Thursday, October 15, 2009

Our Great Recession

The press constantly reminds us that our current recession is the worst since the 1930's. Though it must surely feel this way for many, the economic data suggest that the Dark Ages of the late 1970s were probably worse. Fortunately, those days were followed by bursts of economic growth, first in the 1980s under Reagan, then in the 1990s with the tech revolution. Perhaps one of the reasons this recession feels so bad is that we've been blessed to have it so good for so long...

Here's an interesting article by a Cato Institute fellow, regarding our current economic crisis, and how it compares historically to others in the 20th century:

And for those who compare the Great Depression with our current so-called Great Recession, here are a few numbers to chew on:

Great Depression vs. Great Recession

Bank failures: 9,096 – 50% vs. 57 – 0.6% of banks

Unemployment rate: 25% vs. 8.5%

Economic decline: -26.5% vs. -3.3%

Biggest drop in Dow Jones IA: -89.2% vs. -53.8%

Change in prices: -25% vs. +0.5%

Emergency gov't spending: 1.5% of GDP for 1 year vs. 2.5% of GDP for 2 years

Money supply increase by the Federal Reserve: 17% vs. 125%

1 comment:

  1. I do believe there is such a thing as economic common sense. At least in its fundamentals, macroeconomics is not entirely different from the way each of us runs his or her own household. As the Washington Times article suggests, we are indeed witnessing an interesting experiment. Too bad we're the guinea pigs. And if history is any indication, I yet fear for how this may end. For all our sakes, I pray and hope for the best.