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Illness as Economic Metaphor - WSJ.com
JUNE 20, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | By MICHAEL MILKEN and JONATHAN SIMONS. The first rule, as always, is do no harm.

"[There's] a remarkable alignment between treatment regimens for sick economies and sick people. In both cases, it's important at some point to let the patient's immune system carry the load of recovery. Overtreatment is bad medicine.

Before the 1970s, our economy's "immune system" resided in financial institutions, especially banks and insurance companies. Companies looked to these institutions for capital that could restore growth and create jobs whenever the economy got sick. Beginning with the 1974-75 recession, however, capital markets took over the healing function; equity and bond markets provided the "antibodies" that corporate America could depend on to fight off the infection of recession.

Economies that lack the crucial immune-system component of a corporate bond market tend to suffer longer, deeper recessions. The most obvious case in point is Japan, whose banks struggled to recapitalize in the 1990s.
'70s  antibodies  capital_markets  deleveraging  economic_downturn  financial_institutions  immune_system  metaphors  Michael_Milken  overtreatment  recessions  stress-tests  
june 2009 by jerryking
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