The Greatest Depression: 9/15/2008 – 9/15/2009


Today, when Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said the recession was “technically” over, we were cautiously relieved, because we do tend to think Bernanke is right, not just because he has a beard, but because he is actually really intelligent. If he’s right, and the economy has halted its horrible, backward-sliding trajectory, then we all have reason to celebrate. But we can’t lie: A part of us also feels a little bit wistful about saying good-bye to the recession. As you may know, we had our own name for the Worst Recession since the Great Depression: the Greatest Depression. We called it this not because it was more severe than the Great Depression, but because it was so much better. We don’t say that to make light of the hardships people suffered: We know a lot of people lost their jobs, or had their savings diminished by ruthless Ponzi-schemers, mortgage brokers, and greedy pension-fund investors. But on the bright side: There was never a time when banks barred their doors or ATMs ran out of cash (though it was close). There were no breadlines. And while many people did lose their McMansions, others lucked out: like the homeless people who were able to move into luxury condos. But the thing we loved best about the Greatest Depression was that for a moment, at least, it scared us straight. The idea that we could lose everything caused many of us to reevaluate our lives and consider what we really needed, what was really important. Now, hopefully, that will never happen again. And so, without further ado, we present you with our video ode to the Greatest Depression. Never forget!