It was the most painful economic downturn since World War II, but the so-called Great Recession could have been much worse. However, the real harm might come in the aftermath. Governments responded on a bigger and broader scale than at any time in modern history to avert catastrophe. They succeeded, in a sense, but the economic recovery is dangerously fragile. Policymakers face monumental challenges in getting their exit strategy right. Meanwhile, protectionism is growing.
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