Boom Times Are Here Again
An email conversation about the news of the day.
March 13 2002 10:57 AM

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

The surest sign that life is back to pre-Sept.-11 normalcy is that the New York real estate market is booming again (reports today's Times). The rest of the country probably doesn't believe how much time New Yorkers spend talking about real estate, so I thought it would be deceptive to not get it into this discussion. You pointed out yesterday that the city's GDP declined 4 percent last year. It suffered the worst terrorist attack in history. The stock market has declined for almost two years and the financial industry is hurting. City employees are being laid off. But condo prices in Tribeca are back up again. What's going on? And should we get in on the action?

Advertisement

I don't understand this economy. After the longest boom in history, a huge stock market bubble, massive corporate and personal over-borrowing, a recession begins that is followed by the 9/11 attacks and the recession ends! In fact the new figures suggest that the economy may never have gone into recession at all. Is this for real? If it is the prelude to a "double dip" then it weirdly makes more sense. If this is it and we're back on the path of growth then economists have to go back to the drawing board again. (Economic predictions of growth for the last decade have been spectacularly off base.) Are we moving toward an economy that responds so fast to shifts in demand that the business cycle has been softened, even eliminated? You have to marvel at the American economy. Its size, diversity, flexibility are just extraordinary.

Anyway, I have to run to a breakfast meeting. When I get back I will present my own Middle East peace plan.

Fareed Zakaria is editor of Newsweek International and the author of The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Buy a Small Business
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 PM Inking the Deal Why tattoo parlors are a great small-business bet.
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?