Three years ago Thursday, investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11, the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history and a failure that sent the global financial crisis into overdrive.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 504.48 points that day and would fall further in the weeks to come. By October, "TARP'' had entered the nation's vocabulary as President George W. Bush signed the Troubled Asset Relief Program, essentially erecting a firewall of government cash to prevent other large U.S. banks from suffering Lehman's fate.

The global economy has struggled ever since, with most stock indexes posting only modest gains.

Total return for the three-year period:

Dow Jones industrial average: 14.3 %

Bloomberg Star Tribune 100 index: 13.5 %

Standard & Poor's 500: 8.4%

Nasdaq: 23.3 %