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Recession talk
Posted by: mcq on Thursday, January 10, 2008

Goldman Sachs says it will happen soon:
Goldman Sachs on Wednesday said it expects the U.S. economy to drop into recession this year, prompting the Federal Reserve to slash benchmark lending rates to 2.5 percent by the third quarter.

In a note to clients, Goldman said real gross domestic product would contract by 1 percent on an annualized basis in both the second and third quarters. For all of 2008, the investment bank said GDP would rise by 0.8 percent.

The unemployment rate will rise to 6.5 percent in 2009 from the current 5 percent, it said.
At least one other concurs:
On Monday, Merrill Lynch economist David Rosenberg said the jump in U.S. unemployment in December confirmed that the economy was entering a recession.
As a side note, I'll mention that 5% unemployment is usually considered to be "full employment".

Not everyone agrees with the Goldman Sachs or Merrill Lynch forecasts:
The soft economy might feel like a recession, but isn't, and conditions won't deteriorate into a recession.

That's the take of 62 economists surveyed by Bloomberg from Jan. 3-8.

Their median estimate predicts the economy will grow 1.5 percent through June, the slowest since the final three quarters of 2001.

One of the economists, Mickey Levy of Bank of America Corp., noted that consumer spending is holding up despite their worsening mood.

Growth is anticipated to reignite in the third quarter as the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates beyond expectations.

The median estimate said odds of a recession materializing in the next year are 40 percent.
At this point we'll see - but high fuel prices, a soft housing market and other factors certainly are putting a strain on the economy. Obviously if we begin to see the economy tank in the next few months we better take a hard look at the two Democratic front runners and decide which of their names we prefer the title "President" to precede.
 
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...we better take a hard look at the two Democratic front runners and decide which of their names we prefer the title "President" to precede.
Visions of stagflation...

Let’s see, massive tax increases to pay for huge spending increases designed to help the little folk that had been "left behind" by a full employment economy which saw the largest increase in and percentage of home and stock ownership. Not to say everything is rosy under Bush, but the said remedies of the left cause me much more concern.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Interesting, because I just read a report that there are large parts of Idaho (my home state) where unemployment is at 2%. Two. It’s a tough sell that we’re in a recession, despite media efforts to spin it that way, and the "housing bubble". I mean, 2%. You know?
 
Written By: Linus
URL: http://
As a side note, I’ll mention that 5% unemployment is usually considered to be "full employment".
Depends on what party is in power...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Personally, I am ecstatic that I live in an economy where mere 1.5% growth is a thing to be scared and upset and panic over.

Golly gosh gee, fire up the soup kitchens because what a disaster that is.

I tire of people tossing around the "recession" word. Seems like we’ve been in permanent recession ever since, oh, say, 2000, regardless of the true state of the economy (which has been in recession at least some of that time). If this is a recession, bring it on.

I often find myself thinking we need to elect a Democratic president just so the press can be bothered to print some good news about the economy every once in a while.
 
Written By: Jeremy Bowers
URL: http://www.jerf.org/iri
Perhaps it should be pointed out that Goldman just took on a new CEO, of whom, the financial press questioning his ability to repair things at Goldman.

Given their own situation, it causes one to wonder just a bit.... Perhaps their assesment of our financial situation as a country is less than optimal, as well?

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
I heard this same recession prediction yesterday, which included the notion that this "recession" would last only 6-9 months. I have trouble believing that unemployment will rise as high as 6.5% in one year. My first reaction to that number was "What is the Intrade action on that prediction?" I am willing to wager that unemployment won’t top 5.6% by the end of 2009. Any takers?
 
Written By: Tim
URL: http://
included the notion that this "recession" would last only 6-9 months
Hmmm...what US even occurs right after that?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
The housing issue is speculators having driven up prices into a bubble and speculators and serious homeowners not being able to let go of their inflated values.

But I guess they are trying to get on the good side of Congress with their pronouncement.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Well, Goldman S took their cue from the Financial Wizard of Farmington Maine, who’s predicting, along with our continued decline, a recession.
Many people say he knows things that we don’t.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Goldman Sachs, Shmoldman Sachs. What does my homeboy PAUL KRUGMAN have to say about this? Unless he’s claiming we’ve been in a recession since 2001.

Then, never mind.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
I wonder what Goldman stands to gain by prognosticating a recession?
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
I imagine the view from Goldman and Merrill looks pretty gloomy now. After all, financial services companies have been hammered lately. No doubt the down days on Wall Street influence their thinking.

The housing, construction and financial sectors are slumping, however most other sectors of the economy are OK. Unemployment is growing albeit from historically low levels. Even the 6.5% rate mentioned is close to what many economists have considered to be the employment level that does not accelerate inflation.

If the Federal Reserve can figure out a way to ease the traffic jam in the credit markets, the economy will rebound quickly. If the Fed dawdles about dropping rates then we could indeed have a very mild recession as we did in November 2001. However, we have only had two mild recessions in the past 25 years, so there have been a lot more erroneous predictions than correct ones. There is a good reason NBER waits a long time to declare a recession and it never predicts that one is coming. That’s because it is very easy to be wrong. An old saying is that Wall Street has predicted 7 out of the last 2 recessions.
 
Written By: Kurt Brouwer
URL: http://www.fundmasteryblog.com
serious homeowners not being able to let go of their inflated values.
Yeah, we sold our house 7 weeks after we re-priced it according to an appraisal we had done.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
massive tax increases to pay for huge spending increases designed to help the little folk that had been "left behind" by a full employment economy which saw the largest increase in and percentage of home and stock ownership
This is a nice, tight summary of the issue in one sentence. Bravo.
 
Written By: Rob
URL: http://
Let’s see, we elect Democrats to majorities in the House and Senate. The economy supposedly tanks or is on course to tank. The only remedy is to elect a Democrat president?

That’s right up there with the "We’re already in a recession" talk. A recession is defined as two successive quarters of negative economic growth, and we’re on a string of - none. Yes, by all means, listen to the people who are making up their own facts. They have your interests at heart.

We need to reinstitute poll tests, because some people are too stupid to be allowed to vote.

 
Written By: MarkD
URL: http://
I’ve got it, they’re using the same methodology they use for determining that the Republicans are lowering funding when they only raise the budget 150%, instead of the 200% the Democrats want.

Makes perfect sense now.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
It seems simple to me: any time that there is a presidential election, and the incumbent is a Republican, we see a string of media reports explaining how bad the economy is, and even if we don’t see it ourselves, our neighbors are getting hammered. The economy is constantly talked down in the media as if the world is ending. Then the election happens and, if a Republican wins, the recession was "milder than thought", while if a Democrat wins, the economy is in miracle mode before the inauguration takes place, because "people are so happy to see a Democrat win".

Conversely, if the incumbent is a Democrat, the spin goes exactly the opposite way, and the economy is staggeringly good. I even recall stories at the end of Carter’s administration (remember "stagflation"?) that talked about how much worse the economy would get if Reagan were elected, while Carter, of course, would be able to get the economy over the hump understandably caused by OPEC, et al.

The media plays a partisan game, and until a larger number of people wake up to that, expect it to continue. They think they can deliver the Democrats an unearned 15% of the vote. They’re probably right.

 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
Let’s see, we elect Democrats to majorities in the House and Senate. The economy supposedly tanks or is on course to tank. The only remedy is to elect a Democrat president?
I wasn’t implying it was a remedy. Instead, I was implying it would be a result.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I like my own variant updated for the new journalism era: "Bloggers have correctly predicted four billion of the past two recessions."
 
Written By: Jeremy Bowers
URL: http://www.jerf.org/iri
Recession? With the economy as bad as it has been since 2001, will anyone notice?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Let’s see, we elect Democrats to majorities in the House and Senate. The economy supposedly tanks or is on course to tank. The only remedy is to elect a Democrat president?
I wasn’t implying it was a remedy. Instead, I was implying it would be a result
.



MarkD’s misiamed comment though, does carry some weight so far as it’s core logic goes. Seems to me that Mark’s point is something the Republicans should be hammering on.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us

 
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