The recession was large. This was certainly the worst recession since 1981-2, and arguably the worst since 1937-8 (although I don’t support that). Perhaps we lack perspective on how lousy these things can be; recall that Reagan and Bush were not able to get the unemployment rate to return to its “natural rate” either.
There’s an arthouse film called Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould. You’re getting Twenty-Six Short Posts from Dr. Tufte. :) These are on why it’s difficult to understand the current macroeconomic situation.
Joe Baker is not a macroeconomist, but we all do a little bit of everything at SUU, so he has to teach principles of macroeconomics sometimes. The other day he asked for pointers about summing up for his students why we can’t quite figure out what’s wrong with the economy. I came up with 26 reasons, most of which have been discussed in class, and all of which are now required.