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Monday, September 20, 2010

It's Official - Obama Did Not End The Recession

The National Bureau of Economic Research has declared that the recession ended, statistically speaking, in June 2009.  As reported by the L.A. Times:
Reporting from Washington — The panel of economists that dates the nation's economic cycles declared Monday that the recession that started in December 2007 ended in June of last year -- making it the longest downturn since World War II.
The National Bureau of Economic Research, a private nonprofit research group that is considered the official arbiter of economic contractions and expansions, took pains to note that a determination of the end of the recession doesn't mean the economy has returned to vigorous growth.
Statistics are one thing, reality is another.  As the report recognizes, the recovery has not shown up yet in most of the major measurements on which people focus, like the unemployment rate.

But please note the date:  June 2009.  Just five months after Obama took office, and four months after the Stimulus Plan was passed but before Stimulus money was spent.

In other words, Obama's policies and spending had absolutely nothing to do with the statistical end of the recession.  Oh, sorry, I forgot that this is the internet, so let me say it more clearly:
So why hasn't the statistical end of the recession shown up in the unemployment rate, housing, and elsewhere? Could it have something to do with Obama's policies and spending?  The report does not address this issue.

And bank this line from the report for the next time Obama claims all our problems are Bush's fault (emphasis mine):
The committee decided that any future downturn of the economy would be a new recession and not a continuation of the recession that began in December 2007. The basis for this decision was the length and strength of the recovery to date.
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  1. Wait for the claim that the recession ended because Obama replaced Bush as President. He doesn't have to do anything but be there for good things to happen.

  2. "So why hasn't the statistical end of the recession shown up in the unemployment rate, housing, and elsewhere? Could it have something to do with Obama's policies and spending?"

    Largely because the statistics are manipulated. Last week, the employment data suggested that the number of people unemployed declined slightly. What was not adequately made clear is that because of the holiday weekend, nine states failed to report their data including CA. So they conjured up estimates for those missing states. The difference between "slightly better" and "in line with expectations" can move markets.

    Then there is the matter of the relaxing of accounting for the "too big to fail" banks and how they manipulate their quarterly balance sheet numbers to hide debt. And how the reduce their provisions for bad debt and other numbers. Banks are a big factor in the whole picture yet they are allowed to make up their own numbers.

    It takes years to finally work through the government statistics, to finalize the source data and synchronize it before you have a definitive case for just about anything. What year did they finally decide that the dot.com recession ended in 2002? I recall that it was 2006 or later.

    In my book, we have been in recession since 2006 and never got out. The blip we just experienced was artificial (stimulus spending concentrated on shoring the state government budgets) and should be eliminated if the true curve is to have any real meaning.

  3. The Recession ended in June 2009....reee-ally?

    And we're just hearing it now in September 2010... over a YEAR LATER... but conveniently five weeks to the mid-term elections?

    More accurate coverage on the matter from bloomberg news...


    We've never left the recession. We're on the verge of transitioning into a stubborn form of 'Growth Recession' featuring a new normal of stunted GDP and corresponding high unemployment. That, coupled with a national debt that is 90% of the GDP, exploding deficits and increasing federalization of businesses, I'd say the US economy is quite European now.

  4. The good news is that the Bush recession is over. The bad--- we're in Obama's recession now.

  5. "Largely because the statistics are manipulated."

    When this organization announced the start date for the recession I recall reading that they used different guidelines (And they are just that, only guidelines) than previously. The revised guidelines meant the US recession started earlier than those in Europe. This then allowed all and subdry to blame the US, more specifically, the Bush Administration, for the woes of all.

  6. @beatrecession we have been waiting to announce the end, but certainly not one and a half years later!

    don't ignore but ask those who are still looking for work and businesses that went under, we need testimonies on the ground too - dont we?

  7. No matter what reports say the recession will not end until the unemployment rate drops, credit is accessible, and money is invested in green technology and education reform. America success is not riding on today but tomorrow, the next generation is the key.


  8. Amazing. So what we've been has not been a recession? So all that money the FEDs been printing isn't much of a factor because of the timeline here. Which doesn't bode well for the future.