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2008: Economic Meltdown, Unprecedented Presidential Election

In a year in which Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns would cease to exist and other venerable institutions such as Merrill Lynch and AIG are forced into mergers, the bursting of a real estate bubble would bring economic distress to America and calamity to the world. Congress would expend nearly 1 trillion dollars to “bail out,” endangered banks and the Federal Reserve would lower interest rates to 0. “Bernie Madoff,” “CDO,” “credit default swap,” and “sub-prime mortgage” would become part of our lexicon. In November, a newcomer in so many ways, Barack Obama would defeat his Republican counterpart, John McCain, to win the Presidency.