How bad does the recession get?

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I’ve got a piece up on TIME.com about the current race-to-the-bottom in GDP projections. It begins:

Just how far and how fast will the economy drop this quarter? There’s lately been a race to the bottom among forecasters, with the economists at Goldman Sachs leading the way. Early in the week, they put out a report saying that -3.5% annualized GDP growth was their baseline forecast for the quarter, but they also went so far as to outline a “just awful” scenario of -6.0% and a “worst case” of -7.8%. Today they updated their baseline forecast to -5%.

That puts Goldman well ahead, for the moment at least, of even Nouriel Roubini, the New York University professor known as Dr. Doom — whose current forecast is about -4%. Lots of Wall Street economists less renowned for their gloominess have by now moved past the -3% mark. In fact, one explanation for the stock market’s horrible week could be that the realization of just how bad the quarter will be is finally sinking in among investors. Read more.

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