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Back from the Brink: 5 years later

Back from the brink: Financial crisis timeline

Five years after the biggest economic meltdown to hit the U.S. since the Great Depression, the nation continues to deal with the long wake of the financial crisis—from Wall Street to Main Street, states to cities, businesses to individual families, underwater homeowners to unemployed job seekers. What brought the economy to the verge of collapse is a complex story of a financial system run amok with mortgage lending and securitization, esoteric derivatives, historic lapses in corporate governance and risk management, and greed. The tale includes a long list of Wall Street characters, from AIG to Bear Stearns, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers. On the fifth anniversary, here is a timeline of key dates and events in the dramatic story of the financial crisis.