Might there be parallels today? Of course, it would have to get much worse first, but the conditions and direction we are headed seem like they lend themselves to possible simalarities. Also, isn't it ironic, that the current Fed Chair, a proclaimed student and authority on and of the great depression, and presumably the most able and gifted among us to preside, and prevent the US from sliding down that slippery slope, may in fact face the very conditions they so desperately wish to avert. Too many straws on this camels' back to point to any single cause...take yer pick, but it seems applicable to say that the oil-squeeze on US consumers and biz has had a greater detrimental impact than was previously acknowledged, particualrly when coupled with other factors. The Bush legacy is not going to be pretty.