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July 31st, 2009
10:11 AM ET

End of the "Great Recession?"

Could the so-called “Great Recession” finally be coming to an end?

Many economists are pointing to recent signs of an upturn in the economy. In fact, President Obama spoke yesterday, highlighting these signs. He said that job losses are slowing… that housing prices have gone up for the first time in 3 years…and that the credit system, banking system and financial markets have generally settled down.

Given these indicators, we want to know what you think. Do you believe that we have hit bottom and are on our way up? Share your thoughts or story here.


Filed under: Tony Harris
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Mike Posey

    As a three-time winner of the Purple Heart, and combat medic in Viet Nam, I always think back to the episode on MASH, back in the 70"s....Henry Blake tells Hawkeye, "there are two rules in war, Hawk...Rule 1. young men die....rule 2...no one can change rule 1..." Those two rules are still viable to this very day.....Get over it, people...Everytime a President sends young men into battle some die...No one can change that....How we respect these men, the ones that DO NOT die, but are maimed, is a window to our culture, our very existence....In that, we get an "F"....From the war I was in till now.....We have failed.....That's what needs to be fixed....Mike Lakeside Ca....

    July 31, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  2. Lalita Jacob

    DEAR HEIDI MY SON IS IN THE MILITARY IN HAWAII . HE IS SUFFERING FROM POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER. HE IS RELEASING HIMSELF FROM THE MILITARY WITH OUT ANY MEDICLAL HELP,AND BENEFIT.HE ALSO HAVE PROBLEN WITH SLEEPING.HE WILL BE OUT IN AUGUST.

    July 31, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  3. Mike Posey

    AS far as the "recession"? I say, "what recession?" my wife and I live as good as ever...We're both retired, have great free health care, pretty much free meds under the prescription drug plans we use, Well Care, and Health Net....We get comfortable money from Social Security...We have no children, pay rent, we sold our home 6 years ago...we don't use credit cards, pay cash for everything, budget, and don't get stupid....we drive a nice car, which we paid cash for, 5 years ago, keep it maintained...We buy things for cash everywhere we go, if we don't have the cash, we don't get it till we have the cash...We owe our utilities, rent of $950.00, a total of about 1300 bucks a month...We get nearly 4,000 a month tax-free SS benfits.....we live quite well.....If we had kids, gradkids, credit card debt, maintenance costs on our home, we'd be in DEEP doo-doo. We saw it coming, sold out, and live comfortably in the cheapest suburb in San Diego County...Rents are 200 a month lower here in Lakeside, on average...We have a 900 sq. foot two bedroom, two bath apartment...We have my wife's art collection, my things, two cats, and no bills to speak of...That's how we beat the recession. We sold a 1979 double-wide trailer we bought for 20k, for 16K, in 2003. The guy from the manufactured home dealer bought our space in a FAMILY park, so he could put a 200,000 buck trailer he'd sold. He gave us 16k for our SPACE, he sent our old double wide to Mexico.....auctioned it off no doubt.....We thereby save thousands a year on plumbing, roofing, carpeting, water heaters, appliances, all that....by renting all is provided free of charge by the landlord of our complex...He's very good, and we live in a really nice, though not quite so commodious place as our 1600 sq. foot trailer was...We adapted, sold furniture, use storage, and still live pretty well. Beating the recession takes DISCIPLINE...something sorely lacking in our society...Not having kids probably helped, not having to save for colege, and all that...My wife retired as a medical professional at age 49, she's 60. I retired from a stint at UCSD as a guest lecturer, I've also written a book, which sold well....We are happily retired, have all we need, go and come as we please...I see people struggling, sure enough...and MOST put THEMSELVES there..Therefore I feel little sympathy....Show me someone with huge credit card debt, I'll show you an undisciplined person....I paid my credit bills, in my working days to zero every month....I never ran a balance...I saved my money in a plain old passbook for years, as did my wife......We owned property early on, sold for a profit......All that has allowed us to be "recesson-proof"...we live comfortably, not lavishly...we enjoy the simple pleasures, the beach, drives, "road trips", social events with friends. Recession? Only if you've over spent, had a bunch of kids you cannot NOW support, or were never looking AHEAD.....Never saving for that "rainy day"...Wife and I contributed 5% of our combined Gross incomes for years to a "rainy day" fund. Not an IRA, or a Roth, or a 401k. Plain old passbook..Back in the day, the thing made money....not so much now, but we did good.....Now with our combined incomes, and what we had to begin with, we do JUST FINE.....We pay taxes on money past our Social Security money, if we take any money out of the bank, for something special, we save the receipt, count it as income, and pay the tax on it......It never amounts to much, but we always do it....It keeps us above water, and actually quite well off, these days and times...more people ought to try this approach instead of saying those magic words,"I'll use my VISA".....Mike and Val Posey

    July 31, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  4. B.Yxavius

    I think it's to sson to make any assumption about the economy and the direction it's headed. There are som many more factors that can and will play a significant role in how we recover. It will take time to patch this Macroeconomic "wound" and even longer for as individual consumers to recover.

    July 31, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  5. Ray

    Tony speaking for the masses I believe that most incidents where the police are the agressors occur due to the power and control syndrome. If you hand a gun, authority, backup, and sympathizers who will usually take their side, you have the mess we're in.

    Civil Rights Activist

    July 31, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  6. Jim McDonnell

    Just read an article by Eggan of the WashingtonPost. Article titled "who is feeding the Blue Dogs" talks extensively about the million dollar contributions to the blue dogs congressman from the health care insurance industry. Get him on the air, the nation needs to know that the congressman don't care about healthcare, just how to line their own pockets. Are these guys screwing their own citizens?

    July 31, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  7. Alena

    I believe that the worst state of the economy has passed. It bottomed out in June and has slowly been getting better since. I wish my credit had been better so my husband and I could have bought our first house..... bummer.

    July 31, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  8. Nicholas

    Things might be looking up, but I doubt it's over. One slip up could send this thing right back down the tubes.

    July 31, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  9. Jeff

    Is there a recession? My business is up 70% this year. That is on top of a 28% increase last year. I have refused to accept the recession and have aggressively increased advertising. As my competition has retracted, we have expanded. There is business to be had, you just have to look for it.

    July 31, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  10. Ron Lienard

    I do not believe that we've seen any true indications of economic recovery in that the lack of job creation and increasingly high unemployment indicate economic decline. Wishful thinking and inaccurate projections will not replace the fact that as long as people continue to lose jobs, no money will be put back into the economy, which is what's needed for an economic recovery. There is no such thing as a jobless recovery!!

    July 31, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  11. CAROLYN

    If you are salary is still cut, you are unemployed and/or your investments have not recovered it is still "The Great Recession."

    July 31, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  12. Terry Blaurock

    Tony, Jeremy Piven is from Chigaco, maybe Evanston, to be more precise. Don Lemon may know of him. His parents teach acting.

    July 31, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  13. gordo

    tell the young girl with review of movie about the cars (clunkers) is a remake of a 30 year old movie called "Used Cars". basically the same plot ................................................

    g

    July 31, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  14. matt

    With record debts and deficits, the worst likely hasn't even hit yet.

    We have the ability to re-inflate the economy temporarily, but any mild up-turn this month is likely the calm before the storm.

    July 31, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  15. Babz DuQuin

    It's great to hear about the big numbers changing but on a personal level the problem is present and on-going. My daughter is in real estate and hasn't had a sale in four months. That's four months without income! My son is a free-lance producer for corporate sales events. He's had five shows cancelled recently. That's five months without income! He's just had to sell his million dollar home (for much less) in order to downsize and reduce his monthly expense. So my opinion is: You ain't seen nothin' yet, folks! But to their credit, my kids are maintaining their optimism and willing to do whatever it takes to ride out this recession.

    July 31, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  16. Jeff

    We are seeing a number of indicators that seem to point to an improving economy, but I don't think we are at the bottom because the unemployment is still increasing each month.

    July 31, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  17. kenneth ward stephens sr

    hey Tony like news cast I think theeconomy is getting better The Grov. should car Dealer more for rebateds for people buy new cars they well come though i drve a 1998 dodge carvan get great gas Milagae in very good share it paid for it take on half tank take 25.00 fill up at pump gas prices in Detriot Mi is at Pump 98.9and in seminol in Pineallas it is 2,39.9 a gal your freind ken w stephens sr P.S tell everyone want everyone driving on highway 65 is great speed they should lower speed Limited to 65 no more then that save lives

    July 31, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  18. Jim

    I can only speak for myself, if the economy is pickling up. I am going back to work in a new job next week, after being off for almost 6 months. being laid off from a territory sales mgr position (construction). I just let my landlord know I will be repaying my rent, because we had an agreement that I would pay $200.00/mo. less while I was off, (bless her).
    I am very positive about my future and the country. I wish the republicans would let up on the unproductive bashing/lies about nearly everything. I used to be a republican, but I could not stand the "no-hope", woe-is-us rhetoric given by them, giving us such a negative attitude. i go to my parents house to check on them and I can tell if dad has had "fox news" on. He has such a bad attitude and cynical attitude about every politician and new idea about change. I try to tell them about the other side of the argument, then he calms down.
    Anyway, the United States has troubles, big troubles, but we will persevere, in spite of the republicans, me too.

    Jim

    July 31, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  19. Elvis

    In Nov., 2007, my brother-n-law was thinking about leaving teaching and re-opening his building contractor business. He asked me what I thought the housing market was going to do, as I constantly railed about a then coming housing bust. I told him that the housing market would crash by late summer, early fall, 2008 and that as a building contractor, he would have to survive on small repair-renovation jobs until early to mid' 2010. I also told him that the length of the down turn would depended on whether Obama won the election, or John McCain. Yes, I knew even then that it would be between those two. To me, it was obvious. I told my brother-n-law back in Nov. 2007 that we were headed toward a deep recession, to shallow depression, but if Obama won the general election, the economy would start to turn in late summer to early fall of 2009. I haven't missed yet, so now I'm saying that the american auto industry will finally start to see that their way back to prominence in America anyway, is through renewable energy vehicles, by early winter 2009. They will also begin to help rebuild american customer base. They will quickly be joined by textile, food and light industrial manufacturing industries, in that order. The large energy companies like Exxon will be late to the party, joining the re-employ Americia effort by early 2011. China is going to pull back on credit to the US and start demanding returns on their current investments in our nation's debt by late 2010, so they can super charge their own national customer base. This decision by China is inevitable, because it's inevitable US industry will have to recommit first and foremost to it's US customers/economy. China, as well as other heavy exporter nations to the US, are even now realizing they can no longer depend on the US customer base as their cash cow, because from here foward, we will no longer be the number one consumer nation in the world. This fact will not be lost on the smartest and brightest of America and they will start to build things here again. New industries and even some that left in the 70s, 80, and 90s are going to start appearing on a sustained basis. I have to stop now, but their's more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Elvis

    July 31, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  20. Ken in NC

    This recession has taken a few years to get us down and it's going to take years to get us out of it. Until we see all back at work (and we never will) there will always be those claiming the recession is not over. This is not an event that can be turned off like a water faucet and the things we do to drive us up out of this recession will always have those not in support of it because they do not see how a proposal will directly benefit them. Case in point is "CASH FOR CLUNKERS". This program meets several goals such as getting polluting cars off the road and it spurs auto sales however some cannot support it because it does not put them back to work or they are not interested in pollution control. What we must consider is that while some proposals may not directly benefit us, in the long run they will benefit all. I hate to use this statement from the old Star Trek Movie but it is most applicable. THE NEEDS OF THE MANY OUT WEIGH THE NEEDS OF THE FEW. That is to say that the survival of our nation and its' economy comes before all and that means while something might not be beneficial for every citizen, it may be needed so that all citizens can benefit in the long run.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  21. Matthew Marin

    I frequently watch your show at noon. To my knowledge I have never heard you mention your name on air. So the only way that I could find out your name was to go on the CNN website. I would suggest all the reporters identify themselves - not just those on at prime time.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  22. Rob

    Sorry to pee on the parade but until we get back millions of new jobs the recession will not get much better and with any luck the bottom wont fall out completely! The rich complain about paying higher taxes actually taxes they should have been paying all along! But when the rich got really greedy and shipped all of our jobs overseas, in the long run all they have done was cut their own throats! People in this country can either decide whats best for them and their fellow Americans or they can lose it all to foriegn interest, its that simple! Oh by the way this cash for clunkers has turned out to be one more free giveaway to the poor, its not actually going to do anything about improving cars with better gas milage, 18 to 22 mpg is no savings and certainly doesnt justify giving someone $4,500 tax payer dollars for a $500 piece of junk! Another government waste! It must not mean anything anymore to be poor, theres no such thing as to go without. Just ask Obama, he`ll give you a car, cell phone, and a paycheck all you have to do is stay home and not look for a job!

    July 31, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  23. Tarun Tejpal

    There is no way we can spend our way out of this recession. We are creating Money out of thin air (the Feb buys treasuries from their accounts in which they just typed in a Trillion dollars worth of digits) and the taxpayers get the bill for this Money that have been monitzed. This quantative easing will lead to massive inflationary pressures driving up the price of goods, services and commodities. So, we will be getting hit with an increased cost of living of 15% and 10% more taxes at the minimum. Are we all going to get a 25% raise? No, ofcourse not. This extra 25% in the cost of living will ahve to be balanced by less spending and as a result, the economy will slow down even more. The Govt. and so callled Financial pundits have just doomed us into a FInancial Black Hole. Thus, we have made the problem worse, and delayed an eventual financial collapse. Sorry but not matter what, this is inevitable.

    August 1, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  24. E Crowley

    CNN is not my news channel, I am not sure that you even know why most people perfer FOX to CNN or NBC, ley me tell you. We the people like to hear all the news on a fair bases, you people no not report it that why. I would love to be able to change my channel from FOX and be able to find another channel that would be as fair as FOX when reporting on Obama's and his pals in the whitehouse and what they are trying to do to the american people. I know you will not let this comment stay on your wedsite, my knid of opinion is against your COMMENT POLICY, but at least you know there is millions of pople here america that feel the same as me.
    CNN may need us in the future, when Obama is only history.

    Regards,
    One in millions

    August 1, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  25. Chris

    If we only had all those jobs that Obama promised! Ahhhhh, wishful thinking at best isn't it?

    August 1, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  26. holly

    To mike posey- you honestly say "what recession?" Open you're eyes! You must live in a nice little bubble with your retirement money and nice car. "I see people struggling, sure enough…and MOST put THEMSELVES there.." I'm only 21 years old.. i had a car bought with cash that is now unusable.. because the economy is so bad it is basically impossible for me to get a loan.. why is that? Because the banks aren't giving out loans like they used to.. they're holding on to theyre money making my life a lot more difficult. Is this my fault? I have many friends who have been layed off and even their parents are losing their jobs.. Yes that definitely has nothing to do with the economy.. it must be their own fault people don't have the money they used to to spend, which results in businesses needing to lay off chunks of their employees. And you know what the kicker is?? The employees being layed off aren't the ones at the bottom.. its usually the ones making the most money.. the ones that should be secure in their jobs.

    i suggest that before you start accusing the struggling and affected people of America of doing this to themselves.. you open your eyes and realize whats going on outside of Sun City.

    August 1, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
  27. Chris

    Ray, without criminals we would need no police with guns. I sleep better at night knowing they are a phone call away. Do you think the criminals sleep so well?

    August 2, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  28. Dan Duguay

    People constantly evaluating the economy is bad for the economy. I'm about as excited to hear what other people and news figures have to say about the economy as I am excited about your Presidential report card. I can't believe you have a ticker counting down the hours, minutes, and seconds to your Presidential report card. Oh I can't wait. Give me a break. CNN doesn't know anything about the economy, weather, or the President and people's genuine feelings.

    August 6, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  29. mike

    No bill no comment no vote thanks tony

    August 11, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  30. Elaine Forchin

    I am in favor of any healthcare plan that will take care of all Americans. Race nor age should not play a factor.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  31. MarcA

    How do we understand the difference between "the recession is ending" (meaning the trend has bottomed out and recovery has started) and "the impacts of the recession have reversed so we feel our own personal losses have been recovered to a significant point?"

    August 13, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  32. Stan Sumner

    President Obama and the White House have no written plan. Why does your reporter indicate there is one? The President deferred the writing of a plan to the House and Senate. By the way, who are the real authors of those bills? Perhaps staff members?

    August 13, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  33. Samuel T. Wilmit, M.D., FAAP

    I am a primary care physician who has practiced in Pediatrics for 38 years. In addition, I now function as a medical director for a HMO company. Allow me to make some comments.

    1. The government has not been able to control costs in Medicare. The Medicare Advantage program, administered by various companies, has more control than does the government's program. Our company has a readmission review area and will deny readmission's. This is a linchpin of the Obama "reform" plan. Medicaid is out of control. It has been politicized and is fraught with fraud. Medicare is also filled with fraud.

    2. Of the 45million uninsured, at least 30-35% are young adults who have opted out of the healthcare system.

    3. It is impossible to give more benefits for less premium unless there is an unlimited source of cash infusion by the government. As an aside, the company I work for returns 86.4% of each premium dollar to the members. That is documented bight the company's annual reports.

    4. Our company, as well as other payers, have eliminated the pre-existing condition exclusion from their benefit documents.

    5. There is portability, at least for 18 months, through the Cobra program.

    6. The only way to reduce costs is to decrease payments to physicians and other ancillary providers. Medical overhead costs continue to rise and it is becoming impossible to make a decent living as a primary care physician. In addition, there is an implied rationing of services connected with X-Ray and other imaging services. Remember Natasha Richardson. If there was an MRI at the hospital that she was ultimately taken to, despite the delay, she would be alive today. So much for the Canadian and/or British models.

    7. The overuse of testing (lab, imaging, etc.) is solely due to the fact that there is no tort reform and lawyers are looking into any case that has a bad outcome. It is impossible to save anyone or avoid known complications of any procedure.

    8. Subsidies must be in place for medical education, to train primary care physicians, as the income is low and the cost of a medical education (medical school only) is approximately $250.000.00. The debt servicing is stifling.

    9. The total overhaul of the system is so complicated and so costly that the rapid attempt to pass something is destructive.

    Thank you for listening.

    Samuel T. Wilmit, M.D., FAAP

    August 13, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  34. Robert

    Hi Tony
    There is a lot of talk about the improvement of our economy and while we see these impressive gains by the major players who have been involved with stimulus funding, I'm still at a loss as to what is the fate of those whose hope is tied to what those monies were to do in assisting folk like me with mortgage issues. NACA promised to help me and many others, but that help has yet to come. Banks are scurrying to see how they can continue their assault on the public and now our cries are falling on deaf ears. This is unacceptable! Where is the help we need?

    Robert
    Columbia, SC

    October 14, 2009 at 1:18 pm |

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