The collapse of the housing market has turned more than $1 trillion in mortgage-backed bonds into toxic assets. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A computer monitor confirms the purchase of a toxic asset. (Note: Some information is intentionally blurred out.) David Kestenbaum/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption David Kestenbaum/NPR

Efficiency experts try to make factories like this run more smoothly. Andreas Rentz/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Andreas Rentz/Getty Images