The Great Recession

New York Magazine has an outstanding article, “Ten Years after the Crash, we are still reliving in the world it brutally remade.” The article consists of a series of brief statements by economists, activists and academics, which underlines the centrality of this event to our modern social, political and economic systems. If you want to understand the rise of populism, the fall of fertility in the developed world, or why the pension crisis is so severe, this piece provides a succinct and easy to understand analysis. As I write these words, the Turkish lira is falling in a manner that reminds many economists of the Asian Financial Crisis, and housing prices in the United States have risen to dramatic highs in West Coast markets. Many market watchers are nervous.

For many years in my “Introduction to International Studies” class I would use a documentary about the financial crisis, but stopped because my students reported that they already had a deep knowledge about this event. Indeed, many of my students had done extensive reading on the topic, I think because it had so deeply impact their lives. I’m not so sure that’s any longer the case, and I think that the topic is beginning to fade from the awareness of even people who lived through it. As people worry about the next crisis, it’s worth revisiting the legacy of the last one, given its profound impact.

Shawn Smallman, 2018

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