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Summer/Fall 2008 - Bloodbath on Wall Street
Summer/Fall 2008 - Bloodbath on Wall Street
A man watches stock prices at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square, Fri., Oct. 24, 2008.
Over half the voters now name the economy as issue #1 as trillions are lost from home values and retirement plans.

July 11 - California bank IndyMac fails, customers line up to withdraw money.

Sept. 7 - U.S. government seizes control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the nation's largest home mortgage lenders.

Sept. 14 - Bank of America buys investment bank 94 year-old Merrill Lynch.

Sept. 15 - Lehman Brothers, another big Wall Street bank, goes bust, leaving just two investment banks standing.

Sept. 16 - Federal government takes over American International Group, one of the world's largest insurance firms, in an $85 billion deal.

Sept. 25 -The government seizes Washington Mutual, the nation's largest savings and loan. Sells bank to J.P. Morgan.

September - Economy sheds the most jobs in five years, total losses for 2008 hit 760,000.

Oct. 3 - Lawmakers pass $700 billion Wall Street bailout.

Oct. 10 - Dow falls as low as 7,884, a 44% drop in one year, and millions of American's watch their retirement savings disappear.

Primary focus of campaign is the economy.

"We must pass legislation to address this crisis," McCain said in a speech Sept. 24, just prior to the Wall Street bailout. "If we do not...People will no longer be able to buy homes and their life savings will be at stake."

Sept. 5 - Over half the voters now list the economy as Issue #1 (58%), followed by healthcare (14%), terrorism (12%) and the war in Iraq (10%). It's one of the highest ratings the economy has received in any presidential election.

Seldom do so many people rank the economy as the most important issue during a presidential election, said Stephen Wayne, a professor of Government at Georgetown University specializing in presidential elections.

"It's not how it usually is, but then the economy isn't how it usually is," said Wayne. "The comparisons are to the great depression."

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Last updated November 03 2008: 2:44 PM ET
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