Saturday, September 12, 2009

US Recession Over?

I'm having a hard time with this headline. I realize that GDP has stopped falling and that inventory re-stocking is finally happening but it is hard for me to believe that we are out of this mess when nothing essentially has changed on Wall Street (see NYT today, "A Year After a Cataclysm, Little Change on Wall St." By ALEX BERENSON) and foreclosures continue. Calculated Risk reports that 2/3 of August sales in Sacramento were distressed or short sales. These stats don't sound like recovery.

The 2008 census data reveal that poverty had risen to 13%. I wonder what that figure stands at now?

Additionally, the states are still in big trouble. Only the federal stimulus money sent to states kept k-12 and university education from massive--and I mean massive--cuts.

I'm not buying recovery. I believe the bailout has halted the financial crisis but only at great cost and few benefits to the public. I believe the stimulus has helped states and helped boost short term GDP but when the stimulus funds dissipate I'm not sure what will happen.

I know I'm pessimistic--a colleague has added me to the list of Dr. Dooms--but the economic data do not support recovery for main street...

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