For some, the darkest moments of the global financial crisis that started 8 years ago seem like yesterday. But for younger people, it may may seem like more than a lifetime ago.
Think about it: there are employees on Wall Street today who probably didn’t even have their drivers licence when the meltdown came to a head. For many young professionals, the stock market and the value of their 401(k) plans have only gone up.
Well, Marc Andreessen, founder of Andreesson Horowitz and one of the biggest venture capitalists in tech, laid out a reminder of how bad it got in a late-Monday tweetstorm.
It all started with a tweet from a younger employee of Andreessen Horowitz. She described not remembering the details of the financial crisis because she was she was just starting high school:
As a millennial, I don’t know what a bubble feels like, so it just seems like all the older people are oddly fearful of a mysterious thing
— Saku Panditharatne (@sknthla) October 27, 2015
From there Andreessen went on a tweetstorm to describe just how dire the situation got. Here’s Andreessen:
Andreesen is surely remembering the evening of Sunday, September 14, which is when Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch were collapsing. The former went bankrupt and the latter got acquired by Bank of America.
Remember Wachovia and Washington Mutual? They got taken over for pennies.
In one of the most stunning moments of the crisis, the House of Representatives voted down a $US700 bailout package. The Dow fell 788 points that day.
Eventually, the Fed and the US government unleashed hundreds of billions of dollars worth of monetary and fiscal stimulus. But that didn’t stop the massive wave of layoffs.
Andreessen isn’t the only one who felt this way. A survey of news coverage shows that many outlets were reporting the end of the economic system as we knew it.
The Washington Post’s editorial board asked “Is Capitalism Dead?” Arianna Huffington argued on her eponymous website that “Lassiez Faire Capitalism Should Be as Dead as Soviet Communism.” The Economist said that the crisis had put “Capitalism at Bay.”
Reuters reported Karl Marx’s screed against capitalism “Das Kapital” jumped to the bestseller list in Germany.
So yeah, it was bad.
Disclosure: Marc Andreessen is an investor in Business Insider.