When Barack Obama came to power, the United States was in the throes of its worst economic crisis since 1929. The collapse of the real estate market had repercussions across the financial sector, and the country was plunged into a recession. In the first weeks of his presidency, Obama put in place an economic stimulus package of $787 billion. His goal was to preserve or create 3.5 million jobs in the ensuing two years. Before him, George W. Bush and the US Federal Reserve had, in just a few months, released some $3,000 billion to save banks and other companies.
© David McNew/Getty Images
Tax Day "Tea Party" Protestors Rally Around The Country (April 15, 2009 in Santa Monica, California)