Why ‘the Worst Since…’ Is Actually Not That Bad


Every time a new bit of dire economic data is released, it is accompanied by the obligatory “the worst since…” Most of the time that phrase is completed by “the Great Depression,” but at the current rate of doomsday inflation, it can’t be long before it becomes “the fall of Rome” or “the dawn of man.” All of which is hogwash, writes Edward Hadas of Breaking Views, who reminds us that developed countries (and even a lot of less-developed countries) are far richer than they were even twenty short years ago. “Speaking relatively, the economy did indeed fall off a cliff after the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy … But in absolute terms, the landing was in a verdant meadow still filled with consumer comforts, healthcare and travel plans which would’ve seemed wonderful in a boom year in the 1950s and impressive in a boom year in the 1980s.” A verdant meadow! Excuse us, we have some frolicking to do. [BreakingViews]