And let's pretend that there is a recovery coming from the Great Recession. Fine. But no one's hiring. There were still a quarter of a million people laid off. And they aren't all from Bears training camp.
And last week the government announced another significant improvement — the overall economy contracted at an annual rate of only 1 percent in the spring quarter! Wow! Contraction - good news! To their credit, it was vastly better than the fall and winter months. The New York Times says, "the two reports have convinced many forecasters that when the history of the Great Recession is written, these summer months will be the big turning point, when the economy started to grow again."
Or, what I think, it could be a slight pause in the hemorrhaging.
The fact is the Net Wealth of US Households has "declined from a peak of $22 trillion to just under $12 trillion in early March." The problem is compounded by the fact that Total US Household debt, as of first quarter 2009, amounts to roughly $13 trillion, and has stayed within that range for the last 3 and a half years.
"From the end of 2007 through Q1 of 2009, household equity has declined by 94%. Is it surprising that today's GDP number would have been a complete debacle if the consumer had been left alone to prop the U.S. economy, on whom 70% of the economy is reliant? Obama pulled a Hail Mary with the stimulus: without it there would be no debate America is in a depression right now." (more)The boil down is that the consumer is out. Credit and home equity are all but dust and that's trouble for an economy that's 70% dependent on consumer spending for growth. Unless that fact turns around, don't start expect things to 'go back to normal' any time soon.
Add that to the trouble that the US Treasury is having in pawning our debt to China and other suckers - and then we'll start talking about inflation. Once inflation starts, you'll get your $500,000 back in your house equity - while you're buying bread for $10.