Why is recursion useful?


I was reading a digg article the other day. It was buy some uber geek
who has been interviewing people for jobs and who has started to feel
as if programmers don't have the level of skill that they used to

One of his examples was that many applicants didn't know what
recursion was or how to solve a problem with it.

I guess I am in the middle between the "real programmers" of
yesteryear and the glorified web developers applying for entry level

Why is recursion useful, why do you need it instead of using an
ordinary loop inside of a function?

Thanks much in advance for any thoughts.