I listened to two economists today at separate presentations. Who was it who said ten minutes spent with an economist is ten minutes wasted? Well, Don Drummond was certainly not one of those economists. He told the TD Bank audience - the recession is over.
I also ran into Michael Graham who sent me his newsletter with its useful insights. Here is Michael's view on the recession this year.
We are going to be able to tell our children and grandchildren how we – and they – escaped the next Great Depression. But only after 12 to 18 harrowing, high-anxiety months morphed into the worst financial crisis since the 1930s. Although there wasn’t a 1929-style stock market collapse, an extremely painful accompanying bear market (the second within a decade) included innumerable downward plunges. Let there be no doubt, as well, that the Great Escape of 2009 came at a fearsome price for which our generation must take full responsibility.It’s not that depression scares are new. Neither are recessions or bear markets which come and go like the seasons, usually presaging healthy restoration and rebalancing. In fact, I think I can safely record that my business career now spans six recessions and ten bear markets, shortly (I hope) to be succeeded by a seventh recovery and an eleventh bull market. Instead, what was so different this time round was an unforeseen and highly-contagious worldwide banking crisis that threatened – and in many instances toppled - household names like dominos. In the process, previously- reckless banks, desperate not to risk their badly-impaired capital any further, wouldn’t even lend to one another. Talk about broken trust.
The universally respected Paul Volcker, former Federal Reserve chairman, couldn’t have summarized what happened more aptly: “I don’t remember any time, maybe even in the Great Depression, when things went down quite so far, quite so uniformly around the world.” Yes, it was a very narrow escape indeed.
Jacoline Loewen, private equity, Toronto