The Big Kahanas are reporting that the Recession is Over. The Associated Press is basing its news on the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), and Time Magazine is sourcing the NBER (National Bureau of Economic Research) -- both opining that things magically changed in June 2009, and yes -- over 14 months ago, the recession was over.
Read the OECD Report Overview here. Read the NBER Summary here.
My first thoughts: baloney.
Maybe if you label 2007-2009 a recession, and then a couple of years down the road, you come back and label another batch of months a second (double dip) recession, you can feel better about things. (Which is what I'm expecting these Svengalis will do, to justify the reports they've just issued.)
I think we're in a Depression, not dipping recessions, and that the government is scared of public reaction if they start using that very, very scary word: depression. Lots of us remember family members telling horrific stories about the Great Depression, and heck: who wants to think that the Joad Family is their future?
What about their numbers? Statistics - please. I think things have been fudged, ignored, manipulated here because my reality simply does not jive with these reports.
Bottom line, I'm not buying what I'm being told. But heck, who am I?
My finance degree (BBA) is ancient history, my law degree means I look for an argument, and my writing career means I'm nosy and try to observe every piece of lint that floats by ... so I went looking around.
And I see that there are others that aren't buying it, either:
Stephen Gandel at Time.com predicts a double dip. Another recession is coming (is here?).
Ann Brenoff at WalletPop discusses reality vs. the NBER, with stats on unemployment and poverty levels among other things.
BusinessPundit calls the NBER "hallucinatory" - love this. Hallucinations, makes me chuckle.
ZeroHedge labels the NBER findings "worthless," wondering when the reality that we're in the midst of a Depression will be announced to the public (predicting the mid2020s). Kudos here to actually using the skeery word.
In the midst of all this surfing around, I discovered a Dartmouth economist's site, where he analyzes governmental reporting -- and John Williams has a very, very different take on the state of our economy today.
He's got employment at 22% (which sounds pretty real to me) and GDP in the negative since 2004.
Now that, that's sounding closer to the mark.