Did it happen before?

People are tired of the recession. And even though economists say things have improved, they don’t appear to be improving very fast. Is there any precedent for this in previous recessions? Dr. Mike Walden, North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, responds.

“Recently two nationally respected economists published a book that looked at 800 — 800 — years of recessions all over the globe. And their main finding was that all recessions aren’t equal. Those recessions that start in sectors like manufacturing — such as our recession with the dot-com bust in 2001 — or recessions that begin in the commodities area — like the recessions that began with big spikes in oil prices in the 1970s — those kinds of recessions the researchers found actually allow the economy to rebound fairly quickly. So once the recession is over, the economy bounces back fairly rapidly.

“But those recessions which begin in the financial sector, these economists found, are very different. And indeed it takes a long time for the economy to recover from financial sector recessions. And unfortunately our current recession did begin in finance particularly in the finance related to the mortgaging of homes.

“So if everything goes according to the script that we read in this new book, unfortunately we are going to have a very slow, painful economic recovery.”

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