Monday, August 08, 2011

The Great (Delete Recession) Contraction

Anyone turning to The Times business section this morning – "On Wall Street, traders and strategists trekked to their offices on Sunday in scenes reminiscent of the fateful weekend before Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008" – knew this wasn't going to be a good day.
 Double-dip recession ahead? No. Don't call it a recession. What we have, as Ezra Klein in The Washington Post illustrates with a chart, is something special. Economist Kenneth Rogoff, co-author of "This Time is Different,"  calls it the second Great Contraction.

A lot of deleveraging remains to be done before we put the second Great Contraction behind us. As for the stock market, the next saros cycle isn't expected to start for another seven years or so. (Well, maybe a bit sooner, if you believe Warren Buffet's guesstimate). Meanwhile, the hordes of Boomers hoping to retire towards the end of the decade may have several years to load up their portfolios with bargain stocks.

The challenge for investment pros? How to convince their Boomer clients that Wall Street's bad news is their good luck.

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