Lehman failed in September 2008, and that started the panic that got the world’s attention.
So a year later, in September 2009, after living through a year of “disaster,” how did real consumption expenditure (one economists’ favorite measures of living standards) compare to what it was in September 2008?
What about real disposable personal incomes: the amount of income households have on hand to spend?
Both of these are HIGHER in September 2009 than they were a year earlier.
Of course, we cannot say the same thing about employment, but nobody seems to acknowledge that this recession is much more about the labor market than about drops in real incomes or spending.[The BEA may revise the September 2009 income and spending numbers, up or down, so it is possible that the revisions show real income and or spending to be slightly lower 9-09 than 9-08. But the fact that the BEA’s measurement techniques are not precise enough to detect a so-called collapse is proof itself that no collapse occurred.]
Photo: Ed Yourdon