“No matter who took office in 2001, they were destined to oversee dashed expectations regarding the economy, the markets and the geopolitical outlook,” said Robert Barbera, the chief economist of ITG. “It was all captured in the lunacy of the $5 trillion surplus on the horizon. That vision required no wars, no recessions and a nonstop spectacular bull market for equities.”
That said,” he added, “it certainly did not have to come to this.”
Chart from Floyd Norris, “Economic Setbacks That Define the Bush Years,” NYT, 24 January 2009.