Is it 1929, 1981, 1997 or 2001?

A funny (by econ-geek standards, at any rate) article by Nick Paumgarten in the New Yorker talks about the current economic situation, and about what all of the media pundits are saying:

Nobody knows anything, although some know-nothings know more than others. The economy is a stalwart, a shambles, or some combination of the two. The pronouncements and analogies fly: we’ve reached the end of a sixty-year cycle, or a twenty-five-year cycle, or a six-year cycle, or the end of nothing. It’s 1929, 1969, 1981, 1990, 1997, or 2001 all over again. The closer you are to the markets, the gloomier you are, although the less likely you may be to suffer the consequences, and the more likely you are to act as though nothing were wrong: first rule of recession is you do not talk about recession. That is, unless you are in Davos, or heavily invested in gold. The preferred terms are “softening,” “crunch,” “correction,” and, best of all, “interesting,” as in “This is an interesting time”—a grudging corollary to the popular and meaningless Wall Streeter declaration “It is what it is.” Yes, and the faster we go the rounder we get. [link]

I’ve uploaded it into the ‘Handouts’ section, but I’m not going to ask you about it on the exam. Read it purely for pleasure – if such a thing is possible for you.

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