Not Since the Great Depression...

November 18, 2008

By Vanessa Drucker, Fund Strategy

It must be the most hackneyed hyperbole of 2008. The phrase punctuates every financial article, while photos of breadlines hint at a dire future. Just try Googling "Not since the Great Depression" and you will strike gold. But, says Jim Grant, the editor of the trenchant Grant's Interest Rate Observer: "Those glib comparisons ignore the reality of the economic backdrops. In the thirties, nominal GDP was sawed in half, while today it is down less than a percentage point."

I ran into Grant at the Museum of American Finance on Wall Street, which houses a diverting collection of financial artefacts...