What Has Changed Since December of 2007?
Most economists seem to agree that the "Great Recession" started in December of 2007.
This means that it has now been three full years since the United States tipped into its worst economic downturn since the "Great Depression".
Plenty has taken place between December 2007 and present day. The near-collapse of the entire financial system. TARP. President Obama. The collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market. Sovereign debt crises. The list goes on and on.
What else has changed since December of 2007?
How about the national unemployment rate? In December of 2007, the national unemployment rate was just 4.9%. Three years later, and the national unemployment rate currently sits at 9.8%.
How about the unemployment rate of California, which is a crucially important cog in the US economy? In December of 2007, California posted an unemployment rate of 5.8%. Three years later, and the unemployment rate of California currently sits well north of 12%.
How about the unemployment rate of Nevada, which was enjoying an unprecedented boom in the months and years leading up to the "Great Recession"? In December of 2007, Nevada posted an unemployment rate of 5.2%. Fast forward three years, and this number is well over 14%.
How about the total public debt outstanding of the United States? In December of 2007, the United States had a total public debt load of $9,149,341,364,936.71 (that's $9.1 trillion). Three years later, and the country has added nearly $5 trillion to that total (the total public debt load currently sits at $13,834,918,581,977.03).
How about the major market indexes? On December 3rd, 2007, the major US market indexes closed at:
DJIA - 13,314.57
NASDAQ - 2,637.13
S&P 500 - 1,481.14
Today, they are currently trading at:
DJIA - 11,362.41
NASDAQ - 2,579.35
S&P 500 - 1,221.53
How about the price of gold? In December of 2007, gold was trading for right around $800 per ounce. Three years later, and gold is currently trading at around $1400 per ounce.
How about median household income in the United States? In 2007, median household income was $52,163 (inflation adjusted). By 2009, median household income had dropped to under $50,000 ($49,777), with the strong possibility of an additional drop in 2010.
In December of 2007, Apple was worth $183.46 billion. Now it is worth $291.84 billion, which makes it the second most valuable US-based company behind Exxon Mobil.
In the fall of 2007, Microsoft invested $240 million into Facebook, giving the social networking site a laughable (at the time) valuation of $15 billion. Three years later, and secondary market sales of Facebook shares value the company at approximately $35 billion.
In December of 2007, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns still existed as independent companies. Three years later, and all three companies are now gone.
In December of 2007, the median sales price of a new home sold in the United States was $227,700. Nearly three years later, and this figure is down to $194,900.
In December of 2007, the average sales price of a new home sold in the United States was $284,400. Nearly three years later, and this figure is down to $248,200.
In 2007, three banks failed in the United States. With one month left in 2010, 146 banks have failed.
In 2007, the United States posted an inflation-adjusted deficit of $165.24 billion. In 2010, the United States is expected to post a deficit of around $1.17 trillion.
In 2007, China posted a GDP of $3.43 trillion USD. Preliminary estimates peg the 2010 GDP of China at around $5.7 trillion.
In December of 2007, US consumers had total revolving credit debt of $941.8 billion. Nearly three years later, and this figure is down to $813.9 billion.
In December of 2007, there were a total of 215,749 foreclosure filings in the United States. Nearly three years later (October 2010), there were a total of 332,172 foreclosure filings in the United States.
I could go on and on. Sometimes I just sit back and marvel at how much the United States (and the world) has changed over the past 3 years.
What will the next three years bring?
Filed under: The Economic Meltdown