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Posts Tagged ‘Great Recession’

Our Ongoing Recession

Posted by Larry Doyle on August 31st, 2010 5:56 AM |

I have informed more people than I care to count that I do not believe we are going to have an economic double dip. Am I turning positive on the economy? Do I see blue skies and fair winds on our economic horizon? No, regrettably not. The reason I do not believe we will have an economic double dip is very simply I do not believe that our “real” economy, not the government sponsored version, ever really came out of the initial recession.

People may care to debate or challenge me on my premise, but my ‘sense on cents’ leads me to believe that we have been experiencing one long and ongoing recession. I definitely sense that more people are now coming to accept this reality as well.  This ‘walking pneumonia’ economic syndrome is captured in a recent commentary by Rick Davis of Consumer Metrics Institute,

The “Great Recession” that began in 2008 has had many nuances, but among the most important are that many of the observed changes in consumer behavior have begun to linger, much as the recession itself now appears to have done. If a new consumer thrift paradigm becomes endemic — either because of natural demographic processes or scarred generational memories of upside-down loans — the lingering recession might well end up being measured in years, not quarters as commonly expected. (more…)

Ben Bernanke’s “Hail Mary”

Posted by Larry Doyle on August 29th, 2010 11:12 AM |

Hail Mary passes are typically thrown late in a game in an attempt to clutch victory from the jaws of defeat. Ben Bernanke’s statement at the Fed’s Jackson Hole conference this past week is an indication that he is getting ready to throw his “Hail Mary.”  The problem that I see, though, is that our ‘game’ is only somewhere in the second quarter.

Have you ever witnessed a football game where one team literally has to scrap its game plan because it finds itself in such a huge hole in the first quarter? That, my friends, is analogous to the state of the U.S. economy going into 2008.  While we could debate whether the calls made by our coaching staff in Washington have helped or hurt our recovery, the fact is Ben and his fellow coaches have thrown everything and the kitchen sink at the economy and the results are anything but robust.

For a review of the game to date and the uncertain prognosis going forward, The New York Times’ Peter Goodman provides a wealth of ‘sense on cents’ in his fabulous and comprehensive commentary, (more…)

Consumption Takes Another Leg Down

Posted by Larry Doyle on August 23rd, 2010 7:56 AM |

Do you increasingly feel that you are not receiving the full story in terms of our overall economy? Do you feel as if the ‘political class’ in Washington is speaking a different language than the ‘working class’ in the rest of the country? Do you scratch your head as to why economic releases are often immediately panned and quickly thereafter revised? (Case in point, the initial release of 2nd quarter GDP on July 30th was quickly thereafter projected to be halved.) For all of the above reasons, more and more Americans are relying on independent economic research and analysis. Two of my favorites in this camp (aside from Sense on Cents, of course!!) are John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics and Rick Davis of Consumer Metrics Institute.

I recently highlighted Williams’ work in writing, What Is the Real Rate of Unemployment in the United States? In that commentary, I referenced Williams as he had stated:

That began a lengthy process of exploring the history and nature of economic reporting and in interviewing key people involved in the process from the early days of government reporting through the present.

For a number of years I conducted surveys among business economists as to the quality of government statistics (the vast majority thought it was pretty bad), and my results led to front page stories in the New York Times and Investors Business Daily, considerable coverage in the broadcast media and a joint meeting with representatives of all the government’s statistical agencies. Despite minor changes to the system, government reporting has deteriorated sharply in the last decade or so. (LD’s emphasis) (more…)

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