Beyond cycles of boom & bust

For these people, financial strength does not end with the bottom line.

A wave of pink slips hits the once-high-flying dot-coms in January and February. The stock market has been depressed for a year. Exaggerated public jitters erupt over Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan's every eyebrow twitch.

After the longest peacetime expansion in American history, how are we supposed to read these signs of the times? Do they signal a downturn or a full-blown economic recession? Economic volatility, whether the kind that can bring whole governments and currencies down in unstable regions of the world, or the kind that tarnishes the overall prosperity of more developed regions, can feel almost like a force of nature altering lives.

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April 16, 2001
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