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Monday, 27 April 2009

Economy: Don't Look Now, But the Worst Is Over

From The Business Insider:

Paul Kasriel and Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust lay out the case that the economy is turning. For highlights of their report (and the full report) click here.

Importantly, Paul and Asha are NOT saying that the economy has "bottomed." Just that the rate of decline is now decelerating. One of the main causes of this is the tremendous fiscal and monetary stimulus the government is pumping into the system. Paul discussed this in this previous piece, where he noted that it worked in the 1930s (until the government screwed up).

Paul and Asha's assessment that we've past the quarter with the worst decline is consistent with what even bearish economists like Nouriel Roubini believe. Where Nouriel begs to differ is when growth will resume. Paul and Asha's view, which is in line with the consensus, is that the economy will begin growing again in Q4. Nouriel thinks the economy will shrink 2% in Q4 and struggle all through 2010 (I tend to think he's right, but the stimulus is a wildcard).

And then there are John Mauldin, Kyle Bass, and others who think that even if the economy stabilizes, it will just collapse again in 2010 and/or move sideways for years--like Japan's.

Leaving aside the future, here are Kasriel and Bangalore's key points on what has happened in the past three months that suggest the worst is over.

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