Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Afraid of the "D" Word

For almost two years now I've stated that the U.S. is in a depression. I've been clear that I don't believe we are in a depression that is as big as the Great Depression was (though have never discounted the possibility). I've taken issue with the term "Great Recession" because it ignores history and tries to spin our actual economic situation. The term depression has not been used since the Great Depression, but was a common term before it. My point is that the evidence is clear we aren't in a garden variety recession, its a depression - but its not the end of the world. It seems that most economists and talking heads believe the term depression can only be used if you are talking about the end of society (ok, perhaps now I'm engaging in a bit of hyperbole, but not much).

Over at the Naked Capitalist blog ( Yves Smith has linked to a Washington Post blog which attempts to compare today's economy to that of the Great Depression. The comparison will likely change your mind as to how this economic environment should be termed, at the very least we should refer to it as a "Depression". Maybe "Silent Depression" should be the moniker.

Hit the topic above for the jump. I've also embedded two of the referenced videos.

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP, AIF