The horse having long ago left the barn, economists think maybe it’s time to close the door and declare a recession

The U.S. has finally slid into recession, according to the majority of economists in the latest Wall Street Journal economic-forecasting survey, a view that was reinforced by new data showing a sharp drop in retail sales last month.

What part of the word Duh don’t you understand?

6 thoughts on “The horse having long ago left the barn, economists think maybe it’s time to close the door and declare a recession

  1. You know, this might be remotely interesting if economists could actually agree on what “recession” means.

    Noone wants to use the old definition of two consecutive quarters of negative GDP. My guess is that this definition doesn’t apply because then they wouldn’t be able to prove we’re in a recession prior to the election.

  2. For economists the definition of recession is indeed similar to understanding how many angels can dance on the head of a pin and other abstruse points of theology. I define it in terms that make sense to me — can I buy more or less with my income? Are more people out of work? I also take into consideration issues in a way that economists can’t until they get numbers they can agree on — Effects of the Fed continuing to print money like a crazed Xerox machine; Likelihood that the ever increasing price of oil is going to slow down corporate spending even further (except for oil corporations, of course); psychological impact of people seeing the assessed value of their house’s decrease; strains on the entire system from having to bailout large banks; impact of out of control government spending.

    So yes this isn’t the classic definition. But do you Mr. Horn think we are not in a recession? Hmmmm?

  3. I don’t know if we’re in a recession. That’s like asking, “Are we in a poodelatch?”

    Well, if you don’t know what a poodelatch is, then you can’t really say yes or no, can you?

    So let’s consider your criteria, then.

    1) can I buy more or less with my income? So, inflation = recession. Interesting. We’ve been in a recession since… well, since forever then. Inflation is a market force. I’d rather have inflation than stagflation, deflation, or poodelatchflation.

    2) Are more people out of work? Yes, the last report indicated that unemployment numbers went up. First, those numbers are usually revised after the fact. Second, you’re saying that a single up-tick in unemployment defines a recession? Sounds a bit reactionary to me. WE’RE IN A RECESSION! WE’RE IN AN EXPANSION! WE’RE IN A RECESSION AGAIN!

    The rest of your points I’ll leave to the hyperbole police to judge.

  4. Pingback: No matter how many times it bounces, the cat isn’t getting any less dead « Collateral Damage

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