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Milton Ezrati of Lord AbbettIt is popular these days to compare current hard times to the Great Depression. The temptation is easy to understand. Because the events of the 1930s convey high drama and not a little romance, they make a good lead for almost any article. Of course, there’s enough difference between these two events to render such links misleading from time to time, but one very fundamental and important parallel does exist. As in the Great Depression, the crisis of 2008-2009 muddled perceptions about how the economy works, how effective policy moves will be and how the economy will perform in the future. The attendant insecurity has fostered general reluctance in the business community and that has muted all economic responses, even to the best-conceived policies.

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