Like the post-Katrina streets of New Orleans, the refrigerator has become a ubiquitous symbol within the larger crisis.
One of the ways we remember an economic crisis is through images. Think of the Great Depression, told through the black-and-white portraits of men in bread lines, or wearing placards that beg for work; of a Wall Street suit hocking his car to pay for food; of Hoovervilles.
We remember the oil crisis of the 1970s—technically two crises—not through dry statistics but through scenes of cars and trucks, and sometimes people, stuck in a line that snakes off a gas station’s lot and down the street, choking a city block. And with each sharp drop in the Dow, there’s the ubiquitous portrait of a stockbroker guffawing at the ticker, his hands half-covering his face in disbelief.