Today’s broadsheet from the FM website pressroom. There are four sections:
- Links to interesting news and analysis
- Today’s special item
- News about themes from posts past on the FM website (including some hot news)
- An interesting comment lifted from the FM website
(I) Links to interesting news and analysis
- “British Muslims Fear Repercussions Over Tomorrow’s Train Bombing” — Horrifying!
- “Governor Paterson Paints Grim Picture of N.Y. Budget Crisis“, New York Times, 8 November 2009
- “Oil at $100 Doesn’t Compute as OPEC Output Pace Grows“, Bloomberg, 9 November 2009
- “Afghanistan Mission Creep Watch – The Barack ‘Baines’ Obama Version“, Michael Cohen, Democracy Arsenal, 9 November 2009
- “High and dry“, The Standard, 9 November 2009 — Macau has only 10 days of water remaining in its reservoirs, due to the drought.
(II) Today’s special item
Quote of the day about the Fort Hood murders: “This is perhaps a moment to reflect on the fact that the murder of innocent people is not really made better or worse by deep inquiry into the precise nature of the crime.”, Matthew Yglesias, 8 November 2009 — Close you eyes and cry “Ya, Ya, Ya”. That also helps to obscure the obvious.
(III) Updates from past posts
(a) Hot news: “Key oil figures were distorted by US pressure, says IEA whistleblower“, The Guardian, 9 November 2009 — “The world is much closer to running out of oil than official estimates admit, according to a whistleblower at the International Energy Agency who claims it has been deliberately underplaying a looming shortage for fear of triggering panic buying.” For more information see:
- When will global oil production peak? Here is the answer! , 1 November 2007
- Beginning of the end of the Republic’s solvency. Soon come the first steps to a reformed regime – or a new regime. — About US health care costs.
(c) About the trashing of World Oil magazine by its senior management, more journalists who’ve forgotten the meaning of journalism (other than selling adverts), by Perry Fischer (former Editor), posted at The Petroleum Truth Report, 6 November 2009 — For more about this theme, see:
- The media rolls over and plays dead for Obama, as it does for all new Presidents, 19 February 2009
- The magic of the mainstream media changes even the plainest words into face powder, 24 April 2009
- The media – a broken component of America’s machinery to observe and understand the world, 2 June 2009
- We’re ignorant about the world because we rely on our media for information, 3 June 2009
- Are we blind, or just incurious about important news?, 6 July 2009
- We know nothing because we read newspapers, 12 October 2009
- Must the old media die for the new media to flourish?, 29 October 2009
IV. Today’s interesting comment lifted from the FM website
From Mark I’s comments #52, #54, and #66, posted at Update: why has the worst recession since the 1930’s had so little impact on the economy?, 5 October 2009. Like most of these, a swarm from the Instapundit’s website, they display little knowledge of economics — but enormous certainty:
Hands down, the 78-82 period was an actual crisis that exceeds the one we currently face.
… One last point, though – this repeated phrase: “the worst recession since the 1930’s” pretend that one were judging economic crisis on a scale of 1 to 100. We’ll give the great depression a score of 85. This current crisis is about a 20. Put the other crisis in the system, and we’ll give the 80’s a low score of 10.
Your intellectual “brinksmanship” demands that you point out that our current crisis is the closest we have ever been to the great depression, without ANY OTHER scale. You repeatedly use the phrase, without any acknowledgement that on the spectrum, our position is FAR CLOSER to our modest recessions, than the great depression.
FM reply: The current downturn is the worst since the 1930’s by almost every metric. And the gap continues to widen. Most obviously, this recession is longer, but also…
- employment — down aprox 5.2% from peak, greatest decline since the 1930’s (graph).
- personal income — down almost 4% annualized, first negative since 1960.
- personal expenditures — down over 2% annualized, first negative since 1960.
- manufactures’ capacity utilization is 69%, a post-1930’s low.
- industrial production at -13% YoY, a post-WWII low.
- business earings – S&P 500 eps down-91% vs. down 74% in 1929-32.
- trade (per Krugman: “has fallen through the floor in a way that it literally never has before, including in the Great Depression”),
Compare this downturn in GDP to the other severe “gdp recessions” since WWII:
Start……….End……Duration…Drop in GDP (duration in months)
(source: Bureau of Economic Analysis)
Due to the large and rapid federal stimulus programs (poorly designed as they were), this recession’s drop in aggregate demand (GDP) was muted, compared to the decline in most economic factors.
In a few respects this downturn is almost as bad — or worse (e.g., foreclosures) than the 1930’s:
- ”A Tale of Two Depressions“, Barry Eichengreen and Kevin H. O’Rourke, VOX, 1 September 2009
- “The Labor Market during the Great Depression and the Current Recession“, Linda Levine, Congressional Research Service, 19 June 2009
Please share your comments by posting below. Per the FM site’s Comment Policy, please make them brief (250 word max), civil and relevant to this post. Or email me at fabmaximus at hotmail dot com (note the spam-protected spelling).
Reference pages about other topics appear on the right side menu bar, including About the FM website page.