How to Survive a Recession and Thrive Afterward

A Research Roundup. by Walter Frick

IN EARLY 2000, A FIVE-YEAR-OLD online bookseller called sold $672 million in convertible bonds to shore up its financial position. One month later, the dot-com bubble burst. More than half of all digital startups went out of business over the next few years—including lots of Amazon’s then-rivals in e-commerce. Had the bubble burst just a few weeks earlier, one of the most successful companies ever might have fallen victim to that recession.

Recessions—defined as two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth—can be caused by economic shocks (such as a spike in oil prices), financial panics (like the one that preceded the Great Recession), rapid ...

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