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The Financial Crisis Five Years Later — How It Changed Us

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In September 2008, the outlook for the financial system couldn’t have been worse. Markets were plunging, layoffs were mounting, and Congress was scrambling. As Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned lawmakers in an emergency meeting that month, without a $700 billion bank bailout, “We may not have an economy on Monday.”

The aftermath upended countless lives. By the low point of the recession, Americans’ retirement savings had shrunk by about $2.5 trillion. More than 8.8 million jobs were lost, and roughly 3 million homes had gone into foreclosure.

Five years later, the economy is on the mend, but the legacy of the crash still reverberates. Over the next two days, FRONTLINE is joining with a group of leading journalists to explore where we are a half decade after the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Today’s conversation will focus on how the meltdown has reshaped the nation, and whether we’re safe from another crash. Tomorrow, we’ll look at the policing of Wall Street.

The conversation will begin below at 11:00 am and continue throughout the afternoon.

U.S. flags adorn the facade of the New York Stock Exchange early Tuesday morning Jan. 22, 2008. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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