Sunday, November 30, 2008

For Chris!! Will the Economy Fall Even More?

A couple of years ago, my old college roommate Chris and I had a furious e-mail discussion on the economy. I had sent him an article by Mike Whitney predicting an economic collapse from the sub-prime market. I talked with him on the phone a few weeks ago...and he sheepishly said: "I hate to admit it, but you were right". That doesn't happen very often!

Here is Chris with his son on a backpacking trip a couple of years ago:

And here are the old Augsburg boys from Room 101 (taken in February of 1981). I'm holding the baby (my nephew). Chris is the one on the right with the glasses. I guess we liked plaid shirts back then:

To continue the motif on the economy, I pass the quote below along to Chris (and everyone else). Mike Whitney again, writing last Friday in Counterpunch:

Regardless of what the new administration does, the stock markets will take another leg down between the end of 2009 to early 2010, finding a bottom on the Dow of 4,500 or thereabouts. 70 per cent plus declines took place on the NASDAQ following the bust, Japan during the 1990s "lost decade" and the Great Depression. In none of these cases was the bottom reached in the first year. Hedge fund redemptions will force more deleveraging and more wild swings in volatility. The banks, which have accounted for nearly half of their losses, will need to write off another $800 to $900 billion before its all over. No one knows where they'll get the capital. Unemployment will skyrocket, housing will overshoot to the downside, and there will be the first random incidents of political instability in major US cities. The economy will remain flat on its back for some years into the future. How quickly the markets rebound depends on whether Obama's team understands that the system needs deep structural changes and a banking system that is not paralyzed with debt.

Chris, I do hope that Mr. Whitney is wrong this time!

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