Monday, October 5, 2009

State of the Current Business Cycle

While some are ready to call an end to the recession, I'll wait for the official statement. (Although I sense a change.) 

Nevertheless, here are a couple of interesting items for your consideration. First is an article by Robert Samuelson in today's edition of The Washington Post. His opinion is that government helped the larger economy dodge the bullet. And while many will debate the effectiveness of the stimulus (both fiscal and monetary), the economy does seem to be turning, and "Great Depression: The Sequel" does appear to have been averted...for the moment. As Farmer states in his piece in Voxeu indicates, the Great Depression was actually two recessions, separated by more than three years. We have a ways to go to beat that.

The second item can be used in conjunction with the Samuelson piece. The Council on Foreign Relations released a chart book (click on the link in the right hand colum) on the current recession last month, comparing it to average downturns and The Great Depression. I would think it would be helpful for those of you studying business cycles and the current business cycle. And for any schools in The Fed Challenge or other economic competitions, this might provide some context for discussing the current state of the economy.

I hope you have a good week. I look forward to your comments.

No comments: