The latest "never before" is the financial panic of 2007-09, with its massive losses
Download PDF still reverberating through the economy. Yet that crisis, on closer examination, displays the classic patterns of recurring credit cycles. In the bubble that preceded the panic, housing prices and mortgage borrowing rose to unsustainable heights and then crashed back to earth.
Millions of mortgage borrowers ended up owing more on their homes than the properties were worth. The housing wealth that people thought they had fell by about $7 trillion. Defaults on mortgages soared.