As some of you have already noticed, Amazon is listing The Return of the Great Depression, albeit with an incorrect release date of October 1st. For those intrepid readers who are interested in participating in the Amazon launch, it is scheduled for Sunday, October 25th, from 12 noon to 12 midnight Central. And, in order to provide some encouragement to those who remain undecided about picking up a copy, here’s John Derbyshire of National Review’s impression:
“Vox Day gives us a splendidly pessimistic look at the current economic mess based on a deep background in finance and global economic history. Written with style and wit – not to mention a good imitation of Dante. Read it, weep, then get on the phone to your investment advisor.”
UPDATE: Prediction time – Vox vs 43 expert economists:
The group asked 43 top economists last month if they believe the battered U.S. economy has pulled out of the worst U.S. downturn since World War II. Those surveyed include economists from leading Wall Street firms and major corporations, as well as from highly respected universities and research firms. Thirty-five respondents, or 81%, believe the recovery has begun. Only four, or 9%, believe the economy is still in a recession. The other four say they’re uncertain.
Thus spake Vox: the economy is in a depression, not a recession. It is occurring at a scale which the experts, with their myopic focus on irrelevant bottom-line quarterly GDP, have failed to recognize. The separation between the much-manipulated economic statistics and the real economy has become too great to credibly paper over, which will lead to either a complete junking of the very concept of GDP as a credible measure of economic activity, or more likely, a significant redefinition of GDP to enable it to more accurately reflect the real economy.
Positive GDP in the third and potentially fourth quarters does not mean the economy is growing, only that the government attempts to expand credit had limited success in pulling future consumption forward; such success will only last as long as the government-expanded credit programs continue to expand.
As per request, I am in the process of putting together some objective metrics that can be tracked in lieu of relying upon GDP and used to falsify my contentions, but note that positive quarterly GDP reports are not sufficient to formally indicate that a recession is over. Nor is there anything such as a “W-shaped recovery and recession”, that’s nothing more than economic posterior-covering and ignores the larger scale view.