Skip to main content

Now can we call it a recession?

Now that we have the "official" blessing from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), I guess we can actually start using the word recession, right?

Bloomberg, "Recession started in December 2007, NBER says":

"The U.S. economy entered a recession a year ago this month, the panel that dates American business expansions said today.

The declaration was made by the cycle-dating committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a private, nonprofit group of economists based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The last time the U.S. was in a recession was from March through November 2001, according to NBER.

“The committee determined that the decline in economic activity in 2008 met the standard for a recession,” the group said in a statement on its Web site. The 1.2 million drop in payroll employment so far this year was the biggest factor in determining that start of the contraction, the group said.

Federal Reserve policy makers at their last meeting predicted the economy will contract through the middle of 2009, in line with private economists’ forecasts. If correct, the recession would be the longest since the Great Depression."

Thanks for telling us, guys. We honestly had no idea...

Despite early warnings from many private economists and noted market participants, it seems some people were hoping reality would continue to be ignored, if we could only keep from uttering the dreaded "r-word" in public.

Oh, and you might want to take the NBER's official durations of previous recessions with a grain of salt, as well.

For example: the early 1990s recession. I was in junior high at the time, and not really much of an economic observer, but I seem to remember the economic downturn as lasting well beyond the NBER's July 1990-March 1991 timeframe.

Here's a little trip down memory lane to the early '90s:

US job losses were affecting much of the white collar and blue collar workforce, many American households were facing financial problems, the rise of Nirvana and the "Seattle sound"/grunge coincided with the country's dark mood and its youth culture's angst from 1991-1993, SNL was still lampooning George Bush and the recession well into the latter part of his presidential term, and Ross Perot made the nation's economic problems the focus of his independent presidential campaign in 1992.

This time around (2007-2008), we had frequent denials and pooh-poohing of the dreaded "recession" label by many of the country's officials and the media's talking heads and high priests of spin. We can probably expect another spike in recession-related articles and media stories, now that the economic reality of the past twelve months has been officially recognized.

So, I guess this leaves us with one question. Where are you getting your information from on topics such as these?

Do you trust the tv and cable news to tell you that the sun is shining or that the clouds are covering the sky? Internet, blogs, newspapers? A mixture of some or all of these media sources? Maybe you trust your native common sense, and take these proclamations and news stories for what they are worth (not much, if anything).

At any rate, especially during times like this, I find it interesting to know what people are really thinking, and where they choose to get their information from. Tell us what you know, share your thoughts with us here.

Related articles and posts:

1. "US faces recession, Bernanke's stimulus" - Finance Trends.

2. "Congratulations, it's officially a recession" - Big Picture.

3. "Recession began a year ago, economists say" - MarketWatch.

4. "Recession in real terms" - Finance Trends.

5. "Marc Faber on Bloomberg TV" - Finance Trends.

6. "Roubini: US in recession" - Finance Trends.

Popular posts from this blog

Jesse Livermore: How to Trade in Stocks (1940 Ed. E-book)

If you've been around markets for any length of time, you've probably heard of 20th century supertrader, Jesse Livermore . Today we're highlighting his rare 1940 work, How to Trade in Stocks (ebook, pdf). But first, a brief overview of Livermore's life and trading career (bio from Jesse Livermore's Wikipedia entry). "During his lifetime, Livermore gained and lost several multi-million dollar fortunes. Most notably, he was worth $3 million and $100 million after the 1907 and 1929 market crashes, respectively. He subsequently lost both fortunes. Apart from his success as a securities speculator, Livermore left traders a working philosophy for trading securities that emphasizes increasing the size of one's position as it goes in the right direction and cutting losses quickly. Ironically, Livermore sometimes did not follow his rules strictly. He claimed that lack of adherence to his own rules was the main reason for his losses after making his 1907 and

New! Finance Trends now at FinanceTrendsLetter.com

Update for our readers: Finance Trends has a new URL!  Please bookmark our new web address at Financetrendsletter.com Readers sticking with RSS updates should point your feed readers to our new Finance Trends feedburner .   Thank you to all of our loyal readers who have been with us since the early days. Exciting stuff to come in the weeks ahead! As a quick reminder, you can subscribe to our free email list to receive the Finance Trends Newsletter . You'll receive email updates about once every 4-8 weeks (about 2-3 times per quarter).  Stay up to date with our real-time insights and updates on Twitter .

Moneyball: How the Red Sox Win Championships

Welcome, readers . T o get the first look at brand new posts (like the following piece) and to receive our exclusive email list updates, please subscribe to the Finance Trends Newsletter .   The Boston Red Sox won their fourth World Series title of t he 21st century this we ek. Having won their first Se ries in 86 years back in 200 4, the last decade-plus has marked a very strong return to form for one of baseball's oldest big league clubs. So how did they do it? Quick background: in late 2002, team own er and hedge fund manager, John W. Henry (with his partners ) bought the Boston Red Sox and its historic Fenway Park for a reported sum of $ 695 million. Henry and Co. quickly set out to find their ideal General Manager (GM) to help turn around their newly acquired, ailing ship. This brings us to one of my fav orite scenes from the 2011 film , Moneyball , in which John W. Henry (played by Ar liss Howard) attempts to woo Oakland A's GM Billy Beane (Brad Pi