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September 12, 2012

The Cost Of The Crisis Caused By Wall Street = No Less Than $12.8 Trillion

Better Markets today released a Report detailing the enormous costs of the financial and economic crisis that began in 2007 and continues to this day. As detailed in the Report, the cost of that crisis is at least $12.8 trillion as measured conservatively by lost GDP. The Report reviews the costs of the crisis, including the destruction of human capital from long-term unemployment, lost household wealth, foreclosures, government bailouts, emergency spending measures, and the other actions that were necessary to prevent a second Great Depression. In addition to monetary costs, the Report details many costs of the crisis that simply cannot be quantified, including the widespread human suffering that has resulted from the surge in poverty, homelessness, and hunger.

The comprehensive Report released today, entitled “The Cost of the Wall Street-Caused Financial Collapse and Ongoing Economic Crisis Is More Than $12.8 Trillion,” shows that almost five years after the Great Recession began, America continues to suffer from the many costs of the crisis and will do so for years to come. “The worst economy since the Great Depression touches every corner of our country, yet this is the first time anyone has tried to put a total value on the cost of the crisis and the implications of that cost for taxpayers, the country, and financial reform,” said Dennis Kelleher, CEO of Better Markets.

Better Markets is releasing this report to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy on September 15, 2008, the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history. The Report explains that remembering, cataloguing, and understanding the costs of the crisis are essential to highlight the still-urgent need for financial reform, to ensure that another crisis—or one even worse—cannot happen again, and to hold Wall Street accountable for the financial and economic wreckage that it has inflicted on the country.

“Wall Street and its many allies and sympathizers are denying and understating the costs of the crisis, primarily to kill, weaken, or avoid financial reform and re-regulation. All sorts of wild, baseless, and exaggerated claims have been made about the cost of financial reform by Wall Street and its allies. Tellingly, they rarely if ever mention the costs of the crisis to the country or the American people and they, of course, never mention their role in inflicting those costs,” said Kelleher. This report thoroughly documents the scope and scale of the costs of the crisis to counter these claims and to promote financial reform, which is desperately needed to protect taxpayers, the financial system, and the economy.

Read the 1 page fact sheet or the full report here….

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