The Standard: Warning: Recession Ahead

From: John Conover <>
Subject: The Standard: Warning: Recession Ahead
Date: Sun, 06 May 2001 09:16:27 -0700

In case you are curious, the big US economic recessions since
Independence happened in 1819, 1833, 1837, 1857, 1873, 1893,
1929, (using the GNP/GDP numbers, which are not necessarily
coincident with the stock market numbers, as far as downturns
go,) and, (possibly-we don't know yet,) 2000.

Note that this is the first generation in US history that has not
had to endure a famine/depression, (at least yet,) and our
perspective does not include how ugly they really are.


BTW, the numbers are interesting. To make predictions-like in the
attached-the US GDP must be a deterministic system. Finding a
mechanism that gives zero-free paths representing those numbers is
a formidable proposition. If that can't be done, then, predictions
can not be made.

In NLDS systems, (of which the US GDP is certainly one,) the
influence of the past on the future deteriorates rapidly-meaning that
a small window into the past can be used to predict a small window
into the future, and that is the best that can be done. The size of
the window for the US GDP, is, at best, a few months, to a 70%, or so,

Unfortunately, the prevailing wisdom is that fiscal/monetary policy
can not be used to influence the fluctuations in the US GDP-which
was the paradigm of the past seven decades, and has since been


John Conover,,

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