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Wakum Mata!
Politcally Incorrect Musings
Economic woahs 
28th-Feb-2008 01:04 pm
Money
Bush: We're in a slowdown
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush acknowledged Thursday that the economy has slowed down but said the United States is not headed toward a recession.

President Bush says the economy has slowed down but the economic stimulus bill will provide a boost.

"No question, we're in a slowdown," the president told reporters in a White House news conference.

"That's why we acted strongly with over $150 billion worth of pro-growth economic incentives," he added, referring to the $170 billion economic stimulus bill he signed into law more than two weeks ago.

"And now it's time to determine whether or not this pro-growth package will actually work."

The government hopes the measure, which will send most Americans tax rebate checks by June, will either prevent a recession or make one relatively brief. [...]

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Slowdown? Pardon me while I suspend my disbelief. If it is not "Recession", Mr. President, then what is it? What economic indicators have you been observing? Oh that's right, you were trying to hide from them. But, more on that later...

Not in a recession? What is your definition?

From the definition link above:
"In the U.S., the official arbiter of recessions is the National Bureau of Economic Research. The NBER says a recession is a "significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting for more than a few months." It looks at a number of economic variables, such as employment, industrial output, real income and wholesale and retail sales. It dates the start of a recession at the peak of business activity and the end of the recession/beginning of the expansion when business activity bottoms. This helps explain why the NBER's dating of a recession takes place with large lags."


True. Last quarter the US economy did grow... at 0.6% (unadjusted). That was the fourth quarter. The third quarter grew at 4.9%. The second quarter of 2007 grew at 3.8%. So we do not yet have the magical "two consecutive quarters". But 0.6% growth down from 4.9%? We'd have to go NEGATIVE on the GDP to match that recession trend. Gasoline approaching $4, and rising food prices are going to cause people to not invest their extra cash but to stop buying anything they don't need (like an iPod). Americans buying utterly useless crap (usually made in China) is what made this economy so huge. Without shameless consumerism, where will the growth come from?

So that means, Mr. President, you'll not be telling us about a recession until it is over. "See? We went through a recession and me giving you back a TEENSY bit of your hard-earned money saved the day! I are teh smart!"

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AP
Top Economists See Signs of Recession
Monday February 25, 3:54 am ET
By Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer
Top Economists See Growing Signs That the Country Has Toppled Into a Recession

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Job growth is faltering, consumer confidence plunging. The fallout from the worst housing slump in a quarter-century grows. Wherever you look, the signs are unmistakable that the economy is in trouble.

Because of all the bad news, more and more economists foresee the country falling into a recession, according to the latest survey by the National Association for Business Economics. [...]

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Here's one of those "economists".

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AP
Existing Home Sales Decline
Monday February 25, 5:50 pm ET
By Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer
Sales of Existing Homes and Prices Both Fall in January

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sales of existing homes fell for the sixth straight month in January, dropping to the slowest sales pace on record. Median home prices were also down and many analysts predicted further price declines in the months ahead given high levels of unsold homes.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales of single-family homes and condominiums dropped by 0.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million units. That was the slowest sales pace, going back to 1999, and was seen as evidence that the steepest slump in housing in a quarter-century has yet to hit bottom. [...]


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January foreclosures up 57%
Filings saw yet another big jump last month, compared to levels a year ago; 45,327 homes were lost to bank repossessions.
By Les Christie, CNNMoney.com staff writer
February 26 2008: 8:40 AM EST

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Foreclosure filings nationwide soared 57% in January over the same month last year - another indication that the nation's housing woes are deepening.

A study released Tuesday by RealtyTrac, an online marketer of foreclosure properties, showed that 233,001 homes were affected, 8% more than in December. Of that total, 45,327 homes were lost to bank repossessions. [...]

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Well, well, well.
What does the FDIC know that they are not telling us?




FDIC to Add Staff as Bank Failures Loom
By DAMIAN PALETTA
February 26, 2008; Page A2

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is taking steps to brace for an increase in failed financial institutions as the nation's housing and credit markets continue to worsen.

The FDIC is looking to bring back 25 retirees from its division of resolutions and receiverships. Many of these agency veterans likely worked for the FDIC during the late 1980s and early 1990s, when more than 1,000 financial institutions failed amid the savings-and-loan crisis. [...]

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And then the Department of Commerce was looking to shut down one of their websites, EconomicIndicators.gov, on March 1. It seems that pressure from several different places has caused the DoC to change their mind.



Mr. President, I am disappointed, to say the least. Just tell us: the truth about the economy (not just a slowdown), it will be a rough ride for a while and, tell congress to make the tax cuts permanent. Your little (and I do mean it is tiny) rebate idea is pathetic. It doesn't even qualify as a bandaid. None of us will even get it until after Q1 2008.




Comments 
28th-Feb-2008 10:13 pm (UTC)
"Wall of Text crits Torgolomue for 10k points of damage."
"Brain esplodes"

Sorry, bro. Cut-tag that thing, please.
28th-Feb-2008 10:27 pm (UTC)
I was wondering who'd be first to make that complaint.
28th-Feb-2008 10:39 pm (UTC)
Ehhh.. that is normally me. The LJ Cut-Tag Nazi. ;P
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