Asbury Park Press – The end of the George W. Bush era brings some Grateful Dead lyrics to mind: "What a long, strange trip it’s been."
The first Bush term opened following the bursting of the tech bubble, which had been inflated by cocktail-napkin business plans for dot-coms. Stocks plummeted. The economy contracted dramatically in the third quarter of 2000, followed by a full-blown recession in March 2001 and the horror of Sept. 11. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan cut interest rates down to practically nothing and, with help from the Bush administration’s tax cuts and unbridled spending by Congress, created easy-money housing and credit bubbles during the Age of Froth.