David Rosenberg Refutes Erin Burnett's Misconceptions About The "Recovery"

We like Erin Burnett: after all she is ranked 33 on the Fortune 40 under 40. Who can not like someone who has managed to get that high in the rankings on pure talent, although some recent CNBC appearances did seem to indicate a slight, shall we say, bias, when her guests tend not to disagree with Ms. Burnett's misperception of the world. Indeed, in a recent appearance on Meet The Press, the youngish CNBC anchor made some statements that go straight to errorchecking and bias validation. At 47 minutes into the  interview (extracted) Ms. Burnett says: "I think the problem is you have the fastest job creation in this recovery than you have in any recession in 25 years... Technically speaking this recovery has not been tepid." Alas, we are not sure who fed the CNBC employee these "facts" and figures, but they are patently false.

On the first item, we present the quite famous chart comparing job recoveries across all historical recessions. Alas, this chart argues for precisely the opposite of what Ms. Burnett claims - we are currently experiencing the recession with the slowest job creation in history. And based on our prior estimates, the recession will last around 85 months before we regain the unemployment rate seen at the onset in December 2007.


Yet the biggest refutation of just how "strong" this recovery has been comes courtesy of David Rosenberg this morning, who confirms that we are currently experiencing the most tepid recession recovery despite the biggest stimulus spend in history.

At 34:35 into the video Ms. Burnett says:

The economy is growing. The numbers are coming out. We're getting better - in fact, after this recession we have - our recovery started more quickly than after any other recession in the past 25 years. So it's accurate to say that we are growing and we're going in the right direction.

Sorry Erin, it's not "accurate". Enter Rosenberg:

Look at Chart 2, what is normal, 33 months after the recession begins, is that all the stimulus and lags have worked their way through the system and generated new peaks in all the economic data. On average, employment is up 5.5%, GDP is up 12%, housing starts are up 27% and retail sales are up 25%. This time around, and in the face of pronounced policy stimulus, employment is down 6%, GDP is down over 1%, starts down 47% and retail sales are down 4%.

We are confident Ms. Burnett would gladly invite someone with whom to debate these findings, although we have a feeling that someone would promptly "raise her temper", be chided for being rude, and told to never come back on CNBC.

Relevant section in the Meet the Press interview below.


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