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What major fiscal and monetary policy actions were taken during the Great Recession (2007-2009)? What impact did they have on U.S. economic performance?

I understand how how the recession occurred in the first place. I know that as far as fiscal policies, Bush passed the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 and also the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 which established the Troubled Assets Relief Program. Obama passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in early 2009. I also am familiar with the objectives of each. For monetary policy, I know what quantitative easing is and that the Fed controls interest rates.

My question is on what their impact on U.S. economic performance was. The more research I do, the more confused I'm getting. It of course seems all very political; Liberals interpreting data one way and Conservatives another. Some say it absolutely worked. Some say it failed miserably. Some just keep talking about the federal deficit. Some say it prevented a deeper economic recession or possibly even depression. I'm leaning towards the latter. I'm not entirely sure though. If you could just point me in a direction and towards some reliable data that won't make my head spin (not too high level; I'm an econ newbie) it'd be really appreciated. Thanks

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This is an important question but also a huge one. Would you consider revising your question to narrow the scope so it could be more easily answered? What were the major monetary programs and how effective were they could each be meaty questions. Ditto for fiscal programs and their efficacy. Synthesizing all four seems like a big job, at least depending on one's standard for "major" is and what you'd count as evidence for impact. –  BKay Jan 23 at 1:41

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