Is The Recession Really Over? Economic Boom and Bust

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2010-09-2213

I’ve asked this question before: is the economic downturn over?

First, we hear about Warren Buffett’s assurances that there’s no double dip recession ahead of us. Next, we get some official word that the recession is over. Apparently, it ended last summer, in June 2009. So does that mean that this past year, we’ve been living in the “new normal” economy? If so, that’s tough news for a lot of the young and old and everyone else in between, as everywhere I look, I hear grumbling. There’s the threat of tax cuts expiring. Grumble. And what about health care, so much of it is still up in the air. Grumble. There’s my kindergartner who sits in a class with 32 other kids because the state can’t afford more teachers. Grumble. There are no jobs. Grumble. So we’re supposed to be done with the recession?

Anyway here’s the official word, in a chart.

economic recessions chart

And here’s what we are still thinking: this whole “end of the recession” milestone is something I doubt anyone is ready to celebrate, when we’re still inundated with stories of woe from the unemployment front.

economic crisis - signs of the times


Out of Debt Again

Speaking of milestones, you may want to know about a fun event going on at Mrs. Accountability’s site, Out of Debt Again. It’s her 3rd year blogoversary and she’s doing a big giveaway that includes a bunch of pledges from fellow bloggers and friends. I’ve pledged a cash amount of $25 for this, but all these individual prizes add up to more chances of winning something. Do please visit Out of Debt Again for more on this affair! Happy 3rd Anniversary to you! With that said, this reminds me that I’m coming up to my 4th year anniversary as a blogger. What a trip!

Copyright © 2010 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Squirrelers September 22, 2010 at 7:43 pm

As far as the economy goes, even though the recession may have officially ended, it doesn’t make things good all of a sudden. Too many people are still unemployed/underemployed or have taken a big hit in their home values. Or both.

It just may be that there’s a “new normal” at play here, that we’ll have to get used to for a while.

Financial Samurai September 22, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Recession is definitely over and the good times are back again!

Best, Sam

Rob Bennett September 23, 2010 at 5:58 am

I think it is investor and consumer emotions that tell the story rather than economic indicators. I still see lots of defensiveness when Buy-and-Hold is criticized. I still see people unwilling even to consider the possibility that we all caused this economic crisis by participating in the insane bull market of the late 1990s. These are signs that we are still in the early days of this mess, not nearing the final days.

The tricky thing about emotions is that we only permit in so much of the realities at a time. We take as much as we can handle and then we say “no more for now!” and send stock prices and economic indicators back up for a time. There’s a certain logic in this in that it is true that we can only take so much all at once. But it stretches things out to do it this way.

I would like to see this all put behind us. I feel that the real emotional relief would come not from putting things off a bit longer but from facing the realities and thereby becoming able to move forward without fear of what is going to pop out of the darkness next.

But what do I know? There are probably some good reasons why we do it the way we do it.


Hannah September 23, 2010 at 8:17 am

The recession may “officially” be over, but by the time the effects trickle down through society, it might be time for the next one. Here’s hoping the economy shows its resilience!

Craig September 23, 2010 at 2:45 pm

The recession is over but the effects will remain for some time, especially for those that expect us to return to pre-recession housing highs.

It takes time for the economy to re-absorb all the lost jobs and productivity. For sure this wasn’t a normal recession by any means.

Silicon Valley Blogger September 23, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Yes, what’s certainly peculiar about the past recession is that it doesn’t feel as if it has already left. People I know are still hurting and smarting from the after effects of the last downtrend. Many are still on unemployment. So yes, it may be over, with the economy showing an uptick and a little strength, but the numbers are all relative after all. I certainly won’t feel comfortable about the economy for some time. And as Hannah mentioned, by the time we get a breather from all this, it may be time for the next slowdown to hit! That would be a bear.

George September 24, 2010 at 6:19 am

Happy to see the recession over. Hope things pick up from here.

Mrs. Accountability September 25, 2010 at 12:14 am

SVB, congratulations on four years of blogging! And thank you for mentioning my third blogoversary celebration and thank you for sponsoring one of the prizes!

Funny about Money September 25, 2010 at 8:37 am

Yes, I know unemployment is different from recession. But IMHO this recession (I call it a depression) will be over when people can get jobs — not stocking the shelves at Walmart but decently paying jobs that will support their families. It will be over when the value of our homes equals the amount we’re paying for them, or when lenders drop principal on existing mortgages into the reasonable zone. It will be over when schools and municipalities have enough to operate at normal levels.

In the aftermath of the “recession,” my state is now among the three poorest in the nation; its educational system ranks 47th among those of the 50 states; square mile on square mile of new housing developments are still half vacant — some are ghost tracts, dissolving back into the desert like old abandoned mining towns — and strip mall after strip-mall is half-empty. Or worse…in some parts of the metropolitan area, you can see malls hosting one store and malls that are completely vacant.

If this means the recession is “over,” I’d like to know what a double-dip recession would look like.

Silicon Valley Blogger September 26, 2010 at 10:39 am

The recession is over? Well check out what the people think! Most people are still not convinced!

@FAM, you put it so eloquently. It’s not over until we (most of us) can feel comfortable about our finances once more, in light of practicing sound financial strategies. If we do all the right things and still feel poor or stressed about our money, then it’s hard to agree with the current economic verdict.

@Mrs. A — you’re very welcome!

L Castro September 27, 2010 at 8:39 pm

“The core of many of our problems is that the integrity of individual common sense has been drowned out. The overwhelming amount of noise from many of society’s loudspeakers is basically telling us to ignore it. What Mr. Buffet has accomplished listening to his own common sense speaks for itself.”
~ M. Douroux.

diesel November 28, 2010 at 1:08 pm

The Recession is over now but it will take 2 years to clean up the mess from the recession and up to a year for jobs to hire more applicants. Things will shape up by summer 2012 😉 .

Silicon Valley Blogger April 22, 2012 at 9:03 pm

We’re a couple of months away from Summer 2012. My how time flies, but things haven’t really picked up yet, especially in certain parts of the country. And the real estate market continues to be in the doldrums (even though the stock market seems to have recovered somewhat).

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