The sovereign debt crisis that broke out in Greece at the end of 2009 is fundamentally due to the precarious integration of peripheral countries in the eurozone. Its immediate causes, however, lie with the crisis of 2007–2009. Speculative mortgage lending by US financial institutions and trading of resultant derivative securities by international banks created a vast bubble in 2001–2007, leading to crisis and recession. State provision of liquidity and capital in 2008–2009 rescued the banks, while state expenditure prevented a worsening of the recession. The result in the eurozone was a sovereign debt crisis, exacerbated by the structural weaknesses of monetary union.