Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Fed’s Growing Malaise

By Bill Wilson

On November 3rd, the Federal Reserve lowered its outlook for the U.S. economy in 2011, projecting lower growth and higher unemployment than it had in its June estimates, based on the now-released minutes of that meeting.

In June, growth had been predicted to be from 3.5 to 4.2 percent, but now the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has downgraded that to 3.0 to 3.6 percent. Unemployment was originally projected at 8.3 to 8.7 percent, but now that projection has risen to 8.9 to 9.1 percent.

The worsening attitude comes at a time when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is still assuring the world that the economy “is now well into its second year of recovery from the deep recession,” as he did as recently as November 19th.

Tell that to the 26.1 million either jobless or underemployed. The fact is, unemployment has been at or above 9.4 percent for 18 consecutive months, the longest period of sustained high joblessness since the Great Depression.

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