As recent financial data is released from the federal government, economists are left to wonder if the prolonged period of slow growth in the U.S. is actually part of a new normal for economic recoveries in general. Where economic recoveries in the past tended to be V-shaped affairs with rapid bouncebacks in employment, what we are not seeing are much more “nasty, brutish and long” U-shaped recoveries. What gives? A lot of it has to do with how in the past, the Fed kickstarted more than a few recessions by raising rates to stave off inflation. Now, with recessions caused by the bursting of economic bubbles, the Fed ether cannot or will not cut interest rates enough to generate strong post-crash economies.