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Businessweek Archives

A Decade as Bad as the Great Depression


Over the past ten years, the S&P 500 is down 50% adjusted for inflation (February 17, 1999 to February 17, 2009). By my calculation, the stock market was down roughly 50%, adjusted for inflation, in the worst ten years of the Great Depression (September 1929 to September 1939).

When you add in the fact that real wages were stagnant over the past ten years and debt soared, I think we will look back at the last ten years as a decade of despair. As an optimist, I’m going to bet on the next ten years as being better. Any takers?


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