Look who’s got front-row seats to the birth of a rebound

Apr 01, 2009 | 04:15 AM |

Been Down So Long It looks Like Up To Me was the title of a novel written in the 1960s by the late Richard Fariña, perhaps better remembered as the husband and musical partner of Mimi Baez Fariña, sister of folk singer Joan Baez. Too bad the title is already copyrighted. It might make a great description of the current economic outlook, particularly by the more optimistic.

By late February, many in the ferrous scrap and steel industries had written off March and said they were hoping that April and the second quarter would bring a recovery. Their pessimistic critics didn't share the belief that the market might rebound soon.

Even with the $787-billion economic stimulus package approved by Congress and signed by President Obama, economic recovery may be a long time coming. It takes time to get even "shovel-ready" infrastructure construction projects started. In any case, a new bulldozer pushing dirt around and workers with a few more bucks in their pockets aren't likely to make this nation's battered economy do an about-face overnight. Something fundamental has been severely damaged—trust.....

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