James Pethokoukis

Will Hurricane Irene be a black swan for the U.S. economy?

August 25, 2011

The U.S. economy is growing very slowly, just 0.4 percent in the first quarter, 1.3 percent in the second. And it might not do a whole better the rest of the year. That’s a problem. A recent study from the Federal Reserve finds that that since 1947, when two-quarter annualized real GDP growth falls below 2 percent, recession follows within a year 48 percent of the time. (And when year-over-year real GDP growth falls below 2 percent, recession follows within a year 70 percent of the time.

Economy poised to make Obama a one-termer

August 22, 2011

Just how much would a continued weak economy hurt President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection chances? There are a few different ways of looking at this — and none of them seem particularly promising for the man currently occupying the Oval Office:

Obama faces worst-case 2012 scenario

August 19, 2011

On Wednesday, Economic Forecaster-in-Chief Barack Obama said, “I don’t think we’re in danger of another recession.” Shades of John McCain’s “The fundamentals of our economy are strong.”

Tough to be bullish on Wall Street if you’re bearish on Washington

August 16, 2011

Why is Wall Street so worried these days? Investment strategist Jason Trennert of Strategas Research Partners offers a crackerjack bit of analysis. Even better, he turned bearish on Aug. 3, the day before the stock market began its stomach-churning roller-coaster ride (via Yahoo Finance):

Just where is the GOP on taxes right now?

August 11, 2011

After the recent debt ceiling debate, Republicans seemed pretty unified in their stance against raising taxes. But here is Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp, just appointed to the new debt supercommittee:

Waist deep in the Big Muddle

August 9, 2011

A needed dose of Larry Kudlow to counter my gloom:

The S&P downgrade is a fiscal warning, not an economic event. And the growing fear of U.S. recession may not pan out. There are still plusses out there, believe it or not.

A crisis of confidence in economy — and Obama

August 9, 2011

Barack Obama’s presidency was birthed by economic collapse and financial crisis. Opportunity for a second term is now in growing danger of termination by the very same forces. After its Monday plunge, the U.S. stock market has fallen 18 percent since late April. (During his January State of the Union address, the president pointed to a “roaring” market as one sign his Keynesian policies were working.)

More evidence U.S. economy approaching stall

August 2, 2011

The U.S. economy doesn’t like to hover. If it isn’t expanding at a 2 percent or higher annual pace, it risks slipping into recession. As I mentioned in a post last week:

Sputter to stall: U.S. economy dips into danger zone for recession

July 29, 2011

More evidence, as if we needed it, that the U.S. economy is in sad shape. America’s gross domestic product grew just 1.3 percent in the second quarter, according to the Commerce Department. And first-quarter growth was revised down to just 0.4 percent. This is now the weakest two-year recovery since World War II.

Panic at the White House? Gloomy Goldman Sachs sees high unemployment, possible recession

July 16, 2011

Last night in a new report, Democrat-friendly Goldman Sachs dropped an economic bomb on President Obama’s chances for reelection (bold is mine):