Equity markets boom
For a year that saw a lot of grumbling about a recovery that no one felt, equity indexes continued their strong recovery from the financial crisis low in March 2009 despite a sharp mid-year sell-off: The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 11.02% in 2010, the S&P 500 up 12.78% and the Nasdaq 100 was up 19.22%.
$7.2 billion recovered for Madoff victims
In December the estate of Jeffry M. Picower agreed to forfeit $7.2 billion to the United States representing all the profits Picower withdrew over the years from Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. The funds will be distributed to Madoff victims by the Department of Justice.
After a quiet first half of the year, commodities soared, thanks to a Russian drought and continuous bull market in precious metals.
Recession officially ends
This was a tough call as it certainly did not feel like the recession was over, but on Sept. 20 the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) announced that the Great Recession had officially ended in June 2009.
WE are #1
NBER confirmed what most Americans already painfully understood — this was the longest recession post-WWII on record.