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Archive for February 1st, 2010

Here is an article from Bloomberg worth reading.

“Nouriel Roubini, the New York University professor who anticipated the financial crisis, said the U.S. growth outlook remains “very dismal” and White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers said the economy is still mired in a “human recession.”

Speaking at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, after the U.S. reported the fastest growth in six years, their comments underscored concern that that emergency measures to rescue banks and fight the recession may be withdrawn too soon.

“The headline number will look large and big, but actually when you dissect it, it’s very dismal and poor,” Roubini said in a Jan. 30 Bloomberg Television interview following a U.S. Commerce Department report that showed economic expansion of 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter. “I think we are in trouble.”

Roubini said more than half of the growth was related to a replenishing of depleted inventories and that consumption was reliant on monetary and fiscal stimulus. As these forces ebb, the rate will slow to 1.5 percent in the second half of 2010.

Roubini, who chairs New York-based Roubini Global Economics LLC, has become famous for his pessimistic projections. In 2007, he correctly predicted a “hard landing” for the world economy. He said last year that the global recession would shrink through 2009, only for growth to resume in the middle of the year.

He says now that while the world’s largest economy won’t relapse into recession, U.S. unemployment will rise from the current 10 percent amid “mediocre” growth.

‘Feel Like Recession’

“It’s going to feel like a recession even if technically we’re not going to be in a recession,” he said in the interview.

Also speaking in Davos, Summers, director of the White House National Economic Council, said that the statistical recovery won’t mask a “human recession.”

The U.S. expansion in the October-December period resulted from manufacturers cranking up assembly lines and companies increasing investment in equipment and software. The rebuilding of stocks contributed 3.4 percentage points to gross domestic product, the most in two decades.

The rebound followed the Federal Reserve’s decision to cut its benchmark interest rate to near zero in December 2008 and President Barack Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package. The jobless rate has the central bank promising to keep borrowing costs low and Obama making new proposals to create jobs.

‘Pretty Attractive’

Carlyle Group LP co-founder David Rubinstein countered Roubini’s concerns. He said that even after a rally in global stocks that drove the MSCI World Index up more than 60 percent from March 2009, it’s a “pretty attractive” time to invest.

“There are a lot of great opportunities we see in the United States and abroad,” Rubenstein told a Jan. 27 panel. “Sometimes generals fight the last war, economists fight the last recession.”

Policy makers may be undermining their effort to spur hiring by attacking banks, Blackstone Group LP Chief Executive Officer Steven Schwarzman said in a Jan. 28 interview in Davos. One in four of chief executive officers worldwide surveyed by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP for the Davos conference already plans to cut jobs this year.

“Financial institutions will feel under siege and they will retreat,” Schwarzman said. “Their entire world is being shaken and they’re being attacked personally,” he said. “We don’t need those financial institutions insecure.”

Read the full article here.

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