Coming Recession Worse Than the Last?

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange before the opening bell on August 5, 2011 in New York City.

President Obama and his economic team really have their work cut out for them: If the U.S. economy returns to a recession, it could be a lot more painful than the last one. (The one we call The Great Recession.) That, as The New York Times points out, is because economic indicators are at a much worse starting point because they have not recovered from the previous blow. Unemployment is at 9.1 percent as compared with 5 percent in December 2007; industrial production is 8 percent lower than it was in December 2007; and the overall economy is, in fact, smaller than it was four years ago. Corporate America, meanwhile, is sitting on $2 trillion in cash, according to the New York Post.