Art Cashin On Why The "Economy Is Weaker Than It Has Been In 21 Months"

Tyler Durden's picture

The key focus of Cashin's daily letter today has to do with the steadfast resilience of the ECRI's Lakshman Achuthan, who called for a recession back in September, and when asked yesterday if he reaffirms his call, he says "Consider it reaffirmed." He then proceeds to list out the "key, hard facts" summarizing the litany of truth as follows: "The economy is weaker today than it has been in 21 months." And scene.

From UBS Financial Services:

“The Facts Ma’am. Just The Facts” - That was the classic interrogatory posture of Sgt. Joe Friday (Jack Webb) in the popular and long running radio and TV series, “Dragnet”. Just the facts was the posture taken by Lakshman Achuthan of ECRI in two recent interviews on the economy.


Last week Becky Quick interviewed Achuthan to see if he had adjusted or tempered his call that the U.S. was headed into a recession. That interview created enough of a stir that Bloomberg called him in for an interview on their network. We don’t have the transcript on Becky’s interview but here’s a bit of Achuthan’s Bloomberg interview:

Q: Lakshman, in three years there has not been a more anticipated set of interviews than with you today. Reaffirm your recession call.

A: Consider it reaffirmed, and let me explain why. Since our recession call five months ago, the definitive, hard data used to determine official recession dates have gotten worse, not better, despite the consensus view that things have been improving since we made that call in late September.

Q: Is the beginning of a consumption slowdown apparent?

A: Let’s go to those key, hard facts. GDP growth, year-over-year, peaked in the third quarter of 2010 at 3.5%. By the second quarter of 2011, it had fallen to 1.5% and it’s basically flat-lined from there. It has not reaccelerated. It’s a similar pattern for personal income growth and it’s a similar pattern for the broad measures of sales growth. As of January, when you look at industrial production growth, year-over-year, it has now declined to a 22-month low. Taking all of these key aggregate measures of output, jobs, income, and sales, putting it into our Coincident Index, the growth rate has now dropped to a 21-month low. The economy is weaker today than it has been in 21 months.

There’s more to the interview but you get the gist. Given a chance to modify his stance in the face of new, apparently improving data, he declined. He’s sticking with his call and that bears watching, given the excellent record of ECRI.

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Moneyswirth's picture

Looks like Artie might be dipping into the Jamesons way before St Patty's day this year

redpill's picture

I can just imagine the look of disbelief and disgust on Becky's face that someone would still deny the roaring recovery obviously taking place as evidenced by momo stock prices increasing.

Don Birnam's picture

You stole my thunder, sir. One can picture that smarmy, contemptuous guffaw loosed through her Buffett-laced lips.


ElvisDog's picture

Every time I read Becky Quick's name, I immediately think of the horror she must have felt taking that 80 year-old dick in her mouth (and wherever else). I realize it would give her access to Warren for interviews and further her career and all, but how could you live with yourself after that? It would be like the Vietnam vets having flashbacks of combat. She would never know when the vision of Warren full Monty would come into your brain.

Nobody For President's picture

Thank you all for reminding me why I don't watch TV.

Saw a still pix of Becky (in a BI article I think), and she doesn't seem all that hot anyway...

redpill's picture

Plenty of vets from Nicaragua, Iran, El Salvador, Libya, Lebanon, Grenada, Haiti, Panama, Gulf War I, Somalia, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and all the other various adventures since Vietnam (and soon to be Syria and Iran) probably have some flashbacks too.  I just don't understand why we get called imperialists.

Taterboy's picture

Probably matched the look of disgust the first time she saw Warren naked in his magic bathtub.

Jay Gould Esq.'s picture

Actually, the most visceral disbelief was likely expressed by the Official Scribe of Wall Street, Andrew "Ross" Sorkin -- who, curiously, bears a striking resemblance to another NBC character from decades ago, Knucklehead Smiff:




...Or did I juxtapose ?

RichardENixon's picture

Hey lay off Knucklehead Smiff, he's blameless in all this. At least he appears to be, nowadays it's really hard to tell.

Below Zero's picture

That might be something else you are seeing all over Becky's face and it isn't Warren's shaving cream.

Wakanda's picture

"And scene."

Seen, sad, and obscene.

No need to remind y'all that.

Conrad Murray's picture

"The economy is weaker today than it has been in 21 months."

That's not what the nice man in the glowing box told me. Wait, now that I think about it, his name is Liesman.

Taterboy's picture

If he was watching CNBS, he would also know that the bottom in housing is in. Again.

Village Smithy's picture

No doubt the shills at CNBS were laughing behind his back. I can't watch those smug pricks anymore.

derek_vineyard's picture

turn off the volume, zoom in on the female announcers and fantasize

Mercury's picture

I think this is the CNBC interview in question:

 One of his main points is that central banks are "printing like crazy" but there is very little velocity - that money isn't really going anywhere but the market.

...and we're reminded once again of the dry-tinder-buildup-in-the-forest  analogy.

The CNBC crew sound like children.

bullet's picture

aal you need to know about Becky's interview...

"but Warren said"

Moneyswirth's picture

Haha.  That's a joke right?

Well Warren said "this market is great if you have billions in cash like me....blah blah blah"

The trend is your friend's picture

the market will be positive in 4...3...2....1

wherewasi's picture

From the immortal Frank Zappa and an era (late '70's) that brought us just as much joy as the current crooks and swindlers...

Well, well Hey lawdy mama,  

Can't afford no shoes

Maybe there's a bundle of rags that I could use

Hey anybody, Can you spare a dime

If you're really hurtin', a nickel would be fine

Hey everybody Nothin' we can buy

Chump hare rama, ain't no good to try



RichardENixon's picture

A line of his from the early '70s, "We look pretty sharp in these clothes unless we get sprayed with a hose", seems particularly relevant today.

lizzy36's picture

Weak economy is good for the stock market.

QE3, 4, and 5 on deck. 

Money for nothing and your oil for $200.

SheepDog-One's picture

Nope, no more QE's sorry....while everyones convinced of that what theyll really do is pull the rug out one morning. No way in hell is anyone going to 'print' more 0's while oil is up $5 a day now. If I know it, then Ben has known it all this point he could print a trillion 0's a day and we're still rocketing further into depression. The game is over, just no ones blown the whistle yet.

Village Smithy's picture

Every time I fill up I try and console myself with that thought "this must mean the end QE, this must mean...". It doesn't really help though.

X86BSD's picture

See I dont think thats true. The FED wont come out and admit to an open QE, but they will silently and secretly do another QE via the IMF. They will just shove money into the IMF that does the QE for them.

JW n FL's picture





I am a jew.

I come from a large family of Eastern European Jews.

Some observant, some not.


It is racist, anst-semtic, 3rd reich scapegoating, CRAP.

I believe in free speech. I try and stay out of ignorant, racist, lowest common denominator debates. However, if i believe that the debate has become disrespectful, to Zerohedge and what it stands for, i will have the debate temporarily halted. That is not a threat, it is a statement.


Let that be a Lesson to ALL! of You Goy Slaves! It is a Statement! of Authority!

Freedom of Speech!

And Censorship of the Truth!

Are at her finger tips!


Honestly! You Goy Slaves should have known better than to Anger Your Owner Lizzy!


If this sounds familiar! Here is why! Barbra Specter and Lizzy have that same “Jewish Authority over the Rest of us Goys!” We Goys can be silenced whenever it suits our Jewish Masters! And that is NOT! a Threat.. Per Lizzy! That is a Statement! See the video below and see if you can as well recognize the similarity between Barbra and Lizzy? Maybe Lizzy is Barbra? Who knows.


and for those of you wanting to know.. TruthInSunshine

 shares these views of Lizzy’s! and backs up Lizzy’s power to Silence the Goy Slaves! Truth be Damned!


Given the Fact that Lizzy has used Lobby Dollars with Tyler.. to provide herself with a Bully pulpit! And of course more sway than the rest of us.. Because of the Lobby Dollars.. I would implore you Goy Slaves to behave.. shy away from the Facts and the Truth for fear of being politically incorrect by AIPAC’s Standards!


It should be as well noted that Tyler has been threatened with a Law Suit for Liable! By the Jewish Lobby here at ZeroHedge!


The Truth it seems will not set you free! With regard to your Jewish Owners!


Let this be a lesson to ALL of You Goy Slaves!


Let us ALL! try to NOT! get Tyler or Fight Club in any Trouble.. even if the FACTS! Are being put forth for discussion!


Thank You for Your Time!


P.S. You will notice that 50,000 plus reads and over 600 comments later that Lizzy Allowed the Goy Slaves to have their Rant! LULZ!!


RichardENixon's picture

Well at least the price of chicks should come down. Not to "free" but probably close.

adr's picture

There's a shitstorm of epic proportions building up with the levels of inventory being produced. I guess it won't matter as for some reason selling millions of products at a loss is somehow bullish.

the 300000000th percent's picture

The Fed and the other cartels are trying like crazy to make inflation and they are getting some from all of this printing. Not only does it make there debts more bearable to holders of US T's like China and every other T holder but it also is causing the prices of stocks to go up making the appearance of an economic recovery! What a sham! With the help of the Dept of BS Labor Stats The Berskank and the BLS at the same time are trying to convince most Americans that there is no inflation!! And most of the zombies are buying it for now.

brooklynlou's picture

I dont think the masses are buying anything coming out of the MSM's pie holes.

- People are still deleveraging like crazy
- Individual investors are still leaving the market
- Average car age is still creeping higher
- The housing market, THE place where people invest their money, is still grinding down

Basically everyone is still keeping their powder dry in case theres a second dip.

May things get better in the short term? Maybe, who knows. One thing we know for sure is that the herd aint convinced.

Dan Conway's picture

Based on my small sample polling data, I agree with your four points.  I travel for work and visit a fair number of profitable businesses I can tell you that people just don't buy into the story that things are OK.  It is better today than early 2009 but this is not pre-2008 either.  If today is as good as it is going to get then the next decade is going to be forgettable. 

X86BSD's picture

Tell me about it! I still drive a 2001 Toyota Echo. I wanted to replace it after 10 years, I am now on year 11 and it will probably be another year before I replace it, with a maxi-scooter no less. Gas is already $3.79 here in milwaukee. Dont tell me it wont go WELL over $4.00 this summer. It might even hit $5.00. And because this winter was so mild for most of the country if spring arrives early and it gets nicer out it may hit $5 sooner rather than later. But who knows. There are too many variables. If Iran is invaded. If the Saudis attack us again. Who knows?




Roy T's picture

Everybody buy YELP!! That will make you feel better, get on board.  <snark

saywhat's picture

While I greatly respect ECRI's work, I do find it curious that the "Coppock Bond Gauge" is close to a sell signal on the long bond.  The accuracy of this tool has been significant.

Color me confused.

Moneyswirth's picture

Who are the morons buying YELP at $25 a pop? 

taniquetil's picture

Presumably they're the same morons who popped Zynga by 8%. WTF is this market?

rosiescenario's picture

...the same ones who have bid HOG up to $46 / share.....YELP and SQUEAL...the pigs at the trough....while back at the abbatoir, the cutters are honing their blades.

peekcrackers's picture

and thats why i buy silver and gold ! Its still on sales as long as the jackasses keep fucking with the prices.

JuicyGrabs's picture

"We don`t have the transcript of Becky`s interview"


Here is the CNBC link which includes transcript and video

SheepDog-One's picture

Becky- 'But, but we FEEL a lot better than we did'...(repeat 20 times)....WTF are you talking about? For the last 3 years youve been ORGASMIC every day! Show me ONE time Becky was down in the dumps? GREEN SHOOTS! MUSTARD SEEDS! BETTER THAN EXPECTED! 

Village Smithy's picture

That must have slipped throught the "only if it has a positive spin do we archive it" filter. Thanks.

Jlmadyson's picture

Funny thing is I'm pretty sure they haven't even priced in $4-5 gas. It's going to hit the fan all in due course just like 08.

Clint Liquor's picture


Lakshman Achuthan is a 'Recovering Economy Denier'. The science is settled. The Economy is recovering. /sarc/

rosiescenario's picture

as in, Boy do I feel better after laying that 2' long X 3" diameter cable that I'd been packing around for  a week, or two....

mayhem_korner's picture



Becky must've soiled herself in that interview.  No wonder they had to wheel out Uncle Warren and the delusion-king Dick Bove shortly thereafter...