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The Post-Crisis Global Economy in Three Words

PARIS – Five years have passed since the collapse of the American investment bank Lehman Brothers triggered financial mayhem and marked the onset of the Great Recession. Though the dust may not have fully settled, three catchwords sum up what we have learned so far – and what remains to be done.

The first word that comes to mind is resilience. Five years ago, many feared a repetition of the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Indeed, as Barry Eichengreen and Kevin O’Rourke have shown, the collapse of world industrial production in 2008-2009 initially tracked that of 1929-1930 very well. The fall in world trade volume and equity indices was even faster.