Recession Declared Over, "Summer of Recovery" Reigns
No kidding...that’s the headline I went with.
The website for the National Bureau of Economic Research very proudly declares that they are “the nation’s leading nonprofit economic research organization.” They tout that 16 American Nobel Prize winners for Economics have been researchers within the organization. They also indicate that their Board of Directors is made up of “representatives from the leading U.S. research universities and major national economics organizations.”
I would, of course, be kidding myself if I said that wasn’t impressive, but then on Monday, the NBER declared that the recession was over...almost 15 months ago.
Well, son of a bitch, fellas. You damn sure could have fooled me. Your only problem is that the American people aren’t picking up what you’re putting down.
According to the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, the blogosphere by itself let out a collective “WTF?” with one blogger calling the NBER’s announcement “hallucinatory news” and another stating, “I'll start believing the recession is over when I stop seeing endless numbers of people sleeping on the streets.”
Perhaps one of the most telling signs that Americans probably don’t believe the recession is anywhere near over was a little town hall meeting I wrote about in my last Technorati piece. We’ve all heard about it by now. President Obama went on CNBC Monday and took a drubbing at the hands of a number of individuals who have lost a great deal of confidence in the ability of this economy to actually recover.
None of this should come as a big surprise. The president himself, who some would argue is the most out of touch of anyone when it comes to economic policy, couldn’t deny the situation, indicating that the expressed frustration was “understandable.” He said, “The hole was so deep that a lot of people out there are still hurting, and probably some folks here in the audience are still having a tough time.”
Now to their credit, the president and his administration have, for the most part, steered clear of outright endorsing the NBER’s findings, but it almost seems like at least one member of the Cabinet really, really wants to publicly call the recession over, or he might pee. I’m talking about Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
With an index like unemployment still hovering dangerously close to 10 percent, a Republican lawmaker, according to Reuters, apparently tried to press for a straight answer on whether he believes the recession is over, to which Geithner responded, “I’m not an economist, and I’m not an academic, and I would just say the following: This is still a very tough economy.”Continued on the next page