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Crisis more severe than we think

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Renita Jablonski: And then, we have this forecast from one of the world's top economic institutions: The global economy is facing a much harder landing than many expect. The Bank for International Settlement says many analysts underestimate the scale of the coming downturn. From London, Stephen Beard reports.


Stephen Beard: The bank represents the world's top 55 central banks. Its annual report out today is pretty grim. The bank draws parallels between the current crisis and other severe slowdowns, including the Great Depression. In virtually every case, says the bank, the downturn was preceded by a very long credit boom.

Andrew Hilton is with the CSFI think tank in London. He says the bank is urging policymakers to look beyond the subprime crisis:

Andrew Hilton: Look at the enormous growth of indebtedness, personal indebtedness, government indebtedness. That's the problem. And unwinding that is going to take an awfully long time. And it could require a long period of pain for a lot of people.

The bank says the U.S. and other economies could, after a temporary period of higher inflation, slip into an era of falling prices. And that could trigger either very low growth or deep recession.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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