If a Recession Occurs, Plenty of People Will Have Predicted It

NABE survey, WSJ survey, Bloomberg survey, PredictIt

Source: NABE, Economic Policy Survey,19 Aug 2019. Survey 14 July-1 August 2019. [link updated 10:11pm Pacific]

Source: WSJ, August 2019 survey of economists.

Source: Bloomberg, 8 Aug 2019.

Source: PredictIt, 16 Aug 2019.

All of these polls were conducted before the stock market drop on 14 August; the PredictIt market price was obtained on 16 August, so incorporates the news regarding inversion of the 10yr-2yr.

67 thoughts on “If a Recession Occurs, Plenty of People Will Have Predicted It

  1. Uncle Moses [ original, first, best, and only predictor of the next recession ]

    Huh-uuuuuuh!!!!!! Huh-uuuuuuhh!!!!

    Uncle Moses and trump predicted it!!!! Uncle Moses and trump predicted it!!!!! ONLY US TWO predicted it!!!! Nyaaaa!!!! Nyaaaaa!!!!! LOSERS!!!!!!

    Uncle Moses and trump were the original, the first, the only, and the best to predict it. And you know that. You know that. Even the Kennedys and the Roosevelts said we did it first and better!!!! And you know that. You know that.

  2. joseph

    Trump: “The economy is the strongest in history. There is no recession.”

    Trump: “We need to cut interest rates and cut payroll taxes immediately because of risk of recession.”

    The man can keep both of these thoughts in his head simultaneously because he is senile.

    1. Willie

      Nah, he’s not senile. He’s never had anything in his head that would allow him to connect two thoughts in logical sequence. This is nothing new. He lost more money over his career than any other human on the planet, went bankrupt playing with house money, and has generally been an utterly incompetent twit who has got by on bailouts and double dealing. What bothers me is that apparently sane Americans take anything he says seriously, instead of regarding him as a wind-up toy buffoon.

      1. baffling

        i do believe his cognitive skills are declining at a more rapid pace since entering office. he is going to run into a problem with his cabinet if he were to get reelected. if he appoints anybody skilled and with integrity, they will probably begin proceedings to have him removed from office. so he will continue to try and appoint cabinet members unfit for office that will defend him no questions asked, which the senate will not confirm. so he will be a sitting president with either empty cabinet seats or acting positions. for the entire term. this will not be good for the country.
        trump has just had an imaginary deal to buy greenland followed by a temper tantrum when reality punched him back in the face. trumps sense of reality is getting murkier by the day.

        1. Willie

          My expectation is that he will be out of office sooner rather than.later. Even if he manages reelection, which would surprise me, his incompetence and fundamental dishonesty will finally be so painful for the nation that the GOP will finally turn on him. Remember that Nixon was reelected in a landslide just before the nation turned on him. The economy is the fig leaf the GOP uses to cover for Trump. Whether it hits the rocks in 2020 or 2021, that fig leaf is about to incinerate itself.

          1. baffling

            “Whether it hits the rocks in 2020 or 2021, that fig leaf is about to incinerate itself.”
            i think trump does understand that all growing economies will eventually slow down or contract, even a bit, before continuing growth. which is why he is so adamant about continuing “stimulus” even with a growing economy. he knows he cannot survive a downturn. but i also think, at least in his mind, he believes he can delay that recession until after his second term. this is why he continues to push for tax breaks and interest rate cuts. problem is, i don’t think reality agrees with him once again. i don’t think there is anything he can do, even the absurd, to avoid a contraction within 6 years. but maybe he does not care, and after reelection when things go bad he would simply walk away as a “winner” and let somebody else clean up the mess?

  3. Moses Herzog

    I’m not 100% certain, but I think this is the link Menzie meant to put up on the NABE Survey.

    They say Einstein was bad at “menial” tasks like tying his shoes and shaving—so sense Menzie is a super bright minded guy we’re going to forgive him on these link mishaps and refer to them as a “Menzie Einstein anomaly” You like that?? What?? I’m “trying too hard”?? Ok, whatever.

    Taking a small break from watching Danny Devito in “DUMBO” with Cherry pie and coffee replacing cheese popcorn and cherry soda. I like the color tones/atmosphere of the movie so far, and it fits my maturity level almost perfect.

  4. pgl

    I bet this story makes Princeton Stevie jealous:


    ‘In a tweet on Monday, President Donald Trump made a sensational allegation about Google. “Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election! This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought! @JudicialWatch,” Trump wrote. He was referring to a study by psychologist Robert Epstein, which was discussed on Fox Business earlier on Monday.’

    Never mind the fact that Trump misrepresented what Epstein wrote. Never mind that Epstein’s paper was total BS not deserving the term “study”. Epstein got an appearance on Fox Business and was highlighted in a Trump tweet.

    Princeton Steve has been working overtime writing all sorts of intellectual garbage just to get appearances on Fox shows and the attention of Donald Trump. But it was Epstein not Princeton Stevie that got this attention instead. So unfair!

    1. Willie

      And the federal government is not on a binge right now? The deficit is looking like WWII or something. It just goes to show that coddling “job creators” doesn’t do much useful or do it for very long. We are well and truly up a creek now. But, oh, well. When a Democrat is in the WH, the GOP will suddenly find fiscal religion again and bewail deficits, to the detriment of large numbers of Americans. Moscow/Massacre/Mothball Mitch doesn’t care so long as Obama is a one term president and the Russians help Trump get reelected.

      1. pgl

        Someone might want to tell Single Statistic Bruce “no relationship to Robert” Hall about the 1981 yuuuuge tax cut combined with Reagan’s defense spending surge. How did that work out? How much you want to be that Single Statistic Bruce looks at nominal GDP and concludes we had a 1982 boom?!

        1. Willie

          I graduated from college in 1982. It was an economic wasteland. Ronnie got lucky with the timing. I do not expect Little Donny Fauntleroy to be quite so lucky. It will not be as bad as 1982 to 1984, but it will be less pleasant than the recent economy.

  5. Bob Flood

    We are not bad at predicting recessions when they are nearly on us, but we’re just awful at predicting them a year or more out. The 243-year history of the US has seen abt 47 recessions for an unconditional prob of abt .19. More recently the unconditional prob is more like .10/yr. If interested in this stuff see PrakaSh Loungani’s work at the imf.

  6. AS

    Professor Chinn,
    Given the WSJ article today (08/20/2019, page A3) on recreational vehicle sales as a recession indicator, it may be worth an update of your 12/17/2018 post using the RV data discussed in the article.

        1. AS

          Professor Chinn,
          Using an estimated RV unit sale percent change for 2019, based upon six months of actual in 2019 compared to six months of actual of 2018, I am getting a pretty high probability forecast of recession in 2020. Forecast is about 71%.
          Adjusted sample: 1983 to 2019
          McFadden R-squared 0.346
          C = -1.31
          RVgrowth(-1) = -0.071 , growth stated in percentages
          Included observations 37
          Obs with Dep=0 32
          Obs with Dep =1 5

          My replication of your December 2018 model, agreed, so I think my numbers above should be close to what you may show if you update your model. I wonder if the RV association may provide a longer history of annual unit sales than what is shown online.

          1. Menzie Chinn Post author

            AS: Thanks for the data. You beat me to the punch. I suspect I can’t add much — I could probably get better resolution if I could get monthly data, convert to quarterly. Will post once I can check the data myself.

  7. joseph

    Trump doesn’t even have to fight to pass a bill for a payroll tax cut. He could have all the economic stimulus he wants by just by telling Texas and Florida and North Carolina and Georgia and Missouri and all the other red states to start accepting free federal money for Obamacare Medicaid expansion. This would result in billions in instant economic stimulus in his favorite red states.

    But Republicans won’t do this simple thing out of pure meanness and spite directed at poor people.

    1. baffling

      “But Republicans won’t do this simple thing out of pure meanness and spite directed at poor people.”
      i guess you have been reading the comments from dick stryker again.

  8. Leonardo

    Isn’t it all about reflexivity?

    Most contrarians will take the other side of this. However, from time to time, a true contraction leans even more on the side of consensus. This may very well be one of those times….

  9. 2slugbaits

    So if economists predict a recession and policymakers take steps to prevent a recession, were the economists wrong to predict a recession? It’s a slightly different version of Milton Friedman’s thermostat puzzle. The only forecast errors that we observe are when economists fail to predict a recession that actually does occur.

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      2slugbaits: The argument relies upon the political will existing to deploy the appropriate tools (incl. fiscal policy), or the instruments have the short (implementation, propagation) lags necessary between recognition and action (both fiscal, monetary). So in practice, we see the correlation we do.

    2. Moses Herzog

      If you’re talking about rate moves and QE, those are relatively predictable. Fiscal policy less so, but we’ve seen that even when they do use fiscal policy it’s usually for the wealthy in which case it largely “shoots blanks” from the gun chamber. I think if you want to make predictions this is an easy “out”. Doesn’t it go without saying if you stick your neck out to make a prediction that you are accounting for ALL variables?? I’m just saying if anyone makes a prediction then they have to be will to “face the music”.

      If you’re saying if a recession hits in 2020 that no one will be lauded as a “guru” and that if it doesn’t the sh*t will hit the fan on mainstream economists ability to forecast—then I would agree with you. This happened in 2008 also even though there were some signals screaming then as well. When people lose 25%–50% of their retirement accounts they are looking for anyone to blame but themselves . They don’t want to ask themselves “Why did I vote for this guy??”

      You know, the guy who voted himself X number of pay raises and voted against minimum wage. Etc Votes have long-term impact, including when and how recessions hit. Because of that LONG ARCH of time between the vote and the consequence of that vote, they may not recognize that connection between their vote and economic conditions exists—it doesn’t mean the connection isn’t there.

  10. Steven Kopits

    A comment I made:

    Advanced economies require advanced governance. This implies a restrained state, particularly the executive, and a rule of law. This can be achieved with the laissez faire governance which Hong Kong has enjoyed under British and subsequent ‘two systems’ rule.

    If the quality of this governance comes into serious question — and it has done so — then the population will seek other avenues to insure their property rights. They will do so by seeking democracy, as they have done with success across east Asia.

    The notion that the mainland Chinese are somehow different or inferior, and not worthy of the democratic institutions of, say, their countrymen in Taiwan, is utter nonsense. The Chinese are not the inferiors of the Koreans, Japanese, Indonesians, or Philippinos, all of whom have democracies.

    To me, it looks like the die is cast. With the Chinese military unwilling to intervene and Lam now on the lamb, metaphorically speaking, the path of least resistance is to acquiesce in protester demands, force Lam to resign and hold free elections six weeks hence.

    For Xi, this would have any number of benefits. First, it would make China look like a better partner to Taiwan. Second, it would bolster us free-traders in the US who would be more sympathetic to China in US trade negotiations if we felt the country less threatening. Third, it makes the Hong Kong problem go away, and to a certain extent, helps hold the mainland’s financial situation together better in the short run.

    Be that as it may, China is at the turning point. Xi is — and has been — running against the tide of history, and even more problematically, economics. Either China must turn inward, as it has in the past, or it must liberalize its politics. There is no third way anymore. The history of the region tells us that China will democratize, starting in Hong Kong, pretty much right now.

    So, the rest of the world may have been thinking that China would never be a democracy. We never accepted this thesis, and indeed, we wrote so now fifteen months ago.


    1. pgl

      Sorry dude – still not reading your worthless blog. I started reading this comment but my head was about to explode reading such a dumb and yet arrogant rant.

    2. Barkley Rosser


      This is a nice and pleasing scenario, and I hope it occurs. However, I fear it is unilkely (not impossible). Xi seems to be in no mood for being non-authoritatian, and is pushing hard lines on Taiwan all over the world (see recent bullying of the mayhor of Prague, Czech Republic of all things, over Taiwan).

      The alternative is not Tianananmen, but indeed sending in troops that are reportedly piling up in Shenzhen, with this enforcing a more direct rule from Beijing, although with them trying to avoid an outright slaughter of protestors to retain some international credibility. I do not like this, but I fear it is more likely than your more optimistic scenario.

      1. Steven Kopits

        I’ll take the over.

        I think Sunday’s mass protest was a turning point.

        From Bloomberg:

        Hong Kong protesters rejected leader Carrie Lam’s attempt to meet one of their key demands, raising questions about whether a compromise can be reached even as both sides seek to lower tensions.

        Lam pledged to immediately establish a platform for dialogue, investigate complaints against police and institute a wide-ranging fact-finding study into the demonstrations. While details remained scarce, she said the platform would involve people from different walks of life, political views and stances. She said authorities would enlist international experts to conduct the fact-finding study, which would be released to the public in six months.

        “I hope that this is a very responsible response to the aspirations for better understanding of what has taken place in Hong Kong,” Lam told a briefing Tuesday. The study, she added, “will provide the government with recommendations on how to move forward and also to avoid the recurrence of similar incidents.”

        The moves appear to be a fresh attempt to engage with pro-democracy protesters, who came out in force on Sunday in a largely peaceful gathering that contrasted with violent clashes with police in previous weeks. While the move falls short of meeting the five key demands of demonstrators, who oppose Beijing’s attempts to tighten control over the city, it indicates a softening in Lam’s stance after she earlier ruled out an independent inquiry.

        From SCMP:

        Hong Kong protests need a political solution and that should start with withdrawing extradition bill, police watchdog chief Anthony Neoh says

        Given the size of the protests 11 weeks (I think it’s eleven weeks) into the crisis, it’s pretty clear that HK citizens have decided that it’s all or nothing. Meanwhile, when the chief executive starts backpedaling, that’s going to be a losing hand.

        So either Xi invades, or he doesn’t. If he does, it’s going to be all over everyone’s cell phone, and those Trump tariffs are going to become Trump sanctions, and the Europeans may feel like piling on. Beijing could easily lose control over the external situation. So if you’re Xi, do you want to bet the whole enchilada on Hong Kong? I wouldn’t.

        Maybe you play for more time. But the clock is ticking.


        1. Barkley Rosser

          Does look like right now Lam is playing for time, and, sure, Xi would prefer not to invade. Heck, despite all the building up of Shanghai and Shenzhen, Hong Kong is still mighty useful economically for China in a lot of ways. OTOH, there have been a lot of stories about how Americans at least (not sure about Europeans) just do not care about this and are disconnected from it. We are just so caught up in all of our ever so important stuff like all the sexy stuff coming out of Epstein’s death. So, yeah, Trump has warned them against doing “another Tiananmen,” but it looks like there are ways to crush this without going that far.

          In any case, I see nothing coming out of Lam that suggests they are going to have elections. I think that is not at all likely.


    Now is the time for that $2 trillion infrastructure bill that everyone wanted last spring. There was no “need” for it back then, but now Lord Keynes is front and center again. Maybe, hopefully, all these economists have opened the door for something useful.

    1. pgl

      We needed this infrastructure investment back in 2009. It is 10 years too late and the timing is procyclical. Government investment makes more macroeconomic sense when we have a large output gap as opposed to the current situation of near full employment. Then again – Trump’s incompetence may give us a significant output gap soon.

      1. PAUL MATHIS

        Industrial Production is 3.4% above its 2007 peak and falling. We could clearly use some infrastructure spending now because we have barely increased output over the past 12 years. By the time the construction gets going, we will likely be in a recession.

    1. Barkley Rosser

      One of the least remembered episodes from the Obama era is that the payroll tax cuts he put in place were temportary, and when it came time to undo them, those leading the charge in Congress were the Republicans, who supposedly are never for tax increases, but had no problem reimpoising higher regressive fica taxes, even as they whined over Obama’s higher taxes on the rich (more than undone under Trurmp big time).

      1. ilsm


        I had a free (filet mignon, my H/LDL numbers were good in July) dinner on a 21st century life insurance salesperson….. they say taxes are skyrocketing when the Trump cuts ‘sunset’…… so us old folks need to go Roth and put it in indexed universal/whole life. The free dinner was nice, the spiel rather disjointed. But life insurance is for younger than I.

        Surprised FINRA has not put alerts out on this version of annuity…….

        I will not bet on taxes rising on 2026, nor would I bet the payroll relief will last longer than Obama’s.

        Being retired the payroll tax matter is not interesting to my situation.

        1. Barkley Rosser


          And we are supposed to give a hoot about your personal financial situation? Sorry, I think most of us here are looking at a bigger picture than just what impacts us personally. Maybe for me it is because I am a professional economist, but I have at times in the past actually supported things that hurt my own personal finances because I thought they were good for the broader society. But, hey, if you want to focus on your own financial stuff to the exclusion of all else, be my guest.

    2. pgl

      Try reading the 1st 2 paragraphs:

      “When people refer to President Obama’s tax cuts, they generally refer to the $858 billion tax cut deal signed in 2010. It extended the Bush tax cuts through 2012 and unemployment benefits through 2011. It cut payroll taxes by 2 percent, adding $120 million to workers’ spendable income. It extended a college tuition tax credit. It also included $55 billion in industry-specific tax cuts.

      To pay for part of these costs, Obama’s deal revived the inheritance tax that had lapsed for a year. It applied a 35 percent tax rate to estates worth over $5 million for individuals or over $10 million for families.”

      ARRA was in 2009 not 2010. You are talking about two separate pieces of legislation.

      1. ilsm

        I did not think Obama needed credit for extending Bush tax cuts, like he needs credit for extending Bush’s wars. pentagon splurging, while adding Libya, Syria [funding al Qaeda in Syria to get rid of the Assad family] and the Saudi terror in Yemen.

  12. Moses Herzog

    Some people can’t figure out why the vast majority of HongKongers don’t respect and “look down on” mainland Chinese. May I present to you Exhibit A of about 5 Zillion court room style exhibits we could give??

    When I lived in China, you couldn’t walk a city block of a commercial area and not see 5+ storefront examples of that, nevermind going down the store isles, then we’re getting into the “I lost count” category. Now we can rationalize this if we like (Wal Mart has generic brands, similar labels, similar color themes, other stores etc). But come one people….. it’s not even close to the prevalence you see in mainland China. Here is the thing—when you hear and see a disrespect of anything and everything American (America’s “open culture”, while mainland Chinese praise France in the very next breath) and Japanese at the same time they rip-off every segment of your commercial/industrial/tech society, and the wealthy mainland Chinese want to tell you Japanese are “animals” while they simultaneously would give their left arm to own and drive a Japanese car, one is left scratching their head. I think HongKongers would rather avoid living this type “logic” from cradle to grave where original ideas, effort, and initiative are bulldozed and taken a wrecking-ball to by nepotism and guanxi—It’s worthy of spilling some of your own blood for—to avoid the mainland “zombie syndrome”—- if you are a Hong Kong citizen.

    1. Barkley Rosser


      I largely agree with you on this, with my disagreements so slight as not to be worth mentioning. I hope that this does not induce vertigo or worse in you, :-).

  13. pgl

    Trump is babbling all sorts of BS right now. One of my favorites is how he claimed that the stock market right now is 60% higher than it was on election day 2016. I guess Trump flunked first grade arithmetic as the reality is that the current value of the S&P 500 is only 34% higher than it was on election day.

      1. pgl

        So Trump is doing Stephen Moore arithmetic! Like the time he added the corporate tax rate (say 34%) and the personal income tax (say 38%) to argue our tax code double taxes those who hold share in C corporations to the tune of 72%. Let’s see, the corporate gets $100 in pretax profits so you get a $66 dividend check. Assuming you have the worst tax advisers ever, you keep $66(.62) = $40.92 so even under the worst case scenario, the marginal tax rate is closer to 59% than 72%.

        I remember this as Brad DeLong congratulated Kevin Drum (it was the 1st blog post of Drum’s I ever read) for figuring out what Brad’s nine year old daughter also got.

        Of course Moore the village idiot changed his National Review blog post congratulating his conservative readers for pointing out his error. Kevin Drum is a conservative????

  14. pgl

    Menzie has written about how this White House is getting rid of agricultural economists so this update may be of interest:


    The USDA is slashing buyout payments for economists and researchers at two small agencies who are leaving their jobs after the Department announced that their positions were being moved to Kansas City.
    In a document first flagged by Vice News’ Morgan Baskin, the USDA said it was cutting the payment from $25,000 to $10,000 “due to the volume of applications” it had received for voluntary separation. The union representing affected employees confirmed to TPM Tuesday that buyout payments were being reduced.
    According to the document, the USDA is giving employees until Monday to decide whether they will take the money, known as a “Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment,” with the stipulation that they will forfeit the full pre-tax amount if they return to federal service within five years.
    “It’s hard to imagine USDA management finding more ways to demoralize the workers at these two agencies, yet they continue to top themselves at every turn,” American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. said in a statement.
    In June, the USDA announced that hundreds of affected employees from the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), two small agencies providing economic and research expertise, would be relocated to the Kansas City region by Sept. 30.

    1. 2slugbaits

      This doesn’t make a lot of sense. The number of VSIPs that can be approved cannot exceed the number of positions in each job series slotted for reduction. For example, if the agency needs to cut 100 ag economists, they can only offer up to 100 VSIPs. So it sounds like USDA is frantically trying to discourage people from separating by reducing the VSIP buyout payment. Anyway, the VSIP rules are here:


  15. Bruce Hall

    Less than half of the bond market’s rally in August can be explained by a deterioration in the economic growth outlook and expectations for further monetary easing from the Federal Reserve, according to Marko Kolanovic, JPMorgan’s global head of quantitative and derivatives strategy, in a Tuesday research note.


    This may not be covered in the regression analysis.

    1. Barkley Rosser

      It also does not seem to make much sense. The link argues that the missing 50% is due to high frequency traders doing convex hedging. But then it says that they have retreated from the market due to recent volatility. So, which is it? Are they rushing in driving down long term rates in a fit of convex hedging, or are they running for the hills, terrified of all this recent volatility?

      1. pgl

        WAs Bruce asking Menzie to appoint Marko Kolanovic as his new research assistant? I suspect Menzie could find a more capable assistant among his current students.

      2. pgl

        I was intrigued when the story turned to a lack of liquidity which made me go “uh oh”. But then I read this:

        ‘The lack of trading was exacerbated by the sudden retreat of high-frequency traders spooked by the spike in bond-market volatility this month. Analysts say high frequency traders have become increasingly important market makers for Treasurys over the last decade.’

        High frequency day traders were ‘spooked’ by volatility. Oh dear. Leave it to Single Statistic Bruce to dig up such a silly story. I guess he saw the title and went MAGA!

  16. Moses Herzog

    Does anyone remember Kamala Harris and various other illiterate TV anchors smearing Tulsi Gabbard for saying giving support to ISIS in Syria was a mistake??

    Helping ISIS is demoralizing and hurtful to American citizens and soldiers who have been murdered and lost limbs being targeted by ISIS. It also lengthens out wars in the MidEast. But I guess if you’re the Pentagon or various military contractors like Lockheed-Martin or Raytheon that the Pentagon sleeps cozy in bed with, long wars are “a good thing”. Well as long as cable TV keeps either smearing Tulsa Gabbard, or acting like she doesn’t exist, then we can keep her poll numbers below 5%. And of course the DNC/Tom Perez can cherry pick which polls “count” so we can get payback on Senator Gabbard for not “playing ball” on Hillary’s “I’m With Me” 2016 team. That way we can keep this all in good shape when candidates that want to spend money on U.S. public education rather than bombs killing women and children in Yemen pop up out of the woodwork. “We” (i.e. the DNC party apparatus and cable news manipulators) can destroy ethical candidates like Tulsi Gabbard quicker than a Raytheon smart bomb can kill some “collateral damage” in the MidEast.

    Oh well, Tulsi Gabbard has only served in the U.S. Army Reserves for 16 years, and was deployed in Iraq and Kuwait (where she got commendations for her training and service), I mean, WTF would she know about vs MSNBC’s Brian Williams who makes up stories about himself every other night. You know, I’m sure Brian Williams played with water guns as a 6 year old child, so Brian Williams surely is the person to tell us which leaders are the “right and moral” ones to interact with, right??

    1. Barkley Rosser

      Yikes, Moses. You seem to be completely losing it for this raging homophobe, Gabbard, who has visited Aleppo with Assad who destroyed the place and killed thousands there. I thought you were a diehard Berniebro. Heck, I do not think he will get the nomination, but at least he has a consistent progressive agenda with none of this wierd awful garbage this Gabbard has, who has far less chance of getting the nomination than Bernie has, who does have a possible opening if Biden, Warren, and Harris all collapse, which is not impossible.

      Your link says a big fat zero about any Dems, certainly not a whisper about either Harris or Gabbard. I am unaware of any Dems who have supported ISIS as you seem to imply Harris somehow has. To the extent Dems have supported questionable types it would be the al Qaeda-related groups opposed to Assad whom he defeated in the slaughters in Aleppo that Gabbard visited with Assad.

  17. Sebastian

    semi-(OT) from previous thread.

    Poster “Dave” asked about my recession prediction method. You know all these different prediction models of one type or another derived from the 3month/10year yield curve?

    Same thing, only different.:) Different method of calculation, settings, and thresholds, that’s all. My view is that all of the different flavors will work, as long as they’re applied and understood correctly.


      1. Sebastian

        Good one, Menzie.:) Here’s another easy joke at my expense: At this point in the economic cycle, no type of policy nor amount of easing will be powerful enough to keep the U.S.S. MAGA from running aground on the treacherous shoals of recession. Our economy is just too massive and diversified to dramatically change direction once it’s on a particular course.

        Not a guess, simply informed speculation that comes from observing the relationship between FOMC behavior, credit market behavior, business cycle behavior, and their inter-relationships, with no preconceived notions and using only indicators that I have personally vetted and know to be effective.

        And to all a good night.:)


  18. Moses Herzog

    Here’s another MAGA era story that will make you audibly groan and enter depression. Here is a question—How can we as Americans criticize Beijing for squashing protesters in Hong Kong, when in MANY U.S. states now (and spreading like a bad terminal virus) we have now made it “illegal” to protest oil pipelines?? [the audio recording proving this is a converted effort by the oil and gas industry is roughly 3 paragraphs down after the link jump, click the white/gray play button symbol on the left side of the black rectangle ]


    Making protest illegal is another sign MAGA is taking us closer to a dictatorship style government. donad trump’s efforts to make us into an amoral country is making it more difficult for Americans to criticize wrongdoings in other countries.

    You know, I can only guess what Menzie’s Mom (and other proud American Chinese) think when they read this aggravating garbage, they might think/ask “If America makes some forms of protest “illegal” and cumbersome, how can America turn around and criticize the country of my ancestors??” It makes us, as Americans, look like supreme hypocrites. Because to a large degree, we have now become hypocrites on this issue. So Menzie’s Mom, if you’re out there reading this and think your fellow Americans are kinda hypocrites on this—you are more than “kinda” right—we ARE hypocrites.

    1. Barkley Rosser


      I agree with you on your point here about this matter of American hypocrisy. But, I suspect that Menzie would prefer that you leave his mother out of this and probably all other comments you make here (although I know nothing at all about Menzie’s mother; but I know people tend to be sensitive about their mothers).

    2. Moses Herzog

      I meant to type “concerted effort” instead of converted effort in my near above comment. My sad attempt at an excuse is that the “v” key is right by the “c” key. Or I could just be honest and tell you I’m a crappy typist. But this is the MAGA era and telling the truth isn’t the “in trend” now, so I’m going with the former of the two choices. As to that strange parasitic arachnid named Barkley Junior that keeps attaching itself to the bottom of my comments, it’s said elderly go through a stage where they act like toddlers, and I’m suspicious this may be little Barkley Junior’s attention demanding stage. NO Barkley Junior, you can’t get on a late night talk show by attaching yourself to me, so stop this, ok??

      1. Barkley Rosser

        You can call me all the silly names you want, Moses, but just lay off Menzie’s mom, please.

  19. Moses Herzog

    Here’s another good one:

    Well never mind his policy on the embassy puts Israelis at higher risk for attack, never mind donald trump’s policy towards Iran puts Israelis at higher probability of attack. He’s donald trump of MAGA infamy, and if you’re Jewish and don’t vote trump you’re “disloyal”. That the news from Lake Wobegon today kids.

  20. Moses Herzog

    I’m always amazed at which celebrity deaths will cause a “stir” and a “ruckus” and which celeb’s deaths go out without even the sound of a small sigh. Peter Fonda seemed to go out quietly didn’t he?? I don’t know what kind of human being he was, but one thing I will say about Peter Fonda—he was pretty good about selecting the projects he was involved in. My personal favorite of Peter Fonda’s was a film called “The Limey”, which may be an “acquired taste” type film, but I thought it was exceedingly well done:

  21. Rusty

    Hi Menzie,

    I have some genuine and general questions about your thoughts on recessions and economics. I am in no way trying to imply that Trump has been good or bad for the economy (overall I would agree that he has been bad). I am simply trying to understand your thoughts on questions that I don’t fully know the answer to. I understand if the answers are too involved for you to tackle here and know that you are busy.

    Is there a business cycle or is it possible to have a continually growing economy without recessions?

    What policies lead to the long term prosperity?

    I have seen it implied that the Trump tax cuts provided short term gains with long term pains. Do you agree with this?

    How much does the Fed influence growth and recessions?

    It seems like a lot of things are outside of a president’s control such as congress, external countries’ decisions, the Fed, weather, decisions by individual businesses and consumers, etc that influence the economy. How much does a president influence the economy?

  22. spencer

    I have a theory that the consensus can not forecast a recession.

    Recessions occur when the business community makes a mistake and builds too much stuff.

    But business production is based largely on consensus expectations.

    So for the consensus to forecast a recession, the consensus has to forecast that consensus expectations are wrong.


    1. pgl

      Consensus forecasting has historically underplayed downturns. Of course you interesting theory is based sane private market participants who are not jerked willy nilly by erratic policy announcements made on the Twitter account of a truly insane person who made it to the White House. Thankfully the only really powerful tool he has is his stupid trade wars. Just imagine how bad this would be if Trump had total and instant control over fiscal policy. Or if Stephen Moore were ever appointed as the Tsar of monetary policy.

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