How close did the world come to total meltdown? "The world has been through the most severe financial crisis since the Great Depression," Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Friday. "As severe as the economic impact has been, however, the outcome could have been decidedly worse." Bernanke credited the rescue to coordinated and aggressive action by central banks and governments around the globe. He warned, however, that "the economic recovery is likely to be relatively slow at first, with unemployment declining only gradually from high levels."