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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Calling all cars...please respond to a CRASH

I'm a pretty positive guy and I like to try to find the silver lining in the dark clouds. Sometimes it's pretty tough, though. Today, for instance, we see that there was an increase in the number of initial jobless claims. In fact, it is now estimated that this recession (are we still in it or are we out - I'll get to that in a minute) will probably cost us another 1,000,000 jobs before it's all said and done. As for the recession, there is a group of economists that officially declare whether the recession is over and they have not done that yet.

As for me, I think it's pretty clear that we are still in it despite the recent GDP reading of close to 6% annual growth. I personally think that figure was (highly) skewed by the bailout money and the holidays. However, the silver lining is that we are more than 2.5 years into the crisis that began the recession when the credit markets froze and the housing bubble popped. Each day we are in it is one day closer to getting out of it.

On an even more positive note, the free money from the government that is the homebuyer tax credit is still in play - at least until April 30th for getting a house under contract and June 30th to close on the house. Free money is a great thing and the more people buy homes and use that money for stuff for their homes (and perhaps to invest a little for retirement), the better we are going to be relative to getting out of the recession. There is no simple solution to a complex problem; ultimately we will all be hurt by this and make sacrifices (many of us already have). But we are a resilient country and our citizens are behind that resiliency. I believe that sooner rather than later we will right this ship and get back on the path to growth.

I'd love to hear your comments and ideas. Feel free to leave them.

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