Friday the Commerce Department, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, officially confirmed what many have known for some time – the current, post-financial crisis, recession “recovery” is one of the longest in modern history and THE weakest.
Even seven years after the recession ended, the current stretch of economic gains has yielded less growth than much shorter business cycles.
In terms of average annual growth, the pace of this expansion has been by far the weakest of any since 1949. (And for which we have quarterly data.) The economy has grown at a 2.1% annual rate since the U.S. recovery began in mid-2009, according to gross-domestic-product data the Commerce Department released Friday.
For so many it feels like the recession never ended. This, by the way, was the recession that they never actually admitted had begun. Remember that? The lies? “Bankin’ industry’s never been stronger!” – even as it teetered on the edge of total collapse.
The WSJ provides several informative graphs. In describing the graphs they lay off of the “recovery” talk and correctly label the upward-trending parts of the business cycle as “expansions”. Except, there hasn’t been much of the upward of late.
That’s us, over far right, the littlest bar. WSJ/Commerce Dept.
You’ll immediately note that as time goes by the recoveries (expansions) are steadily getting weaker. This graph notes annual GDP changes. Their next graph shows cumulative changes over decades or, rather, between recessions. By that one, America’s best days were in the 1960s and the 80s/90s. Of course, that particular graph allows one to compute a rough average time between recessions.
Yes, the current “recovery” started seven years ago but the precipitating recession started nearly nine years back. Recovered or not, we’re overdue for another recession. Nice, huh?
This story and the graphs show the strength (or lack thereof) of recovery, not the magnitude of the recessions. The financial crisis was huge. We’re nowhere near being made whole again. And now the entire economy is changing.
If any of the forgoing alarms you (you awake, out there?), you may lay the blame for your concerns at the feet of our friends at the Federal Reserve and our trusty “servants” in Washington. In a world with a responsible government and without a central bank cartel (the USA before 1913) recoveries were as sudden and short-lived as the recessions – both merely punctuated periods of steadier growth. Growth without the benefit of Fed funny money.
Not content with the status quo the Fed and the criminals in D.C. set out to “manage”the economy, which the Fed accomplishes in much the same way a bad drunk “manages” a car. (It goes really, really fast …. until it hits a tree).
Part of their brilliant management scheme for the past nine years has been to foster ridiculous government spending while simultaneously flooding banks (not just American ones) with cash. The banks have not released much to the general economy. Rather, they have played Monopoly and roulette with derivatives and other gambles of their own making. They haven’t played too well, either. Currently there is a race to see which major bank will collapse under its own weight first. Right now it looks like Deutsche Bank but who knows? Then comes another financial crisis. Recession. More funny money. Rinse and repeat.
Those of you who wasted your time watching THE party’s two political conventions, with all the blabbing about seemingly everything, may remember hearing nothing about these issues. They certainly don’t have any solutions to offer. Ron Paul did but the masses wrote him off as crazy and unelectable. Now we have a recovery which is crazy and unsalvageable.
Happy August the first!