I just finished listening to podcasts of Paul Krugman's recent lecture series at the London School of Economics "The Return of Depression Economics." What he was saying made a lot of sense to me, and it didn't leave me feeling optimistic.
You can download MP3s of the 3 lecture series here at the London School of Economics website. You have to scroll down and find them.
You can get the slides that go with the lectures here:
Lecture 1: The Sum of all Fears
Lecture 2: Eschatology of Lost Decades
Lecture 3: The Night They Reread Minksy