Imaginary retrospectives  FEB 13 2009

The disappointing and boring presidency of Al Gore.

Of course, the biggest disappointment was Gore's failure to handle Hurricane Katrina properly. Not only did the massive evacuation of New Orleans prove a costly and time-consuming overreaction, since the levees -- fortified in 2003 -- held up fine. The emergency management agency also took over 24 hours to set up trailers for evacuees along the Gulf Coast, leaving them without government housing assistance for a full day.

And from Niall Ferguson, here's how 2009 went.

There was uproar when Timothy Geithner, US Treasury secretary, requested an additional $300bn to provide further equity injections for Citigroup, Bank of America and the seven other big banks, just a week after imposing an agonising "mega-merger" on the automobile industry. In Detroit, the Big Three had become just a Big One, on the formation of CGF (Chrysler-General Motors-Ford; inevitably, the press soon re-christened it "Can't Get Funding").

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