The Second Great Depression started when the American government defaulted on its foreign loans. That’s the standard lesson taught in history. It’s more accurate to say that a newly elected Congress stopped paying the interest on certain foreign loans to geopolitical foes in an effort to balance the yearly budget. When China reacted by demanding immediate repayment of all outstanding loans, the government could not have done so if they’d wanted to. They did not. What started as a budget battle turned into a geopolitical crisis. China soon nationalized all American-owned property in their sphere of influence, and then began impounding American cargos traveling through their waters. I will remind you that they had already laid claimed to the entirety of the South Chinese Sea at the time. The economic impact on America was…bad.