So, how does all this doom compare to the economic record?
--"[R]ight now it looks as if the economy is stalling..." — Paul Krugman, September 2002
--"We have a sluggish economy, which is, for all practical purposes, in recession..." — Paul Krugman, May 2003
--"An oil-driven recession does not look at all far-fetched." — Paul Krugman, May 2004
--"[A] mild form of stagflation - rising inflation in an economy still well short of full employment - has already arrived." — Paul Krugman, April 2005
--"If housing prices actually started falling, we'd be looking at [an economy pushed] right back into recession. That's why it's so ominous to see signs that America's housing market...is approaching the final, feverish stages of a speculative bubble." — Paul Krugman, May 2005
--"In fact, a growing number of economists are using the "R" word [i.e.,"recession"] for 2006." - Paul Krugman, August 2005
--"But based on what we know now, there’s an economic slowdown coming." - Paul Krugman, August 2006
--"this kind of confusion about what’s going on is what typically happens when the economy is at a turning point, when an economic expansion is about to turn into a recession" - Paul Krugman, December 2006
--"Right now, statistical models ... give roughly even odds that we’re about to experience a formal recession. ... [T]he odds are very good — maybe 2 to 1 — that 2007 will be a very tough year." - Paul Krugman, December 2006
Eventually of course we will have a recession and Krugman will get lucky... just like the proverbial ‘blind pig’. The real question is: how deep and how long ?
At McArdle’s place I commented with an extract of a G.B. Shaw quote:
"If all the economists were laid end to end, they'd never reach a conclusion."Which I enjoy only marginally more than:
I loved Econ in college (sick, I know) but I've always marveled at how economists who live by the phrase of "All other factors held constant" never seem to fully appreciate how fantastic that assumption really is.
Q: Why did God make economists?
A: To make the Weathermen look good.