The current financial and economic crisis has been characterized as the worst since the Great Depression. While the crisis may be bottoming out, its effects may linger for quite some time. After all, the Great Depression left an entire generation of Americans scarred by their experiences. Times were good, the stock market was booming, and then suddenly it all fell apart. The stock
market collapsed, firms went bankrupt, jobs disappeared, large numbers of banks failed and confidence in the economy withered. Many Americans faced poverty and a desperation they never expected.