The present article is devoted to the most important issue of international relations today, i.e. the global financial crisis which started in 2007 in the USA and at the turn of 2008 and 2009 engulfed almost the whole world, including Poland. It quickly led to a deep economic crisis in many countries. The economies of the developed countries fell into a very strong recession phase and reported considerable decrease in GDP; the development in most of the rising economies was suddenly hindered. The aim of the article is to try to show the circumstances, origins, characteristic features and the range of the crisis and its consequences for Poland, especially its economic and social effects. With the use of a comparative analysis method the author tries to highlight the similarities and differences between the present crisis and the global crisis of 1929-1933, and its course of events in the United States and other states, and based on that he discusses the situation of Poland and anti-crisis measures undertaken by the government and the opposition. The author draws interesting conclusions, i.e. he proves that thanks to the loyal co-operation of all the states the crisis may be defeated soon, although its social and political results will be still perceptible in the world for a long time. Moreover, if the strategy adopted by the government succeeds, Poland has a chance to recover from the crisis as a stronger and more competitive country. The article was based on a wide source background. The author used statistics from specialist literature as well as home and foreign press and journals.