“Don’t count your recoveries before they’re hatched.”

So says Paul Krugman, who agrees with our assessment of the economy. As we noted a few weeks ago, its not getting better, its only getting worse more slowly.

And the same damn fools who missed the oncoming freight train in the first place are now busy declaring its all clear. They were wrong before and they are wrong now.

Krugman:

Even when it’s over, it won’t be over. The 2001 recession officially lasted only eight months, ending in November of that year. But unemployment kept rising for another year and a half. The same thing happened after the 1990-91 recession. And there’s every reason to believe that it will happen this time too. Don’t be surprised if unemployment keeps rising right through 2010.

Why? “V-shaped” recoveries, in which employment comes roaring back, take place only when there’s a lot of pent-up demand. In 1982, for example, housing was crushed by high interest rates, so when the Fed eased up, home sales surged. That’s not what’s going on this time: today, the economy is depressed, loosely speaking, because we ran up too much debt and built too many shopping malls, and nobody is in the mood for a new burst of spending.

Employment will eventually recover — it always does. But it probably won’t happen fast.

Ever notice how poorly Human Beings conceptualize time? The idea that events occur slowly, take patience, prudence, and above all the slow elapsing of the calendar seems to be beyond many people’s ability to comprehend. It makes me understand why some folks want to believe *all of this* is only 5,000 years old — they can wrap their heads around that number.

V-shaped recovery? Ha! Long lived the “L” . . . .

>

Previously:
Getting Worse More Slowly (April 8, 2009)

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/misunderstanding-positive-data/

Bear Market Rally ? (April 12, 2009)

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/bear-market-rally-4/

Source:
Green Shoots and Glimmers
Paul Krugman
NYT, April 17, 2009

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/17/opinion/17krugman.html

Category: Economy

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

63 Responses to “Green Shoots Are For Suckers”

  1. zell says:

    It’s also a problem with linear thinking. There are only saw toothed economic charts. Stocks have to go up so they can go down and the obverse. The market has to change direction. Perma bulls look up to the stratosphere; Perma bears extrapolate to the center of the earth. The further you get in either direction the greater the resistance to progression. The real bottom line is animal spirits. Green shoot rebirth. Easter bonnets. Seasonality. Sell in May and go away. Green Shoots is so Madison Avenue it drives me nuts. Next is the Jolly Green Giant. Sorry.

  2. call me ahab says:

    C and GE better than expected- wow- who would have thunk? Not that the fix wasn’t in or anything.

  3. People can’t grasp big numbers. A trillion is just like a billion but with a t, right?

    You were not a billion seconds old until you turned 31 years old…….

    A trillion seconds? That would have been about 29,579 B.C. when Neanderthals were roaming Europe and the last ice age was still covering my house with a mile of ice.

  4. call me ahab says:

    and to think it only took hundreds of billions of dollars from the USG to get the *Stellar* results- if Wall Street wets themselves over these bogus results- then I have to question their intelligence in relation to the “Bell Curve”- “dull normals” would be generous.

  5. krice2001 says:

    Seems to me there are a few things operating here:
    1) Some people are sensing a mild inflection change from getting worse very rapidly to “getting worse more slowly”. It could feel good after so many months of sharp downturn even if the reality is, things are not yet getting better.
    2) The administration feels obligated, and of course it’s policitically beneficial, to be optimistic about how their efforts are panning out.
    3) After so much bad news, especially over the last 18 months or so, it’s easy to get many people to gravitate towards any positive signs that can be grasped.

    I guess it’s not suprising that there is some degree of optimism out there right now. I just hope it doesn’t come crashing down on more or less “innocent” market participants who desperately just want to make up for some of their substantial losses.

  6. JustinTheSkeptic says:

    Our nation gets more polyannish each day. It reminds me of an old country and western tune. “These rose colorer glasses that I’m looking through show only the beauty and hide all the truth.”

  7. call me ahab says:

    krice2001 Says:

    “I just hope it doesn’t come crashing down on more or less “innocent” market participants who desperately just want to make up for some of their substantial losses.”

    Well- if they were buy and hold- it won’t matter- but if they decide to jump in feet first with cash in a long position- that could be a crusher. The B&H crowd already got crushed. A lot of people lost their money not in 1929 but in 1931

    check out these excellent quotes from 1929 to 1933

    http://www.gold-eagle.com/editorials_01/seymour062001.html

  8. wally says:

    I got my annual summary/sales pitch mailing from Wells Fargo’s 401K (through my office) yesterday. The usual self-serving stuff: buy and hold is great (asterisk: but you might lose money) and the usual chart showing recent past history proving that ‘the market always comes back’. With that, of course, is the disclaimer that past perormance does not predict blah, blah, blah.

    The hypocrisy made me laugh: if you believe past performance does not predict, then you would not put such charts in the report. If you put the chart in, you clearly imply that it has meaning and predictive power. But for those guys, it is all about sales and commissions… and it shows.

  9. some_guy_in_a_cube says:

    This whole “Green Shoots” thing has the feel of some kind of talking point hatched at some tony Georgetown dinner party. If this is the best they can do, then our great men know nothing and we are on our own.

  10. SWMOD52 says:

    @wally

    The mutual fund industry is a total rip-off: “the way to make money on wall street is to work on wall street”.

    Does anyone subscribe to the Gartman Letter. He seems good so I went to his website:

    http://www.thegartmanletter.com/

    But there is nothing there. Just click on subscriber information and it put you in your email to send them I note.

    I did send a note but got no response. I’ll add them to the list of Kass, Ritholtz who don’t respond.

  11. Stuart says:

    after gagging over the means by which JPM and WFC reported their “profit”, ya, green shoots my arse. More like smoke and mirrors intended for a public ramp job. Astonishing that Bloomberg (Johnathan Weil), amongst others can also circulate much of the rouse throughout the MSM and yet JPM and WFC still get backing from “conventional” analysts and the charade continues, because much of TPTB want it too. It’s really that simple IMO. The green shoot theory and tacit dismissal of whatever will upset the apple-cart intent on maintaining the story of bank profitability is part of the same ole charade, consistent with all efforts taken by the Treasury et al to “will” up the value of financials, facts be damned. Can’t let facts get in the way of a good ole public bull trap. also can’t wait to delve into the details on C and GE….. with my spittoon at my side of course.

  12. VennData says:

    Nobel to the economist who can find a clever way measure “pent-up demand.”

    “…I looked into their eyes… He said from the dais in Stockholm.. and I saw, they wanted more handbags and new wheel covers…”

  13. rktbrkr says:

    I though I had grown used to the cheerleading from CNBC but yesterday I heard on Bloomberg that March home sales had “stabilized” when actually they had dropped quite a bit. A month ago the headlines screamed Feb home sales had rebounded when actually they were down substantially YOY and increased insignificantly MTM especially considering seasonality.

    As another poster noted last week’s drop in job losses to “only” 610K was impacted by the holidays.

    It’s human nature to hope for good news but I think people are looking so hard that they are seeing things.

  14. hopeImwrong says:

    This may be an inflection point in the market. I thing a gap up is more bearish than bullish as the tape gets more and more extended to the upside. Any downside “bets” need to be protected with stops since we are still in an up trend, and catching inflection points (ask the bulls who tried on the way down) is very tricky business. Holding overnight, long or short, carries higher risk than normal, and may not be a match for everyones risk tolerance.

    There seems to be some capitulation happening on the short side, but they are still ready to jump, so the downside possibility doesn’t look to be a crash. Probably a slow grind with wicked reversals. It will probably either be a wave 2 correction in the uptrend (most likely), or a slow grind back down to re-test.

  15. rktbrkr says:

    The MTM easing for the banks should make banking more exciting, 1Q they can report record profits 2Q they will demand record government bailouts to cover “unexpected” defaults on mortgages, commercial loans and credit cards. The impact of job losses is cumulative and even if they occasionally dip from week to week there are ever more Americans in dire straights.

  16. call me ahab says:

    @ hopeImwrongam

    I am more inclined to believe that we may be bouncing around a narrow band- I see no reason for the market to continue on the uptrend- we have recovered from crushing pessimism but there is no reason to be excited about the hopes for the economy in general. As I keep saying “where is the good news”. There isn’t any- just “less bad news. “

  17. Stuart says:

    From Joseph Stiglitz’s comments

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=afYsmJyngAXQ&refer=home

    “All the ingredients they have so far are weak, and there are several missing ingredients,” Stiglitz said in an interview yesterday. The people who designed the plans are “either in the pocket of the banks or they’re incompetent.”

    That latter sentence is key as it pertains to why there exists a green shoot theory.

  18. Rajesh says:

    Not ‘L’, we could have a nice ‘W’ recession if we work real hard on it.

  19. hopeImwrong says:

    @call me ahab

    I can see a long sideways move as a possibility, but I don’t think it is the path of “maximum frustration” for market participants. So I think it is lower probability. I’m not sure if the Gov’t and “banks” will be satisfied with sideways markets either. If they are ok with a sideways move, it is much more likely.

  20. constantnormal says:

    One must ask the question, Why such an effort to show that “the crisis is over” for the financial industry when it is obvious that it is not, what with unemployment continuing to rise, foreclosures continuing to increase, and housing prices continuing to slide?

    I think the obvious answer is to lure in the pool of money on the sidelines, an amount a broker has told me is “larger than the S&P 500 market cap”.

    If the Chinese are reluctant to continue to throw good money after bad, and the Fed is “only” willing to print $300B to feed the bankstsrs, where else can one find the amount of money needed to erase their toxic debt without bankruptcy?

  21. DL says:

    Since when are stock market investors deterred by a high unemployment rate?

  22. Steve Barry says:

    Time to totally ignore MSM analysis of corporate results. The truth is

    GE profit down 35% y/y (sounds like an earnings depression)

    For Reggie Middleton readers, read between the lines on Goldman.

    As for Google, I posted last night that growth hit a brick wall, thanks to the dollar finally going the other way. Their results have been goosed for years due to a weak dollar and this qtr will be even worse…I project a 20% hit or more to foreign earnings.

  23. zell says:

    I was watching c-span when Carolyn Maloney, D. Manhattan and grand poobah of some committee coaxed the Green Shoots remark from Bernanke with her question: “Don’t you have any good news?’ Bernanke answered sheepishly with seeing green shoots. Looked very staged.
    Bernanke has alot to answer for; must feel like crap considering the destruction he helped Greenspan unleash. The Merchants of Menace on the Street took in alot of megabucks on the ride while the retail investor was slaughtered.
    Main Street is the sacrficial lamb.

  24. Marcus Aurelius says:

    Even though the market has rebounded, somewhat, the fundamentals of our economic system, generally, and toxins we are absolutely sure are in the pipeline, draw the honest observer back to the reality of our situation. It’s the same way many of us saw things during the internet and housing booms – the tale of the tape defies the reality of the situation. You simply cannot have things both ways.

    As for optimism vs. pessimism, neither changes reality when you’re watching a barn burn.

    We all know that what’s coming down the pipes isn’t good.

  25. rob says:

    “Pent up demand…” that is what I’d suggest is on the mind of every short right now! Just need a fuse to set this keg off!

  26. call me ahab says:

    hopeImwrong Says:

    “but I don’t think it is the path of “maximum frustration” for market participants.”

    ? please explain. It seems to me a 1970 style Dow would be the maximum in frustration

  27. zell says:

    I read somewhere this AM that C’s profits were puffed up by a 2007 accounting change that allows the recording as profit the difference between your paper value for a property and it’s current reduced value on the basis that it can now buy that property back at a bargain price. Very convoluted. Did anyone else see that?

  28. Marcus Aurelius says:

    constantnormal Says:

    “. . . where else can one find the amount of money needed to erase their toxic debt without bankruptcy?”
    _______

    This is the crux of the problem, in a nutshell. The real money supply is dwarfed by the real level of debt. The debt will not be paid, because it cannot be paid. We’re in an inflate-or-perish scenario, and inflation is not imminent (not that it won’t happen, eventually, but it’s not happening now, and there’s no indication that it will happen in the foreseeable future).

    We (more accurately, our “leaders”) are afraid of financial restructuring. The social restructuring that will take place as a result of this misplaced fear will teach us the true meaning of too little, too late.

  29. Steve Barry says:

    Wouln’t the irony be delicious if the market crashed on CNBC’s 20th Anniversary?

  30. hopeImwrong says:

    Big picture – longer term:
    Maximum frustration is up when most players are short the market (or on the sidelines).
    Maximum frustration is down when most players are long.

    Medium term:
    Maximum frustration is when the market swings just far enough against the trend to shake out weak holders before resuming the trend. Even stronger holders will be fooled when breakouts fail fast, or major levels don’t “hold” and then the market reverses.

    Short term:
    Whipsaws for traders.

    A sideways market only is frustrating for options buyers.

    A low volitility market is frustrating for day traders

  31. danm says:

    I felt sick to my stomach this morning while eating my breakfast… I was reading the business section and they take whatever is bad and manage to spin it into good news:

    - Not-so-bad earnings good enough for gains

    - Has elusive ‘second derivative’ arrived?

    - Junk bonds signal revival of credit

    - Profit surprises buoy investors

  32. Steve Barry says:

    Question to you all:

    Looks like gold is breaking down technically…is this a sign that fear is abating or that deflation is surging?

  33. Steve Barry says:

    Good call Najarian…Google is basically 400 after earnings like you said. Doesn’t look solid though IMO.

  34. call me ahab says:

    Steve-

    I think fear is abating- although deflation is real- all the news stories about companies cutting wages- the most recent example Best Buy- indicates deflation. Weren’t wages supposed to be “sticky” going down.

  35. dead hobo says:

    Yeah, but analyst expectations have been beat, baby! That’s all that matters. All you need to do to succeed in this environment is tell an analyst you suck. Then you report you suck a little less than you let the analyst believe. Bloweee! Instant market cap when the suckers see the eps figure you ginned up. It’s an oldie but a goodie that always works.

  36. Michel Caldwell says:

    @ Ahab:
    Thanks for the link to the quotes. I plan to post them on a wall as a reminder that even the experts have animal spirits. However, does anyone have a similar list of quotes that can be found from triumphant bears towards the end of a bear market? They proved to be equally fallacious. I would like to post that list as well and then spend my time worrying about which list I should append any new “expert” comments I hear.
    It has been 40 years since I had calculus so forgive my rustiness, but it seems to me that the problem with inflection point thinking is that we were always talking about well defined (well behaving) mathematical formulae (functions) such as sine waves or parabolas. They had the property that an inflection point in the second derivative was necessarily followed by a similar inflection in the first derivative. Thus an increase in the second derivative can reliably foretell an improving first derivative.
    Unfortunately the possibility of a cubic function may exist where the second derivative turns negative before the first derivative can show much improvement…
    One other off-the-wall musing….
    Has the market forgotten about political risk? What would happen if we had another man-made disaster? Do participants believe that Obama affection guarantees that no one will ever dislike us again? What level of caution is appropriate if you wish to consider this risk? Fixating on such a potential risk could cause an investor to stay shell-shocked in his cave during a major bull market just as fear of getting hit by a car could cause some to never get out of bed yet ignoring it could also be disadvantageous.

  37. franklin411 says:

    @Barry,
    Sorry, but this is just an angst-ridden post. You seem, above all else, to be upset that you were wrong. Look, nobody’s so good that they can call the exact bottom in the economy (although kudos to Jim Cramer, Doug Kass and President Obama, all of whom accomplished this). The most we can expect from ourselves is to admit it when we’re wrong.

    And you were wrong. This economy has bottomed.

  38. Stuart says:

    re: Gold, my 2 cents are in the fear is abating camp. Hence, I think it’s temporary because I do not believe for a second the fundamentals behind that reasoning.

  39. Mannwich says:

    @borchers, I mean franklin411: ???? So that’s it, right? The economy’s definitely “bottomed” and it’s up, up, and up from here? A little early for the “Mission Accomplished” victory dance, don’t you think? Stick around on TBP this year. It’s going to be an interesting one with many twists and turns to come.

  40. Mike in Nola says:

    Re: Conceptualization of Time

    It is something that occurs again and again. A good example is some of the establishment saying that since the predictions of Krugman, Roubinin and Taleb took awhile to play out, they were just lucky.

    I have to admit I am bad about this also, getting bullish and bearish too early. Again, it’s the difference between knowing what’s coming and the when it will hit.

    I would not be surprised if the concerted effort of government and big business can keep this rally going awhile.

    AhabDoesn’t look like my reply got posted last night. I am from NOLA now residing in Houston. Officially a Texan since Dec. NOLA has gotten a bit too wild, e.g. a few months ago two cars riding down an expressway had a shootout like in the old gangster movies, in broad daylight. Here in Houston, you’ve more in danger of getting shot by the police than the criminals.

  41. “It makes me understand why some folks want to believe *all of this* is only 5,000 years old”

    But Barry, it is only about 5,000 years old, if you mean the change from hunting/gathering to agriculture, and really, all we are and have been doing for the last 5,000 years or so is trading, manipulating, hoarding, etc. the agricultural surpluses upon which all of civilization depends:)

    @franklin411–you need to be less straightforward in your posts. Simple math means that being paid by the word means there are more words produced. Ask a lawyer.

  42. MexicaliBlues says:

    @hopeImwrong:

    Nice posts, I agree with the long, intermediate and short term. Went into neutral after being whipsawed a couple times the last few weeks.

  43. call me ahab says:

    hopeImwrong

    thanks for the follow up- my line of reasoning was that a sustained flat projectory in a long position would be frustrating for anyone hoping to make money in the market- assuming a diversified portfolio (not speculators)

  44. franklin411 says:

    @Curmudgeon,
    Yes, but you forget that I’m also Lloyd Blankfein. I’m too obscenely rich to worry about my 3 cents a word, but apparently I have plenty of time and interest in trolling obscure blogs =)

  45. Todd says:

    Gold: Fear has abated, inflation is still a ways off. Next fear event GM, but we have a few weeks before that starts weighing upon the market.

    I’m in the camp of we are not going to get anywhere fast, and Govt debt will be a big enough drag to prevent solid growth.

    Fast run ups end in only one way, fast run downs.

  46. leftback says:

    @Franklin/Blankfein: You should go in the penalty box for calling TBP an obscure blog.

  47. dave says:

    I am no economist, so please correct me, but it seems like housing got us into this mess, and, IMHO, we are nowhere near a bottom in housing prices. Record number of NOD hitting California in March and given the growing layoffs, I expect that trend to continue. Remember the adverse stress test numbers. I think by summer we will shoot right through those. This could cause second derivative to go negative again, and if that happens, say hello to a retest of the market lows.

  48. DL says:

    Gold got too far ahead of itself. Investors reacted to all of the money printing by the Fed (and other central bankers). Virtually EVERYONE was bullish on gold. I think that some of that bullishness has to be worked off in the short term; longer term (next two years) I think it’ll get above $2000.

  49. Steve Barry says:

    What I know about Elliot Waves can fill a thimble…but even I see Google completing a fifth up wave on a 2 day basis…a bigger pattern 5th wave on a month long basis, and a bigger one since November…all seem to be ready to reverse at the same time…any experts out there?

  50. Mike in Nola says:

    Zell: Have Bloomberg playing on the laptop in the background and one of the reporters just said that C made its money this itime from credit default swaps against itself and others. C’s creditworthiness it went down, so it made money. Same thing for some trading partners it had bought CDS on. As she said: “These are not exactly quality earnings.”

    Re: gold Mish has a long (and I think good) analysis showing that there is a lot more deflation than the government and MSM admit.

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/04/deflation-has-gone-global.html

  51. dead hobo says:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aE9fH8jOO2Ts&refer=home

    Excerpts
    —————-
    Citigroup Inc., the U.S. bank rescued by $45 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds, ended a five- quarter losing streak with a $1.6 billion profit on trading gains and an accounting benefit for companies in distress.

    The bank reported $4.69 billion of fixed-income trading revenue in the quarter, compared with a trading loss of $7.02 billion a year earlier. Stock-trading revenue was $1.9 billion, a 94 percent increase.

    Citigroup posted a $2.5 billion gain from accounting rules that allow companies to profit when their own creditworthiness declines. The rules reflect the possibility that a company could buy back its own liabilities at a discount, which under traditional accounting methods would result in a profit.

    *********************
    1.6 billion, less 4.69 billion less 2.5 billion = 5.59 billion Loss.

    They suck.

    Using arithmetic,

  52. Stuart says:

    Ya, but Mish is an advocate for buying gold. Deflation values money and Mish is of the opinion Gold is real money. If you correlate the downturn with bullion to the upturn in stocks, it’s evident money the safety trade was at work and is subsiding for the moment. Add to that conjecture that China is focusing more on copper and less on gold as a hedge against the dollar, well fast money is switching out of gold and into copper adding more pressure on bullion. My thought is to buy this dip as I think both factors are unsustainable. In fact the rally in the stock market, notably financials is more much Washington based intervention, certainly not because of a real economic improvement to the fundamentals of the banks.

  53. Steve Barry says:

    Agree with Mish…and since this credit runup dwarfs the one in the 1920s, we are in for a massive, unprecedented defaltion. Nothing can stop it….and I think gold will, at best, hold its value.

  54. franklin411 says:

    @Leftback:
    Which would you choose, if you were as wealthy as I (Lloyd):

    Option 1: Troll blogs

    Option 2: Supermodel Superparty

  55. Stuart says:

    Here’s a sample of a green shoot…. Unbelievable. Shitibank, while arguing against MTM because of the illiquid nature of many of the assets they hold, they still use it to mark down their own debt because it just happens to be to their advantage. Jesus frickin’ Murphy…..

  56. Mike in Nola says:

    Stuart: Not saying that gold will not be good in the long run, but the short term Weimar fears are really groundless. It’s the long term Weimar fears that are more realistic, but that’s at least a couple of years away. I plan to buy on the dip after it drops enough. Don’t know if I can tell the wife; she associates buying gold with the crazies.

  57. johnbougearel says:

    The “L” is Dead, Long Live the “L”
    ha-ha!

  58. Stuart says:

    Gold is an asset class like any other. I do also consider it currency and note it trades through the currency desks. There’s a time to buy it and related stocks and a time not too. I think this is definitely a time to accumulate and have been doing so since 2003 (metal and stocks) and looking at my overall portfolio balance and elated I made that call. 2003 was after I read a report by David Walker and concluded Govt debt default was imminent, and loss of confidence in the currency was therefore imminent. Of a sort of side interest has been an almost neurotic, obsessive attempt to discredit purchases by sooooo many, yet when I ask, they don’t really know. The exact polar opposite sentiment to goldbug of buy under any condition. I guess that is why most people lose money in the markets. When I overlay gold to the markets, particularly bank stocks, it’s immediately obvious gold is anti-bank. If you believe banks are safe, what’s the point of holding Au. If you think banks are worsening, accumulate Au on pullbacks and keep an eye to the longer term would be my advice.

  59. willid3 says:

    I think we will have an L. but only because the consumer (aka workers) have had no income growth in at least 8 years. I sort of understand why some are saying we have bottomed out, because as long as the consumer keeps their wallets closed, there will be no recovery. ever. problem is that same consumer is topped out and can’t do any thing. cause their incomes are just able to pay their bills today. so even if you could make the consumer not so gloomy, it will do no good. and they are under so much of a threat today of job loss or income cuts, they have no way of judging what is reasonable any more

  60. DeDude says:

    If a severe ressesion cuts 10% from the GDP and it is followed by a slow growth with a 1% GDP increase per year, it will take almost a decade of “economic growth” before you are back to where it all started. That is what happens when you talk about % changes rather than absolute numbers. It makes the word “recovery” so much easier to say :-).

    I sure hope there is some reality to this turning around. The “tax” on my 401K from the GOP “deregulate-and-close-your-eyes” policies, cost me more than all the income taxes I payed in the past 5 years combined. “The party of taxcuts” my pink little a$$ and give me another beer – its Friday.

  61. “…aka workers) have had no income growth in at least 8 years.”

    these ‘echo-chamber’ (D)s are hiliarous..

    try some *Reality–the US Worker is earning the same amount as he/she was in the early ’70s

    if they had any discenible increase in pay for 27 of those ~35 years, things, today, would be markedly different..

  62. stonehouse says:

    I am not so sure the poor conceptualization of time is a human failing so much as a western difference. I recall many years ago having dinner with a chinese business relationship in Beijing. During dinner we spoke of families and home life. He told me about his grandmother and how she was revered in the family. When I asked if she lived with them his answer told me I was dealing with a different concept of time in China. “uh, no, she died 50 years ago.”

    Much like the Paris negotiations during the Vietnam war. The US delegation had return tickets. The Vietnamese negotiators had bought a house.

    Settling in for the L.

  63. gloppie says:

    Not an “L” recession, nor a ” W” recession in my opinion.
    We are just starting our ” \” recession.
    Backslash for the backlash.

    Indeed we have a poor sense of time and scale, this recession is barely a year old, and only now starting to slowly not go down -so fast-, and we’re scratching our heads “is it over ?”
    But when you put 2 and 2 together and look at the UNPRECEDENTED amount of actions taken by not only the Fed (hat Saint Louis chart that shoots up), but Wall street too (Bank Holdings, “shotgun mergers” etc), AND individuals (saving rate finally going up, thrift…) since half of the downturn, and there is no effect, I mean we know that the Fed is boosting the Banks Mark-to-make-believe balance sheet, NOT our economy, as in mine or yours.
    No real effect whatsoever. Bankster hoard cash or expand if they can do while sticking the risk to J6P.
    So we’re still going down. Slower only for the lack of bad news, mind you. The fundamentals are horrid, rising unemployment is just going to choke any recovery, unless they can start a brand new market from scratch that does not depend on the consumer like 70% of the economy does.

    We’re not even close to have started to really go down is what I say. There will be social unrest. There will probably be wars too I fear. The overcapacity in Humans needs fixing, that’s all. Too many “me-first” ant-like Humans on this lonely speck of dust spinning in the vast and cold, unfriendly universe, going about their business and theirs alone, missing the Big Picture…..

    Here is a blow to your perception: We call our planet “Earth”, yet it’s surface is 71% water. How could we even pretend that we look at things correctly ?

    \ shaped I say

    I’ll repeat it one more time; DOW 3000.

    Have a great week end. We’ll see you next week.