A Scary Economic Forecast

In his New York Times column, Joe Nocera previews a major economic report that will be released Wednesday that paints a deeply depressing picture of America's economic future if it stays on its current path. Nocera's takeaway: "This time, it really is different." Unlike the regular bubble-and-bust episodes that have peppered America's economic history, the bursting of the mortgage bubble three years ago "was the ultimate consequence of the modern global economy," plunging the U.S. into a vicious Japan-style cycle of lower wages and deflation that won't end without dramatic government action. The fix? The report proposes massive investments in infrastructure spending to create jobs, mortage restructuring, and the introduction of a new global currency.