by Danielle Park
In 1982, North America was grinding its way through a second ‘double-dip’ recession in two years. Financial markets were in year 16 of a secular bear market that had been pummeling prices and grinding stock valuations from historic highs (PE’s above 20) in 1966 to historic lows (PE’s under 10) by 1982.
In the process of recurring economic strife, tax rates and regulation had increased near historic highs, household savings rates had doubled back above 12% and household debt levels had been worked down near historic lows. As these economic foundations fell back into place, few people could see that a secular expansion cycle for corporate and government revenues was about to begin. From 1982 to 2000 the financial growth that followed was the strongest and longest ever recorded.