Inside the White House with D.C.'s most wired reporter. Sign up for Mike Allen's Axios AM.

Stories

When crisis hit, we fell far and fast

What America experienced in 2008 wasn't just the start of a recession, or a negative market cycle. We've had lots of both. Nor was it the realization of an existential outside threat, like war or natural disaster.

The reality: Instead, it was a sudden and pervasive fear that the foundation of America's economy had crumbled, in a way that few had ever previously internalized. Not paranoia, but justified panic.

Data: Yahoo! Finance; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios
  • The S&P 500 fell 28% in the 22 trading days after Lehman went bankrupt. It would keep sinking for another six months, losing nearly half its value.
  • The VIX, a measure of stock market volatility, had all ten of its all-time highs in October and November 2008.
  • Gross domestic product shrunk by 8.9% in Q4 2008, its worst quarterly mark in 50 years.
  • The unemployment rate nearly doubled between January 2008 and January 2010, rising from 5% to 9.8%.
  • Home mortgage defaults climbed from 3.66% to 11.54% over the same time period.

🎧 Go deeper in our latest Axios Pro Rata podcast, with Dan Primack and Fox News' Neil Cavuto.

More stories loading.