The aim of the previous chapter was to draw attention to the origins of the economic crisis and highlight the various global problems that have been created. The objective of this chapter is twofold: first, it is necessary to assess whether various scientists, governments and official bodies were aware that such a recession would occur, and if so, why were preventative measures not taken? And secondly, if such a crisis was inevitable and known, what lessons, if any, have been learnt from the past? This chapter is primarily an economic review of historical events, which may indeed resemble the current economic crises being experienced and the consequences thereof. Although economically driven, such information is needed in order to fully examine the ‘W’ component of our model (that is, the workforce), which we discussed earlier, which is of primary concern to industrial/organizational psychologists. It is natural to suggest that in order to evaluate whether any lessons have been learnt from the past, one must be aware of what history reveals in terms of previous economic crises. History acts as a pointer; as the old saying goes, ‘history repeats itself’, so we need to put this crisis in some kind of historical perspective.
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