A nonprofit group has cobbled together information from various sources to put forth an estimate on the cost of the Great Recession that began in 2007 and was epitomized the next year by the colossal collapse of Lehman Brothers.

According to the public interest group Better Markets, the nation suffered a loss of $12.8 trillion in direct costs and reduced gross domestic product (GDP) because of the financial crisis.

The estimate by Better Markets builds on earlier work by the economists Alan S. Blinder and Mark Zandi. Those two in 2010 pegged the cost of government intervention and aid at $2.35 trillion.

The Better Markets' estimate reckons that government actions prevented a further $5.2 trillion in GDP erosion (which they estimate to be $7.5 trillion through 2018), but it does not take into account the loss of wealth due to declining home values.

Better Markets released its estimate yesterday as part of a 72-page report.