“There is no recession. Despite all the doom and gloom from the economic pessimistas, the resilient U.S economy continues moving ahead “‘quarter after quarter, year after year’” defying dire forecasts and delivering positive growth. In fact, we are about to enter the seventh consecutive year of the Bush boom.“ – Larry Kudlow, December 7, 2007
While published on a date that lives in infamy for far more important reasons, this was not Mr. Kudlow’s most shining moment. Within less than a year, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac had moved back into their parents’ basement, Lehman Brothers’ days were over, Ben Bernanke bought AIG at a fire sale, and we all began to see that it would be no normal recession.
So, when I was flipping across news coverage today, I stopped and listened while now-Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow was speaking to reporters. During his remarks, we heard the following:
“I’m reading some of the weirdest stuff how a recession is around the corner. Nonsense. My personal view, our administration’s view, recession is so far in the distance I can’t see it.“ – Larry Kudlow, November 20, 2018
To be clear, does the fact that Kudlow is painting an optimistic economic picture a reason to be pessimistic? No. (I was originally including a Rocky & Bullwinkle reference here, Peter Peachfuzz, but I sadly found that Bill Moyers stole my thunder in a piece last year. C’est la vie.) However, there are a lot of things going sideways around the globe and our fair share in the United States. Let’s hope that a months-long countdown to economic cataclysm didn’t just begin.
Ryan Adler is a Superforecaster and Director at Good Judgment who specializes in legal analysis for Good Judgment’s question writing team. He also administers the SCOTUS Challenge on Good Judgment Open, which invites probabilistic thinking about court decisions. Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.