The dismal science is turning more dismal by the hour as the markets roll downward from East to West.

The New York Times' Paul Krugman is not (no news here) optimistic. He writes:

The origins of the current crunch lie in the financial follies of the last few years, which in retrospect were as irrational as the dot-com mania. The housing bubble was only part of it; across the board, people began acting as if risk had disappeared.

And he concludes:

Let's hope, then, that this crisis blows over as quickly as that of 1998. But I wouldn't count on it.

Two signs of the Times: the full version of the article is available only to those who have put their money down on TimesSelect or are willing to spring $1.25 on the pared down paper version.

Any enlightened dotCommers who prudently avoided the dot-com meltdown with wisdom to share? Any Pollyannas out there?

Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is a longtime Commonweal contributor.

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