Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

March 1, 2009

Economist says recession arrived before we knew it

There’s no denying it. 2008 was a tough year.

“The ironic thing is that in January 2008, the economy was already shrinking, we just didn’t know it yet,” Goshen College Associate Professor of Economics Jerrell Richer said.

Richer, a former resident of California who watched the housing bubble build, has been following the economic downturn with some interest.

“We didn’t learn until November that the economy peaked in December 2007. Intuitively, though, even in early 2008, people knew we had problems.”

He pointed to the string of events most are now quite uncomfortably familiar with. Near the beginning of 2008, foreclosures were already popping up around the West Coast. Although followed by a multi-month lull, the first of the RV layoffs in Elkhart County began in January. Gasoline prices began their climb to prices previously unheard of. Then, with the announcements of the Bear Stearns and Lehman Bros. fiascoes, the downturn began to pick up speed.

Even with those notices, Richer said, we still didn’t realize how bad things were going to get, because the data being released — unemployment rates and the like — were nearly three months old.

“It’s like if you’re driving in your car and you look at the speedometer,” he explained, “but it tells you how fast you were going three months ago.”

As everyone from political pundits to presidents and average joes have been trying to make sense of things, one question has received more attention than almost any other. What actually initiated the fall?

“I think we do know what some of the causes are, but some of them are immediate and obvious while others are fundamental, subtle and long-term,” Richer said.

He believes three particular long-term trends were integral in greasing the wheels for the economic slide.

In the 70s, he said, average household savings were close to and sometimes more than 10 percent of their income. In 2007, that number was less than 1 percent, almost zero. He argues that it didn’t happen all of a sudden.

Text Only
Local News
  • Harness Racing Crowd Harness racing a fan favorite at 4-H Fair GOSHEN — There is no question about the popularity of the three-day harness racing program at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • OBT GN0723 Cook obit photo R. Louise Cook R. Louise Cook Dec. 23, 1920-July 17, 2014 ELKHART — R. Louise Cook, 93, a lifetime resident of Elkhart, died at 5 a.m. Thursday at Miller’s Merry Manor, Wakarusa. She was born Dec. 23, 1920 in Elkhart County, three miles north of Wakarusa, to Irvin

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140723 fair senior day 02 4-H FAIR: Senior citizens enjoy day despite temps GOSHEN — It was a warm day Tuesday, but that didn’t stop hundreds of senior citizens from stopping by for a snack and a walk through the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • GN140723 fair shuffle board 02 4-H Fair: Shuffleboard tourney a source of fun GOSHEN — A little friendly banter could be heard among the shuffleboard players as they competed at the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds Tuesday afternoon.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • GN140723 CR34-Ind. 13 Crash 1 LaGrange man airlifted from scene of crash A motorcyclist was seriously injured in a crash at Ind. 13 and C.R. 34 at 1:48 p.m. Tuesday. Terry Fry, 44, LaGrange, was airlifted by MedFlight from the scene. Elkhart County police said he was taken to South Bend Memorial Hospital with fractures to

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charlotte.jpg SLIDESHOW: Pets of the Week Cats and dogs at the Humane Society of Elkhart County looking for loving, permanent homes. This month the HSEC has a Hot Dogs and Cool Cats special. Adopt in July and receive 25 percent off your adoption fee for dogs and cats under 5 years old or 50 percent off those 5-years-old or better.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140723 Sanders fair faces FAIR FACES: Austin Sanders enjoys success, versatility as 10-year 4-Her

    It’s tough to say in which Elkhart County 4-H Fair livestock barn you’re most likely to find 10-year 4-H member Austin Sanders.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Goshen City Hall GOSHEN BOARD OF WORKS: Gravel lot approved for Forest River

    GOSHEN — The employee parking areas for a new manufacturing facility within the Century Drive Industrial Park on Goshen’s south side will be allowed to remain unpaved, though that doesn’t mean the city has to like it.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140722 fair food drive 03 Fair's food drive falls short of world record, but is still a success

    For a 24-hour period, the Elkhart County 4-H Fair “All IN” food drive committee attempted a “Guinness Book of World Records” for the largest single-day food drive. Their goal: 560,000 pounds of food collected from 1 p.m. Sunday to 1 p.m. Monday.

    July 21, 2014 5 Photos

  • GN140722 fair special needs awareness 02 Many enjoy Disabilities Awareness Day at the fair

    Barry Malone stepped off the Orient Express roller coaster ride, grinning. “That I was fun. I liked that,” Malone said with a laugh. “That was a good ride, too.” Malone attended the Elkhart County 4-H Fair Monday and participated in the Disabilities Awareness Day activities and events at Heritage Park, just inside the main gate.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment