Barry Ritholtz
September 16, 2009

[efoods]Ben Bernanke has declared the recession over.

This leads to one simple question: Why should you care what his recession forecasts are?

Based on his track record as a forecaster and his acumen in identifying economic problems before they exploded, his views on starts and finishes of recessions are, to be blunt, irrelevant.

Recall it was Mr. Bernanke who described the sub-prime situation as “Contained;” it was he who believed Housing would not spill over to the broader economy; and it was he who somehow thought the Bear Stearns situation was a one-off.

I don’t wish to single out Mr. Bernanke; After all, he is an economist, and if you were paying attention, you will note that the entire profession missed the oncoming recession, credit crisis and market collapse. You may also find it helpful to ignore what the profession that cannot forecast yesterday thinks about tomorrow.

Even now, the Federal Reserve Chairman said the recession was “very likely over” as consumers showed some of the first tangible signs of spending again. Never mind that all this retail activity has been driven by government subsidies.

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