The Great Recession, as we call it now, began in August 2007,after the U.S.housing bubble began to burst. It went global acouple of months later before the bottom fell out completely inSeptember 2008.

And while some say the crisis ended in June2009, a lot of still unemployed people (including some stillemployed who thought they might be retired by now) might take issuewith that date.

Bankruptcies, falling home values, and plummeting stocks markedthe worst economic downturn this country's seen since the 1930s.Real GDP tumbled, capital investment vanished, and income levelsfell. One Bloomberg report from 2009 estimated that, globally,companies saw a loss of more than $14 trillion in value.

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