Fed survey says recession started last spring

This pretty much confirms what people in the real world already knew. Warren Buffet had been saying this for a while and the right – knowing that this would destroy their hopes of clinging to power – dismissed such talk as nonsense. I work with Global 5000 companies and could see this coming for a while so the only surprise was that it took this long to be recognized. In the second half especially, corporate spending has collapsed, going dry for much of September and October. While in Barcelona the other week I met others with similar target clients and the story was the same everywhere, that spending was terrible and business slow.

In this new Fed survey the story is that this recession will last for around 14 months. Hmm. While I am dreaming of such a fast recovery I’m not seeing it. The last Bush recession was around two years and this one is so much more serious and much deeper. Every time there’s a new prediction of the end being near or telling us about how it won’t be as bad, it gets worse. When housing first started going down there was no shortage of stories about how short this would be. Guess again. When the banks started to falter earlier this year, it was pitched as short term and not too much of a problem. Uh huh. When I look at the massive job cuts being announced every day, to me, this is a sign of the corporate world throwing their hands in the air and hunkering down to get through this rough patch. Many of them had been holding off for a while, hoping to get through but are now giving up.

If this recession is over by next summer or even the end of 2009 we will be very fortunate and I will be the happiest person on the planet. Unfortunately, I just don’t see it. (True to form, the architect of this mess still thinks he was right and everyone else is wrong about this crisis.) Even when we come out of this, without something bold (and I hope something is in the works) the economy may be looking at extended slow and minimal growth for a few more years.

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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