How did it come to pass that in 2008 our nation was forced to choose between two stark and painful alternatives - either risk the total collapse of our financial system and economy or inject trillions of taxpayer dollars into the financial system and an array of companies, as millions of Americans still lost their jobs, their savings, and their homes?  
                -The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report

This was the central question asked by the National Commission on the Causes of the Financial and Economic Crisis in the United States, and also beyond the scope of our case study. What is within our scope is to analyze how the Fixed Rate Mortgage market was affected by the crisis. The scope and detail of the data supplied is enough that we can not only analyze how the entire country responded, but we can see how individual states performed, as well as regions within these states.

We have a number of questions we would like to answer:

  • What are the basic monthly and quarterly level statistics for our data?
  • How did the 2008 financial crisis affect the quality of the loans given both during and afterwards?
  • How did general market conditions affect the interest rates of loans given before, during and after the crisis?
  • How did various states and regions of the country both respond and recover from the crisis?
  • What conclusions can we draw about borrower quality versus how much they were actually lent?

As well as a number of longer term questions to investigate:

  • Measuring the effect that legislative actions had on the FRM market.
  • Measuring the effect that foreign market problems had on the FRM market, for example the Eurozone Crisis.
  • Getting data on Adjustable Rate Mortgages(ARM) and other products to see how they behaved leading up to and during the crisis. (If Fannie Mae will give the data)
  • Getting data for a longer timespan for FRMs would allow us to to explore longer term trends in the mortgage market.  This would synergize well with the study involving legislation.

A more expansive study of the 2008 crisis would require significantly more resources.

Fannie Mae - Home

Project Members:

Gary R. Engler
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Stevens Institute of Technology
Hoboken NJ, 07030

E-Mail :

Expansions of the Research:

  • Breakdown by State.
  • Determine if banks had different lending practices for:
  • Different regions of the country,
  • Different lending practices.
  • Gain data on Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) and other assorted mortgages products. Note: Data governance rules may be different than FRM data due to the FRM data being publicly available.