Thursday, March 13, 2008

It's Official!

Pause your Tivos, mark your diaries and listen up:

A recession is here.

That's right folks, the majority of economists surveyed believe that the U.S. is in fact, ass deep in a recession. Well, maybe not ass-deep yet.

Never to fear, though, fine fellow-citizens: Samantha Grace is here to translate the Wall Street Journal's saddening news.
"The evidence is now beyond a reasonable doubt," said Scott Anderson of Wells Fargo & Co., who was among the 71% of 51 respondents to say that the economy is now in a recession.
Translated: It's pretty much for sure. Beyond a reasonable doubt=highest burden of proof under the law. Just FYI.
The Commerce Department said Thursday that retail sales tumbled 0.6% in February; sales excluding volatile auto and parts decreased 0.2%. The decline reflected a sharp slowdown in consumer spending, the primary driver of U.S. economic growth, as Americans grapple with high gasoline prices and the credit crunch, as well as drops in home values and other asset prices.
Translated: hoes ain't buying shit because hoes is broke as fuck.
Twenty-nine of 55 respondents said they expect the economy to contract in the current quarter and 25 expect it to do so in the second. The average of all the forecasts is for meager growth -- just 0.1% at an annual rate in the current quarter and 0.4% in the second.
Translated: this ain't goin' away anytime soon.
Although the classic definition of recession is two consecutive quarters of declines in the gross domestic product, Mr. Stanley pointed out that the National Bureau of Economic Research, the nonpartisan organization that is the official arbiter of when recessions begin and end, doesn't necessarily follow that definition. "If you go back to the 2001 recession, there was only one negative GDP quarter, and there might not even be one negative quarter in this recession," he said.
Translated: GWB doesn't have a leg to stand on when he says we don't have a recession on our hands and we're only experiencing a "downturn".
The economists also expressed growing concerns that a 2008 recession could be worse than both the 2001 and 1990-91 downturns. They put the odds of a deeper downturn at an average 48%, up from 39% in the previous survey. Mark Nielson of MacroEcon Global Advisors said that "we recognize the previous two recessions were mild and, if a recession does occur, it is likely to be slightly worse than the previous two."
Translated: we're screwed beyond any screwing that people of my generation can remember. so lube up.
Futures markets Thursday priced in certainty of at least a 0.5 percentage point cut in the Fed's rate target and up to 90% probability of a 0.75 point cut. Officials had, prior to this week, appeared unconvinced a 0.75 point cut was needed, given signs that inflation psychology is worsening. But those views may have been affected by continued upheaval in credit markets and the weak retail sales and employment data. Market participants say this would be a risky time to cut less than investors expect. The Fed will have to weigh the urgency of addressing the continued credit crunch against the risk of appearing unconcerned about inflation.
Translated: Bernake is going to mess it up even more. Too many cooks in the kitchen perhaps?
One thing is clear: The darkening economic outlook has made Ben Bernanke's job less secure, especially with a new president about to enter the White House. The economists gave the Fed chairman just a 59% chance of being reappointed in 2010. "If a Democrat is elected he won't be reappointed, and [presumptive Republican presidential nominee John] McCain may opt for another, too," said David Resler of Nomura Securities. "The problems occurred on his watch," added Ram Bhagavatula of Combinatorics Capital.
Translated: WELL DUH.

1 Comment:

MarilynJean said...

The only thing I can remember from that whole post is: "so lube up". Thanks for the calling out of hoes and whatnot.


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