This is not what a recovery is supposed to look like.

Less than a month before November elections, the United States is mired in a grim New Normal that could last for years. That has policy makers, particularly the Federal Reserve, considering a range of ever more extreme measures, as noted in the minutes of its last meeting, released Tuesday. Call it recession or recovery, for tens of millions of Americans, there’s little difference. Born of a record financial collapse, this recession has been more severe than any since the Great Depression and has left an enormous oversupply of houses and office buildings and crippling debt. The decision last week by leading mortgage lenders to freeze foreclosures, and calls for a national moratorium, could cast a long shadow of uncertainty over banks and the housing market. Put simply, the national economy has fallen so far that it could take years to climb back. The math yields somber conclusions, with implications not just for this autumn’s elections but also — barring a policy surprise or economic upturn — for 2012 as well.
By Michael Powell and Motoko Rich, Oct 12, 2010 NYT

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