Home Front

A blog about the economy and the Sacramento-area real estate market.

January 21, 2009
CalPERS and other topics

   Hi there. Sorry I've been out of touch the past few days. I was on the road and got preoccupied working on a story about Silicon Valley's economy that will run in a few days (Here's a hint: the economy there is lousy, too).

    Anyhow, a few thoughts while reporting on the appointment of Joseph Dear as the new chief investment officer of CalPERS (See my colleague Jon Ortiz's early, online version of the story here and look for more coverage in Thursday's paper):

    -- Dear is stepping into a difficult spot. This is pretty obvious, I know, but it's going to be hard for anyone to pretty up the CalPERS investment picture. Thanks largely to the stock market's troubles, the big fund has lost $64 billion since July 1.

    -- It's the burning economic question on everyone's mind. It gets asked over and over, because nobody really has an answer: How bad is the recession going to get? One minute it seems like things have stabilized somewhat, and while we're in the midst of a rough recession, we won't be in a Depression. Then all of a sudden it feels like the sky is falling again, as with the fresh fears that have surfaced in the past few days about the true health of the banking system. David Leonhardt's analysis in today's New York Times is worth reading; it compares 2009 with 1982 (A version of this story ran in today's print version of the Bee).

    -- What's interesting about the current downturn is this persistent fear of the unknown. I don't remember this kind of anxiety in 2001 (at least about the economy; we had other, more immediate things to worry about after 9/11) or the early 1990s. For that matter, as bad as the early 1980s recession was, I don't remember that same level of fear back then, either.

   -- And when was the last time we had this many retailers go out of business (or into Chapter 11)? Whew. If we had this many empty storefronts in earlier recessions, I've forgotten about it.


About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

Jim Wasserman on Twitter

Follow "jimwasserman" on Twitter

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31