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Thoughts From the Frontline, December 2009

The Age of Deleveraging

December 18, 2009

This is the season when pundits feel compelled to make annual forecasts. I will make mine, as I traditionally do, in the first letter of January. But already we have seen a wide range of forecasted outcomes. Are we going to grow at 5-6% or at 1-2% or dip back into recession? Why such disparity? I think part of the reason is a basic disagreement on the nature of the just-lapsed recession. Today we explore that issue. Then I point you to a way to help those who are desperately in need and only...

Thoughts on the Statistical Recovery

December 11, 2009

We are clearly starting to get some better data points here and there. But as I pointed out this summer, it is going to be a recovery in the statistics and not in the things that count, such as income and employment. This week we look at the nascent recovery (which could be at 3% this quarter) and try to peer out into the future to see what it means. We look at how recoveries come about, and why I am concerned that we will see a double-dip recession. Plus, I learned some new tricks courtesy of...

A Conversation with John

December 4, 2009

This week I am in New York, and have a whirlwind of meetings (and I admit, a lot of fun on the side) and not much time to write. I have been saving today's letter for a month or so, for a time such as this. Damien Hoffman of the Wall Street Cheat Sheet interviewed me and posted the transcript on his web site. I thought it was one of the better interviews I have done recently, and so it is this week's Thoughts from the Frontline. In addition to the wide-ranging economic questions, he asks...