Click a president on the timeline to find out how he impacted the U.S. financially. Think we left one out? Email us.

2008 - George W. Bush 1971 - Richard Nixon 1930 - Herbert Hoover 1965 - Lyndon B. Johnson 1933 - Franklin Delano Roosevelt 1816 - James Madison 1890 - Benjamin Harrison 1913 - Woodrow Wilson 1791 - George Washington


George W. Bush

The bailouts

When Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said big financial firms, such as Citigroup and American International Group, would fail without federal assistance, President Bush signed into law the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. The move allowed up to $700 billion to be used for bailing out the firms. So far, the feds have disbursed more than $594 billion.

At the time, the majority of Americans opposed the bailout. The top 10 largest U.S. banks — most of which received bailout money — now hold 77 percent of the industry’s domestic assets, according to Bloomberg.