Defending Kudlow

Last week, TBP contributor Invictus posted comments about my pal Larry Kudlow. These comments noted that Larry was not in the recession camp as of December 2007, and currently does not see a double dip coming.

Now, Larry is a big boy, and he sure as hell doesn’t need me to defend him. But a little context goes a long way, and there are two data points worth adding to the mix.

First, on February 12, 2008, Kudlow admitted a mild recession was possible, saying “With as much objectivity as I can muster (yes, I still look at the facts), we are teetering very close to a recession. A case could be made that we are in one right now.”

That was on air, on the record. Off the record, after the show, Larry expressed great concern that profits were starting to rapidly fade.

This led me to create this guide:

The Modern Kudlow To Standard English Translation Guide

Kudlowism Modern Translation
“The Greatest Story Never Told”
Early stages of a normal economic expansion
“Goldilocks Economy”
Latter stages of expansion; cracks
in the façade are beginning to show
“A possibility of Recession exists”
The recession has already begun
“A Mild Recession” We are in a broad and deep recession
“We are in a serious recession” Stock up on canned food,
bottled water and handgun ammo
“I don’t see how this can get any worse” BUY!


Ironically, at the time he said “A possibility of Recession exists,” it was true that the recession has already begun. And when he finally called the recession, it was already broad and deep.

Larry & I have had differing viewpoints on pretty nearly most topics for as long we have known each other. Yes, he is a perennial optimist. And he hates to make negative calls. But I wanted to clarify, as he did eventually come around to the viewpoint of us recessionistas.

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