No one ever said economic forecasting was easy:

On the last day of February 2007, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress that "the fundamentals are very strong" for the U.S. economy.

And about those problems starting to show up in the housing market? "We don't see it as being a broad financial concern or a major factor in assessing the course of the economy," he said back then.

Within weeks, New Century Financial Corp. filed for bankruptcy, marking the first of many mortgage company collapses. The Great Recession officially began in December 2007 and lasted 18 months. The housing market still hasn't recovered.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit