Recession

Beginning with Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy in September 2008, the United States went into a dramatic economic tailspin whose rapidity was unforeseen and whose devastation remained unimaginable to many, even after it had hit. Pacifica Radio had reported on the coming subprime mortgage crisis in 2007, and had predicted a “Great Depression-like” catastrophe; but that was a lone voice. With dizzying speed and still wholly unexpected by most, in late 2008 huge financial institutions went into crisis, businesses of all sizes closed down, consumer spending plummeted, unemployment and foreclosure figures shot up, and decades of economic growth and personal savings evaporated. More than two and a half million jobs were lost in 2008. Though not of Obama’s making, the recession has defined his presidency, as it has American life in general. This gallery is devoted to hardship, but also to resilience and good humor (“Recession Sale: Adult DVDs $1.99”). mj