It's Just the Business Cycle, Stupid

Reporters can be a shallow, fickle bunch. if there's one thing we like more than easy explanations for complex patterns of behavior, it's a snappy one-liner to describe them. That's why you heard so much about the "Asian contagion" during the rolling financial crises of 1997-98. But the current woes of the global economy aren't as amenable to the great headline — Tech Wreck? American Infection? — which may be why they took some time to lodge themselves in the popular imagination. Until now.

A week of startling economic news began with the year's second profit warning from...

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