If you're under the age of 70, 2008 was probably the worst year you've lived through, reports Bloomberg. Here's why:
- In housing, which started the downturn, median resale prices saw a 13% decline, the largest since the 1930s.
- Foreclosure rates reached 2.97%, and mortgage delinquency hit 6.99%, both records for the Mortgage Bankers Association, whose statistics go back 29 years.
- The securitization of unreliable home loans spread their distress to financial firms, toppling Bear Steans (which survived the '29 crash), Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch.
- Freezing credit slowed spending, which hammered corporate profits which in turn hammered stocks: the Dow and S&P 500 are down 34% and 39%, respectively, the worst yearly loss since 1931.
- US job losses may hit 2.3 million for the year, the most since 1945.
- Speaking of the world, China's exports saw their first decline in 7 years; India's took a 12% hit.
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