It's official! The recession is here!

December 2, 2008: 10:11 AM ET

genewilderThe National Bureau of Economic Research of Cambridge, Mass., which I personally have never heard of until yesterday, has declared that we are in a recession, thereby capturing the No, Duh trophy of the decade.

Even more impressively, the National Bureau of Economic Research's research shows that we have, in fact, been in this recession since last December, which makes me a little more sanguine about not having heard of them ever. I mean, if the National Bureau of Economic Research couldn't ascertain that we were in a recession until one year after it started, I'm wondering what they do all day. 

Better still, the NBER -- that's what its friends call it -- also determined that this will be a really bad recession, very, very bad. Worst since World War II, and it will go on for a long, long time. They don't know how long, but, you know, LONG. Like until next year, even. Or maybe longer, if it turns out that way. Right now I'm sure there are research scientists in long white coats working to make sure that the NBER informs us that the recession is over a year after it has ended. 

The news that the National Bureau of Economic Research had finally issued its Seal of Approval on our recession kicked off a number of observances around the nation. 

  • Many folks flocked to gambling establishments to throw their money down the first available hole. 
  • Others rushed to large retail establishments to make sure they got every last high definition TV that was on sale, sometimes achieving price reductions of more than 15% on those essential objects. 
  • Wall Street mooed, bleated and went running for the door, which is the only mode of conduct of which it is capable at this juncture, other than jumping up and down and shrieking like a little girl. 
  • Lots of people took time for lunch. 

Other than that, it was pretty much a day like any other. Except special, too. I wonder if one day we will all look back and remember where we were when we learned that we had all been in a recession for a year, and kinda get all choked up all over again. It feels like one of those great events, don't it?

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