"'So I've told some of my friends who said -- you know, who have taken an ideological position on this issue -- why did you do what you did? I said, well, if you were sitting there and heard that the depression could be greater than the Great Depression, I hope you would act too, which I did. And we've taken extraordinary measures to deal with the frozen credit markets, which have affected the economy.'
Hold onto those 'worse than the Great Depression… greater than the Great Depression' comments for a moment and let's try to give this a little context. Assumedly, our last president was referring to his acceptance of what became his administration's $700 billion bailout package for the financial system, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. He signed that into law in early October. So -- for crude dating purposes -- let's assume that his 'chief economic advisors,' speaking to him in deepest privacy, told him in perhaps early September that the U.S. was facing a situation that might be 'worse than the Great Depression.'"
- Tom Engelhardt, 'The Day the Earth Still Stood:
What Will Obama Inherit?', tomdispatch.com, 20 January 2009.