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.
- 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.