Not that anyone needed further proof of just how significant the collapse of the subprime market was last year. But, last month, the American Dialect Society selected "subprime" as the 2007 Word of the Year.

The global reverberations of the U.S. housing crisis were so great that it is almost hard to remember that many industry observers once thought the credit problems would be contained to the subprime market. Instead, it caused a "finance butterfly effect," according to Michael Youngblood, portfolio manager and managing director of fixed-income for FBR Investment Management.

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