We've talked about the lost decade of Japan, but few realize that they suffered an economic collapse, yet I don't see how you can describe a sudden drop of 27% of your high water GDP, a series of oscillation ups and downs between growth and contraction, and not reaching economic parity to your high until 15years later anything other than a collapse. But that is exactly what happened, their economy collapsed in on itself.
This serves as a very useful reminder that an economic collapse doesn't necessarily entail a complete collapse of society. How the economic collapse plays out depends on a variety of factors, and the fact that Japan's culture is one of conformance, coupled with the fact that they were a close US ally, helped ameliorate the situation. But this is something that we in the US need to think about, as far too often we think of economic collapses as something like we see with Argentina or Wiemar Germany. That's not to say that an economic collapse of America would play out more like it did for Japan, far from it in my opinion, but it is something to consider.