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Why the Stock Market Crashed This Week

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Photo-Illustration: Intelligencer; Photo: Getty Images

For a while this summer, the global economy seemed to have paused its monthslong decline, bucking the prognostications that we were entering a recession and even spurring markets upward during a monthlong retread of last year’s memestonk zaniness. Friday, though, all hell seemed to break loose. Stock markets in the U.S. cratered to their lowest point since 2020 as Wall Street has become all but certain the world is about to enter a grinding slowdown, one that could last years, as the problems stemming from inflation prove more difficult to break. If it all seems very sudden — well, it is. The economy has been fine before, so what happened?

What separates today’s market shock from the past two and a half years of the…

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