"Given how much faster financial capital and entrepreneurial information move today than they did in the 1930s, or even in Japan in the 1990s, can we not assume that the pace, not only of decline, but recovery, too, will be much faster than any historical precedent?"
This is particularly pertinent as signs of the much-maligned green shoots may be appearing: the pace of decline in output seems to be slackening and the housing market seems to be showing signs of life.
Of course these could just be pauses in an ongoing decline. But if they are the first signs of recovery then it's all happening a lot sooner than it should be given the output curves of previous recessions. It may be that the media's incessant assault of terrible news has resulted in an unusually rapid and absolute capitulation. Might we therefore now be psychologically ready for recovery?
Certainly one gets the feeling that journalists and editors are getting bored of the 'down' story having covered every conceivable angle. But it's an intriguing thought that households and businesses may be getting sick of it too. After all it's not easy to keep yourself at a high pitch of anxiety for long.