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July 22, 2012

Another Recession Approaching?

Dismal earnings, lowest since 2008, point to recession.

While this quarter's earnings reports have crossed a substantially lowered profit bar, future expectations through the year indicate a recession could be on the way.

Estimates for the third and fourth quarters have been dropped to levels not seen since the days of the 2008 financial crisis, below even the muted 2 percent expected level of inflation.

That's an ominous recession sign for an economy that has barely managed to attain positive growth this year even with the strong level of earnings beats, according to an analysis by Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at ConvergEx in New York.

Nouriel Roubini says "we're not even close to a robust recovery." Was that just a nice way of saying we're headed toward recession? You know, like "I'm not even close to losing weight" kind of means I'm eating chocolate eclairs like there's no tomorrow? How about any recovery?

The reality is the opposite: For several reasons, growth will slow further in the second half of 2012 and be even lower in 2013—close to stall speed. First, growth in the second quarter has decelerated from a mediocre 1.8 percent in January-March, as job creation—averaging 70,000 a month—fell sharply.

I know almost nothing about economics, but the idea of printing money doesn't sound good because... printing money. (If that link fails, you can get to the article from Drudge's "third round of pumping" link.) And it seems like it would be especially painful for those on fixed incomes, since it makes their money worth less. Right? And we've already tried that anyway. A couple of times. What would be the point now? Maybe some of our resident econ whizes would care to explain.

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posted by rdbrewer at 07:53 PM

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