The world changed in 2007. It changed for the worse, and the trouble deepened between 2008 and 2010. An intense crisis of financial origin caused many economic and social variables to deteriorate. The growth that had existed worldwide in previous years and had been vigorous in many developing and some Western countries, turned into a global recession with a significantly negative gross domestic product (GDP) in many countries. Unemployment shot up to alarming levels. This, together with the concern felt by the employed that they too might lose their jobs, exacerbated consumers’ fear of an uncertain future. Like a dog chasing its tail, this resulted in a drop in consumption and caused further economic deterioration and more unemployment. Funding from banks dried up (remember that the origin of the crisis was financial), leaving many companies with extremely serious problems since they were unable to renew their credits, which choked their day-to-day running.
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