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Will unemployment be Obama's Katrina?

Business Times - 27 Nov 2009


Will unemployment be Obama's Katrina?

After 22 months of job losses, Geithner has become a convenient target for populist rage

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

THERE have been some encouraging signs of recovery in parts of the American economy recently. Hence, the National Association of Realtors reported this week that sales of existing homes were up by more than 10 per cent in October, hitting the highest levels in two-and-a-half years.

At the same time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has been hovering above 10,000 for a while and retailers are hoping that more confident American consumers will spend more time - and money - in the shopping malls during the coming holiday season.

Indeed, most economists seem to agree that the Great Recession is over. But then, the same economists are also predicting several quarters of substandard growth and rising unemployment. Currently, the unemployment rate stands at 10.2 per cent, the highest level in 26 ye…