NEW! CalculatedRisk Newsletter on Real Estate (Ad Free) Read it here.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

NY Times: "When Will the Recession Be Over?"

by Calculated Risk on 3/01/2009 02:32:00 PM

The NY Times asked several economists and forecasters 'When Will the Recession Be Over?'

Here are a few excerpts:

Beware the False Dawn
By STEPHEN S.ROACH (Chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia)

IT would be premature to declare an end to America’s recession at the first sign of a resumption of growth. After the unusually steep declines in the economy late last year and early this year, a statistical rebound in the second half of 2009 would hardly be shocking. ... But any such whiffs of growth are likely to herald a false dawn, because the consumer remains in terrible shape. ...

This points to an unusually anemic upturn, at best — not strong enough to keep the unemployment rate from rising to near 10 percent over the next year and a half. Since it’s hard to call that a recovery, it looks to me as if this recession won’t end until late 2010 or early 2011.
A Long Goodbye
By A. MICHAEL SPENCE (Stanford Professor, Nobel prize, economics)
THE short answer is not soon.

The recession is global: exports, production and consumption are in high-speed descent. The headwinds are powerful because of excessive leverage, damaged balance sheets and the resulting tight credit.
Governments and central banks are the only major sources of credit, liquidity and incremental demand ... If governments are quick and clear in their intentions and intervene in a coordinated way in both the real economy and the financial sector, we will probably have an unusually long and deep global recession through 2010. If they don’t, it is likely to be worse than that.
An Ordinary Crisis
TODAY’S financial crisis is the biggest in recent history, when measured by its speed, the scale of its capital losses or its global reach. Yet viewed from another perspective the crisis is surprisingly ordinary, following the same path as dozens of previous bubbles.
If we go by the first measure [started in mid'80s] we may see two or more decades of readjustment. If we go by the second [started turn of the millennium], we are still probably in the early stages of the credit correction, meaning that while the technical recession could be over by the end of the year, the broader credit cycle will likely remain a significant drag on economic activity well into the next decade. Either way, we have a long way to go.
There are number of other short Op-Eds from Nouriel Roubini, James Grant and others.