Saturday, July 19, 2008

Concisely Painful Economic Forecast

I'm sure it'll be blogged to death, but the NY Times' Uncomfortable Answers to Questions on the Economy is really, really good. And not in its positive outlook, but in its format. Simple questions, concise yet broad answers. What the average person really wants to know about what the hell is going on out there, but was afraid to ask.

Is This a Recession? Who knew some private institution was the semantic god of the big "R" word, no wonder economists are arguing over are we or aren't we ad nauseum. So the Economic Bureau of Economic Research says no, most others say yes. The article breaks down why.

How Bad is Housing? The article is fantastic when it talks about housing. They break it down, and the gravitational free fall isn't over yet. Economists expect another 10-15% drop in housing prices, and there's currently enough homes on the market to satisfy 2+ years of demand, without ever having to build another. I'm no real estate guru, but that sucks tailpipe.

When Will Banks Revive? $300 billion in write offs with an expected ceiling of $1 trillion. Those numbers are so off the charts they mean nothing to me. Other than someone made a $h*tload of money f@ck*ng up. Again, the article does a short and sweet breakdown, but you read stuff like that and you just want to go out and kick some banker butt.

Is My Job Safe? It aint over 'til the fat lady sings, and she's not even warming up yet. We're workers in an economic Jenga, and pile that on with wallet busting gas prices, 5% overall inflation, lower wages-- it's a bleak picture. That said, "only" a few hundred thousand more workers will lose their jobs. “In every dimension, people are worse off than they were,” said Mr. Roubini, the New York University economist. In a market of millions, cross your fingers and hope your job has nothing to do with the housing market.

Are Consumers Done? and the last question, an American favorite, Who's to Blame? This is the part that's horrifying. Consumer spending counts for nearly 70% of all economic activity. Are ya kidding me?? My take is, you can't have your cake and eat it too. I don't care where you got your MBA from. You can't feed the American consumer indigestible food, watch them puke it up, and blame them for the mess. Look, obviously as a PF blogger I have my issues with those who spend beyond their means. But get real. The blame goes high and low, and pretty much nobody is unscathed. And that's the part of the article most painful. Yes, we all did this to ourselves, but we sure had some help along the way.


SavingDiva said...

Thanks for the link! I hadn't seen this article!

PiggyBankBlues said...

you're welcome :)

StockStudent said...

Nice article. I have just subscribed to your feed. I look forward to reading more!

PiggyBankBlues said...

thanks, stockstudent! i should be back to regular posting, so hopefully my feed will actually get fed...