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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/29/10

Why the second leg in the great double-dip recession will soon engulf us

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What follows is a synopsis of an article by well-known economic analyst Martin Weiss.

In his testimony before Congress recently, Ben Bernanke gave us a glimpse of the disasters now sweeping through the U.S. economy. But there were four important things he did NOT talk about:

FIRST and foremost, what's CAUSING the economy to sink?

Since the stock market has not yet crashed, interest rates have not yet surged, gasoline prices have not skyrocketed, and there has been no recent debt collapse, market shock, or terrorist attack, what could it be? What is the invisible force that's gutting the housing market, driving consumer confidence into a sinkhole, and killing the recovery?

Bernanke won't say. But the answer is clear: The recovery had very little substance to begin with. Rather, it was in essence a mirage -- a mirage produced by Washington's massive bailouts, stimulus programs, and money printing.

Put another way, underneath the mirage of recovery, the recession never really ended. Yes, we saw some growth in GDP. And yes, thanks to that growth, some companies are still reporting better earnings (the news that recently spurred a rally in the stock market). But at the core of the economy, the problems that started the recession are still there.

SECOND, Bernanke failed to point out that:

The U.S.housing market is now locked in a chronic, long-term depression, while housing starts -- the most important measure of the housing industry -- is still a disaster zone. Beginning in January 2006, they suffered their worst plunge in recorded history -- from an annual rate of 2.3 million to a meager 477,000 in April 2009.

Thus, in just three years, 79 percent of America's largest industry, impacting more Americans than any other, was wiped away.

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Several years after receiving my M.A. in social science (interdisciplinary studies) I was an instructor at S.F. State University for a year, but then went back to designing automated machinery, and then tech writing, in Silicon Valley. I've (more...)

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