It’s been billed as the biggest economic disaster since the Great Depression and it unfolded in 2008.

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The global finance crisis has threatened markets and banks across the globe, forcing governments to step in and bail out collapsed financial institutions. Trading remains volatile and recession looms across Europe and Asia.

September 2008 – Trouble in the USA

The US government bails out ailing mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Thousands of Americans face the prospect of losing heir homes. Shortly after, the banking giant Lehman Brothers declares it is facing bankruptcy and asks for aid.

Market volatility peaks on Wall Street with the Dow Jones plummeting. This in turn affects markets across world causing Asian and European stocks to nosedive

Discussions begin on a US government bailout plan. Shortly after US President George W Bush formally seeks the approval of congress on the plan. After much debate the plan is passed by both the US Senate and the US House of representatives

All the while US financial institutions continue to tread a rocky road with A.I.G And Washington Mutual hit hard by the credit crunch.

October 2008 – The ripple effect

The financial crisis takes its toll across Europe with the collapse of banking giants Fortis and HBOS. The British Government launches a billion dollar bank rescue.

Irish and German governments promise to guarantee all private savings. Australia follows suit with a saving deposit scheme.

Iceland’s entire economy wavers on the brink of bankruptcy as global stocks continue their volatile reign. The country’s banks are nationalised.

The US Federal Reserve moves to cut interest rates. Other countries including Japan and Australia follow suit. Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson appear before congress.

The Group of Seven gather to try and combat the crisis as the Dow posts its worst week on record. Traders are cautious as stock markets across Asia and Europe remain volatile.

November 2008 – A change we can believe in

Barack Obama wins the US election promising to fix the economic problem. Meanwhile, major US car manufacturers including General Motors post losses and ask for government aid.

China announces an infrastructure stimulus plan valued at almost 600 billion dollars.

Germany declares it is officially in recession. France and the UK face a similar prospect.

Leaders of the G20 meet in Washington and agree to work together to revive their economies.

The International Monetary fund pledges a two billion dollar lone to Iceland as Britain unveils a $47 billion stimulus package in a bid to avoid recession.

Jobs across the world are threatened as Barack Obama pledges to work with world leaders to restore confidence in the global market.

Panic and pain on Wall Street