As the campaigns march on, the U.S. economy is top of mind for pretty much everyone. But will the man sitting in the Oval Office over the next four years have the ability to right a financial system that’s still reeling from the biggest setback since the 1930s? Not likely, our history books say. The good news is that things are never as good as they appear when the economy is at a peak, nor as bad as they appear at the bottom. The economy’s long-term trend is remarkably consistent. If history repeats itself, the economy’s growth rate will accelerate and the output gap will close. In other words we’re due — eventually — for a heck of a boom.

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