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Obama vs. the 1980s –


The economic crisis that began in 2008 has thrown up several questions. How can we live with banks that are too big to fail? How can we support financial institutions during a liquidity panic without creating incentives that make liquidity panics inevitable?

To these must be added another question: After a financial crisis, how do we short circuit the political imperative to introduce polices that inhibit recovery by hitting business over the head?

FDR’s depredations somehow never became much of a focus of the copious literature of the Great Depression. The historiography of the Obama Depression will not be so forgiving. American business is luckier today, in a sense: Its success is more rooted in a global economy. U.S. companies are profitable even as the domestic economy lags.


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