STATE OF THE UNION: Regulators are in. So are new corporate paragons: Procter & Gamble's AG Lafley is so unassuming he's been dubbed an un-CEO

STATE OF THE UNION: Regulators are in. So are new corporate paragons: Procter & Gamble's AG Lafley is so unassuming he's been dubbed an un-CEO - We live in dismal times. The US stock market has suffered its worst quarter since 1987. Hopes for a quick rebo

by NICK DENTON, is in New York, starting his third business;www.nickdenton.org

We live in dismal times. The US stock market has suffered its worst quarter since 1987. Hopes for a quick rebound have evaporated. Deflation is a real risk, and the Federal Reserve has already shot most of its monetary stimulus. The accounting firms quietly de-fang proposed regulation. Respected businesspeople, fearing for their reputations, refuse to serve on boards.

Young dot.com professionals are back in entry-level jobs, or living with their parents - who realise that their 401k pension funds will not support an easy retirement.

Enough? The catalogue of disaster is familiar and, fortunately, it is misleading. US business is in a painful mess and the economy may well suffer prolonged stagnation, but the US economic system is demonstrating yet again its strength and adaptability. So here is the good news.

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