Thursday, March 13, 2008

WSJ says recession is here and could be bad

And, many of the economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal expect this one to be worse that those in 1990-91 or 2001.

“The evidence is now beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Scott Anderson of Wells Fargo & Co., who was among the 71 percent of 51 respondents to say that the economy is now in a recession.

Some details from the survey:
Twenty economists now expect payrolls to shrink outright. And the average forecast for the unemployment rate was raised to 5.5 percent by December from 4.8 percent in the previous survey.

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 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 percent, up from 39 percent in the previous survey.

I don’t see how anybody not inside the Bush Administration can deny that we’re in a recession if the nation’s financial newspaper of record says so.

Speaking of that, the one silver lining is that Ben Bernanke, The Worst Fed Head Since Greenspan™, may be out on his ass if a Democrat is in the White House next year:
The economists gave the Fed chairman just a 59 percent 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.

A small blessing, but yes, a blessing.