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Friday, February 13, 2009

Great Recession Roundup — February 13, 2009

Items of Interest:

David Stout / New York Times:
Stimulus Bill Passes in the House With No G.O.P. Support — The House approved a $787 billion economic stimulus package Friday afternoon, with Democrats successfully promoting it as a boost for middle-class Americans and Republicans countering in vain that it will only stimulate wasteful government spending...

The Politico:
Hardened Obama plans new fights — Emboldened by his victory on the stimulus package — but chastened by the pothole-pocked road that got him there —President Barack Obama and his aides are plunging ahead on a large and expensive agenda that virtually assures 2009 will be marked …
Karl Rove / The Huffington Post:
Rahm: Obama Lost Control Of Stimulus Debate -- White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, in an interview with reporters, conceded that President Obama lost control of the stimulus debate by focusing too much on bipartisan outreach. The Wall Street Journal reports...
Al Giordano / The Field on the Narcosphere: Stimulating! — The US House has approved the final House …
Dday / Hullabaloo: Not One Single Vote, Again
Steve Chaggaris / CBS News: Morning Bulletin - Friday, Feb. 13, 2009
Mary Katharine Ham / Weekly Standard:
Caterpillar Workers Oppose Stimulus, Despite Obama's Visit, Implausible Promises -- Rep. Aaron Schock's constituents were urged by the president himself to tell Schock to vote "yes," but he was not approached by one constituent, Caterpillar employee or otherwise, asking him to support the stimulus. Democrats can pass this monstrosity because they control both houses, but they should never get away with painting criticism of it as unreasonable or purely partisan. Criticism comes from every quarter— even from laid-off workers who are subject to an onslaught of the president's patented Promises of an Implausible Nature and Grandiloquence of Economic Gloom...
Rasmussen Reports:
Specter Vote For Stimulus Hurts Him Back Home — Senator Arlen Specter is one of only three Republicans to support the economic stimulus bill in Congress, and the latest Rasmussen Reports survey in Pennsylvania shows that his position is costing him support back home...
How the Crash Will Reshape AmericaRichard Florida / The Atlantic:
How the Crash Will Reshape America -- The crash of 2008 continues to reverberate loudly nationwide—destroying jobs, bankrupting businesses, and displacing homeowners. But already, it has damaged some places much more severely than others. On the other side of the crisis, America’s economic landscape will look very different than it does today. What fate will the coming years hold for New York, Charlotte, Detroit, Las Vegas? Will the suburbs be ineffably changed? Which cities and regions can come back strong? And which will never come back at all?...

Sadly and unjustly, the places likely to suffer most from the crash—especially in the long run—are the ones least associated with high finance. While the crisis may have begun in New York, it will likely find its fullest bloom in the interior of the country—in older, manufacturing regions whose heydays are long past and in newer, shallow-rooted Sun Belt communities whose recent booms have been fueled in part by real-estate speculation, overdevelopment, and fictitious housing wealth. These typically less affluent places are likely to become less wealthy still in the coming years, and will continue to struggle long after the mega-regional hubs and creative cities have put the crisis behind them.

The Rust Belt in particular looks likely to shed vast numbers of jobs, and some of its cities and towns, from Cleveland to St. Louis to Buffalo to Detroit, will have a hard time recovering...
Paul Kedrosky / Infectious Greed: How the Crash Will Reshape America
Edmund L. Andrews / NY Times:
Fed Calls Gain in Family Wealth a Mirage — The leap in wealth that Americans thought they were enjoying over the last several years has already turned out to be a mirage, according to new estimates by the Federal Reserve...
Albert Bozzo / CNBC:
Why This Recession Seems Worse Than '70s and '80s -- If you think this recession is the worst since World War II, chances are you weren't born or working during the downturns of the 1970s and '80s, you're listening to President Obama too much or you're a white-collar worker in financial services.

If all three are true, you may even think we’re on the verge of another Great Depression.

At this point, the only thing that may be true is your age and employment status.

“The current situation has nothing in common with the Great Depression,” says economist Steve Hanke of the Cato Institute and Johns Hopkins University. “The sooner they [in Washington] stop spinning the bad news story and say nothing, the sooner we’ll be more confident.”Hanke is not alone in dismissing what appears to be a potent cocktail of misinformation and doom and gloom, wherein the current recession—now in its 13th month—is already considered worse than the 16-month ones of 1973-1975 and 1980-1982...
Daniel Gross / Slate: This Isn't Your Grandfather's Recession