NEWSFLASH! In September I will join The Conversation as its Business and Economy Editor. I have been honoured to work at The Age for the past ten years, originally alongside the legendry Tim Colebatch, and for the past four years as economics editor in my own right.

At The Conversation, my job will be to make the best thinking from Australia's 40 univerisites accessible to the widest possible audience. That means you. From the new year I will also write a weekly column.

On this site are most of the important things I have written for Fairfax and the ABC over the past few decades. I recommend the Search function. The site is a record for you, as well as me.

I'll continue to post great things from The Conversation and other places here, and also on Twitter and Facebook. Enjoy.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Edge of catastrophe?

"Edge of catastrophe? What a load of tosh," writes a commentator.

Here's how things stand in the US right now, courtesy of the House Speaker's office (click to enlarge):



Time magazine's Karen Tumulty writes: If you are having trouble reading the fine print, the blue line shows job losses in the 1990 recession; the red line is 2001, and the green line is the path we are on now.

She adds: To clarify, these are not projections. This is actual job-loss data.

The Speaker's office explains:

"This chart compares the job loss so far in this recession to job losses in the 1990-1991 recession and the 2001 recession -- showing how dramatic and unprecedented the job loss over the last 13 months has been. Over the last 13 months, our economy has lost a total of 3.6 million jobs – and continuing job losses in the next few months are predicted.

By comparison, we lost a total of 1.6 million jobs in the 1990-1991 recession, before the economy began turning around and jobs began increasing; and we lost a total of 2.7 million jobs in the 2001 recession, before the economy began turning around and jobs began increasing."