The Return of Depression Economics
Today, the tragedy of the Great Depression looks gratuitous and unnecessary: Our economists and policy makers simply have gained too much experience since then. It could never happen again. Or could it? Over the course of the last two years, six Asian economies have experienced an economic slump that bears an eerie resemblance to the Great Depression. Russia defaulted on its debt in 1998--an event that, halfway around the world, drove Brazilian interest rates through the roof and terrified the U.S. bond market. Some of the brightest financiers in the world, working for the Long-Term Capital Corporation, thought they had the market licked only to find themselves in a jam that had all the makings of the overleveraged positions that caused the 1929 stock market crash. Paul Krugman, one of the world's top economists, recounts these events and more: He points out that they raise significant questions for which policy makers may not have answers. This paperback edition features a brand-new preface by Krugman on the financial realities of the past year.