I think there are rational pointers here, in this calm conversation at UK’s Guardian with economist Paul Krugman:
The idea that we sort of bounce along the bottom is all too easy to imagine.
Guardian: Is it just a story about the right dose of fiscal policy? What structural change would you advocate in the economy, to support recovery?
Krugman: Financial regulation. Rein in that monster. The huge increase in general private-sector leverage is at the core of how we got so vulnerable. We went for 50 years after the Great Depression without any major financial crises, and that, I think, was because we had a financial sector that didn’t let people get as deeply into debt as they have now.
Guardian: So rein in the financial monster and give a fiscal stimulus. So you would leave the American way of doing capitalism untouched?
Krugman: I’m not that cosmic in this stuff. But it is true that Gordon Gekko [the anti-hero of Oliver Stone’s film Wall Street, motto: Greed is Good] went hand in hand with the wave of financialisation. Corporations got more brutal and fiercer.