Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Before departing office, President George W. Bush characterized the slumping economy as "Wall Street got drunk ... and now it's got a hangover." Recognizing that a "hangover" may not sufficiently capture our dire economic situation, the White House Council of Economic Advisors has released official colloquial descriptions to classify different levels of economic downturns.
Market Correction (10% fall in NYSE) -- "drank tee-many martoonis" . Time to recovery: 1 month
Bear Market (prolonged 20 % drop in NYSE) -- "got plastered at Polynesian Restaurant and slept through your final exam in Economics" . Time to recovery: 6 months.
Recession: (Negative economic growth for 2 successive quarters) --- "Downed fifth of Southern Comfort during alumni football weekend. Made a pass at your fiancee's younger sister before puking in living room of your future in-laws." Time to recovery -- 1-2 years
Current situation (rising unemployment, collapse of housing and stock markets, wholesale financial instability) : "Joined beach party in Baja where someone gave you unknown white powder to snort. Woke up in your underwear in Mexican prison with strange burns on your arms and a heavily muscled and tattooed cellmate." Time to recovery: Unknown, but will likely involve years of privation, a newfound devotion to God, and paying large sums of cash to lawyers and other criminals.