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Presidents and notable Economic Depression, Recessions, and Panics


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I looked at all the notable depressions, recessions, and panics in US history as I gather together date for a presidential ranking. I define notable if the depression, recession, or panic either 1) lasted for more than a year, or 2) lasted less than a year but data shows it was sharper than most longer instances. 

These presidents saw two negative economic instances begin in their presidencies. No president has had three yet.

  • Jefferson (resolving 1 of them)
  • Jackson (resolving 1 of them)
  • Grant (failed to resolve either!)
  • Cleveland (both in his 2nd term--resolving 1)
  • Teddy Roosevelt (resolved both!)
  • Wilson (resolved both!, but not in time to help his party in 1920)
  • Franklin D Roosevelt (resolved both!)

Here are the presidents that resolved at two negative economic instances. 

  • Teddy Roosevelt 
  • Wilson
  • FD Roosevelt
  • Madison (resolved his own and Jefferson's)
  • Reagan (resolved his own and the Stagflation that started with Nixon)

Here are the presidents that did not see a notable negative economic instance begin or resolved during their presidency

  • WH Harrison (although a recession continued from Van Buren through his brief presidency)
  • Polk
  • Taylor
  • Fillmore
  • Pierce
  • Lincoln
  • Garfield
  • Truman 
  • Eisenhower (he did see a fear of a notable recession that hurt his party in midterms but it ended up not being considerable)
  • JFK
  • LBJ
  • Carter (although the Stagflation that started with Nixon continued through his term unresolved)
  • Clinton
  • Biden (although the Covid Recession continues)

The longest periods without a notable negative economic instance are 1843-1865 and 1938-1973. 


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Just now, Patine said:

Washington began in office with a debt-ridden, depressed, and near-bankrupt economy with the original Continental Currency going into hyperinflation, but there was no President in office when that trend began, only the Congress of the Confederation. Is that why you left him  out?

You bring up a good point but, yes, that's why I left him out. I should probably include it. 

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