Current Crisis No Worse Than Late 1990s: Wharton Professor

Last Updated Oct 29, 2008 5:51 PM EDT

While the U.S news media may thump out a steady drumbeat of doom about the economy, one Wharton professor writing in an Egyptian weekly says there's hope.

Mauro F. Guillen, director of the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies at the Wharton School, says that the current financial crisis in the U.S. and Europe will not have the same damaging impact that the 1997 Asian currency meltdowns and similar downturns in Russia, Brazil and Argentina had in the late 1990s.

"Although GDP growth has vanished in Europe and the U.S., the world is still far from seeing the economy really plummet as a result of the credit crunch," Guillen wrote in the Cairo newspaper Al-Ahram.

Moreover, any comparison to the Great Depression is way off base, he thinks.

While malaise will continue in the short term, the professor believes that flexible financial markets, government infusions of capital and continued focus on education and training will bring on recovery no later than two years from now.

My takeaway: I can't say if he's right, but his perspective seems healthy.