Timeline on the Great Recession
From Lehman Brothers collapse to the wrenching swings of the stock market – a look back at the major events that marked the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
2006 - July: US home prices peak after decades of financial deregulation and government promotion of home ownership.
2007 - April 2: New Century Financial Corp., a major subprime lender, files for bankruptcy.
Oct. 9: The stock market hits an all-time high, with the Dow at 14,164.
December: The recession officially begins. The unemployment rate stands at 5 percent.
Dec. 12: The Fed creates a Term Auction Facility to lend to ailing financial institutions.
2008 - Jan. 30: The Fed reduces short-term interest rates for the fifth time in four months, to 3 percent. (The rate was 5.25 in September 2007.)
Feb. 13: President George W. Bush signs the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, which gives individuals a tax rebate and encourages business investment.
March 16: Brokerage firm Bear Stearns collapses and is bought out by JPMorgan Chase.
April 30: The Fed reduces short-term interest rates to 2 percent.
Sept. 7: The federal government takes over mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Sept. 15: Lehman Brothers files the largest bankruptcy case in US history.
Sept. 16: The Fed bails out insurance giant AIG.
Oct. 3: Bush signs into law an emergency bailout package that establishes the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
Oct. 6-10: The Dow suffers its worst weekly loss in history, falling 1,874 points, or 18 percent.
Oct. 28: The US Treasury gives out the first TARP money, totaling $125 billion, to nine banks.
Oct. 29: The Fed's short-term interest rate, after several more drops, hits 1 percent.