Former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan warned that the U.S. economy might slip into recession by the end of the year.
While we can disagree as to how good a Fed Chair Easy Al was - he had a number of notable successes, i.e., LTCM and post Asian Contagion - in my opinion, he was too much like a bartender whose answer to nearly any problem was to pour another one.
However, there is little disagreement that economic forecasting was not his forté. We have noted in the past numerous examples of his lack of forecasting acumen.
That said, here is his economic commentary from this morn:
"Mr. Greenspan said the U.S. economy has been expanding since 2001 and that there are signs the current economic cycle is coming to an end. "When you get this far away from a recession, invariably forces build up for the next recession, and indeed we are beginning to see that sign, for example in the U.S., profit margins ... have begun to stabilize, which is an early sign we are in the later stages of a cycle," he said. "While, yes, it is possible we can get a recession in the latter months of 2007, most forecasters are not making that judgment and indeed are projecting forward into 2008 ... with some slowdown."
Mr. Greenspan said that while it would be "very precarious" to try to forecast that far into the future, he couldn't rule out the possibility of a recession late this year. He said he has seen no economic spillover effects from the slowdown in the U.S. housing market, and added that the global economy seems "benign and stable."
"We are now well into the contraction period and so far we have not had any major, significant spillover effects on the American economy from the contraction in housing," Mr. Greenspan said.
U.S. housing starts are down "quite sharply," he said, which is "implicitly creating a reduction in the very high inventories of new unsold homes."
It's enough to make you want to buy SPX (SPX) futures . . .
Greenspan Warns of Possible Recession
By SAI MAN
February 26, 2007 5:37 a.m.