AUDIO-As bad as last time? Yup.

February 23, 2009

Trying to game this current recession has been a tricky — and so far, a largely unsuccessful — venture.

Most of us try (at least in the U.S.) to think of it in terms of innings (“If this recession is a baseball game and there are nine innings, where are we?”).

This game looks like it still has a way to go … and it actually doesn’t sound like this is going to be that fun a game at all.

But Bill Phelan, founder and president of PayNet Inc, looks at this cycle a little differently and runs the numbers about where the economy seems to be right now and compares it to the last recession during the end of 2001 into 2002.

PayNet is a company that collects real-time loan information — originations, delinquencies, etc — from more than 200 leading U.S. capex lenders. The company’s proprietary database — updated weekly — is one of the richest and largest collection of commercial loans and leases, encompassing more than 90 million current and historic contracts worth $600 billion.

Phelan was our first guest at Monday’s session of the Reuters Manufacturing and Transportation Summit in Chicago and he provided a good jumping-off point for many of our scheduled guests through the week.

The data is sobering and Phelan suggests that the bottom in this case will be lower than we have seen in some time.

Reuters Manufacturing and Transportation Summit runs through Thursday in our Chicago offices and includes guests from throughout the sector.

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