The financial crisis that broke out in the United States around the summer of 2007 and crested around the autumn of 2008 had destroyed US$34.4 trillion
of wealth globally by March 2009, when the equity markets hit their lowest points.
On October 31, 2007, the total market value of publicly traded companies around the world reached a high of $63 trillion. A year and four months later, by early March 2009, the value had dropped more than half to $28.6 trillion. The lost $34.4 trillion in wealth is more than the 2008 annual gross domestic product (GDP) of the US, the European Union and Japan combined. This wealth deficit effect would take at least a decade to replenish even if these advanced economies were to grow at mid-single digit rate after inflation and only if no double-dip materialized in the markets. At an optimistic compounded annual growth rate of 5%, it would take more than 10 years to replenish the lost wealth in the US economy.
In the US, where the crisis originated after two decades of monetary excess that encouraged serial debt bubbles, the NYSE Euronext (US) market capitalization was $16.6 trillion in June 2007, more than concurrent US GDP of $13.8 trillion. The market capitalization fell by almost half to $7.9 trillion by March 2009. US households lost almost $8 trillion of wealth in the stock market on top of the $6 trillion loss in the market value of their homes. The total wealth loss of $14 trillion by US households in 2009 was equal to the entire 2008 US GDP.
As the financial crisis broke out first in the US in July 2007, world market capitalization took some time to feel the full impact of contagion radiating from New York, which did not register fully globally until after October 2007. In 2008 alone, market capitalization in EAME (Europe, Africa, Middle East) economieslost $10 trillion and Asian shares lost around $9.6 trillion.