Five-Week AP Series Examines Financial Meltdown, a Year Later

By: E&P Staff One year ago everything Americans thought they knew about the economy was shaken in a cascading economic crisis that is still being felt in homes, businesses big and small, and government and financial institutions. The Associated Press attempts to explain the events that led to the Great Recession and its aftermath in a five-week series that begins Labor Day weekend.

"Meltdown Legacy" launches Sept. 6 and continues until the weekend of Oct. 10 with text, photos, graphics, online videos and an interactive timeline. More than two dozen journalists -- from AP departments including Business News, Washington, Lifestyles, Sports and NewsFeatures -- produced the series.

The first week of stories looks at major financial events of September 2008, starting with the government's takeover of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

AP said the second week's package will look at how markets, government policies and regulation have changed. The meltdown's effect on personal finance will be the subject of the third week's stories. The fourth week will look at how the Great Recession affected our culture and social institutions.

The final week will be devoted to lessons learned from the meltdown.

"Last fall's global financial crisis, which triggered the Great Recession, was numbing as it unfolded," said AP Business Editor Hal Ritter. "A year later, we can say more definitively how these events changed us, which this series will do."


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