2008 was quite an eventful year and i look back, I can't help to wonder how last years event will shape not only this year but the years ahead. Thinking about the important things that happened in 2008, I think it's appropriate to invoke James Carville. "It's the economy, stupid." Pretty much everyone knows we're in a recession. A recession that's changed everything.
With that in mind, here are some the Top Events of 2008 that will help shape 2009.
- U.S. Presidential Election
We elected Barack Obama, an African American, president. Hillary Clinton, a woman, ran against him for the Democratic nomination. Sarah Palin, another woman, was on the Republican slate as the Vice Presidential candidate.
- AIG Bailout
The U.S. Government provided AIG with about $150 Billion to rescue it from collapsing. The reasons for AIG's decline are complex. There were allegations of wrong-doing. Our economy had survived Enron. Large companies had failed before. This was different. It triggered a wide-spread loss of consumer, investor, and employee confidence.
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- Votes on Gay Marriage (Prop-9)
Californians began performing same sex marriages in June then voted to outlaw it in November. Connecticut legalized gay marriage.
- Tina Fey!
The uber-talented Tina Fey parlayed her Sarah Palin likeness and her considerable imitation skills into huge fame, a multi-million dollar book deal and a second stint on SNL. Oh, and she also won and Emmy for 30 Rock. In case anyone missed it, she capitalized on a golden opportunity.
- Something Rotten in New York...
NY Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned after admitting being involved with a prostitute. Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was accused of selling Barack Obama's senate seat. Detroit's mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, was indicted on eight felony charges, including perjury, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and misconduct in office because of an affair. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Alphonso Jackson, resigned as federal investigators looked into accusations that he steered housing contracts to friends.
- Housing Bubble Bursts
Unprecedented rise in housing prices. Unqualified borrowers. Subprime mortgages. Credit crunch. Foreclosures. Economic crisis. Pop.
- Wall Street Bonuses
Executive pay was all over the news. All of a sudden, everyone is a comp. designer. Now that we're using our tax money to save some of these companies, the government is taking an interest too.
- Unemployment Rate Highest in 26 Years
The unemployment rate is above 6.7 percent and it's rising steadily. It's higher than it's been since 1982. The scary thing –- people don't like to RIF people before Christmas. Beware the Ides of January.