Archive for the ‘gross domestic product’ Category

Playing Frisbee on a Precipice: Seriousness of American Politicans in Doubt During Economic Crisis

October 10, 2008

By Peggy Noonan
The Wall Street Journal

There are 3½ weeks to go. Life, and political campaigns, can turn on a dime. But I think it just turned on a lot of dimes.

There was an October surprise, and it has all but certainly decided the race. On the left, a smug triumphalism is setting in. On the right, anger rises: the finger pointing is about to begin. In parts and pockets of the middle, we have Americans who aren’t thinking about politics because they’re busy trying to imagine what a modern depression would look like and wondering, for the first time ever, if it is possible that they may wind up living in their cars.

Read the rest:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122359863551021415.html

Economists Expect Crisis to Deepen

October 10, 2008

By Phil Izzo
The Wall Street Journal

The U.S. economy has sunk into a recession and government action is critical to stem the damage, according to economists in the latest Wall Street Journal forecasting survey.

“We’re in the middle of a very dark tunnel,” said Brian Fabbri of BNP Paribas, referring to the worsening credit crunch. “Each day we see another crack in the system.”

Those cracks are quickly adding up. On average, the 52 economists surveyed now expect U.S. gross domestic product to contract in the third and fourth quarters of this year, as well as the first quarter of 2009.

This is the first time that survey forecasts for those periods have turned negative. If those predictions bear out, it would mark the first time U.S. GDP — the total value of goods and services produced — has contracted for three consecutive quarters in more than a half century. Economists put the odds of recession in the next 12 months at 89%, up from 60% in last month’s survey.

It is a challenging scenario for the next president, as the election moves into the homestretch. Either Sen. John McCain or Sen. Barack Obama likely will face an economy in the midst of recession on Inauguration Day, even if the credit crisis begins to ease. The new administration will have to get up to speed quickly, taking over the largest government intervention since the Great Depression.

Read the rest:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122349368554816267.html

Bernanke warns of possible recession

April 2, 2008
By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer 

WASHINGTON – Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned Wednesday the economy may shrink over the first half of this year and that “a recession is possible.” Yet, he didn’t offer any assurances of further interest rate cuts.

US Federal Reserve Bank Board Chairman Ben Bernanke responds ...
US Federal Reserve Bank Board Chairman Ben Bernanke responds to questions during a joint congressional hearing on the country’s economic outlook on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 2, 2008.REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES)

Bernanke’s testimony to the Joint Economic Committee was a much more pessimistic assessment of the economy’s immediate prospects amid a trio of crises — housing, credit and financial.

“It now appears likely that gross domestic product (GDP) will not grow much, if at all, over the first half of 2008 and could even contract slightly,” Bernanke told lawmakers. GDP measures the value of all goods and services produced within the United States and is the best barometer of the United States’ economic health. Under one rule, six straight months of declining GDP, would constitute a recession.

Still, Bernanke said that he expects more economic growth in the second half of this year and into 2009, helped by the government’s $168 billion stimulus package of tax rebates for people and tax breaks for businesses as well as the Fed’s aggressive reductions to a key interest rate. Nevertheless, the chairman acknowledged uncertainty about the Fed’s next steps, notwithstanding the mounting economic woes.

 Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080402/ap_on_bi_ge/
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SecDef Gates, Admiral Mullen Testify Before SASC

February 6, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom 
Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen testified before the Sente Armed Services Committee today.  Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) is chairman of the committee and Sen. John Warner (R-VA) is the ranking member of the minority.

Several issues of interest were discussed.

Asked about the size of the defense budget both Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen said that the budget needed to be 4% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Admiral Mullen said that 4% of GDP should be an annual “floor” or lowest national investment in defense.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates stands by his chair at the witness ...
Defense Secretary Robert Gates stands by his chair at the witness table on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008, prior to testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the fiscal 2009 Defense Department budget.
(AP Photos/Susan Walsh) 

Secretary Gates said that there has been a recent shift in understanding by the government of Pakistan and that President Musharraf and his closest advisors now realize that the free reign apparently given to the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the tribal areas of Pakistan has now resulted in an “existential threat to the current government of Pakistan.”  Consequently, President Musharraf and his advisors are now waging a much more effective war against terror in the tribal areas.

US intelligence chief Mike McConnell told a Senate hearing yesterday, Tuesday, February 5, that the al Qaeda network in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan has suffered setbacks, but still poses a persistent and growing danger from its safe haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas. He stressed that al Qaeda remains the pre-eminent threat against the United States” more than six years after 9/11.

Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen supported and reiterated that view.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen testifies on Capitol ...
Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, today, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008, before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the fiscal 2009 Defense Department budget.
(AP Photos/Susan Walsh)

On the issue of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Senators expressed concern that all NATO nations had not fielded troops in Afghanistan.  Secretary Gates said that he feared the evolution of a two tiered NATO with one tier “fighting and dying” and a second tier not participating.  Secretary Gates said that he will continue to persuade NATO member nations toward a more active role in the war against terror.

Secretary Gates said he had become a “nag” to the Defense Ministers of NATO by pestering them about their contributions to the mission in Afghanistan.

In January some NATO defense ministers went public with their resentment for Mr. Gates.

“This is not the Robert Gates we have come to know,” Van Middlekoop told the Dutch broadcasting agency NOS last month, following criticism from Mr. Gates. “It’s also not the manner in which you treat each other when you have to cooperate with each other in the south of Afghanistan.”

Today Secretary Gates went out of his way to compliment the Dutch, Canadians, British, Australians and others for their work in Afghanistan.  But he said there were still several NATO member nations not taking the mission seriously enough. 

Secretary Gates said he would continue to press this issue this week end at a Defense Ministers’ meeting. 

Last month, Pentagon spokesman Geo Morrell said, “The secretary is not backing off his fundamental criticism that NATO needs to do a better job in training for counterinsurgency. But he is not — nor has he ever — criticized any particular nation for their service in Afghanistan.”

Secretary Gates also spoke eloquently about the AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense system now deployed at sea, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and THAAD.

On combat troops in the war zone, Admiral Mullen said, “The well is deep, but it is not infinite.  We must get Army deployments down to 12 months as soon as possible. People are tired.”

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates makes a statement about the ...
Secretary Gates at a recent Pentagon briefing.

From the  Associated Press:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080206/ap_on_go_
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From Reuters:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080206/us_nm/
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China’s Economy: Not So Fast, Jack

December 19, 2007

Investors Business Daily
December 18, 2007

Competition: The common wisdom is that China‘s large and fast-growing economy could overtake the U.S. as soon as 2012. Not so fast. New data suggest China’s not quite as big as economists once thought.

The World Bank’s latest estimates for the global economy contained a stunner of a statistic: China accounts for just under 10% of the world’s total output — or about 40% smaller than thought.

At $5.3 trillion based on 2005 data, China’s economy is still No. 2. But it has considerably more ground to make up before passing the U.S. in absolute size — if, in fact, it should ever do so. Total world output in 2005 was $55 trillion. The U.S. produced $12.4 trillion of that — with a population only one-fourth the size of China’s.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ibd/20071218/bs_ibd_ibd/20071218issues01