We haven't had a boom (either in the economy or in the stock market), so I don't think we're fated to have a bust. Because most businesses have been particularly loath to expand their facilities, I don't think they'll be slammed if revenues flatten or turn down.

The leverage in the private sector has been reduced. This is particularly true of the banks, where leverage has gone from the region of 30+ times equity before the crisis to very low double digits today. And, of course, banks are now barred from investing adventurously for their own account.

Finally, the main villain in the crisis was sub-prime mortgage backed securities. The raw material - the underlying mortgages - was unsound and often fraudulent. The structured mortgage vehicles were highly levered and absurdly highly rated. And the risky tranches ended up in banks' portfolios, causing them to require rescues. Importantly, this time around I see no analog to sub-prime mortgages and MBS in terms of their combination of fragility and magnitude.

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