Monday marks infamous economic anniversary

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Monday marks an anniversary that won’t be celebrated – the beginning of the global financial meltdown.

It was a year ago Monday (Sept. 7, 2008) that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taken over by the federal government. That event is widely seen as the beginning of the financial collapse that crippled the U.S. and world economies.

A week after the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac takeover, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy after being in business for 158 years. The next day, global panic ensued as the stock market took a nosedive and global credit markets froze.

On Oct. 30, the Department of Commerce reported that the U.S. economy had shrunk in the third quarter, signaling the start of a recession that many say has been the worst downturn since the Great Depression.

In the months that followed, the stock market continued its precipitous decline, more Wall Street firms went under, unemployment rose and the government stepped in with one bailout or stimulus plan after another.

By March, the Dow Jones had fallen below 7,000 for the first time since October 1997.

Click here to see a detailed timeline.

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