By Simon Constable
Just when you thought the economy is safe again, the ghost of subprime loans is back. This time it's haunting the auto industry and doesn't bode well for automotive stocks. In fact, the problem is beginning to hurt car companies in myriad ways, including fewer sales.
Subprime refers to riskier loans made to borrowers with a less-than-pristine credit history. The loans, you may recall, had a hand in the global financial crisis. In the years leading up to 2008, banks made many subprime loans to home buyers. The result was the banking industry's overexposure to risky loans and the painful paying of the piper that followed. When the housing market bubble popped and borrowers defaulted, banks – and ultimately taxpayers – were on the hook for the money, and the world economy became mired in a credit crisis. Read more here.