Friday, March 14, 2008
Reuters is reporting on more talk of gloom and doom from Martin Feldstein. According to the President of the National Bureau of Economic Research, we are already in a recession that could be "substantially more severe" than recent recessions.
The former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and chief economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan also noted that "the situation is very bad, the situation is getting worse, and the risks are that it could get very bad".
Answering questions from the audience, Feldstein said the downturn could be the worst in the United States since World War Two.Speaking of gloom and doom, the blog you are now reading was found to be bringing up the rear on 10 Sites to See: Gloom and Doom Edition - behind Peter Shiff at No. 8 and Greg Mankiw at No. 9.
"The housing situation is getting worse by the day," he noted, as more and more houses drop below 100 percent loan-to-value ratios, encouraging homeowners to walk away from their properties.
More broadly, in global credit markets, "there is a lack of confidence leading to a lack of liquidity ... without credit creation, we can't have economic growth," Feldstein said.
Feldstein noted "powerful forces (that) will continue to drive inflation higher." And while inflation expectations are still relatively well contained, "you wonder how long that's going to last," he said.