People lost jobs. People lost money. People lost their peace of mind. What more can one lose, or could afford to loose?
They lost the confidence in themselves that they could make decisions about where to put their money. Cannot trust the financial adviser friend or the sweet talking salesmen! Cannot trust that their company is putting their pension funds, ESOP’s and what not in the right vehicles. So what could be lost is not limited to the known anymore.
More… I think, the biggest lost to America is where people lost their confidence in the “system”, what “system” is supposed to mean. It will not be the same again, at least for another decade(?). Who wants to invest in the USD backed securities/ funds?
Who will want to work for American companies? Though that slightly a different issue, but those wanting stability of jobs will tread carefully and be picky when they can be (after the market picks up?).
In summary, the loss is more medium to long term to the US government as much as it is to the individuals or corporates burnt by the flames of this financial wild fire.