How Much Did the Financial Crisis Cost?
Follow @sarah_childressMay 31, 2012, 3:53 pm ET
There’s little in the way of comprehensive bean-counting when it comes to the financial crisis. That’s in part because it’s still unfolding.
But also because much of the human fallout can’t really be monetized. For example, the Treasury Department, in an April assessment [PDF], put the total lost household wealth at $19.2 trillion. But that doesn’t take into account long-term effects of homeowners who may be less socially mobile — and therefore contribute less to the economy over time.
Better Markets, a nonprofit watchdog for financial regulatory reform, recently attempted to analyze the full cost of the financial crisis, pulling together government data and outside studies. The group admits its own estimate [PDF] isn’t complete, either, but it lays out five major indicators to try to offer a more comprehensive accounting of the crisis:
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