It was like a deck of cards collapsing.
For the first quarter of 2009, the annualized rate of decline in GDP was 14.4 per cent in Germany, 15.2 per cent in Japan, 7.4 per cent in the UK, 9.8 per cent in the Euro area and 21.5 per cent for Mexico.
The World Bank reported that by March 2009, the Arab world had lost $3 trillion because of the crisis.
In April 2009, unemployment in the Arab world was said to be a "time-bomb" and, according to the Arab Labor Organization, it was among the hardest hit regions in the world.
One month later, the United Nations reported a drop in foreign investment in Middle East economies because of a slower than expected rise in demand for oil.
In June, the World Bank predicted a tough year for Arab states.
Yet in August 2009, the world's finance ministers were beginning to declare victory, seeing signs of a slowing in the economic decline.
Some even cautiously projected signs of a recovery.
The amount of money lost is subject to much debate, largely because those in the know have failed to agree on what should be included in the final tally.
One estimate focusing on infusions of capital by central banks around the world, so-called stimulus plans, and monies at risk in debt swaps and shaky derivative products put the number at $196.7 trillion - but that could be low.
In the US, unemployment continues to rise, foreclosures mount, as do bankruptcies.
Many journalists, politicians and economists appear to bemoan the fact that adequate financial reforms and new regulations have yet to be put in place.
Of the fact only a few executives have gone to jail despite evidence of massive fraud in the housing market, Peter Schiff, a conservative financier, noted: "No one has been held accountable for a financial crisis that the professors, pundits and politicians told us would not come.
"All the same players are running the game, [they] always change the rules so they stay on top."
"Washington has done nothing to protect us from a new crisis and, in fact, has made a new crisis likely"