By Bracken Hendricks, Benjamin Goldstein
WASHINGTON, DC—There is a growing consensus in Washington D.C. and on main streets across the country that the economy needs a jumpstart. Unemployment stood at 6.5 percent in October 2008, its highest level since March 1994, and employers cut 240,000 jobs, bringing the total number of jobs lost this year to 1.2 million. Losses continued to spread throughout the economy, leaving health care and social assistance, and natural resources and mining, as the only two private sectors unscathed
New housing construction continued to slow in September, with privately owned housing starts at a seasonally adjusted annual rate 6.3 percent below the revised August estimates, and 31.1 percent below the September 2007 rate. Housing prices also continued to drop across the country, with the Standard & Poor/Case-Shiller 20-city composite index in a year-over-year decline for the 20th consecutive month.  Home foreclosures, tightening credit, and stagnant wages for workers are all adding to this crisis.
The aggregate effect of this economic malaise makes a stimulus and recovery package urgent and incontrovertible.
Read the rest of the memo here.
Listen to this morning’s conference call on the memo here.