Feature

The Great Depression's shadow

Is the fear of a return to the 1930s justified?

"Should we brace for another Great Depression?" asked The Toronto Star's David Olive in Canada's The Nova Scotian. "No. The notion is ludicrous." For that to happen, the massive stimulus spending would have to have zero effect, the world would have to launch "mutually destructive trade wars," and emerging economic powerhouses China and India would have to remain stuck in the doldrums for years.

The current crisis indeed doesn't have to turn into the second Great Depression, said Robert Kuttner in The Boston Globe. But you're kidding yourself if you don't accept that the financial system is in far worse shape than it was just before the 1929 crash. "If government doesn't do more, and fast, this could be worse than the 1930s."

"No one knows how this epic struggle will end—whether the forces pushing down the global economy will prevail over those trying to pull it up," said Robert Samuelson in The Washington Post. But one thing's for sure—"we live in the shadow of the Great Depression," with our gloom reflecting the fear of a return to the 1930s. "When people stop worrying about depression, when the shadow lifts, the crisis will be over."

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