Friday, November 7, 2008

The economic crisis: Wolves at the door

Financial mess and gathering recession dominate Barack Obama's agenda

HE HAD always planned for the economy to be his priority. Just not this economy.

As candidate, Barack Obama crafted a platform to address the concerns that preoccupied voters earlier this year: high energy and health-care costs, stagnant middle-class incomes and rising foreclosures. But such problems pale beside the eruptions since August. America’s housing crisis has become a global financial panic; the economy, which was muddling along as recently as July, may be in its deepest recession in decades. Consumer confidence, as our chart shows, is at its lowest in more than half a century (except for a brief sharp dip in 1980). ...