Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's Official - December Has Arrived and It's a Recession!

It's taken a year for them to admit it, but the braintrust in Washington is now admitting that we've been in a recession since last December...and that means it's already lasted longer than many past downturns. When will it end? We have to hit bottom first.

Suze Ormon, who I get a big kick out of and whose common sense I admire, predicted the stock market would bottom out at around 8000 when I saw her a couple of months ago. I'll bet she's revised that forecast.

Jim Cramer, the madman of CNBC, is making a lot of 'sell!" noises when he talks about Wall Street and I recently spoke with someone who has done just that. Her broker advised her to pull out whatever she had left and just keep it in cash for awhile. "Wait and see," he said.

My kids, both of whom you might expect to find ensconced in dorms at a college, are each heading to work, with school dropping to a part time activity. It's not because of the economy - their reasons are as individual as they are. But I find myself thinking that perhaps they're doing the right thing - their classmates will be graduating in a couple of years and will very likely be finding themselves doing any job they can get just to make ends meet. At least my kids will be working, hopefully safe on the twin merits of their abilities and seniority.

What about us? We hang on and we hope. It's going to be close. And I take some strange comfort in knowing that as things go from bad to possibly worse, we're all in this together. How can you feel like some kind of cosmic target when everyone you know is facing the same pain?

We will come out of this. Everything is cyclical. And it's this generation's turn to understand what hard times feel like. Perhaps the lessons we learn will make us a better society.

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