Dallas Fed sets $14 trillion price tag on financial crisis

The financial crisis may have erased up to $14 trillion from the U.S. economy, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. 

Calling it a "conservative estimate," the Dallas Fed determined that the crisis resulted in losses equal to $50,000 to $120,000 for every household in the country. 

Put another way, the crisis erased nearly one year's worth of economic growth from the U.S. economy, according to the new analysis, which was released around the five-year anniversary of the Wall Street meltdown.

"The crisis consumed an enormous sum of financial and housing wealth," the study claimed.

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The analysis offered up a broad range of losses because it is difficult to determine exactly when and how strongly the U.S. economy will recover from the collapse. The report concluded it is more likely the costs will mount rather than dwindle, and it said losses could end up erasing as much as two years of U.S. economic growth when it is all said and done.

Noting that the U.S is still struggling with a weaker-than-normal economy and labor force, the Dallas Fed said that if the economy was permanently weakened by the crisis, the overall cost of the collapse could be more than double the $6 trillion to $14 trillion price tag currently estimated.

The Dallas Fed calculated that figure by comparing the output per person in mid-2013 to the average output over all economic recoveries in the last 50 years. Overall, Americans are producing an output of about 12 percent less than during other economic comebacks, the study found.

The study also warned that the nation's population suffered not just economic damage, but also "adverse psychological consequences," which are even harder to quantify. 

Nearly 9 million nonfarm jobs were eradicated by the crisis, and many of those who could continue to find work are adding to the economy in a significantly diminished capacity. 

The number of underemployed workers rose 94 percent to 12 million people in the wake of the crisis, and the Dallas Fed warned that the amount of workers being underutilized remains "intractably high, with 11.5 million people still unemployed and another 10.6 million either underemployed or frustrated by the hunt for work."

"While the psychological toll of a weakened economy may be small for employed workers relative to the unemployed, the aggregate societal consequences can be significant," the study stated.