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The financial crisis has brought with it an economic recessive which is more severe and widespread than any decline in production for the past 50 years. In the USA and Europe the decline in production over the entire economy was however much less than during the Great Depression of the thirties. Only in manufacturing has the decline in some quarters of 2008/09 been similarly sharp. This time, however, the economic policy makers reacted differently. The high income levels at the start of the crisis and the social systems in place were able to cushion the fall.
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