Now that some economists are saying our almost 2-year-old recession is over, I think it’s time we name it something. You know, like we name hurricanes…Katrina, Andrew…Rita.
Maybe we should even have a national center that names them – like the National Hurricane Center names hurricanes — we could have a National Recession Center to do the job.
Each year, the center could put out a list of names in alphabetical order. If that year has a recession, we just check a name off that list.
Students reading about economic history would have an easy way to remember the worst recession since the Great Depression. Government leaders, policy makers and businesses would have a ready made reference point to separate all the recessions we’ve had.
Psychologically, by putting a name on it, maybe it would be easier to box up and leave behind.
Turns out, there may be some value in that.
“(A name) would have a different meaning for each person,” said Joann Moran, a cinical psychologist who teaches a class in San Marino with her husband on coping with the financial crisis.
People would rename it to be “less overwelming, where they can frame it in the context of something they have some power over.”
And maybe the name could even have some accountability built into it, she said.
Some ideas come to mind.
Howabout Subprime Recession , after institutions that ran wild with adjustable rate and low-documentation loans that led to the housing meltdown, which in turn led to the fall of the financial system?
Howabout Recession Lehman – for the fall of Lehman Bros., the biggest bank failure in history?
I don’t know. I guess the name depends on who you are talking to.
What we do know is that this is the worst recession since the Great Depression.
That’s why a lot of people are calling it the Great Recession, said Jack Kyser, founding economist for the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp.
It’s not quite a depression, but it’s the worst of the recessions, he said.
That works for me. Only one problem…Nothing about 12.7 percent unemployment – over 15 percent in some valley areas – is particularly great…not great at all.
But anything, anything to look back during better times and to give the last two years a name.
It’s not so much so that we can remember it. It’s more about putting a name on something that has harmed us, so we can beat it back, punch it, beat it and hope to God we learn from it and never see anything like it again.
By the way, if you’ve got any ideas for a name, feel free to pass them along…just make sure they are something that we can publish in a family paper.