2008 Financial Crisis Timeline
Timeline Description: The 2008 Financial Crisis caused substantial and lasting difficulties for the United States. The crisis began in the subprime lending market, but eventually spread widely into the financial markets and later, led to widespread recession.

Date Event
February 2007 Subprime Lending Crisis Began(February to August 2007)

The subprime lending, or high risk lending, market began to fail in the middle of 2007. Large mortgage organizations, like Freddie Mac, began to refuse subprime lenders. Additionally, a number of subprime lenders failed, declaring bankruptcy in 2007.
January 11, 2008 Bank of America Bought Countrywide Financial

On January 8, 2008, Bank of America agreed to buy Countrywide Financial. Countrywide had been downgraded significantly by the Federal Reserve in late 2007.
March 16, 2008 Federal Government Provided Support for Purchase of Bear Stearns

The U.S. government guaranteed some 30 billion dollars of Bear Stearns assets to support the sale of Bear Stearns to J.P. Morgan Chase.
July 11, 2008 Federal Regulators Seized IndyMac Federal Bank

Federal regulators seized failing IndyMac Federal Bank. This was the largest regulated thrift to fail.
September 7, 2008 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Taken Over by Government

Massive mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taken over by the federal government. These both remain under federal control.
September 15, 2008 Bank of America Purchased Merrill Lynch

On September 15, 2008, Bank of America purchased Merrill Lynch. The government supported this purchase, hoping to stabilize conditions at Merrill Lynch.
September 15, 2008 Lehman Brothers Filed for Bankruptcy

Also on September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers investment firm filed for bankruptcy protections. The company was failing, but bankruptcy laws provided the ability to stay in business.
September 16, 2008 Government Bailout of American International Group

The federal government provided an 85 billion dollar bail out to the American International Insurance Group. This made the government owner of nearly 80 percent of the American International Insurance Group.
September 21, 2008 Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley Became Bank Holding Companies

Investment firms Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley became bank holding companies, leading to significantly increased federal regulation and controls.
September 25, 2008 Washington Mutual Bank Closed

Washington Mutual Bank closed on September 25, 2008. This was the largest bank closure of the financial crisis.
September 28, 2008 Congress Rejects Bailout Package

On September 28, Congress rejected a planned bailout package. This led to a massive drop in the Dow Jones Index.
October 3, 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) Passed

Congress passed the TARP bill in October 2008. This provided funding for a widespread bailout and was immediately signed by U.S. President George W. Bush.
November 18, 2008 Chrysler, Ford and GM Requested Loans

On November 18, major automotive manufacturers requested loans to maintain their business. They testified before Congress as to the need for those loans.
November 23, 2008 Citigroup Rescue

Citigroup was offered a federal rescue package, combining guarantees, funding access and capital in exchange for preferred shares of Citigroup stock.
December 19, 2008 Loans Approved for General Motors and Chrysler

In December, 2008, the federal government approved loans for General Motors and Chrysler. GM received 13.4 billion and Chrysler more than 4 billion dollars.