The New York Times notes that "the economy is spiraling down at an accelerating pace, threatening to undermine the Obama administration’s spending plans, which anticipate vigorous rates of growth in years to come. ... The fortunes of the American economy have grown so alarming and the pace of the decline so swift that economists are now straining to describe where events are headed, dusting off a word that has not been invoked since the 1940s: depression." But don't expect politicians to start using that descriptor. The Associated Press reports that "public officials are being extremely cautious about the D-word. Alfred Kahn, a top economic adviser to President Carter, learned that lesson in 1978 when he warned that rampaging inflation might lead to a recession or even 'deep depression.' When presidential aides asked him to use another term, Kahn promised he'd come up with something completely different. 'We're in danger,' he said, 'of having the worst banana in 45 years.'" Political spin doctors are likely searching for new euphemisms as it appears the crisis is unlikely to be remedied by current rescue proposals.
An Economic Depression or a Very Bad Banana?