Fascinating data here on what has happened to per capita GDP since the end of 2007. China is, of course, up--a nosebleeding 35 percent; India, 22 percent. Of the G7, Germany just about breaks even. US, Britain, Japan, are all down in the 4-5-6 percent negative range. Plot it by a pre-break 10-year trend line and things are, of course, much worse: US down by 10 percent, poor Ireland, 25 percent.
Yes, well, fine, but--wait a minute. We now--we knew then but we pretended we did not know--that a lot of that pre-break GDP was just smoke and mirrors. Saying we're 4 percent down from peak GDP--isn't that a little like saying we lost a million bucks with Bernie Madoff? Fact is, we never had a milion bucks with Bernie Madoff, and we never had all that GDP either. For a fascinating discussion of these issues, go here.