Jeremy Warner: What makes for a Depression?
Wednesday 11 February 2009
Outlook Recession or depression? A year ago, the debate was still about whether we might avoid a recession. Today it is about whether there will be an outright depression. There appears to be no dictionary definition of the difference between the two. My thanks, therefore, to a regular US correspondent, Henry Liebman, who points out that before the Great Depression of the 1930s, debt obliterations of the type we are now going through used to be called "panics". Herbert Hoover changed the term to "depression", thinking it would be more palatable. Harry Truman didn't want to go back to depressions so he started the term "recession". And the next five years? Maybe we should start using an even more old-fashioned term – "slump".
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