Five years ago, we experienced the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Millions of Americans lost their jobs and homes. And confidence in our financial and economic institutions plummeted.
Earlier this week, the White House published a special report [link opens in PDF] that looks at what has been done to combat the crisis, while also considering where we stand now. As part of its effort to better understand this devastating event, the White House would also like to answer questions from The Motley Fool's community.
What would you ask the Obama administration? We encourage you to post questions for the White House in the comments section at the bottom of this article. After administration officials have answered your questions, we'll publish the Q&A right here on Fool.com.
Fighting our way back
In the special report, the administration notes that "five years later, America has fought our way back." Here are some of the achievements mentioned in the report:
- The Treasury has received nearly $422 billion in total cash payments back from the government's investments in TARP and support for AIG. This is more than the $421 billion it disbursed through TARP.
- Ford, GM, and Chrysler are profitable and gaining market share for the first time in 20 years.
- The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) led to 7 million homeowners getting government or private mortgage modifications. The White House concedes, however, that "more work remains to be done to improve wider access to affordable mortgage credit, address the uneven recovery across communities, and move to a more sustainable equilibrium where government does not back such a high percentage of the mortgage market."
To learn more about the response to the financial crisis and to help shape questions you may want to ask of the administration -- remember, you can leave your question in the comments section below -- the White House has provided some brief audio clips from key administration officials:
Healing the Housing Market
Reducing the Deficit
Saving the American Auto Industry
Stabilizing the Financial System / TARP
Reforming Wall Street
What needs to be done
Clearly, we have come a long way over the past five years, but much remains to be done. Unemployment is still too high, and chronic long-term unemployment needs to be effectively addressed.
Meanwhile, the financial crisis didn't help our already shaken retirement system, which investing great John Bogle has said is headed for a serious train wreck.
And five years later, our big banks are arguably still too big to fail, and their managers are possibly too big to jail as well.
The White House agrees that we still have much more to do. As part of its effort to better understand this complex crisis, it would like to hear from our Foolish community. This is a great opportunity for you to ask questions that are of particular importance to our investing community.
Again, just use the comments section below to send in your question. We'll choose some of the most representative ones, and then publish the White House's answers next week.
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