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Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Question: What does the rash of bankruptcies mean for the economy?

Paul Krugman: Well it means a lot.  First directly it’s a lot of suffering.  It’s a lot of losses.  And bankruptcy . . . Foreclosures are expensive for everybody.  They’re a very costly way of resolving the . . .  The lender loses money.  The borrower has his or her life disrupted.  It’s a very, very bad thing.  They will . . .  Just a question we all have is how much is this gonna slow the economy?  How much . . .  You know are we talking a recession?  And the answer, which I can say with great confidence, is nobody knows.  It’s very difficult to pin these things down.  It certainly slows the economy, and we will be seeing it again.  I think the economy is gonna be sluggish for a long time to come because of the housing.  Whether it’s enough to tip it into . . . into something that will meet the official definition of a recession, I think the odds are less than even.  But it’s still pretty . . . it’s gonna be nasty.  It’s gonna feel . . . it’s gonna feel . . .  It already to most people feels like a . . . like a bad economy.

 

Paul Krugman on the Problem...

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