University of Maryland economist Carmen Reinhart and Harvard University economist Kenneth Rogoff agree. They say the current crisis appears on track to be at least as bad as the five most catastrophic financial crises to hit industrialized countries since World War II.
If those past experiences are any guide, the economy is in trouble, they argue in a recent paper. Indeed, "if the United States does not experience a significant and protracted growth slowdown, it should either be considered very lucky or even more 'special' than most optimistic theories suggest," they write.
As I've written before, while there were some regional pockets of doom, the national economy just hasn't experienced a protracted downturn in quite some time. The Bush I&II recessions were slight, and the Reagan recession was painful but relatively short.
Asian markets open in a few hours...