The Past 5 Years Explained in 73 Headlines

Five years ago this week, I called Motley Fool editor Anand Chokkavelu on the phone. "So, Lehman Brothers just filed for bankruptcy," I said. Thus began the financial crisis and the worst recession in 80 years.

Here's what's happened next.

"Lehman Files for Bankruptcy; Merrill Is Sold," The New York Times, September 14, 2008

It wasn't alone ...

"AIG struggles to survive financial tsunami," Reuters, September 16, 2008

The government came in ...

"U.S. to Take Over AIG in $85 Billion Bailout; Central Banks Inject Cash as Credit Dries Up," The Wall Street Journal, September 16, 2008

And pulled out all the stops ...

"US Senate passes $700bn bank bailout," Telegraph, October 2, 2008

The pain began ...

"Job losses reach worst level in five years," CNNMoney, October 3, 2008

And markets panicked ...

"Dow Jones falls below 10,000 as global markets melt," Telegraph, October 6, 2008

Bringing volatility ...

"Markets Surge to Biggest One-Day Gain Since Great Depression," The Washington Post, October 14, 2008

And a new face ...

"Voters tag economy as Issue No. 1, elect Obama," CNNMoney, November 5, 2008

A few silver linings emerged ...

"Average U.S. gas prices fall below $2," Toronto Star, November 21, 2008

But even more carnage came with it ...

"Fourth-worst drop ever for Dow," AZ Central, December 1, 2008

The horror set in ...

"U.S. Loses 533,000 Jobs in Biggest Drop Since 1974," The New York Times, December 5, 2008

The "d" word was used ...

"Obama Dismisses Great Depression Talk," ABC, December 7, 2008

Washington armed its weapons ...

"Obama Said to Favor $775 Billion for Stimulus Plan," Bloomberg, January 6, 2009

Others shook their heads ...

"Global Worries Over U.S. Stimulus Spending," The New York Times, January 29, 2009

The stimulus began ...

"Obama Signs Stimulus Into Law," The Wall Street Journal, February 18, 2009

From every direction ...

"Fed to Pump Another $1 Trillion Into Economy," PBS, March 18, 2009

It didn't seem to help ...

"Stocks fall to lowest level since 1997 as Dow drops below 6,800," USA TODAY, March 2, 2009

And Americans were getting crushed ...

"Housing Prices in 20 U.S. Cities Fall a Record 18.5%," Bloomberg, February 24, 2009

We realized this recession was different ...

"Job Losses Hint at Vast Remaking of Economy," The New York Times, March 6, 2009

It didn't seem to end ....

"663,000 Jobs Lost in March; Total Tops 5 Million," The New York Times, April 3, 2009

Some wondered how far it could go ...

"George Soros says US banks 'basically insolvent'," Retuers, April 6, 2009

American icons dropped ...

"Chrysler files for bankruptcy," CNNMoney, May 1, 2009

And dropped ...

"General Motors files for bankruptcy," MarketWatch, June 1, 2009

We became comfortable with the "d" word ...

"Global Economic Shock Worse Than Great Depression," Huffington Post, May 8, 2009

Some saw a light at the end of the tunnel ...

"Why the Economy is Showing Green Shoots: It Might as Well Be Spring," The Daily Beast, April 17, 2009

Not everyone agreed ...

"Warren Buffett: U.S. Economy In "Shambles" No Signs of Recovery Yet," CNBC, June 24, 2009

But glimmers of hope arose ...

"Dow Jones Reclaims 10,000 Milestone," CBS, October 15, 2009

For some it was better than ever...

"Goldman Sachs breaks record with $16.7bn bonus pot," The Guardian, October 15, 2009

For others the pain was just beginning ...

"Foreclosures hit record high," CNNMoney, January 14, 2010

But the carnage appeared over ...

"Jobs Report Is Strongest Since the Start of the Recession," The New York Times, December 4, 2009

And we were reminded that good news still exists ...

"Apple unveils the 'magical' iPad," CNN, January 28, 2010

The stimulus never ended ...

"Fed to buy $600 billion in bonds to aid economy," Toledo Blade, March 11, 2010

And the improvement became real ...

"Warren Buffett says economy showing real strength," BusinessWeek, May 3, 2010

Jobs still lagged ...

"U.S. adds jobs but unemployment rate rises to 9.9%," Philadelphia Business Journal, May 7, 2010

But Wall Street cheered ...

"Dow Briefly Reaches 11000 Level, Extends Historic Rebound," MarketWatch, April 9, 2010

The pain spread across oceans ...

"Debt crisis unsettles European economy," The Washington Post, February 9, 2010

As more change arrived ...

"Obama signs health care reform into law," Dallas Business Journal, March 23, 2010

A new crisis unfolded ....

"Greece accepts bailout package," CNNMoney, May 2, 2010

Computers crashed the party ...

"Dow's Brief Fall of 1,000 Points Sets Off Anxiety," May 5, 2010

While a new age of health care began ...

"Obama signs sweeping financial overhaul into law," AP, July 21, 2010

And as Europe continued teetered ...

"Financial Crisis Spreads Throughout Europe," NPR, May 27, 2010

America found a new worry ...

"Oil Spill Growing off Gulf Coast after Rig Explosion," CBS, April 27, 2010

Old names reemerged ...

"GM files paperwork for massive IPO," MarketWatch, August 18, 2010

Just in time for a new downturn ...

"Double-dip feared as US economic growth loses pace," Telegraph, July 30, 2010

Was this a new recession? ...

"Dow plunges below 10,000 amid bad news on euro and US jobs," CSM, June 4 2010

Maybe, but the financial crisis was over ...

"TARP repayments exceed outstanding bailout debt," Treasury says," LA Times, June 12, 2010

And the cheerleaders came out ...

"Administration Kicks Off "Recovery Summer" with Groundbreakings and Events Across the Country," White House, June 17, 2010

But the recession's scars couldn't be ignored ...

"Fears grow over length of US jobs crisis," Economic Times, December 3, 2010

Political fights ensued ...

"Obama signs bill to extend Bush-era tax cuts for two more years," The Washington Post, December 17, 2010

But the market kept rallying ...

"Dow 12,000: Just Getting Going?," MarketWatch, January 26, 2011

The recovery seemed to heat up ...

"Big Jump in Private Jobs Bolsters Recovery Hopes," The New York Times, March 4, 2011

Just in time for more political games ...

"Obama: Raise debt ceiling or risk global recession," Bloomberg, April 15, 2011

And threats ...

"Bachmann: don't raise federal debt ceiling," Seattle Times, April 29, 2011

Led to consequences ...

"United States of America [Credit] Rating Lowered To 'AA+' Due To Political Risks, Rising Debt Burden," Standard & Poor's, August 5, 2011

Markets panicked ...

"Dow plunges 512; worst 1-day action since 2008," Albuquerque Business First, August 4, 2011

And the spotlight turned to Europe ...

"Financial crisis: Italy could tip euro into abyss," Telegraph, August 7, 2011

The stimulus continued ...

"Federal Reserve launches Operation Twist," CNNMoney, September 22, 2011

Familiar business names continued to die off ...

"R.I.P. Borders: Book Chain Shuffles Off Into Liquidation," Reuters, July 18, 2011

And a new asset captured Americans' imaginations ...

"Gold tops $1,900, looking 'a bit bubbly'," CNNMoney, August 23, 2011

Corporations were doing better than ever ...

"Companies near record profits amid high unemployment," Raw Story, August 1, 2011

For the most part ...

"FBI raids bankrupt solar venture Solyndra," CNNMoney, September 9, 2011

Wall Street showed it still knows how to have a good time ...

"MF Global Files for Bankruptcy," Bloomberg, November 1, 2011

And not everyone was happy about it ...

"Occupy Wall Street: Civil society's awakening," LA Times, November 22, 2011

More Wall Street games continued ...

"Libor Probe Said to Expose Collusion, Lack of Internal Controls," Bloomberg, February 14, 2012

As new icons were born ...

"Facebook Goes Public," Politico, May 18, 2012

And as innovation flourished ...

"Apple Shares Top $700: iPhone 5 Euphoria Setting In," The Wall Street Journal, September 18, 2011

So did the recovery ...

"Unemployment falls in 41 states in September," USA TODAY, October 19, 2012

Mother nature showed her anger ...

"Hurricane Sandy's Economic Impact Likely To Be Immense," NPR, October 29, 2012

 And Americans went to the polls ...

"Analysis: Obama reelection driven by economy, turnout," Reuters, November 7, 2012

Just in time for more political games ...

"U.S. approaches 'fiscal cliff,' and world watches from the sidelines," The Washington Post, November 2, 2012

But nothing could stop stocks ...

"Dow Jones hits new high, closes above 15,000 for first time," Washington Times, May 7, 2013

Or innovation ...

"Tesla outsells Porsche, Jaguar in California," CNBC, August 26, 2013

 And we end this story right where we started ...

"Five years after Lehman, Americans still angry at Wall Street," Reuters, September 15, 2013

Check back every Tuesday and Friday for Morgan Housel's columns on finance and economics. 

link


Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (36)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 3:03 AM, DennisDenuto wrote:

    Great list. Now you just need Billy Joel to make it into to a song.

  • Report this Comment On September 25, 2013, at 10:50 PM, maniladad wrote:

    Hi Morgan, I doubt that anyone will read this very late comment but this article has been tremendously helpful to me and I wanted to anchor what I've learned from it by commenting. I've only been managing my portfolio on my own for about 2 years and reading these headlines helped me remember what it was like to be a new investor confused and frightened by the daily headlines and commentaries. In an odd way, it also more than doubled my experience by being able to identify with what investors were going through in the full five year period from 2008. Of course I've read the admonitions about remaining calm and rational and about keeping the long-term in view when buying and holding stocks through up and down markets but that's been an abstract concept up to this point. Now by experiencing vicariously what is was like to be in the market in 2008 and to be reminded of what it was like for me to be in the market since 2011 I think I really understand what it's about. At the time I was too naive to have any insight into what was happening to me. Now I have a much better appreciation of what it was like and also feel much better prepared by knowing what to expect in the next downturn, whenever it is. I expect that I will feel much the same way but I can deal with it. And I have a larger perspective that minimizes the significance of both those dramatic banner headlines announcing the latest imminent disaster and also of the euphoria-inducing good news. This article was for me far more than just an entertaining diversion. Thank you.

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2641682, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 12/22/2014 4:24:13 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement