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Policy Lessons From Recent Economic Crises

With the benefit of hindsight, one can now draw many conclusions about the US policy responses to the two biggest economic crises of the past decade and a half: the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Both show what can happen when larger political projects hijack the immediate task at hand.

STANFORD – The US economy has experienced two terrible economic crises in the past decade and a half. The first was the 2008-09 financial crisis, which ushered in the first deep recession in a quarter-century. Unemployment hit 10% – far above forecasts by President Barack Obama’s economists – and the ensuing recovery was painfully slow.