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We Are In An Invisible Depression

July 20, 2012, by Ken Jorgustin

“We are in a depression, but you can’t see it”, says Al Lewis a business columnist, while recently speaking with the Wall Street Journal’s News Hub.

You know how Ben Bernanke said that he averted a Great Recession? What he really did was he blinded us to the fact that we were in a Great Recession.

invisible-depression

Do you know that 1 out of 7 Americans are on food stamps? If all those people were in a ‘line’ it would look just like the Great Depression, all waiting in line for soup and bread, except today you get a little card in the mail to use at stores, and really is not even a stigma as it was using food stamps.

A LOT of the unemployed have run through their 99 weeks of unemployment and have become invisible as they are no longer counted in the official unemployment numbers.

There is the shadow inventory of homes, which are homes that banks basically own but have not moved on them to foreclose and sell. They are homes where people haven’t paid their mortgage in a year and the banks haven’t moved to foreclose on them. What happens when these hit the market?

Commercial real estate has been on ‘extend and pretend’ where they are able through various means to stretch and extend the time when losses are taken.

College graduates, even those with Masters degrees are counted on the books as gainfully employed when they can only get a job selling shoes at Nordstrom for example.

Interest rates are basically lowered to zero or near zero while everyone pretends that everything is fine and everything is going to be fine… don’t worry we’re going to have a QE3 if things don’t work out…

We’re ignoring the problem. The problem is we need REAL growth in the economy that drives job growth. For example, how about looking at trade deficits… today all that stimulus money that manages to make its way to the consumer is spent on goods that are made elsewhere… China for example. The money doesn’t stay here. It all leaks out.

 

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