The True Cost of the 2008 Financial Crisis–$12.8 Trillion

Mark Gongloff: Financial Crisis Cost U.S. $12.8 Trillion Or More: Study

The 2008 financial crisis cost the U.S. economy at least $12.8 trillion, a new study found — and that’s a “very conservative number,” according to the authors.

The study, timed to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, is a direct counter to the banking industry’s relentless warnings of the potential costs of new financial regulations.

The cost of letting the banks wreck the global economy again is far, far higher.

The crisis-cost estimate, generated by Better Markets, a non-profit group lobbying for financial reform, is only a measure of actual and potential lost economic growth due to the crisis. It does not include many other costs, including the costs of extraordinary government steps taken to avoid “a second Great Depression.” It does not include unquantifiable costs like the “human suffering that accompanies unemployment, foreclosure, homelessness and related damage,” the authors noted.

Mark Gongloff: Financial Crisis Cost U.S. $12.8 Trillion Or More: Study


Most people believe that TARP costs 700 billion and that’s what the crisis cost Americans. Wrong. It is 12.8 trillion dollars. That’s a little bit more. We all took a hit.

I’m not going to do an ethics analysis. If you can’t see an ethics problem here, I don’t know what I can do for your thinking.

James Pilant

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