Archive for Monday, May 18, 2009

Budget chief: Economy almost bottomed out

May 18, 2009


— The worst seems to be over, President Barack Obama’s budget director said Sunday. But he also warned against taking signs of economic recovery as a reason to celebrate or delay changes in health care policy.

Peter Orszag said the nation’s economy appears to have bottomed out, even as the White House prepared to revise its budget projections to reflect higher-than-expected unemployment. He said an improving economy and changes to how the United States provides health care would help narrow federal deficits.

The administration, however, faces serious challenges. Some 1.3 million jobs have been lost since February and the auto and financial industries are in precarious positions.

Obama’s Democratic allies have been reluctant to endorse the White House’s health proposals while Republicans have vowed to stop them; Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he doesn’t think health care will pass this year.

Meanwhile, Orszag said the administration would update its budget numbers in the coming months.


jmadison 9 years, 1 month ago

If one looks at the predictions made at the time of the stimulus bill's passage,(which had to be done immediately according to the President), the administration's predictions of amelioration of the unemployment rate have proven wrong so far. We may well have spent $1,600,000,000.000 for no stimulus.

Chris Ogle 9 years, 1 month ago

Budget chief: Economy almost bottomed out

Splattered on ground.....

Flap Doodle 9 years, 1 month ago

"Government officials, inside the Treasury and out, say the unresolved issues are piling up in part because of vacancies in the department's top ranks. But some of the officials also cite the Treasury's ad-hoc management, which is dominated by a small band of Geithner's counselors who coordinate rescue initiatives but lack formal authority to make decisions. Heavy involvement by the White House in Treasury affairs has further muddied the picture of who is responsible for key issues, the officials add."

a_flock_of_jayhawks 9 years, 1 month ago

The good news is that we have bottomed out and the correction is largely complete. Geithner and Orzag may not be everyone's ideal for the job, but their knowledge and experience with respect to the current state of economic affairs shouldn't be underestimated as it appears that they are putting those traits to good use for our benefit. If there is a purported "Obama bubble" effect that averted a deeper economic effect so that the economy had time to turn around, then I say bravo, well done! Let's hope that there will be the kind of visibility into market leveraging that will blunt or avoid the next bad idea from the wizards of the universe that puts greed and short term gain over prudence and long term fiscal sustainability.

Sigmund 9 years, 1 month ago

Not even close to the bottom. Rosy scenarios aside, nobody with half a brain (including a bronzed Sven who has even less than half) has any confidence in the Bush/Obama bailout of Wall Street or the Detroit auto makers and for good reason, it hasn't worked in the past. So when California, New York, Massachusetts, and Michigan ask taxpayers in other states to add them to their federal bailout bills, the economy is likely to collapse from the added strain or hyper inflate or both.

jmadison 9 years, 1 month ago

Here is a link to a graph summarizing the Administration's projections of unemployment with and without their stimulus program, per Christine Romer.

So far, the stimulus money has gone for naught.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 9 years, 1 month ago

jmadison, don't overlook the fact that businesses usually take 2 to 4 quarters to act on positive changes and almost always act immediately on negative changes.

The undulating that is typically characteristic of a bottom is clearly visible and has been for several weeks. It is scary to imagine how much further economic woes might have gone if nothing had been done. The current scenario is surely not rosy, and there is no reason to believe that a healthy bounce is in the making. But there's obviously some money to be made in several sectors as witnessed by several of the earnings reports out of late. If conditions were truly continuing to trend radically downward, practically none of that would be happening. For the most part, bears still rule the day and will likely do so for at least 6 months to a year from now.

jmadison 9 years, 1 month ago

Perhaps, but the accompanying graph was a projection of unemployment by the Obama administration versus unemployment if nothing had been done. So far the graph approximates the "nothing had been done" curve.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 9 years, 1 month ago

Although I don't challenge the fact that unemployment has gotten worse, I don't believe you'll get a full and unbiased accounting from AIP (of swift boaters, Ayers, and "Jesus ad" fame). They also picked pieces selectively from the CBO report to support their position on the stimulus and ignored those portions that didn't support their position as well as making false claims publicly about what was and wasn't in the stimulus bill.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 1 month ago

We'll see former UAW workers peddling apples on street corners before this is over.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 9 years, 1 month ago

To everyone that is still thinking we are not at the bottom yet, please, by all means stay on the sidelines and possibly pass up one of the best buy opportunities most of us will see in our lifetime. It just means that some of us who read it correctly will make more on the same buck than you will.

jmadison 9 years, 1 month ago

The graph that I referred to can be found at its original site in a pdf entitled The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan prepared by Presidential advisers, Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein. The date was Jan 10, 2009.

The actual data points of current unemployment, as reported by the Commerce Department, were added to that graph. One would have to argue that the Commerce Department statistics are wrong if one wants to question the validity of the graph's results.

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