The econ blogosphere speaks

August 6, 2010

The economic blogosphere has spoken — and it is not too happy with what it sees. The Kauffman Foundation has just published a survey of 68 economic (but not necessarily economist) bloggers showing that they are pretty gloomy about the U.S. economy’s progress.

Feedback from the likes of ¬†Oregon University’s Mark Thoma and UC San Diego’s James Hamilton suggests the U.S. is at some kind of tipping point with a good number expecting it to fall rather than maintain balance:

68 percent (said) that conditions are mixed, and the rest split three to one toward weakness rather than growth. For an economy in which growth is the norm, 47 percent of respondents think that the U.S. economy is worse than official statistics indicate, and only 5 percent believe it is better.

It is also worth noting, however, that only a minority, albeit a large one — 35 percent — thought the U.S. had a more than 60 percent chance of entering a double-dip recession. You can download the full survey here, but the gist of the report is summed up by a word cloud created by the Foundation. Uncertainty it is.



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Yes, these bloggers are gloomy. And every time I turn on the TV all I hear is doom and gloom. Yet the market goes up and companies report good quarterly data. I think thee bloggers and the Dr. Dooms of the world “want” a gloomy economic future. They seem to thrive on it happening. Like everything in the USA; we do not like happy news. We want mass murder, project fire, gangland shooting, etc… I do not put much weight into these people. After all, they didn’t seem to have any insight into the first downturn. Though I do notice no that when I turn on CNBC every guest is announced as “the man that warned of the housing crisis”, “the man that saw the banking crisis coming”. Yeah yeah yeah. Show me their investment portfolio. I want to see that they got out of the market BEFORE the crash. They saw nothing. And they see nothing now. It is a guessing game. They figure 50/50 odds are good that they can get a book deal if they guess correctly.

Posted by RufusDaddy | Report as abusive

Even with the media’s penchant for hyperbole there’s a time for celebration and a time for concern. With unemployment stagnating over the long-term at 9.5% with no end in sight it’s hard to be all about sugar cookies, unicorns, and rainbows unless of course you’d rather play the fiddle while Rome burns.

Posted by GLK | Report as abusive

Less demand allows companies to cannibalize infrastructure to maintain profits. They do not have to invest in plant and equipment. I haven’t had time to look into the asset turnover ratios yet, but I expect it is not good.

Posted by jrg | Report as abusive

People… we really are in trouble. I don’t care if the stock market goes up… these are internationally traded, multi-national corporations posting good quarterly earnings and has nothing to do with us (the other 90% or so). Stock market goes down… I make a lousy 10 bucks and hour. Stock market goes up… I still make a lousy 10 bucks an hour. The real problem is that corporations want record earnings, but don’t want to pay American worker wage. Our jobs get shipped over seas and the corporations continue to make record profits… but most of us don’t see any of that money! The future of American jobs is in the service sector and management sector… the people who run the corporations and the people who wash their car and clean their homes. If things keep up, we’ll be a two class society before you know it. And the funny thing is.. the Dow will continue to climb despite the disappearance of the middle class.

Posted by the_sconnie | Report as abusive

As a housing counselor in a top 10 foreclosure state and a top 5 unemployment state, I agree with the doom and gloom. Disagreeing with RufusDaddy, I find that most of my clients are more eager to believe things are getting better BUT more frustrated and desperate than ever before. I’m no expert or blogger, but I work with folks looking the economic downturn in the face every day. I wish I had more hope, and I wish they did too.

Posted by clbemail | Report as abusive