Saturday, October 17, 2009

The more things change...

If you read the Time magazine article reference in my last post you can skip this paragraph right now and move on to the next. For those that didn't get around to reading the full article, the punch line is that despite sounding very much like something written in September 2009 with its references to high unemployment, credit problems, and the economy in a profound, once-in-a-lifetime state of turmoil, the article was in fact written in September 1992.

I would venture to guess that not many readers really remember the disastrous recession of '91, just like the crash of '01-02 is becoming an ever distant memory. Rest assured that the great debacle of '08-09 will take on a similar hazy recollection down the road.

But as the Time article reminds, it is in fact scary when we are in the midst of the downward part of the cycle that regenerates growth. Much like a destructive fire ultimately regenerates the forest, we need to remember that market declines are a natural and necessary part of capitalism.

Currently many major publications are talking about the 'new normal' economy. Rest again assured that today is not any more a new paradigm than when Japan was going to take over the world in the 80's, or when technology signaled the new economy in the 90's, or when stocks were dead in the late 70's.

The more things change, the more they indeed do remain the same.

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