Sunday, March 8, 2009

Obama Recession: Daily Update

Maybe Obama's "doom and gloom" strategy will become a self-fulfilling prophecy! Be careful what you wish for, President Apocalypto!

(Image via Evil Conservative)

Investors see a dark road ahead as confidence levels reach an all-time low.

Investor confidence has fallen to a new all-time low as expectations of future economic performance continue to decline.

The Rasmussen Investor Index, which measures confidence on a daily basis, fell four points on Sunday to 53.4. That's down four points from a week ago, down six points from a month ago, and down thirty-three points from a year ago.

And it's not just investor confidence which may make matters worse. Americans have little sense of certainty of when things will turn around.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Factory jobs disappeared. Inflation soared. Unemployment climbed to alarming levels. The hungry lined up at soup kitchens.

It wasn't the Great Depression. It was the 1981-82 recession, widely considered America's worst since the depression.

That painful time during Ronald Reagan's presidency is a grim marker of how bad things can get. Yet the current recession could slice deeper into the U.S. economy.

If it lasts into April - as it almost surely will - this one will go on record as the longest in the postwar era. The 1981-82 and 1973-75 recessions each lasted 16 months.

Unemployment hasn't reached 1982 levels and the gross domestic product hasn't fallen quite as far. But the hurt from this recession is spread more widely and uncertainty about the country's economic health is worse today than it was in 1982.

Back then, if someone asked if the nation was about to experience something as bad as the Great Depression, the answer was, "Quite clearly, 'No,'" said Murray Weidenbaum, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Reagan White House.

"You don't have that certainty today," he said. "It's not only that the downturn is sharp and widespread, but a lot of people worry that it's going to be a long-lasting, substantial downturn."

The World Bank says we're screwed and this could be the first year of negative economic growth in over 70 years!

In a bleaker assessment than those of most private forecasters, the World Bank predicted Sunday that the global economy would shrink in 2009 for the first time since World War II.

The bank did not provide a specific estimate, but bank officials said its economists would be publishing one in the next several weeks.

Until now, even extremely pessimistic forecasters have predicted that the global economy would eke out a tiny expansion but had warned that even a growth rate of 5 percent in China would be a disastrous slowdown, given the enormous pressure there to create jobs for the country's rural population.

The World Bank also warned that global trade would contract for the first time since 1982, and that the decline would be the biggest since the 1930s.

But the good news is that Obama is planning on easing trade restrictions with Cuba!

Maybe I can use my $8 dollar "tax cut" and buy that Cuban stogey I always wanted!

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