It’s inevitable. Someday our long run of economic growth will end in a damaging recession. Jobs will disappear, paychecks will shrink, investors will panic, and (hopefully) Washington will mobilize to minimize the damage.
This prospect may seem rather remote, following recent news that the nation’s GDP grew at a healthy 4.1 percent annual rate in the second quarter, but economies sometimes sour quickly. Just look at the circumstances leading up to the last recession. A bare year before it began, the economy was expanding by 3.5 percent.
In fact, myopia has become one of the hallmarks of modern recessions, cousin to the “irrational exuberance” that takes hold at the peak when people start to feel that nothing can go wrong.