A trader on the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 19, 1987.
Maria Bastone—AFP/Getty Images
By Dan Mitchell
July 16, 2015

A recent popular (and highly debatable) meme among economic observers is that financial crises now come every seven years. If that’s the case, we could be hit by a new one any day now. Whether or not the seven-year theory is strictly accurate, many economists are warning that another crisis is coming soon—and we’ve definitely been through the cycle before.

Here’s a look at how TIME covered six of the worst crises to hit the United States in the last century, at the moments when things looked their bleakest:

 

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