Soup kitchens. Dole queues. Jarrow marches. Bank failures. Trade wars. Falling prices. Desperate poverty. Dust bowls. Fascism. The long descent into war.
That was the 1930s, and it was the world conjured up by Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund
It is not difficult to conjure up doomsday scenarios. Here are just three:
First, the global financial system is exposed as a giant pyramid selling scheme – piles of dodgy loans leveraged up against inadequate capital base. The house of cards collapses and the global economy implodes.
Secondly the global economy is panning out the way Marx said it would, in a race to the bottom as the owners of capital look for ever-cheaper sources of labour to prevent profits falling, leading eventually to class war.
And thirdly, the stresses and strains in the global economy are symptoms of a planet operating well beyond its carrying capacity. Environmental Armageddon awaits.
Were any of these dystopian visions of the future to come to pass, they would make the 1930s seem pretty benign by comparison.