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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.

Expand chart
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.

Go deeper

52 mins ago - Health

Standardized testing becomes another pandemic victim

Photo: Edmund D. Fountain for The Washington Post via Getty

National standardized reading and math tests have been pushed from next year to 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: There’s mounting national evidence that students are suffering major setbacks this year, with a surge in the number of failing grades.

1 hour ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

2 hours ago - Health

Africa CDC: Vaccines likely won't be available until Q2 of 2021

Africa CDC director Dr. John Nkengasong. Photo: Mohammed Abdu Abdulbaqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Africa may have to wait until the second quarter of 2021 to roll out vaccines, Africa CDC director John Nkengasong said Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Why it matters: “I have seen how Africa is neglected when drugs are available,” Nkengasong said.