Robert Levine, former deputy director at CBO:
The macroeconomic perils faced by the global economy are deeper and likely to last longer than those presented by the current financial crisis.
In most macroeconomic crises, the worst case -- depression or inflation -- is fairly clear, and modern policymakers have the tools at hand to cope. The worst case now may be both -- stagflation.
The following analysis begins with the Great Depression, then examines five subsequent periods. The final section makes some policy suggestions for escaping the worst effects. The conclusions are not optimistic.
The Great Depression brought the New Deal to the United States. It brought the rest of the world Nazism and universal war. This time, though, many nations have nuclear weapons.
"Maybe we could" is the limit of optimism in this paper. The world ahead looks difficult.
From 2005, Freeman Dyson:
It's very important that we adapt to the world on the long-time scale as well as the short-time scale. Ethics are the art of doing that. You must have principles that you're willing to die for.
From 2006, John Rapley:
As states recede and the new mediaevalism advances, the outside world is destined to move increasingly beyond the control -- and even the understanding -- of the new Rome. The globe's variegated informal and quasi-informal statelike activities will continue to expand, as will the power and reach of those who live by them. The new Romans, like the old, might not enjoy the consequences.
From 2008, Nir Rosen:
"You Westerners have your watches," the leader observed. "But we Taliban have time."
From last week:
A Pakistani court freed one of the most successful nuclear proliferators in history, Abdul Qadeer Khan, from house arrest on Friday, lifting the restrictions imposed on him since 2004 when he publicly confessed to running an illicit nuclear network.
The Dangerous Road Ahead