Just How Bad Was 2008?

The worst anyone under 70 has seen, Bloomberg reports
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2008 4:37 PM CST
Just How Bad Was 2008?
A foreclosure sign stands on top of a sale sign outside an existing home for sale in the west Denver suburb of Lakewood, Colo., on Sunday, Sept. 28, 2008.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

If you're under the age of 70, 2008 was probably the worst year you've lived through, reports Bloomberg. Here's why:

  • In housing, which started the downturn, median resale prices saw a 13% decline, the largest since the 1930s.
  • Foreclosure rates reached 2.97%, and mortgage delinquency hit 6.99%, both records for the Mortgage Bankers Association, whose statistics go back 29 years.

  • The securitization of unreliable home loans spread their distress to financial firms, toppling Bear Steans (which survived the '29 crash), Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch.
  • Freezing credit slowed spending, which hammered corporate profits which in turn hammered stocks: the Dow and S&P 500 are down 34% and 39%, respectively, the worst yearly loss since 1931.
  • US job losses may hit 2.3 million for the year, the most since 1945.
  • Speaking of the world, China's exports saw their first decline in 7 years; India's took a 12% hit.
(Read more recession stories.)

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