Is the bubble bursting? Let an expert from WGU explain if it is time to worry about a looming recession.August 16, 20192 min read
It was a train running full speed and showed no signs of stopping – but America’s economy hit a bump last week and it sent a lot of people from Wall Street and beyond into a panic.
The 800-point drop in the Dow Jones seemed to be the first sign of another severe recession.
But before everyone cashes out, experts from Western Governors University are hoping we take a look back through the ages before rushing to worry.
“What does history teach us? Even before the Great Depression of the 1930s, Nicolai Kondratieff discovered that the capitalist economy, going back to the 18th century was characterized by waves, or business cycles,” says Dr. Rashmi Prasad, Dean and Academic Vice President of Western Governors University's College of Business.
“The Federal Reserve, under leadership of Ben Bernanke, claimed that while the business cycle had not been repealed, a ‘Great Moderation’ had emerged in the world post-1982. Independent central banking and the rise of the service economy were among the reasons cited. In a great irony of history, Bernanke was front and center as Chairman of the Federal Reserve during the ‘Great Recession’ of 2008-2009. Business cycles seem to be inevitable for capitalist economies. Will we return to the Great Moderation of 1982-2007, or are we in a new period of regular Great Recessions? Central Banks stabilize and soften the down-cycles of recessions, but the price of managing the Great Recession of 2008-09 has been the dramatic expansion of central bank balance sheets–no new investment cycles–property or finance often leads to recession.”
So, where do we stand and what can we expect in the short-term?
Prasad adds this perspective:
“Conventional economic thinking indicated inflation by now, which may have added to interest rates and constrained the amount of debt that was sustainable. Rapidly rising interest rates posed the risk of a deep and extended downturn. If interest rates can be managed and kept low, then the next down-cycle could be shallowed and prolonged as monetary policy has little scope and fiscal deficits are already very high. Risks for a major downturn exist in extremely high debt levels and central bank balance sheets, but still may be a decade or two away, awaiting triggers that we cannot yet predict.”
Are you a journalist covering the economy and do you need expert perspective and opinion for your stories? That’s where Western Governor’s University can help.
Dr. Rashmi Prasad is Dean and Academic Vice President of Western Governors University's College of Business. He is an expert in the fields of economic and financial data and business analytics. Dr. Prasad is available to speak with media regarding the state of America’s economy – simply click on his icon to arrange an interview.