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Opinion
Justin Fox

The Global Economy Is Looking Very 1990s

But hold the nostalgia until it's clear if this is good or bad.
One good thing about that decade: the end of hair bands.

One good thing about that decade: the end of hair bands.

Photographer: Denis O'Reagan/Getty Images

Oil prices are falling, seemingly inexorably. Emerging market countries are having currency crises. A previously unstoppable East Asian economic power -- the world’s second-largest economy -- is slowing, and the country’s leaders at times seem to have lost the plot. Russia is an economic mess. Europe’s economy is being held back by German political decisions and doubts about the common currency. The U.S. economy is relatively strong, but is beset by a productivity paradox in which remarkable Silicon Valley innovations don’t seem to be having an impact on the economic data.

Is this year starting to feel like it belongs in the 1990s, or what?