City Economist Offers Heartening Words on Recession

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Aha! A new story that appeared on the New York Times Website a little bit ago has provided us with a Fourth Sign that the end of the recession is nigh. It's about the prognostications the city is making regarding the recession, and in particular the chief economist for the comptroller of New York City, Frank Braconi. Sure, the bulk of it is all blah blah blah "We’ve underestimated how bad this crisis would get" blah blah blah the economy won't even hit bottom until spring blah blah the city will lose 165,000 jobs by 2010 blah blah the city went into a "sharp recession" after Lehman. Thanks — what do they pay you for? But anyway, near the end Braconi gets real and basically admits that actually no one really knows what's going to happen, and it partly seems like everyone is just having a nice wallow.

"There's a certain seductiveness to the notion that things fall apart, whether it be in economics or other walks of life. At a time like this when the chorus of doom is particularly loud, it's important to brace yourself.



Right? We would add to that, personally, that we suspect a lot of the reason people are embracing this recession is that they are secretly thinking, "Yay, I can eat macaroni and cheese all the time."



Braconi spins back into the death spiral for a little bit, but then ends on this optimistic note:



I can’t necessarily predict the next big thing for New York or Boston other than to say that there will be a next big thing. I do have that kind of faith in New York.



See? It's all going to be fine.



City’s Dismal Scientist Mixes Data and Instinct [NYT]