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White House Report – The Financial Crisis: Five Years Later

Executive Office of the President, September 2013

“Five years ago this week, a financial crisis unlike any in generations rocked Wall Street, turning a recession that was already hammering Main Street into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. In the months before President Obama took office, the economy was shrinking at a rate of over 8%. Businesses were shedding 800,000 jobs a month. Banks had stopped lending to families and small businesses. The iconic American auto industry–the heartbeat of American manufacturing–was on the brink of collapse. It was a crisis that would ultimately cost millions of Americans their jobs, their homes, and their savings–and the decades-long erosion of middle-class security was laid bare for all to see and feel. President Obama acted quickly to rescue the auto industry, cut taxes for middle-class families, and keep teachers in the classrooms and first responders on our streets. He took on Wall Street, ending taxpayer bailouts, putting in place tough new rules on big banks, and establishing new consumer protections that cracked down on the worst practices of mortgage lenders and credit card companies. He changed a tax code too skewed in favor of the wealthiest Americans, locking in tax cuts for 98% of working Americans, and asked those at the top to pay a little more. And he took on a broken health care system and invested in new American technologies to reverse our addiction to foreign oil…This report describes 15 key elements of the response to the financial crises–providing an overview of the state of the economy and the financial system, the actions the Administration took in conjunction with the Federal Reserve and other regulators , and where we are now.”

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