I Bet It’s Self-Fulfilling

Back in May, Barry Ritholtz bet James Pethokoukis that we are in a recession.

From my view and the numbers I’ve seen, the downturn is concentrated in the housing sector. A good thing. Unfortunately, housing is a huge percentage of our overall GDP and it completely collapsed.

Reminds me of early 2001, when the tech sector collapsed and slowed down the economy. Other sectors (even specific areas within the tech sector) were still growing.

We’re fortunate that our economy is so diversified that when one area collapses, other sectors can soften the blow.

Taking me back to the bet between Ritholtz and Pethokoukis. I find the bet quite amusing for two reasons;

  1. How specific the bounds are in defining “winning”. Because anything less specific is the equivalent to “I know it when I see it.”
  2. That the amount of money spent by the “loser”. It could easily approach, if not surpass, the ‘economic stimulus’ tax rebates. An amount designed to get us out of any recession we might be in.

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