Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hopeful News, Salted with Pessimism

Recently retail sales are up and the amount of new jobless claims is down. Positive economic news!

But I doubt it means much overall. The recession is still getting worse. We have not yet seen the inflation caused by the stimulus bill.

(In other words, the market has stabilized, but the recession will endure until the market actually recovers. I found a nice chart about that here. For investors, recessions are turbulent but after the early crash are mostly flat. Fleeing the market entirely is unwise because when recovery comes it happens suddenly and sharply.)

Here is an interesting article with some healthy pessimism. It notices the upcoming inflation and worries it will cause "the next official recession". It also wonders if a continued recession, with the associated continued pleas for more government spending, is what some politicians are really trying to create. (Fortunately, not all.)

UPDATE: Another bad sign: European banks are still in increasing trouble.

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