Well, it isn't a bad as the Depression in the 1930s with unemployment running at 25%. Back then, it took the U.S. Government over three years to start to move on this condition. The Obama Government is moving much faster than that.
Economic forecasters were blindsided by the effect of massive "toxic debt" that was injected into the world's financial system from 2002 to 2008.
Added to the above were forecasts that oil and commodity prices would keep going up and up because of the demand in India and China. The bull market would continue indefinitely.
The herd instinct among forecasters made sheep look like independent thinkers.
The subprime bubble burst first, then the oil and commodity bubble. Financials nosedived followed by energy and other stocks.
In the end, the stock markets of the world ended up at where they were in 2002 (40% down).
If I were President of the United States, I wouldn't go easy on those that perpetrated this financial crisis. All of those who made money off of toxic paper would have to pay it back to the Government. This would cover a little of the cost of the financial bail-out. If they couldn't pay it back, they would have to do many hours of community service helping those less fortunate than themselves.
Stock market speculation is much harder to control. The Government should have well-trained investment analysts who can give warnings to investors when certain stocks get over valued.
Not enough time and effort was done to protect investors from the present downturn. This has to change.
I wish you all the best in keeping your job and/or getting a better one.