Monday, December 1, 2008

Oh, By The Way...

...we're officially in a recession, in case you hadn't noticed.

So on December 1, 2008, the National Bureau of Economic Research declared that we have been in a recession since December 2007:
The announcement means that the downturn is already one year old. That is longer than the average length of 10.5 months for recessions since World War II. The current record for the longest recession over the last half-century is 16 months, which was reached in both the downturns of 1973-74 and 1980-81.
So we're already in worse shape than we've been in at least 35 years, and there's no end in sight, either.

Incidentally, I didn't even know that we had a National Bureau of Economic Research, but as long as we do, how about they research these things as well:
  • Why does the bailout money seem to not be having any effect?
  • Why are the credit markets still frozen?
  • Is a multi-trillion dollar stimulus package (like the one Obama is proposing) really going to help us get out of this rut?
  • Should we let Detroit go bankrupt?
  • When is this going to end?
The scary thing is that I feel like I hear these questions all the time on the news - but I never hear any answers. Now, a lot of the questions asked on the news are very dumb questions indeed, but still - with all the back-and-forth incessant parroting of the mainstream media, you'd think that by this point someone somewhere would have somehow come up with some kind of sensible plan to get us out of this mess.

I'm an economics newbie, if not an economics know-nothing (which is probably closer to the truth), yet even I can tell that it seems like for this mess, there are no quick fixes or easy answers.

Oscar season is arriving just in time, my friends.

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