The decline in overall economic activity was modest at first, but it steepened sharply in the fall of as stresses in financial markets reached their climax. From peak to trough, US gross domestic product fell by 4.
It was also the longest, lasting eighteen months. The unemployment rate more than doubled, from less than 5 percent to 10 percent. In response to weakening economic conditions, the FOMC lowered its target for the federal funds rate from 4. As the financial crisis and the economic contraction intensified in the fall of , the FOMC accelerated its interest rate cuts, taking the rate to its effective floor — a target range of 0 to 25 basis points — by the end of the year.
In November , the Federal Reserve also initiated the first in a series of large-scale asset purchase LSAP programs, buying mortgage-backed securities and longer-term Treasury securities. These purchases were intended to put downward pressure on long-term interest rates and improve financial conditions more broadly, thereby supporting economic activity Bernanke The recession ended in June , but economic weakness persisted.
Economic growth was only moderate — averaging about 2 percent in the first four years of the recovery — and the unemployment rate, particularly the rate of long-term unemployment, remained at historically elevated levels. In the face of this prolonged weakness, the Federal Reserve maintained an exceptionally low level for the federal funds rate target and sought new ways to provide additional monetary accommodation.
The FOMC also began communicating its intentions for future policy settings more explicitly in its public statements, particularly the circumstances under which exceptionally low interest rates were likely to be appropriate. For example, in December , the committee stated that it anticipates that exceptionally low interest rates would likely remain appropriate at least as long as the unemployment rate was above a threshold value of 6. When the financial market turmoil had subsided, attention naturally turned to reforms to the financial sector and its supervision and regulation, motivated by a desire to avoid similar events in the future.
A number of measures have been proposed or put in place to reduce the risk of financial distress. Regular stress testing will help both banks and regulators understand risks and will force banks to use earnings to build capital instead of paying dividends as conditions deteriorate Board of Governors The Dodd-Frank Act of also created new provisions for the treatment of large financial institutions. Like the Great Depression of the s and the Great Inflation of the s, the financial crisis of and the ensuing recession are vital areas of study for economists and policymakers.
While it may be many years before the causes and consequences of these events are fully understood, the effort to untangle them is an important opportunity for the Federal Reserve and other agencies to learn lessons that can inform future policy. Bank for International Settlements. Ennis, Huberto, and Alexander Wolman. Ben S.
Bernanke Chairman. Timothy F. Geithner President. Current Fed leaders. Classroom resources About this site Our authors Related resources. The Great Recession and Its Aftermath — The economic crisis was deep and protracted enough to become known as "the Great Recession" and was followed by what was, by some measures, a long but unusually slow recovery.
Bibliography Bank for International Settlements. Written as of November 22, See disclaimer. Related People Ben S. Bernanke Chairman Board of Governors — Some economists, however, fear that a recession may still be on the horizon as of mid On October 9, , the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit its pre-recession high and closed at 14, On September 29, The Dow Jones fell by nearly points intraday.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. International Monetary Fund. Federal Reserve. Monetary Policy. Your Money. Personal Finance. Your Practice. Popular Courses. Table of Contents Expand. Table of Contents. What Was the Great Recession? Understanding the Great Recession. Origins and Consequences.
Response to the Great Recession. Markets International Markets. Part of. Guide to Economic Recession. Part Of. Understanding Recessions. Effect on the Economy. Effect on Businesses. Investing During a Recession. History of Recessions. Recession Terms A-F. Recession Terms G-Z. The Shapes of Recession Recovery.
Key Takeaways The Great Recession refers to the economic downturn from to after the bursting of the U. The Great Recession was the most severe economic recession in the United States since the Great Depression of the s.
In response to the Great Recession, unprecedented fiscal, monetary, and regulatory policy was unleashed by federal authorities, which some, but not all, credit with the subsequent recovery. Important The Dodd-Frank Act enacted in by President Barack Obama gave the government control of failing financial institutions and the ability to establish consumer protections against predatory lending.
Article Sources. Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy. Compare Accounts. The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation.
This compensation may impact how and where listings appear. Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace. Related Terms Shadow Banking System Definition A shadow banking system refers to the unregulated financial intermediaries that facilitate the creation of credit across the global financial system. What Was the Great Depression?
The Great Depression was a devastating and prolonged economic recession that followed the crash of the U. Nonbank financial companies NBFCs are entities that provide bank-like financial services but don't hold a banking license and are unregulated. Who Was John Maynard Keynes? Keynes is best known as one of the most influential advocates of the idea that governments should play a role in the private sector.
Subprime Meltdown The subprime meltdown includes the economic and market fallout following the housing boom and bust from to Partner Links. Related Articles. Banking A Primer on Important U. Banking Laws. Investopedia is part of the Dotdash Meredith publishing family.
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The aftermath of the crisis saw plenty of hardship—millions of Americans lost their homes to mortgage foreclosures, and by the summer of. The crisis was the worst U.S. economic disaster since the Great Depression. In the United States, the stock market plummeted, wiping out nearly. The decline in overall economic activity was modest at first, but it steepened sharply in the fall of as stresses in.