit or calling in loans that led to bankruptcies and foreclosures. Many historians point to President Jackson's financial policies as causes for the crisis in his second term.

Jackson closed the nation's central bank, as the other 850 banks were allowed to issue their own paper currency. They printed too much paper money, which deflated its value, especially when Jackson's Specie Circular of 1836 order required land speculators to pay for properties with gold or silver, in which they had little access. Additionally, overvalued land in the northeast led to bank failures when investments declined.

President Bush's American Dream Downpayment Act of 2003 allowed low income families to get easy home loans with small downpayments. But he also encouraged corporations to move jobs overseas to reap higher margins due to cheaper labor, leading to high...

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