More than two out of every three voters on a nzherald.co.nz Business poll believe the current global financial crisis is a historic event on a scale similar to the infamous crashes of 1929 and 1987.
The poll, which is informal and does not claim to be statistically accurate, has been conducted over the past 24 hours.
Of the 272 of the website's readers who voted, 189 (69 per cent) said the current global meltdown would be remembered in history alongside the two great crashes of the last century, whilst a minority (31 per cent) believed the whole thing has been overblown and it is just a "blip on the radar".
Meanwhile, in the US this morning (NZ time), Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke warned in a speech in New York that it would take time for the country's economic health to mend even if badly needed confidence in the US financial system returns and roiled markets stabilise.
The United States has sunk deeper into an economic rut, the Federal Reserve reported, reflecting mounting damage from the financial and credit crises.
The Fed's new snapshot of business conditions around the nation had showed economic activity weakened across all of the Fed's 12 regional districts.
In an unprecedented action last week, the Fed and other major central banks sliced interest rates to prevent the financial crisis from plunging the US - and the global economy - into a long and painful recession.
- NZHERALD STAFF, with AP