Slideshow: Apocalypse How? Dire ’12 Forecasts

By Ben Steverman - 2012-01-14T03:12:30Z

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Michael Panzner

Michael Panzner wrote the book "Financial Armageddon" in 2007 and an equally gloomy tome in 2009: "When Giants Fall: An Economic Roadmap for the End of the American Era." On his blog, Panzner describes "an economy teetering on the edge of disaster," and criticizes those betting on recovery. "It appears somebody put too much Kool-Aid in the optimists' eggnog," he wrote Dec. 28. In a Jan. 11 email, he said: "The fundamental outlook is even worse now than it was a few weeks ago, given (the lack of positive) developments in Europe and growing evidence that the economies of major countries around the world are deteriorating fast."

(Left, Diana Mackey peers through the window of a deserted office space in Sparks, Nev. Mackey had a long career as a human resources manager, but corporate rationalizations, mergers, and bad luck left her jobless.)

Photograph by Antonin Kratochvil/VII