The article discusses the factors that led to the economic slump of 2007 and describes the course of the present crisis. The study is an attempt to consolidate the results of research done by various scholars and to indicate the most significant – in the author’s opinion – influences on world economy in the future. The author underscores the role of subprime loans as a direct impulse that caused the slump, presents the stages of the spreading of economic slowdown onto the economies of different continents and characterizes its implications for individual countries with particular focus on Europe, the EU states and eurozone included. In the last part she describes the situation of Poland and strives to explain why our country was only faintly affected by the crisis. Conclusions are also drawn for the future with a view to making the subsequent slumps much less acute for the economies.