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The eight days of near-doom in September 2008 struck like a lightning bolt, cleaving the market in two along an already-weakening fissure largely hidden from view until laid bare by a direct hit from
the financial crisis. Across the developed world,
most particularly the US, the UK and the Eurozone,
decades of stagnant real wages, accumulating debt
and flagging innovation had left the middle class acutely vulnerable to the financial storm that swept the globe. In the wake of the Great Recession, a sizable stratum of spent consumers has materialized where an aspirational middle used to be.