Will we recover? Did we ever really recover from the 2002 downturn?
Even ignoring the issues of "peak oil" or "global warming" there is reason to be concerned that the train has seriously gone of its track.
This according to Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England:
The Governor of the Bank of England warned ...that living standards may never recover from the financial crisis and that households were only just starting to feel the full impact of bankers' mistakes.Mervyn King told MPs that ordinary people were not to blame for the pain ahead and that he was surprised there had not been more public fury.
"It is not like an ordinary recession where you lose output and get it back quickly," the Governor said when asked if the country would ever recover from a squeeze on living standards on a scale not seen since the 1920s.
"You may not get it back for many years, if ever, and that is a big long-run loss of living standards for all people in this country."
Mr King said that unlike previous recessions, the economy had not needed a shake-up to get industries out of state control or weaken union power and that the people bearing the most pain are blameless.
"They can't look at this and say, 'Okay, something was wrong that has to be put right' and they don't get bonuses on the scale of people in the financial services sector," he told the House of Commons Treasury Committee.
Riva Froymovich, Wall Street Journal, April 21, 2011
The risk that unemployment remains at current levels after the financial crisis—including in the U.S.—is a major concern, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said in a report Wednesday.
The OECD listed a number of countries where jobless rates had jumped by more than two percentage points since the crisis began. They included the U.K., Italy, Ireland, Greece, Portugal, the U.S.—where the jobless rate has risen five percentage points— and Spain, where the jobless rate has risen more than 12 percentage points.
"A main concern in countries most severely hit is that persistently high levels of unemployment—and a rising share of unemployed workers facing long spells without a job—will eventually result in widespread deterioration of human capital, discouragement and labor-market withdrawal," the OECD said. "The risk is strongest for youth and less-skilled workers who have been disproportionately affected by the rise in unemployment."
The first piece noted a surprise that there is not more anger. I thing the anger is somewhat directionless at the moment. But as the Middle East has shown, that can change. Of course, it may not change, in which case many (most?) will be slinking into a slow dissolute impecunious oblivion.