It now appears that the past depression/recession's trigger was not the financial services and housing market collapse but the price of oil which shot to $147 a barrel. Remember those $4 a gallon for gas days? All the blame was put on the derivatives and speculation on property and rightly so but the triggering event was the spike in oil prices. Oil prices are once again rising faster than the US economy and $90 a barrel is not far off. The economy is like a ship dragging an anchor and that anchor is oil! Why is oil rising? The answer is that China is now the Worlds dominant economy in terms of being a vibrant consumer economy. China became the second largest economy in the world in size earlier this year. (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/16/business/global/16yuan.html?_r=1) Southeastern Asian countries are riding China's coat tails and doing quite well. China has and is investing heavily in infrastructure, something the US is failing at and this will ultimately doom the US to second class status like the Fench and British. But that is another thread. Next year, if oil continues to rise faster than the economy, the US economy will take another dive. China's economy is expected to grow at 10%, the US 3.5%!