Economists Agree: We’re In a Depression

George Washington's picture
“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”

Reuters notes:

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.




Harvard professor and economic historian Niall Ferguson, a fan of the British government’s austerity drive and skeptic of further stimulus, reckons the world is facing a “slight depression” and favors comparison with the late 19th century rather than 1930s.




Long-term market bear Albert Edwards at Societe Generale has talked more apocalyptically for years of an economic “Ice Age” dominated by household deleveraging, low growth and deflation.

 But now “depression” is very much back in the mainstream lexicon as the small economic bounce from the deep global recession of 2008/09 fades rapidly after little more than two years and Europe’s bank and sovereign debt crisis intensifies.

Economist and doomsayer Nouriel Roubini now says there’s a “huge” risk of 1930s-style depression ….


HSBC chief economist Stephen King, who wrote earlier this year of a “new economic permafrost”, warned last week that the systemic financial threat of a euro zone collapse and breakup risked another “Great Depression”.

As I’ve noted for 3 years, we are in a depression, and – because the government has done all of the wrong things – we’re stuck in it.

It Could Be WORSE Than the Great Depression

Indeed, contrary to Reuters’ saying that economists are split on whether it’s a repeat of the Great Depression or a lesser depression, many economists say it could be worse than the Great Depression, including:

Bad Government Policy Has Us Stuck

We are stuck in a depression because the government has done all of the wrong things, and has failed to address the core problems.

For example:

  • The government is doing everything else wrong. See this and this

This isn’t an issue of left versus right … it’s corruption and bad policies which help the top .1% but are causing a depression for the vast majority of the American people.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
anony's picture

uih-oh....economists AGREE????????????

Build yourself a well-stocked Panic Room, find a hideout in the wilderness, and learn to build a Paiute Indian Trap.

blindman's picture
Darryl Robert Schoon is an author and commentator,world wide leading monetary authority and expert on economic history.
Renaissance 2.0: Lesson 5 (part 1 of 2) - The Emerging Global Empire

Money 4 Nothing's picture

Here is the stupid question I have, Red me down if you will, but let me try to understand this first. Correct me if I'm wrong, I want to learn.


If we are not on the Gold standard, just paper the problem over? Or does this have to do with a labor trade imballance?

If it's not about money, then it's about power, ie All large Countries or oil based economies keep buying up Gold or warrenting it from Global vaults, soo why would it be about money? They own the printer that has a Mega sized ink cartrige.

So, my question is, Are "they" devalueing on purpose and this global turn down is the un expected consequence of Wealth consolidation? And how soon can "they" have a new standard "Peg" for the worth of a dollar, yen yuan etc?

Or, is this a consolidation of wealth to centralize power to usher in a "Global control grid" via monitary system?

I'm puzzled. Maybey I'm not stating my question correctly but I hope you get the jist.


The Bad Guy..


anony's picture

Your scope is too large. 

The global 'downturn' is due to a lack of demand, caused by ever-less opportunities for the 7 billion people to go to work in very good paying jobs and careers to earn the money they need to spur that demand.

The maneuvers that FED and others  make to tweak things this way or that are very much to do with keeping the wealthiest very well off, if not increase their hordes of cash. This was never more evident and glaring as H. Paulson's trillion dollar TARP aimed at the Chosen at the Ibanks, AIG, and the trilliions that theBernank has funneled to his kind during the last three years and counting.  ALL at the expense of the people of the United States.

Don't be puzzled. You may not know where that instrument they have shoved up your ass comes from but it really doesn't matter unless you can do something about attacking those who are doing it, an impossibility.

Sambo's picture

I dont know how 300 million Americans are tolerating all this. Nice peaceful but depressed crowd. You get what you deserve.

Crisismode's picture

Two things Americans did not have in 1930 or 1870 was a huge entitlement bureaucracy, and 50" widescreen entertainment opium.


Bread and circuses. They can work for a long time. Ask the Romans.

blindman's picture

economist agree, qe3.

gerriek's picture

OT  SWAT Teams in St. Louis Protecting Bank of America; Refusing Customer Withdrawals

PrintButtonMoney's picture

I guess I must add my obligatory "No shit"


along with


We must be really screwed if 'economists' are finally saying we're in a depression.



*Insert Ron Paul 2012 promotional piece here*

laosuwan's picture
Economists Agree: We’re In a Depression


Economists Agree : therefore we are not in a depression

q0paz's picture

Scarcely needs to be pointed out, but Ed Balls is one of the architects of this disaster. A total cunt.

Clowns to the left_ jokers to the right's picture

"Perpetual Recovery Summer."

"The Unexpectedly Long Downturn."

"The Big Whoops."

Miss anthrope's picture

i've beeen following here for about 2 years and I don't know what to believe anymore.  Is there anyone here who just believes it will be a long slow deterioration of living standards for the next 15 years. without the apocalyptic  accompanying scenario?    I think of maybe a corrupt Italy or Mexico scenario, ................ that's what I think the U.S. will continue on as................ I still cannot get a real definite read on exactly why the big mad max moment will definitely come.  Except if Fukushima melts through to the earth's core................... then maybe yes.

falak pema's picture

Think of life not as one big orgasmic moment, negative or positive, but as a voyage with fleeting visions of near orgasms and living reality of real pain; hard, aching, discordant, body bashing moments of strain. Will you make it up the hill to peace and gratification? I hope so, even if it is for what will later appear like a millisecond of redemption. C'est la vie, or so they say, those who have lived it before us! Mad Max is really figment of imagination. We all love being slaves, and don't THEY know it!

mcguire's picture

not with a bang but a whimper?

i think not, our malthusean handlers need to wipe out several billion, and a slow grind wont do it.. 

apocalypse is coming, because it serves the purposes of those who seek global, not national, domination.  

expect resource shortages, civil unrest, and the third world war.  

from this, the beginnings of sorrows, expect a global fascism and the 'new world order' to rise from the chaos (ordo ab chao).. 

and not long after that will be the second advent.  disclosure: long jesus.

AnAnonymous's picture

Is there anyone here who just believes it will be a long slow deterioration of living standards for the next 15 years. without the apocalyptic accompanying scenario?


That is the point.

Actually, the story of the great break down is probably only a cover for the actual slow long deterioration period.

It will progress gradually. No crash, not in the US as the US has the capacity to export the sufferings onto the rest of the world.

US citizens love their propaganda. So they prefer their armaggedon thingie.

bid the soldiers shoot's picture

Of course there will be a slow deterioration. Where have you been these last 3 years?

Whatever it is and will be, you will know it when the rest of us do.

This is America, dude, not the Balto/Slavo/Asio backwater you bathe in. We will keep most of the people with sufficient provisions for as long as we can.

I know you morn for Bucharest and the days of Nicolai Chauchesku.

Get over it.

Seer's picture

"the US has the capacity to export the sufferings onto the rest of the world."

Maybe today, but not necessarily tomorrow (nothing lasts forever).  There CAN be seismic change, history is clear on this, and it happens in just about every empire collapse.

The saying that it's a downturn when your neighbor is unemployed and a depression when YOU are unemployed is worth noting.  Not everyone, and not everywhere will be affected the same.  One has to be vigilant in monitoring for risk, discount possible scenarios/outcomes at your risk.

Miss anthrope's picture

i've beeen following here for about 2 years and I don't know what to believe anymore.  Is there anyone here who just believes it will be a long slow deterioration of living standards for the next 15 years. without the apocalyptic  accompanying scenario?    I think of maybe a corrupt Italy or Mexico scenario, ................ that's what I think the U.S. will continue on as................ I still cannot get a real definite read on exactly why the big mad max moment will definitely come.  Except if Fukushima melts through to the earth's core................... then maybe yes.

Milestones's picture

A great PLAYBOY interview. An even better one was done in March of 1969 with Marshall McLuhan about ---yes computers. If you have access, by all means do so. The interview is mind blowing,        Milestones

andyupnorth's picture

Securitization. a housing bubble and debt bubble are the common causes between the Long Depression and now.

It'll take a couple of decades to correct.

Seer's picture

What's the correction level?  2004 housing levels, 1980, what/when?

And, how will the correction happen?  Where will the existing debt go?  Once/if gone, will we have the capacity to re-rack?

Dapper Dan's picture


MAP 5.6 2011/10/06 00:39:33 57.884 -32.563 10.2 REYKJANES RIDGE
lasvegaspersona's picture

The quality of paranoia on ZH has certainly not deteriorated with time....but no refs to Bilderburg? is that old school now?

honestann's picture

How obvious can anything be?  The current depression is not like "the great depression", and not like "the long depression".  The current depression will remain "the permanent depression" until the elitist predators-that-be and predator-class are terminated, eliminated, destroyed.

Before depression can end, the following must be eliminated:

predators DBA government
predators DBA central banks
predators DBA large corporations

Until the predators are eliminated, fewer and fewer honest, ethical, productive individuals will make the effort and take the risk necessary to create and expand productive endeavors.  Instead, they will continue to gradually "give up" and not bother with further endeavors.

If humans don't wake up and eliminate the predators-that-be and predator-class, it is game over for human beings.  Good riddins.

Seer's picture

BIG=FAIL isn't in question.  But... there is NO correction until we hit sustainability (which in itself, is a moving target).  Not until we achieve some sort of equilibrium with the future (quit stealing growth from the future) will we be OK.

Predators of the future can only exist when we, as a society, promote living off the future.  This will, however, correct, whether we act on it or not.

AnAnonymous's picture

The predator class are the US citizens.

akak's picture

AnonymousAsshole, you are so fucking tiresome already in your blind and tedious, endlessly and repetitively expressed hatred of the American people (as opposed to having a justifiable hatred of the American government).  Fuck off and die already, you worthless one-note troll.

dolly madison's picture

That is why it is time for the left and right to join together.  This is our only shot at knocking the elite down.  These shots don't come along often. 

I am an optimistic person, and I think we are going to do it this time.  All it really takes is knowledge, and the internet is our first real chance to spread the knowledge to the masses.

Seer's picture

I believe in the adage of "just do it," set the example.  There's way too many people running around telling everyone else what should be done, or how others should act.  Better to just start adjusting to the future now.  But, yes, one first has to mentally prepare.

bill1102inf's picture

"A bigger problem is that our industrial base is GONE - shipped overseas."

that's one of the creepiest things about this mess....




Now that the industrial base is GONE, SHIPPED over seas, we can --- wait for it.... wait for it....




all we need is the motivation to do so.....


like the destruction of say..... China....




a REAL race to the stars.


Just saying... you see, if a massive Cat 5 hurricane took out the entire eastern seaboard... it would be bullish beyond belief.


Rebuilding America is going to cost quite a lot and require a lot of people.


strangeglove's picture

Ya that worked for New Orleans didnt it

Stunned But Fun's picture

Easier said than done. Just ask Gibson Guitar, Boeing, American oil industry, Cessna, American iron producers and every other industry that has been savaged by Big Labor (not unions, per se), trial lawyers, activist judges, activist/regulatory/do gooder government agencies

TheMerryPrankster's picture

It will also require a great deal of oil. Since we import over 50% of the oil used in the USA, importing additional oil to rebuild with would also require importing yet more oil, which both communist china and india would also like to use instead of the USA.

This could be problematic.

mcguire's picture

ah yes, peak oil.  talk about permafrost... 


reader2010's picture

One word: Stimulus. They need to drop all their nukes all over the place in order to stimulate the deadbeat.

honestann's picture

Just nuke all seats of government and all central banks.

The world economy would them BOOM like never before.

Seer's picture

Great, just what we need, ramped up growth (like the massive growth bubble in housing and construction [China's doing it now])!

Geez, people, yeah, govt and banks suck, and yes, they WILL disappear, but let's not lose grasp of reality- it won't be all roses afterwards, we'll be dealing with an entirely unsustainable infrastructure AND declining PHYSICAL resources.

THE issue is that growth cannot be sustained.  Govt and banks thrive on growth, and growth is what sustains the middle class.  Say goodbye to any of these and you pretty much say goodbye to all.  Compression is going to be a bitch.

honestann's picture

I understand how a reasonable person in the world of today could come to such conclusions.  You simply have no idea how productive human beings can be, and would be, if not for the egregious theft, endless destruction, and endless ways of encouraging consumption, friviolity and waste promoted by the predators-that-be and predator-class.

The resources available in this universe are beyond your wildest comprehension.  The resources available in this planet are beyond your wildest comprehension.  But most important, the abundance that humans already know how to produce, and could produce if not for the iron fist of predators-that-be (government) and predator-class (central banks and large corporations) is beyond your wildest comprehension.

Just for one tiny example - energy.  Cut the earth in half and take a look.  What do you see?  That's right, a ball that is almost entirely molten magma of thousands of degrees, with an almost infintesimal skin of solid rock covering most [but not all] of it.  Enough energy for quadrillions of years if not more.  Then take a look at the sun, which is enormously larger, and enormously more energetic.

I'm sure you think I'm a dreamer - completely impractical.  I'm not.  I agree with you.  Under the current management, resources and opportunities are massively, enormously, astronomically constrained by the predators-that-be and predator-class who contol everything and everyone.  THEY place such burdens on the 1% or 5% or 10% of mankind who would invent, create, discover, develop and produce... that few of the very real, very practical opportunities offered to us by reality are realized.  And they won't be until the predators-that-be and predator-class perish.

And THAT is the solution - to make them perish.  Otherwise, it will be us who perish.  Choose your side, then act.

Slow-choke-off's picture

Hey G.W., have you read this I think we are truly fucked and it has nothing to do with the economy although that will be apart of our downfall. Fuckushima is still spewing after 6 months and nothing has improved. The Japanese dont have a clue as to what to do, so it continues to spew. ALL NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS need to be shut down now, no more waiting.

bill1102inf's picture

America CAN, and SHOULD build a large amount of Thorium Nuclear reactors, 100% safe, green and will use only our current consumption of coal while providing enough power to create enough synthetic liquid fuel for every car, truck and house in America at a low price, AND still have more than 5X the amount of electricity left over compared to what we currently use.

Seer's picture

With what money?  "America" (assuming you're referring to the part of "America" that is the USA) is BROKE, the private sector as well as the public sector.

An energy "solution" is only PART of the equation.  You still need physical resources.

Fundamentals: Food, Shelter and Water.  Energy is a given- the sun.  And transportation- our feet.

buyingsterling's picture

Doug Casey advocates repudiation of all US government debt:

at 11:45

Seer's picture

It'll happen, one way or another.  But, this will come with the stark realization that things are a LOT more expensive than we can imagine.  It'll be a signal that the future no longer can be drawn upon w/o incurring a huge (cost) penalty.

Behind all the numbers that we toss around there exists the physical world.  From this point forward if we want to give the appearance of growth it'll ONLY happen via war (wars are always about resources).

TheMerryPrankster's picture

There is no need to repudiate national debt. Fiat dollars are backed by nothing and one thing the u.S. has left is a whole lot of nothing. Bernanke could issue sufficient FRN credits tommorrow to pay off the national debt and make a nice surplus.

But that ain't how the game is played, there must be tears for the oligarchy to maintain control.

divide_by_zero's picture

I'm just waiting for the day when we can hunt economists for sport, maybe with crossbowss, nothing real quick.

Seer's picture

A REAL capitalist would look to publish a cook book for preparing "economists."  But, eventually, they'll be hunted to extinction- and then?