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26 April 2011
Rear view of President Obama looking into large generator (AP Images)

President Obama inspects a hydrogen-cooled generator being manufactured for a power station in Kuwait at a General Electric plant in Schenectady, New York.

“The panic itself was felt in every part of the globe,” the Wall Street Journal reported. “It was as if a volcano had burst forth in New York, causing a tidal wave that swept with disastrous power over every nation on the globe.” One of the after-effects was “an accumulation of idle money in the banking centres.” The date of this item? January 17, 1908.

The United States endured the 1908 crisis, the Great Depression, and assorted other recessions, panics and bubbles; the country emerged from each with its economic vigor restored and its democratic political institutions intact.

Americans view their economy as one that embraces competition, invites striving and invention, heaps rewards on winners and gives second chances to those who fail. The United States has achieved a highly flexible economic system that arguably offers more choices and opportunities than any other, and one that has displayed repeatedly its capacity to recover from mistakes and adapt to recessions, wars and financial panics, gaining strength from its trials.

(This is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/iipdigital-en/index.html)