"Following John Maynard Keynes, President Bush and President Obama each offered a fiscal stimulus. The Federal Reserve maintained confidence in the financial system, increased the money supply, and lowered interest rates. The major industrial nations worked together, rather than at cross purposes as they had in the early 1930s.
"In other words, the government tried to do everything right, but everything continues to go wrong. We labored hard and traveled long to avoid a new depression, but one seems to have found us, nonetheless."
The head of the Federal Reserve Board, Ben Bernanke, is one of the world's foremost economic historians of the Great Depression. But is this a crisis outside the lesson book of the Great Depression?
Champions of free markets and fiscal conservatives have been reduced to sitting on the anxious bench agonizing about their marginalization. Started under the Bush administration the panic is in full throttle with Conservative thinkers increasingly recognizing that the movement which claims the smile of Ronald Reagan now looks as grim as it did under the scowl of Barry Goldwater. Do Conservatives have anything new to offer than warmed over platitudes. David P. Goldman, associate editor of First Things wades into some deep, dark waters.