Fourth Quarter 2008 – worst economic quarter since Depression

I know, let’s play Larry Kudlow and cherry pick the small bits that on their own might suggest it wasn’t so bad. To be fair to the Republicans who crafted this juggernaut, the unemployment numbers could have been worse. See? It wasn’t a complete disaster. Just your run of the mill Republican economic disaster. And riots. There were no mass riots in the streets protesting years of failure. It’s fair to say we can collectively turn that frown upside down because yeah, it could have been worse. How long before Kudlow and CNBC pounce on the leftover scraps and promote another round of “the best story never told” in a special edition? MarketWatch:

In terms of the things that matter most — output, income, wealth, profits, foreclosures and job growth — the fourth quarter was a disaster.

If you look at each of those categories in isolation, we may have seen worse on rare occasions, but when you examine the big picture, it was the worst since the Depression.
Aside from the creative destruction that will ultimately lead to a growing economy, just about the only positive development was the rapid decline in energy and commodity prices.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that output fell at a 6.3% annualized rate in the fourth quarter, the biggest drop since 1982 and the third worst gross domestic product figure in the past 50 years.

Read the rest if you have the stomach for it. Corporate profits, individual expendable income, GDP, stock values, net worth, you name it, it all went down. It’s no wonder the GOP is too embarrassed to show a real budget.


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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