Alex Grimm / Reuters

The Forgotten History of the Financial Crisis

What the World Should Have Learned in 2008

"September and October of 2008 was the worst financial crisis in global history, including the Great Depression.” Ben Bernanke, then the chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, made this remarkable claim in November 2009, just one year after the meltdown. Looking back today, a decade after the crisis, there is every reason to agree with Bernanke’s assessment: 2008 should serve as a warning of the scale and speed with which global financial crises can unfold in the twenty-first century. 

The basic story of the financial crisis is familiar enough. The trouble began in 2007 with a downturn in U.S. and European real

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