Remember that quintessential but awkward schoolyard tradition of picking sides in order to fairly set up battle in your sport of choice? Kickball comes to mind for me, and I confess that as a large lad, I never had to endure the stress of being picked last. In the financial markets today it feels like we're still picking sides on the playground; only now we're battling over degrees of weakness in the economy and whether or not we're heading into another recession or are in one already.
The Financial Times today has Mort Zuckerman, the Chairman of Boston Properties (BXP) and Publisher of US News and World Report, saying a "double dip is nearly inevitable", while a note this morning from Jeff Saut, Chief Investment Strategist at Raymond James explains why he "is in the NO camp" when it comes to recession. It could be months before we settle argument conclusively, and even when we do, many market watchers concede that it really doesn't matter. If we go into another shallow recession or narrowly avoid one, both will feel about the same.
In the meantime, our markets are battered, confidence is shaken, European unity is unraveling, and we are once again turning our collective gaze to a ski town in western Wyoming and a bearded man who many feel is out of ammo to lead us through the quagmire. With expectations high, we're left to speculate about Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and what he could say or do in Jackson Hole this Friday to give the global markets comfort and confidence?Read More »from Can Fed Chairman Bernanke Restore Confidence?