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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rosenberg Daily - Calling a spade a spade

Now we’ll tell you why this is a depression, and not just some garden-variety recession. For all the chatter about whether the recession that started in December 2007 ended sometime last year, here is what you should know about the historical record. The 1930s depression was not marked by declining quarterly GDP data every single quarter. In fact, the technical recessionary aspect to the initial period following the asset and credit shock goes from the third quarter of 1929 to the third quarter of 1933...

In that initial four-year economic downturn, from 1929 to 1933, there were no fewer than six — six! — quarterly bounces in the GDP data. The average gain in these up-quarters was 8% at an annual rate! But because they proved not to be sustainable, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) refused to declare that the recession officially ended, even though the stock market rallied 50% in the opening months of 1930 on the belief that the downturn was about to end. False premise. And guess what? We may well be reliving history here. If you’re keeping score, we have recorded four quarterly advances in real GDP, and the average is only 3%.
---Rosenberg, 8/24

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