We are now, I fear, in the early stages of a third depression.
It will probably look more like the Long Depression than the much more severe Great Depression.
But the cost -- to the world economy and, above all, to the millions of lives blighted by the absence of jobs -- will nonetheless be immense.
The Economist's Washington correspondent:
I thought I was unlucky graduating into the tech bust.
I had no idea.
This current generation is pretty much fucked.
The conventional wisdom among the elite is still that the current slump "cannot be as bad as the Great Depression."
This view is wrong.
If you think that things couldn't get any worse, wait till the 2020s.
The battle over bailouts in Europe is only a sideshow compared with the great social conflict that lies ahead all over the world in the next 20 years.
Man, what a great time to be alive!
Much of the land will be given back to nature.
People will enjoy living near a forest or meadow.
Cutting production means layoffs which will reduce consumption which will reduce orders which means that production will need to be cut which will require more layoffs which will reduce consumption which will reduce orders which means that production will need to be cut which will require more layoffs which will reduce consumption which will reduce orders which means that production will need to be cut which will require more layoffs ...
It's becoming traditional at this point to argue that perhaps the financial crisis will be good for us, because it will cause people to rediscover other sources of value. I suspect this is wishful thinking, or thinking about something which is quite a long way away, because it doesn't consider just how angry people are going to get when they realize the extent of the costs we are going to carry for the next few decades.
We're all losers now. There's no pleasure to it.
After nearly four months of frank, honest, and open dialogue about the failing economy, a weary US populace announced this week that it is once again ready to be lied to about the current state of the financial system.