Haas holds panel discussion on economy


Trying to figure out what happens next in the economic crisis is what brought people to the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley Monday night. It sounds like the consensus there is that we've got a long way to go.

Many Americans were under the impression that the $700 billion financial rescue plan would fix everything, but that isn't the case. A heavily-attended economic panel discussion at Haas School of Business was held on Monday night and several professors told the crowd the markets could remain soft for the next couple of years.

Professor Jim Wilcox said the recently passed financial rescue plan will take several weeks, just to get up and running before it can thaw out the credit markets for businesses and consumers, but he says the financial rescue plan is not a cure and he says it's likely we'll see a mortgage relief plan sometime soon. Despite all of this, we're technically not in a recession.

"I think we are in a recession by anything but having been declared. But it sure feels like it in the retail sector, the construction sector, the job market, sales, bankruptcies. It sure feels like a recession. It's going to be kind of a cold winter," says Wilcox.

The hope is the most recent plan announced will help out, but it could be a long thaw before those credit markets start flowing. The country has lost over two million jobs over the last year and we have a current rate of jobs being lost each month at 85,000.

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