GAO report: Financial crisis cost $22 trillion

200px-US-GovernmentAccountabilityOffice-Logo.svgA recent report by the Government Accountability Office found that the 2008 financial crisis cost the U.S. economy more than $22 trillion.

The GAO said that the financial crisis’ impact on economic output could be as much as $13 trillion and that money lost by U.S. homeowners reached $9.1 billion. The agency also said that losses associated with mortgage foreclosures and higher unemployment should also be considered as additional costs to the economy, according to The Huffington Post.

The report was published as part of a cost-benefit analysis of Dodd-Frank, which was enacted to prevent a similar crisis in the future.

Federal regulatory agencies have spent approximately $1.1 billion to implement Dodd-Frank rules to prevent another such crisis, and while financial firms and the broader economy will likely bear some of the costs, the GAO report said that there is “no comprehensive data…available on the costs that the financial services industry is incurring to comply with the Dodd-Frank Act,” according to The Huffington Post.

Better Markets, a non-profit financial reform advocacy group, also attempted to estimate the costs of the crisis, putting the total cost at $12.8 trillion. The group warned, however, that many costs are impossible to measure.

“That economic wreckage can still be seen from coast to coast in unemployment, foreclosed and underwater homes, lost retirements and educations and so much more,” Dennis Kelleher, the CEO of Better Markets, said, The Huffington Post reports.

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