December 5, 2001
What's a Recession?
I know what a recession is, but I have my doubts about those so-called experts who are supposed to know everything about business and the financial world. A few weeks ago they announced that we are indeed in the midst of a recession, a pretty good one, too, and it started way back in March. That would be when my company had its first round of layoffs, Nortel had its first round of layoffs, Worldcom had its first round of layoffs, and so on. Every tech company and telecom company knew way back in March that there was a recession, and business was bad enough to warrant layoffs. I think quite a few non-tech companies knew this too.
So, now that the experts say we're in a recession, other experts come forward to say this usually means that the end is near. That is, when the recession is acknowledged, and they back-peddle and say it's been this way for a while (almost a year in this case), recovery can't be far away. So why is it that Ericsson and other companies are doing more layoffs? Why is it that Excite@Home is near death? It looks to me like things are still quite bad, and companies are still doing poorly enough that they have to do these recession-time things to keep expenses down so the whole company doesn't go belly-up (unlike poor Excite and poor Enron).
I think that none of these experts knows anything at all about the economy or recessions. Back then, I thought the whole recession had basically been engineered by the experts anyway because they kept saying "Oh, it's a bear market now, and things are only going to get worse. Expect tech stocks to tank and hit bottom soon" and sure enough, they did. I think we'll be in this recession until people figure out the experts are morons and go about their business like they did before. Oh, and incidentally, if nobody's buying anything, why are all the stores crowded with people buying stuff? PFFT! I'm sick and tired of this economy and worrying if I'll lose my job just because some experts (who are apparently in no danger of losing their jobs) like to see themselves on TV.
Published: December 5, 2001