ALL FOR NAUGHT

An Economic "Lost Decade"

Despite decade-starting triumphalism that predicted an end to recessions and continued economic growth, the 2000s ended with two recessions, zero net job creation, and long-term economic stagnation—“the worst for the U.S. economy in modern times.” Thanks to the housing and credit bubble, the economic activity of the last 10 years has been distorted, and much of the decade's capital now exists as unoccupied mini-mansions in California and Arizona rather than job-generating investments. As economists look to the future, hoping to learn lessons from the shortcomings of the '00s, the government is trying to pick up the pieces: "One of our challenges now," said President Obama, "is how do we get what I call a post-bubble growth model, one that is sustainable."