I think the whole disaster started with globalization. The world is every big company's market. Instead of concentrating on the local business, as you mentioned, it's all being swallowed by big world businesses. Then came the banks to add to the greed.
But I don't agree that printing money is the answer. That will lead to an even greater disaster. People have to think more modestly. Sort of like after a war. Everyone is in the same boat, and everyone has got to bake smaller bread loaves to make ends meet. People should just buy at their local stores, and not over internet anymore. And people need to help their neighbours that aren't so well off. Pull this through for the next 10 years, and I think the economy could be saved.
Okay...just fell off my podest.
A friend is a gift you give yourself.
-- Robert Louis Stevenson