Saturday, January 17, 2009

Get Ready for A Second Wave!

Just when things seemed to be looking up, looks like they're getting worse. Suddenly, job losses ... big ones. The unemployment had been creeping up, and that was no surprise in a recession, but suddenly it seems things have gotten a lot worse. Bloomberg reports 21,000 job losses in a day, by companies such as Hertz.

Circuit City's liquidation was big news, because it means another 30,000 decent-paying jobs, but also this - would people keep buying electronic items if they were nervous the companies that sold the products would not be in business?

Intel saw a 27% drop in revenues. That's from a company that's in a duopoly competition with a weak competitor!

And there's more bad news I could whip up from the news. And I think we'll get a lot more coming this year. But there's some perspective we need to maintain here ...

Take that 21,000 jobs in a day. It scared the bejeezus out of me! It's a big number. It's a lot of families that have to suffer. But it's about 0.01% of the American labor force. Unemployment might have cracked 7%, but it's still a lot below historical highs.

And take all this talk of the Great Depression. I don't know of anyone calling for GDP to drop 5% this year, or in any year. If my memory of history is correct, the Big Kahuna shaved 30% from GDP. Ouch!

So take a deep breath! Things will get worse. A lot worse. But we'll all survive.

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