I have been enjoying Kenneth Baker's 'George IV a Life in Caricature'. 
George was the dandy Prince Regent at the time of George III's madness before becoming George IV. He splurged huge amounts of money, building the Brighton Pavilion, Regents Street and much of our country's fine arts collection.
This cartoon was drawn in 1830 and the caption reads;
"There was general industrial and agricultural distress in 1830, and Wellington was reported as being indifferent to families' suffering - there were prints showing him surrounded by starving men and women. George alluded to these economic problems in a speech.
Birmingham, a growing industrial centre, sent a deputation of journeymen button- makers to visit London and give a gift of gilt buttons to George. He helped them by making buttons fashionable and setting a new trend. Many benefited from the 'dandyism' of George. On his death the trade of button-making was 'plunged into a desperate condition.'"
I can only conclude, that the thing to do in a recession, is make more buttons, wear more buttons, and on the whole, dress up.