So, how bad could this get?
Until a few months ago, it was accepted wisdom that the American economy functioned far more smoothly than in the past. Economic expansions lasted longer, and recessions were both shorter and milder. Inflation had been tamed. The spreading of financial risk, across institutions and around the world, had reduced the odds of a crisis.
Back in 2004, Ben Bernanke, then a Federal Reserve governor, borrowed a phrase from an academic research paper to give these happy developments a name: βthe great moderation.β
These days, though, the great moderation isnβt looking quite so great β or so moderate. ...