Nick Ragone is an author, attorney and public relations executive in New York City. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Rutgers University, and is a graduate of the Eagleton Institute of Political Science at Rutgers University (undergraduate) and the Georgetown University Law Center.

He is the author of three books: Essential American Government, Everything American Government, and President's Most Wanted. Nick is a regular contributor to the Fox News Channel and Fox Business, the PIX11 Morning Show, and has a weekly appearance on the popular Raph Bailey Radio Show.  He co-anchored PIX11's five-hour live inauguration coverage with Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong.

Nick is a contributor to Donklephant.com, one of the most influential political blogs on the web, and  has written for US News & World Report, The Star-Ledger, Real Simple Magazine and RealSimple.com.  Nick has been quoted in over two dozen stories on politics, the presidency, and public relations.  In December of 2007, Nick was named one of PR Week's 40 under 40 to watch, and in May of 2008 was featured in "Profiles of Success", a book about public relations. Nick lives in Jersey City, NJ, with his wife and two children, and spends what little free time he has obsessing on the Mets.

Nick can also be found on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=740817853




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The dreaded "R" word

The news from the National Bureau of Economic Research that we've been in a recession since December of 2007 was met with a 680 point sell-off on Wall Street on Monday.

I suppose the markets got spooked by the "R" word, but in reality most Americans not living under a rock the past year have realized that we're in an extremely soft economy. Whether it was technically deemed a recession was sort of meaningless, but I guess not so for the bears on Wall Street.

But I think there is a silver lining to all this:  If we've been in a recession for 12 months, that means we've probably bottomed out already and we'll likely come out of it in early summer.  The reason for my optimism: Since the Great Depression, the two longest recessions have lasted 16 months -- 1974-75 and 1980-81. 

Even if this recession exceeds those, it likely won't be much longer, so perhaps we're looking at spring or early summer.  Factor in the unprecedented level of government stimulus that is going to flood the economy in the new year, and it could end faster.  

I'm not buying the doomsday scenario that says we'll be in recession until 2010.  After all, the business cycles are much more compressed than years past; the government is able to allocate resources much more quickly; and we're an infinitely more productive workforce.   Our economy bares zero resemblance to 1974 or 1981, and we shouldn't use those recessions as a gauge.

I think the fourth quarter will be the low point, and by the second quarter we'll be back to growth.

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Reader Comments (63)

I would agree with this. Anyone who's watched their 401K for more than, oh say, 10 months KNEW that we were already in a recession. I don't know that we will see relief by summer . . .Nick you are an optimist.. but I DO thing that by the end of 09 we'll see an evening out of the real estate fiasco and the job market which, along with an enthusiasm for the new adminstration will hopefully help boost the economy.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSL

I think this one is going to last a little bit longer because the world economy is just catching the cold from our sneeze. Sign posts in Russia, Hungary, Ireland, India, Singapore, China, and even in Dubai point to a lower 2009 and not coming out till 2010. Couple this with the whole bs decoupling theory and how analysts were sold on how companies could get through the slow down without the US and we start to see companies get harder hit in 09. Those economies are like government receipts... a year behind reality.

Then again, I hope you are right and i'm wrong :-D

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTim

With you, Tim - Nick, hope you're right on emerging from recession. On a micro level, also believe certain regions of U.S. will recover faster than others - based on industries, regional economies, company executives not ridiculously chartering private jets, blah, blah, blah. Have you been to Michigan lately? On about year 4 of their recession.

December 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJen

I think the first half of 2009 will be more pain, but the second half will see substantial pickup.

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