The National Bureau of Economic Research said that:
a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in production, employment, real income, and other indicators.Glad they got that straight because I'm sure the vast majority of Americans still probably think the fundamentals of the economy are sound.
And from our president we got this take on the economic mess in a interview with Charlie Gibson:
"You know, I'm president during this period of time, but I think when the history of this period is written, people will realize a lot of the decisions that were made on Wall Street took place over a decade or so, before I arrived," he said.
Of course the fact that his administration decided to deregulate everything in sight. It then decline to perform any sort of oversight function well that couldn't possibly have made any difference. It seems the federal government was getting warnings about the potential mortgage mess as far back as January of 2006 but decided to do nothing about.
Yes many of the decisions that got us into this mess were made before Bush was in office. The problem is once in office the Bush administration showed no interest in seeing what was happening in the financial markets at all. Let market forces be the guide. Just look where that got us.