Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Dr. Bea Baaden

Second Advisor

Dr. Wei Xiong

Third Advisor

Dr. David Jank


The Financial Crisis of 2008, also known as the Great Recession of 2008, marked a time of severe economic downturn in the United States and the global community. The magnitude of the crisis is often compared to that of the Great Depression. Oftentimes after a crisis, questions arise on whether accurate and relevant information was made available to the public in a timely manner because of the widespread consequences of failing to do so. The Financial Crisis of 2008 provides a unique opportunity to examine the communication of financial information to the public by evaluating information gaps in this process. The research questions in this study were formulated to identify the types of gaps that exist in the communication of financial information from publicly held corporations to the public, the causes of such gaps, as well as measures that can be taken to close those gaps. Content analysis is the methodology chosen for data analysis. Three kinds of sources were used for collecting data: newspaper articles from The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times during the years 2006 to 2009, books written by financial experts, and congressional documents from hearings that produced an evaluation on the Financial Crisis of 2008. Answers to the research questions present what has been documented in the data sources used in this study. Findings show that 1) types of gaps include misleading financial information, unreliable valuation of assets, and the interconnectedness of the financial system; 2) causes of gaps include subprime mortgages, securitization, derivatives, and financial leverage; and 3) findings suggest that decreasing financial leverage, increasing regulations, and increasing transparency in reporting can mitigate the potential for gaps in communicating financial information.