RSS
Is the Great Recession over?
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke says the recession, but not necessarily its pain, has probably ended
B

en Bernanke says the recession is “very likely over”—does that make you “breathe a sigh of relief”? said Kimberly Amadeo in About.com. “I didn’t think so.” That “queasy” feeling you have in the pit of your stomach is probably telling you something different—that with unemployment, bankruptcies, and foreclosures still rising, the economic crisis is still on, “even IF the recession is over (notice the big IF).”

Your gut and Bernanke are both right, said 24/7 Wall Street. Bernanke wasn’t being “insensitive” to the ongoing “human misery” when he told the Brookings Institution that the recession has, technically, ended—he’s just “very specific about his choice of words and his role in the system.” He isn’t in charge of “promoting happiness,” just monetary policy.

Yes, Bernanke—our “most famous student of the Great Depression”—is probably right about the “technical” end of the Great Recession, said Dan Burrows in DailyFinance. Unfortunately, he's probably also right in suggesting it will be a long, jobless recovery. But there are some resaons for hope: “Consumers opened their wallets and purses last month,” spending the most in three and a half years.

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week