Wall Street had its worst day for almost three years as shares tumbled on fears about the eurozone debt crisis and the US economic recovery.
The Dow Jones index closed down more than 500 points, or 4.3%, and came after the leading European bourses fell more than 3%.
It was the biggest one-day fall for the Dow since December 2008.
Those of us who believe that fundamental economic problems are worsened rather than fixed by government intervention won't be surprised that things are taking a turn for the worse.
If we do now fall into a full-blown depression, let us be glad that technological progress over the last 80 years will limit the impact on those worst affected. People may suffer, but they shouldn't starve.