One of the great goals of economics, ever since the discipline was founded, has been to abolish the business cycle. Economic booms followed by recessions have always been a regular, if unpleasant, feature of life. In the past 90 years there have been at least two global great recessions, and in North America at least 13 other significant recessions. (A recession is a period in which the economy contracts significantly for at least two quarters in a row). On average, there has been a recession, be it great or small, once every six or seven years.