October 5, 2011
You know it’s grim when the prevailing debate among economists and historians is whether the world economy faces the “Great” depression of the 1930s or the “Long” depression of the 1870s.
Listening to commentary surrounding the seemingly intractable sovereign debt and banking crisis in Europe, the stimulus/austerity battle in the United States and even hard-landing risks in China, gloom is fast becoming the consensus.
Only the shade of gloom, it seems, is in question. It’s got so that, depending on your view of big or small government, you can pick your version of the pending depression.
Harvard professor and economic historian Niall Ferguson, a fan of the British government’s austerity drive and septic of further stimulus, reckons the world is facing a “slight depression” and favors comparison with the late 19th century rather than 1930s.
This article was posted: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 7:41 am