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We should heed the lessons of the collapse of the ‘golden age’: a personal view

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When I teach my macroeconomics class for the MBAs at INSEAD, I always discuss the Great Depression and the lecture ends on an optimistic tone with a simple statement: “The Great Depression will never happen again”. I firmly believed this because there is a widespread consensus that the Great Depression was a result of a sequence of policy mistakes. Economists have learned what policies should be applied to avoid the Great Depression.

Unfortunately, I have to revise my optimism now. It is not because what we learned was wrong, nor because we have unlearned the big lessons from the Great Depression. Optimism fades because it turns out that political bickering and petty re-election agendas can wipe out the lessons of more than 70 years ago.

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en

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text/html

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http://knowledge.insead.edu/GreatDepression080912.cfm

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Copyright INSEAD. All rights reserved