From Bad to Worse

From the February 28th Shipping Gazette:

• “The International Air transport Association (IATA) has announced that the 22.6 per cent plunge in air cargo market in December worsened in January with a 23.2 per cent year-on-year decline – the eighth consecutive month of contraction … ‘The industry is in a global crisis and we have not yet seen the bottom,’ said IATA director general and CEO Giovanni Bisignani.”

From Yahoo! News on February 28th:

• “‘We are in the midst of the worst economic storm of the last half century – and it keeps getting worse,’ said Naiman Behravesh, chief economist at Global Insight.”

From The New York Times on February 28th:

• “Next week, perhaps as early as Monday, the American International Group is going to report the largest quarterly loss in history. Rumors suggest it will be around $ 60 billion, which will affirm, yet again, A.I.G.’s sorry status as the most crippled of all the nation’s financial institutions. The recent quarterly losses suffered by Merrill Lynch and Citigroup – ‘only’ $ 15.4 billion and $ 8.3 billion respectively – pale by comparison.” — (Joe Nocera)

From The New York Times on February 28th:

• “Allen Sinai, chief global economist at the research firm Decision Economics, sees a 20 percent chance of ‘a depression-like possibility,’ up from 15 percent a week ago. ‘In the housing market, the financial system and the stock market, we’re already there,’ Mr. Sinai said. ‘It is a depression.’”

From Lloyd’s List on February 26th:

• “Container lines could see a staggering $ 68bn wiped off their global revenues this year if freight rates stay around today’s record loss … That compares with revenue of $ 220bn in 2008 … The 42% collapse in all-in rates from South China to Europe since November has been so shocking that Drewry is asking whether the market has veered out of control … Drewry qualifies its forecast with a reminder that the real sums ‘are far more complicated,’ but nevertheless observes that the calculation ‘does give an impression of how desperate the liner industry’s revenue shortfall has become.’”

“… we have not yet seen the bottom … it keeps getting worse … It is a depression … ”

[Do you still believe those who insist that this economic tailspin is just a “recession”?]