I guess it's splitting hairs but a recession is when you have 2 consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth... which at the earliest would be end of 2012. But more likely the beginning of 2013 considering this quarter will more that likely still be positive. -PJ
Usually we discover ex post that revised growth was lower than expected / negative. If you back out the extraordinary gov't spending / QE we've never left the recession... people wildly underestimate the impact of the coming fiscal cliff. The ONLY reason we haven't followed the path of Europe into recession is our massive and completely unsustainable monetary AND fiscal intervention. We will discover soon enough that using only one lever is insufficient to ward off recession.
It is time to swallow the medicine, even though it tastes bad. At least now, it won't kill us. We kick the can too much longer and it might...
Unless and until capital starts being deployed to productive investment rather than paper asset and commodity speculation, we are heading down a vicious cycle that won't end well... boiled frog syndrome.