“Worse than Japan?”

That’s the title of this recent article in The Economist comparing our current financial crisis with recent similar crises in Japan, Sweden, and elsewhere.  It’s a good, in-depth article going over the bewildering complexity of the problems we are facing and comparing them to past historical precedents.

If you want the bottom-line, here’s the concluding statement:

Add all this together and the ease with which American policymakers dismiss Japan’s experience is probably misplaced. Japan’s outcome—a decade in which growth averaged 1% a year and gross government debt rose by 80 percentage points of GDP—was not one to be proud of. But given the magnitude of today’s mess, it may soon seem not that bad after all.

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