This won’t be your father’s recession -- if indeed the U.S. ends up tumbling into one.

Traditionally, U.S. downturns are home-grown and household-led, triggered by spikes in interest rates and fueled by the unwinding of financial and economic excesses. None of that is arguably at work this time, at least for now.

Instead, what’s making investors nervous about a recession is a global, geopolitical shock to business sentiment that’s prompting U.S. companies to curb spending amid uncertainties from the U.S.-China trade war to Britain’s potential pullout from the European Union.

“The global economy continues to soften and we are taking steps to cut capacity,’’ FedEx Corp. Chief Executive Officer Fred Smith said in a Sept. 17 conference call. The slowdown is being “driven by increasing trade tensions and policy uncertainty.’’

That poses problems for Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and his fellow policy makers as they decide whether to cut interest rates later this month for the third time this year.

The unusual nature of the forces at play -- and the fact that many of them are geopolitical and emanate from abroad -- makes it more difficult for policy makers to decide how far to go in easing credit.

There’s even a question of how effective rate cuts will be in an economy where business executives fear such dire developments as the breakup of global supply chains.

Powell is expected to deliver his latest thinking on the outlook when he speaks to the National Association for Business Economics in Denver at 2:30 p.m. U.S. East Coast time on Tuesday. He said last week that despite some risks, the U.S. economy is in a “good place,’’ and that the Fed’s job is “to keep it there.’’

Break or Bounce?

If business pessimism turns out to be overdone, there’s even a chance the economy could snap back as companies rev up outlays and monetary stimulus kicks in with greater force.

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