With a straight face, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) announced that the Great Recession ended last June. June of 2009, that is. This made the current recession the longest one since the Great Depression.

BernankeFederal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke largely whitewashed Federal Reserve responsibility for the housing bubble and resultant economic recession in testimony before the congressional Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission September 2.

Housing sales dropped by more than 25 percent nationwide in July, according to the National Association of Realtors, after a federal tax credit for first time home buyers expired in June.

When the Federal Open Market Committee announced yesterday that “the pace of economic recovery is likely to be more modest in the near term than had been anticipated,” stocks in Europe lost three percent of their value, interest rates on the U.S. 10-year Treasury note dropped startlingly as investors ran to safety, and the dollar hit the lowest level against the Japanese Yen since 1995. 

Addison Wiggin asked his readers to imagine an older happily married couple, having their usual morning breakfast together:

They work well together, though maybe the lady of the house has been “the better half” lately … doing a larger burden of the work, paying more bills, keeping the house together and so on. But nevertheless, things are good, so it seems. Times are a little tough, but there’s no imminent reason to suspect the relationship won’t last.

Then one morning, [out of the blue!] she says, “Honey, I [just] want you to know that I’m not planning on divorcing you and taking [the] money with me.”