January 15, 2010

Worst. ‘Recovery.’ Ever. Two Fed Charts Old Media Probably Won’t Like — Or Use


The Federal Reserve of Minneapolis has posted a series of charts (HT Ed Morrissey at Hot Air) comparing the current recession — as defined by the National Bureau of Economic Research, not as normal people define it, a point I’ll get to later in this post — to previous recessions dating back to the end of World War II.

The charts definitely show how utterly wrong reporters like the Associated Press’s Jeannine Aversa are when they claim that there has been anything resembling a “rebound” since the economy hit bottom from a growth standpoint in the second quarter of 2009 (the economy has yet to see an employment bottom). They also explain why AP reporter Martin Crutsinger seems to have tired of trying to put a “getting better” face on things in the past couple of days (as seen here and here at NewsBusters; here and here at BizzyBlog).

Here, after screen captures by Morrissey are the two mind-numbing creations in question, the first showing changes in output (GDP) and the second showing changes in employment:



Together, they could be shown in a continuous loop and named “Nightmare on Main Street.”

Now imagine if instead of using the NBER’s subjective determination of when this recession began, the chart above had been done using the normally understood definition of two consecutive quarters of economic contraction. In that case, you would shift the “2007″ line (renamed 2008, because the recession as normally defined began in that year’s third quarter) over by two quarters and six months, respectively. The results would arguably be even uglier.

Morrissey’s capsule summary:

The economic policies of the Obama administration have lengthened the recession and delayed what would be the normal recovery process, mainly by signaling to investors and businesses that costs will go up in taxes and energy prices, as well as burdensome mandates on health insurance. As a result, people are not investing their money into job-creating risk but are sheltering their cash instead.

The Obama administration’s “Uncertainty Economy” continues to wreak absolute havoc. Given what the first stimulus hasn’t accomplished, any serious attempt at a second stimulus that based on history going back to the 1930s would be just as ineffective will have to call into question whether our government really wants the economy to recover.

In the meantime, I hope the folks at the Minneapolis Fed aren’t waiting by the phone for calls from establishment media journalists requesting explanations and clarifications. They’ll be pretty lonely if they are.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.



  1. Can there be any doubt now that the policies of the Dems since their takeover in 2007 are anything less than economic terrorism?

    Comment by Joe C. — January 16, 2010 @ 8:06 am

  2. Tom, you know how I love charts? I am sharing this one from the EIA: http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=WDIUPUS2&f=W

    This is the distillate consumption of the US. Distillate is the name given to Diesel and Home Heating oil. What do you notice? Given that both Diesel and Home Heating Oil are represented on one graph line and this being a cold winter, intuitively one would think Home Heating Oil demand would be up. The fact that consumption from the commericial sector where most diesel is consumed is down so much that even a high demand in Home Heating Oil doesn’t reflect on the graph line indicates the depth of this economic downturn. We are essentially at pre-2000 levels of consumption. That’s a 10 year retracing of economic levels.

    Comment by dscott — January 16, 2010 @ 9:02 pm

  3. The infamous Obama Stimulus unemployment chart: http://michaelscomments.wordpress.com/2010/01/08/boring-unemployment-news/

    A cumulative job loss of over 8 million, with not much sign of slowing.


    Notice the rate of lost total employment has accelerated in 2009 versus 2008 since Obama took office… How’s that Hope and Change Stimulus Bill working?

    Comment by dscott — January 16, 2010 @ 9:16 pm

  4. [...] the Federal Reserve of Minneapolis. (HT Ed Morrissey at Hot Air for the original article and the Bizzy Blog for pointing the article out to [...]

    Pingback by Re: Worst Recovery Ever | alazycowboy.com — January 17, 2010 @ 9:05 pm

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