2008-03-14

Win Ben Stein’s Recession

Money’s recent interview of Ben Stein reveals that he thinks we’ll avoid a recession or that it will be brief:

The Federal Reserve has been unbelievably incompetent at righting the financial ship. It needs to assure lenders it has their back and will not let them fail. Eventually, I think, the Fed will get off its ass. And if it does, whatever slowdown we have will be brief.
. . .
Things aren't that bad. Short-sellers and the press are pumping fear into the national bloodstream. The unemployment rate is 5%. Only 3% of the labor force is unemployed for more than 5 weeks - 3%! Of all mortgages extant, more than 94% are current. The number of people in college is at a record. The number of millionaires is at a record. We’re a long way from poverty row. Let me put it this way: Do you see Buffett selling?

Stein does point out one worry he has—20-30 million baby boomers going into retirement without the money that they’ll need to do it.

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