Wednesday, March 11, 2009
White House Releases New Classification Scheme for Recessions
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.