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Dismal Science

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Even a broken clock is right twice a day, but economists are almost always wrong when predicting the future. Confounded by the severity of the current recession, most economists continued to believe that better times were just around the corner. Last spring the experts at Credit Suisse First Boston said the economy appeared to be in a V-shaped cycle in which a "stomach-churning downturn" would be followed by a "rapid recovery." The downside of that scenario has already come true.

We're still waiting for the better half.

The economy is still strong and consumers are still spending. (Chicago Tribune, November 24, 2000)

If there is a recession, say economists, it most likely will be mild and over by the end of 2001. (Chicago Tribune, December 21, 2000)

John Keely of Chicago-based Keely Asset Management said he believes a severe bear market appears to be in the early stages of a recovery that could last as long as four years. (Chicago Tribune, January 1, 2001)

Federal Reserve Cuts Interest Rates (January 3, 2001)

Federal Reserve Cuts Interest Rates (January 31, 2001)

Fed officials are optimistic that the economy will revive in the second half of the year. (New York Times, March 10, 2001)

Federal Reserve Cuts Interest Rates (March 20, 2001)

Analysts say the U.S. economy may be closer to hitting bottom of the sharp decline from the robust growth that prevailed during the boom years. (Chicago Tribune, April 4, 2001)

Federal Reserve Cuts Interest Rates (April 18, 2001)

Federal Reserve Cuts Interest Rates (May 15, 2001)

Alan Greenspan says interest rate cuts this year are having their intended effect on the faltering economy and...the most aggressive phase of the Fed's efforts to ward off recession might be over. (New York Times, May 25, 2001)

Federal Reserve Cuts Interest Rates (June 27, 2001)

"I think we've hit bottom, and we're coming back," said Michael Kluiber, senior vice president for global automotive business at Rockwell Automation. (New York Times, July 3, 2001)

Wall Street continues to argue that the market's recovery since March is foretelling an economic recovery by year's end. (Chicago Tribune, July 20, 2001)

Federal Reserve Cuts Interest Rates (August 21, 2001)

Maybe We've Just About Hit Bottom (New York Times, August 30, 2001)

Most analysts believe the economy appears to be on track for an upturn in the last quarter of the year. (Chicago Tribune, September 11, 2001)

Federal Reserve Cuts Interest Rates (September 17, 2001)

Federal Reserve Cuts Interest Rates (October 2, 2001)

Economists announce recession started in March. White House economic adviser Glenn Hubbard told reporters, "It's too early to tell." (Chicago Tribune, November 3, 2001)

Interest Rates at 40-Year Low (Chicago Tribune, November 7, 2001)

Federal Reserve Cuts Interest Rates (December 11, 2001)

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