- February 1, 2013: Vol. 25, Number 2

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Scenes from the Recovery: A Cinematic Assessment of the Economic Outlook for 2013

by Robert Baur and Robin Anderson

In a lot of ways, the current global economy feels like the beginning of the third act in a three-act story. In many movies, the filmmaker uses a three-act structure where the first act introduces the characters and puts the story into motion; conflicts are established, paths are determined and sides are chosen. The second act is where the drama occurs and culminates with the greatest challenge for the protagonists. This sets up the third act for a resolution. That feels like where we’re at now.

The global economy’s second act (in this story line) ended with the global financial crisis that decimated world economies and led to recessions across the developed world. Companies that once seemed like stalwarts of their industries disappeared in moments, and entire business models — countries even — proved virtually incapable of coping with the volatile stresses of this new era.

So the third act begins, lo

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