I don’t plan to spend a lot of time on this blog writing about acute economic scenarios like our likely double-dip Great Recession, as I have my eyes a good bit further down the road. But I’ve been seeing a lot lately about us being on the verge of that second dip. I don’t do analysis on this level, but I do pay attention to it, so I thought I’d share some. The stock market is beginning to bet on that second dip, which of course doesn’t help us avert one (if that’s remotely possible).
For a light listen, NPR is on the ball with “Double Dip: Is the U.S. Headed for Another Recession”.
So how much does this matter? This report from the Economic Policy Institute suggests the mere slow recovery is having a measurably negative impact:
[T]he last six months have seen an average growth rate of less than 1%, a rate of growth that fully explains why the previously declining unemployment rate reversed course in the past six months.
So imagine what another downturn would do.
For a slightly headier review of the prospects, check out Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff’s analysis. He notes:
But the real problem is that the global economy is badly overleveraged, and there is no quick escape without a scheme to transfer wealth from creditors to debtors, either through defaults, financial repression, or inflation.
Which of those sounds most enticing? (I know my choice, if I can’t have none of the above.)
No wonder the stock market shuddered on Monday, notwithstanding all the “good news” about the debt deal. The performance of the real economy was far more important and “real” than all the huff and puff about debt ceilings and defaults by the US government. The alleged “good news” of the debt agreement was overwhelmed by the undisputable “real news” that the real economy was heading for a relapse.