Blain over at StockTradingToGo has a nice post up comparing the longevity of past recessions to the one we find ourselves in currently.
- 1929-1933, 43 months in duration (Great depression).
- 1981-1982, 16 months in duration.
- 1973-1975, 16 months in duration.
- 1937-1938, 13 months in duration.
- 1926-1927, 13 months in duration.
- 2007-2008, 12 months in duration.*
- 1970, 11 months in duration.
- 1948-1949, 11 months in duration.
- 1960-1961, 10 months in duration.
- 1953-1954, 10 months in duration.
Now, the question ultimately becomes: how long does the current recession last? Well, for one thing, this recession only needs to last 4 more months to become the second longest recession. With the current auto bailout nonsense still going on, and no real relief for consumers coming anytime soon, we could easily see this recession moving up into 2nd place. We've got real issues to deal with here and these are certainly unprecedented times.
We recently wrote about how the consumer savings will have to rise in order for things to stabilize. Such a deteriorating consumer environment will definitely play a large part in the longevity of the current recession. The destruction of wealth that many "main street" Americans have and will experience should reach astounding levels and will impact many psychologically. An overleveraged American consumer was the backbone of the American for quite some time. But, times change.
See also Paul Kedrosky's recent Economic predictions, as well as a comparison between the current crisis, the Nordic crisis, and the Great Depression.