The National Bureau of Economic Research – the official arbiter of when recessions begin and end – declared today that the December 2007 recession ended in June 2009. Click here to read NBER’s statement. Phew! And all this time I thought the recession was still going on. But it’s been over for a year.
Perhaps I was fooled by the continuing mortgage foreclosure crisis that kicked off the recession. Or maybe it was the nearly 10% unemployment and lack of job growth nearly everywhere you look. Or was it the fact that two to seven banks are taken over as failed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. nearly every Friday?
Was it the slowly disintigrating commercial real estate market? Or the stock market still stuck at about where it was in 1999?
Or was it the fact that it never made much sense that we’d escape a recession caused by too much borrowing and spending, by a lot more borrowing and spending?
In any case, I’m sure glad the recession is over. But I have a feeling I won’t have to wait long for the next one.
BP has put a permanent end to its leaking oil well, putting and end to its disaster but to the story. The amount of damage done by the spewing well is still being calculated. I talk about it on Denver’s NBC affiliate, 9News, along with America’s growing poverty rate and something called “corn sugar.”
Expect underwear for Christmas, a top Wal-Mart executive predicts.
Fruit of the Loom may be all anyone can afford these days, and it’s probably a better gift than fruit cake.
With American’s poverty rate is on the rise, Wal-Mart is learning how to deal with a customer base that is increasingly living on government assistance, Bill Simon, CEO of Wal-Mart’s U.S. business, said last week.
See how Simon describes a typical end-of-the-month shopping spree at Wal-Mart.
Click here to read column in The Sunday Wall Street Journal.
The plan for millions of Americans, apparently, is to die before retirement.
Americans’ retirement funds are a collective $6.6 trillion short, according to a study released in Washington today by “Retirement USA,” a group advocating for a new retirement system. Yes, that’s TRILLION with a T! One used to have to study astrophysics to run across numbers that large.
Click here to read a press release from the group. The numbers are based on projections for workers aged 32-64.
“The key sources of income that retirees have relied on are either under attack – in the case of Social Security – or disappearing – in the case of traditional pensions,” Ross Eisenbrey, vice president of the Economic Policy Institute, said in the press release.“401(k) plans are not working, and millions of workers have neither a pension nor a 401(k) account. Clearly, the current private retirement system is failing most Americans.”
Posted by Al Lewison September 15, 2010 Gulf Spill /
Dan and Jeri Clark of Denver bought a beach store in Mexico Beach, Fla., at the start of the year, and they have had an usually rough go with a cold winter, a stalled economic recovery and then the oil spill.
But all is not as bad as it sounds in the news. Despite sweeping setbacks that are largely out of the Clark’s control, they say the year may not end up so bad after all. Their white sand beach wasn’t sacked by tar balls and remains as beautiful as ever.
Posted by Al Lewison September 14, 2010 Gulf Spill /
BP’s payments to fishermen are getting snagged in the bureacracy beneath Kenneth Feinberg, who was appointed by the Obama Administration to manage a $20 billion fund for oil spill victims. Feinberg, a fine orator, has offered a lot of reasons why this is happenening, but fishermen are left saying, “Show me the money.” I talk about it with Fox Business News Anchor David Asman.
It’s not high-fructose corn syrup. It’s corn sugar, baby.
The Corn Refiners Association on Tuesday applied to the Food and Drug Administration to change the name of its product on food labels to corn sugar. Click here to read more from The Associated Press.
High-fructose corn syrup has been vilified as one of the main ingredients in America’s obesity epidemic. But I guess it’s OK to drink it in mass quantities of soda and fake fruit juices if they can call it a more natural-sounding name like corn sugar.
Maybe they should just call it corn vitamins while they are at it, and get rid of “sugar” altogether. Or how about corn honey? Flavored with pure corn honey. Now that sounds nutritious. You could have it with a fist full of candy corn. Click here for more delicious corn sugar spin.
Posted by Al Lewison September 12, 2010 Al On TV /
Health care costs are rising, despite health care reform. I talk about it on Denver’s 9News with anchor Eric Kahnert. Separately, I also talk about how much we’re paying for GM CEOs and rising poverty levels.