While most mainstream economists expect a slow and mild rebound from the vicious recession, there are several who disagree.
They anticipate a quick and vigorous recovery.
“Too many people’s idea of recession has been formed by the last two recessions,” Robert Brusca of Fact & Opinion Economics tells CNBC.
He was referring to the tepid rebounds from recession in 1991 and 2001. "I think that's mistaken,” Brusca says.
Michael Mussa, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, agrees.
“People have been talking about an L-shaped recession,” the former top IMF economist tells CNBC.
“The record shows you come back sharply from deep recessions” like the current one.
These economists and others note that a V-shaped pattern emerged in the 1970s and 1980s —horrid recessions followed by splendid recoveries.
The optimists point to several positive signs: a thawing of the credit markets, gains in consumer spending, indications of a bottom in housing, and the government’s humongous stimulus measures.
Most experts expect the economy will see a contraction in the first quarter similar to the 6.3 percent meltdown in the fourth quarter.
But after that, some see hope.
“The initial adjustment [to an event like the collapse of Lehman Brothers last fall] tends to be too big,” Ram Bhagavatula, managing director at the hedge fund, Combinatorics Capital, tells CNBC.
“Then there’s some reversal of that.”
Others aren’t so sure. Economic guru Nouriel Roubini, who presciently called the meltdown, says the recession will last at least another year.
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