You can see more Fitzsimmons cartoons here.
Here's John Mauldin's views on a double dip recession from a post on Barry Ritholtz's Big Picture blog. I've bolded the key parts:
Remember all the bulls and cheerleaders late last year and into this one talking about a V-shaped recovery? They were making their projections based on what had happened in past recessions. I (and others) argued that that data was meaningless, as it did not reflect the fact that a balance-sheet recession requires years of deleveraging, is inherently deflationary, and all the factors that produce the normal “V” are no longer in play. Bank lending is still dropping. Savings rates go up. Debt gets paid down. Governments run into limits as to how much they can stimulate the economy without creating large and destabilizing debt. Central banks push rates to zero, and then what? This is a far different environment than we have had for the last 70 years. Using past performance to predict future results when the future environment is significantly different than the period in which the data was collected is misleading at best and worthless at worst, leading to bad decisions. Much better to deal with reality.My personal view is that the US will avoid a double dip recession. The prognosticators I follow most closely are the Bank of Montreal economists in their publication Focus (they update it every Friday and put the link here).
And just to show that I am really the optimist in the room, let’s turn to my good friend David Rosenberg, writing this morning under the following headline:“U.S. RECESSION NEVER ENDED; GDP TO CONTRACT IN Q3
“Our suspicions have been confirmed – the recession never ended. Macroeconomic Advisers produces a monthly U.S. real GDP series and it shows that the peak was in April, as we expected, with both May and June down 0.4% in the worst back-to-back performance since the economy was crying Uncle! back in the depths of despair in September-October 2008. The quarterly data show that Q2 stands at a +1.1% annual rate (so look for a steep downward revision for last quarter) and the ‘build in’ for Q3 is -1.5% at an annual rate. Depending on the data flow through the July-September period, it looks like we could see a -0.5% to -1% annualized pace for the current quarter. Most economists have cut their forecasts but are still in a +2.5% to +3.5% range. What is truly amazing is that despite all the fiscal, monetary, and bailout stimulus, the level of real economy activity, as per the M.A. monthly data, is still 2.5% below the prior peak. To put this fact into context, the entire peak-to-trough contraction in the 2001 recession was 1.3%! That is incredible.
“Interestingly, and dovetailing nicely with our deflation theme, nominal GDP fell 0.3% in May and by 0.4% in June. This is a key reason why Treasury yields are melting.”
Politicians are going to be greeted with a GDP number for the third quarter, right before the elections. Will it be negative like Rosie thinks? I am not sure, but in any event it will not be good. Structural unemployment will still be over 10% and deficits will be high.
But it is not just rising unemployment claims. Yesterday’s Phillie Fed report was just awful. Buried in the details was the fact that the hours-worked index is collapsing, consistent with previews to past recessions. Very worrisome. (From my favorite slicer and dicer of data, Greg Weldon: www.weldononline.com)
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Bottom line? It is going to be a tough environment for the next 6-8 years. That is just what happens when you have a deleveraging / balance sheet / deflationary / end of the Debt Supercycle recession. It is what it is, and no amount of wishing or finger pointing can change the facts.
Let me take a moment and offer some sympathy to President Obama. This recession/slow period is not his fault. Obamacare? A now-trillion-dollar stimulus? Those he owns. But the recession/credit crisis would have happened if McCain had been elected.