The Asian Development Bank says the global economic crisis has erased $50 trillion in wealth around the world.
Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda said Monday the current crisis is the most serious the world has seen since the Great Depression. Kuroda said he believes Asia will be one among the first regions to emerge from the crisis and will be stronger than before.
Another note of alarm was sounded by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who said the U.S. economy has "fallen off a cliff." Buffett called on the U.S. Congress to unite behind President Barack Obama, comparing the crisis to a military conflict that needs a commander in chief.
A more optimistic assessment came from Jean-Claude Trichet, the head of the European Central Bank, who says he sees signs the global economy is approaching a pickup point.
Trichet says skeptical investors are not giving enough weight to changes that could bolster economic activity, such as falling commodity prices, governments' stimulus packages and widespread interest-rate cuts.
Trichet spoke Monday at a meeting of central bank chiefs in Basel, Switzerland.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Bloomberg.