” My father leaves behind a legacy of great performances in movies and in his paintings and assemblages. He leaves behind children and their families who loved him and respected him and a wife and in-laws who were devoted to him. He also leaves behind fans all over the world. He will be greatly missed.”
~ Jamie Lee Curtis
“While you’re doing it, you don’t really know what you’re doing.”
Tony Curtis Remembered
Coroner Actor Tony Curtis dies at Las Vegas home
Movie Legends – Tony Curtis
City Across The River (1949) Tony Curtis clip
Hollywood legend Tony Curtis dies
Operation Petticoat – Tony Curtis
Tony Curtis on Cary Grant
What’s my Line? Tony Curtis
Sex and the Single Girl Pt. 1
Sex and the Single Girl Pt 2
The Defiant Ones – Quarry
Tony Curtis: The Outsider (1961) Trailer
Tony Curtis Jerry Lewis – Boeing Boeing (1965)
Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis
Selected clips from ‘The Boston Strangler’ (1968)
You Can’t Win ‘Em All (Part 2) Tony Curtis & Charles Bronson 
Laurence Maslon on Some Like It Hot, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe
Houdini Straitjacket Escape
The Great Race Pie Fight
Tony Curtis On Laugh-In. Part 1.
Tony Curtis On Laugh-In. Part 2.
Tony Curtis & Janet Leigh
Tony Curtis on TV-am in 1985
“We often don’t think of them, we think of the great wars and the great battles, but what about losing a son or a daughter, or a girl losing her husband or vice versa? I think of the people who never got the chance to have the opportunities I had.”
The movies staring Tony Curtis I remember most are Some Like It Hot and Operation Petticoat.
A boy from the Bronx joined the Navy and within a few years was staring in movies.
His pursuit of painting is a lesson we all can learn from.
May he rest in peace.
Background Articles and Videos
Tony Curtis Interview
The Late Late Show Interview 11/27/2008 [HQ]
Tony Curtis Salutes Sidney Poitier at AFI Life Achievement Award
Tony Curtis interview
Tony Curtis and Sir Roger Moore are The Persuaders
Tony Curtis at the Los Angeles Theatre
TONY CURTIS TRIBUTE- S.F. -TONY TELLS ALL ABOUT MARILYN, JAMIE LEE & MORE @ CASTRO THEATRE
“…Tony Curtis (June 3, 1925 – September 29, 2010) was an American film actor. He played a variety of roles, from light comedy, such as the musician on the run from gangsters in Some Like It Hot, to serious dramatic roles, such as an escaped convict in The Defiant Ones, which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. From 1949, he appeared in more than 100 films and made frequent television appearances. …”
“…Curtis’s uncredited screen debut came in Criss Cross (1949) playing a rumba dancer. In his second film, City Across the River (also in 1949), he was credited as “Anthony Cross”. Later, as “Tony Curtis”, he cemented his reputation with breakthrough performances such as in the role of the scheming press agent Sidney Falco in Sweet Smell of Success (1957) with Burt Lancaster (who also starred in Criss Cross) and an Oscar-nominated performance as a bigoted escaped convict chained to Sidney Poitier in The Defiant Ones.
He did both screen comedy and drama together and became the most sought after star in Hollywood: Curtis’ comedies include Some Like It Hot (1959), Sex and the Single Girl (1964) and The Great Race (1965), and his dramas included playing the slave Antoninus in Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus (1960) co-starring Kirk Douglas and Sir Laurence Olivier, The Outsider (1961), the true story of WW II veteran Ira Hayes, and The Boston Strangler (1968), in which he played the self-confessed murderer of the film’s title, Albert DeSalvo. The latter film was praised for Curtis’ performance.
Curtis also appeared frequently on television; he co-starred with Roger Moore in the TV series The Persuaders!. Later, he co-starred in McCoy and Vega$. In the early 1960s, he was immortalized as “Stony Curtis,” a voice-over guest star on The Flintstones.
In 1978 Curtis introduced the Electric Light Orchestra at Wembley Arena for their opening night concert (a Gala charity event) on Out of the Blue: Live at Wembley.
Throughout his life, Curtis enjoyed painting, and since the early 1980s, painted as a second career. His work commands more than $25,000 a canvas now. In the last years of his life, he concentrated on painting rather than movies. A surrealist, Curtis claimed “Van Gogh, [Paul] Matisse, Picasso, Magritte” as influences. “I still make movies but I’m not that interested in them any more. But I paint all the time.” In 2007, his painting The Red Table was on display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. His paintings can also be seen at the Tony Vanderploeg Gallery in Carmel, California.
Curtis spoke of his disappointment at never being awarded an Oscar. But in March 2006, Curtis did receive the Sony Ericsson Empire Lifetime Achievement Award. He also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and received the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) from France in 1995. …”
“…Curtis died at his Las Vegas (Henderson, Nevada) home on September 29, 2010, of cardiac arrest. In a release to the Associated Press, his daughter, actress Jamie Lee Curtis, stated:
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My father leaves behind a legacy of great performances in movies and in his paintings and assemblages. He leaves behind children and their families who loved him and respected him and a wife and in-laws who were devoted to him. He also leaves behind fans all over the world. He will be greatly missed.” 
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Rifle Fire At the University of Texas at Austin Ends In Suicide of Student Shooter–No Other Fatalities Or Injuries
Colton J. Tooley, 19-year-old sophomore math major at the University of Texas, lived on Western Drive about ten miles south of the campus.
Tooley graduated seventh in his 2009 class from Crockett High School. He was an excellent student in all subjects according to his high school teachers. He was considered a respectful and brilliant student.
On Tuesday, September 28, Tooley dressed in a dark suit and wearing a ski mask went to the University of Texas campus.
There Tooley fired about 8 to 10 shoots in short bursts from an AK-47 rifle at about 8:10 a.m. outside of the Perry-Castaneda Library of the University of Texas in Austin, Texas .
Tooley then entered the library and proceeded to the sixth floor where he fired several shots and then killed himself.
Campus and city police responded to the reports of gun fire about 8:15 a.m.
The University of Texas was locked down, all classes and functions cancelled for the day, and the campus closed by University President Bill Powers.
Due to conflicting descriptions of the shooter, the police at first thought they were dealing with two shooters.
A search of buildings was started to find the possible second shooter.
No second shooter was found.
Campus police Chief Robert Dahlstrom said “We now believe there is no second suspect involved.”
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said the rifle used was an AK-47 and shots were fired outside the library in the street which is considered a second crime scene.
The campus-wide lock down was lifted around noon, the campus reopened and classes will resume Wednesday.
Tuesday’s student shooter who committed suicide was the only fatality.
The rifle fire at the University of Texas brings back bad memories of the August 1, 1966 shootings by Charles Whitman from the observation deck of the administration building clock tower where he killed 16 and wounded 31 before being killed himself by the police.
Gunman Opens Fire at UT in Austin; No One Hurt
Timeline of UT shooting, 09-28-10
Police: UT Campus Remains on Lockdown
Official: 1 Dead in Shooting at Univ. of Texas
CNN: University of Texas shooting: View from dorm room
Shooting at University of Texas at Austin
CNN: Student reacts to UT at Austin shooting
News Update: Gunman opens fire on University of Texas campus
Breaking News University of Texas Campus Shooting
History Of AK-47
The Truth About AK-47 Firepower
The Truth about “Assault Weapons”
What We Know About the Texas Campus Shooter
“…(Sept. 28) — Hours after the University of Texas was thrown into chaos and tragedy when a gunman attacked its Austin campus this morning — firing indiscriminately into the air before taking only his own life — the suspect has finally been identified as Colton J. Tooley, according to UT spokesman Don Hale. …”
“…From other sources:
- It looks like he lived with his mother, Idalia Tooley (who names Colton as her only child on her Facebook page), and who ran a day care center out of the house, according to Austin Day Cares, a local database, which lists both her name and the address of the home. Surge Desk has reached out to the family but has not yet received a response.
- He graduated from Crockett High School in 2009, My Fox New York reports. The website also carries his picture and the following statement from Craig Shapiro, principal of Crockett High:
“All of us in the Crockett High School community are shocked and saddened by today’s tragedy at the University of Texas. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Colton Tooley. Colton, a 2009 Crockett graduate, was an excellent student, who excelled in every subject, and was ranked 7th in his class. His teachers recall him with words such as brilliant, meticulous, and respectful. Crockett High School will have additional counselors on campus, beginning Wednesday, to assist students and staff who request their services.” …”
Police on scene of shooting on UT campus
“…A gunman who fired several shots on the University of Texas campus in the Perry-Castaneda Library is dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, and police are looking for a possible second suspect, officials say.
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo confirmed that the shooter is dead, but UT continues to be locked down, and people are urged to stay out of the area.
Officials say it appears there are no other injuries. UT spokeswoman Rhonda Weldon said witnesses had reported that the man was armed with an automatic weapon.
“The shooter is dead on the sixth floor of Perry-Castaneda Library, said Don Hale, a UT spokesman. “No identification. Apparently took his own life.”
“We don’t have any report of anybody getting shot at this point,” Hale said. Officials at University Medical Center Brackenridge have said they have not received any patients.
“It’s not clear yet” if there is a second suspect, Hale said shortly after 9 a.m., adding that the university’s advice to stay indoors and keep doors locked remains in force. …”
UT classes called off after shooting at library
By PEGGY FIKAC and R.G. RATCLIFFE
“…AUSTIN — University of Texas President Bill Powers cancelled classes for today and the campus was temporarily locked down after police said a man went into the Perry-Castañeda Library and shot and killed himself.Because of conflicting descriptions of the man and what weapon he was carrying, the campus was shut down as police searched for a possible second suspect. Authorities lifted the lockdown after noon.Police said they had identified an AK-47 and that they believed the man who died was dressed in black and wearing a ski mask. No details were given about the man’s identity or background.
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“The armed suspect is dead. No other injuries have been reported,” Powers said in an email to students.
“I want you to know that the campus remains locked down. All students, faculty, staff and visitors should stay indoors and continue to follow instructions (from loudspeakers, email, text messages and uniformed police officers). You will be notified when the situation becomes stable.”
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said police were investigating two crime scenes — the one where he said a gunman killed himself and an area “where some other rounds were fired outdoors.”
Buildings also were being searched “to eliminate any possibility of any explosive ordinances that may have been left behind by one or more suspects,” Acevedo said.
He added, “Although there are reports of a second suspect, what we are doing right now is being methodical to eliminate a second suspect.”
University of Texas Chief of Police Robert Dahlstrom said there was no motive known at this time. Asked whether the man with the gun was dressed all in black and wearing a ski mask, Dahlstrom said, “I have not seen him. That is what I am aware of.”
Dahlstrom said officials hoped to open the north end of campus shortly but other areas would remained closed to allow searches to be conducted. The report of the armed man came in around 8 a.m., he said. …”
Background Articles and Videos
Tales of the Gun – The AK47 Assault Rifle 1/5
Tales of the Gun – The AK47 Assault Rifle 2/5
Tales of the Gun – The AK47 Assault Rifle 3/5
Tales of the Gun – The AK47 Assault Rifle 4/5
Tales of the Gun – The AK47 Assault Rifle 5/5
“…The AK-47 is a selective-fire, gas-operated 7.62x39mm assault rifle, first developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. The designation AK-47 stands for Kalashnikov Automatic Rifle, 1947 Model (Russian: Автомат Калашникова 47, tr. Avtomat Kalashnikova 47). It is officially known as Avtomat Kalashnikova (or simply ‘AK’). Also it is known as Kalashnikov or Russian jargon Kalash.Design work on the AK began in the last year of World War II (1944). After the war 1946, the AK-46 was presented for official military trials; and, in 1947, the fixed-stock version was introduced into service with select units of the Soviet Army. An early development of the design was the AKS-47 (S—Skladnoy or “folding”), which was equipped with an underfolding metal shoulder stock. In 1949, the AK-47 was officially accepted by the Soviet Armed Forces and used by the majority of the member states of the Warsaw Pact.
Firing the 7.62x39mm cartridge, the AK-47 produces significant wounding (including hydrostatic shock) when the projectile tumbles and fragments in tissue; but it produces relatively minor wounds when the projectile exits before beginning to yaw.
The original AK-47 was one of the first true assault rifles. Even after seven decades—because of its durability, low production cost, and ease of use—the model and its variants remain the most widely used and popular assault rifles in the world. It has been manufactured in many countries and has seen service with regular armed forces as well as irregular, revolutionary and terrorist organizations, worldwide. The AK-47 was the basis for developing many other types of individual and crew-served firearms. More AK-type rifles have been produced than all other assault rifles combined. …”
“…The main advantages of the Kalashnikov rifle are its simple design, fairly compact size and adaptation to mass production. It is inexpensive to manufacture, and easy to clean and maintain; its ruggedness and reliability are legendary. The AK-47 was initially designed for ease of operation and repair by glove-wearing Soviet soldiers in Arctic conditions. The large gas piston, generous clearances between moving parts, and tapered cartridge case design allow the gun to endure large amounts of foreign matter and fouling without failing to cycle. This reliability comes at the cost of accuracy, as the looser tolerances do not allow for precision and consistency. Reflecting Soviet infantry doctrine of its time, the rifle is meant to be part of massed infantry fire, not long range engagements. The average service life of an AK-47 is 20 to 40 years depending on the conditions to which it has been exposed.
The notched rear tangent iron sight is adjustable, and is calibrated in hundreds of meters. The front sight is a post adjustable for elevation in the field. Windage adjustment is done by the armory before issue. The battle setting places the round within a few centimeters above or below the point of aim out to about 250 meters (275 yd). This “point-blank range” setting allows the shooter to fire the gun at any close target without adjusting the sights. Longer settings are intended for area suppression. These settings mirror the Mosin-Nagant and SKS rifles which the AK-47 replaced. This eased transition and simplified training.
The prototype of the AK-47, the AK-46, had a separate fire selector and safety. These were later combined in the production version to simplify the design. The fire selector acts as a dust cover for the charging handle raceway when placed on safe. This prevents intrusion of dust and other debris into the internal parts. The dust cover on the M16 rifle, in contrast, is not tied to the safety, and has to be manually closed.
The bore and chamber, as well as the gas piston and the interior of the gas cylinder, are generally chromium-plated. This plating dramatically increases the life of these parts by resisting corrosion and wear. This is particularly important, as most military-production ammunition (and virtually all ammunition produced by the Soviet Union and other Communist nations) during the 20th century contained potassium chlorate in the primers. On firing, this was converted to corrosive and hygroscopic potassium chloride which mandated frequent and thorough cleaning in order to prevent damage. Chrome plating of critical parts is now common on many modern military weapons.
The construction of the AK magazine is very robust with reinforced feed lips that contribute to the reliable functioning for which the design is noted. Most Yugoslavian and some East German AK magazines were made with cartridge followers that hold the bolt open when empty; however, most AK magazine followers allow the bolt to close when the magazine is empty.
The gas-operated mechanism of an AK-47 (Chinese version)
To fire, the operator inserts a loaded magazine, moves the selector lever to the lowest position, pulls back and releases the charging handle, aims, and then pulls the trigger. In this setting, the firearm fires only once (semi-automatic), requiring the trigger to be released and depressed again for the next shot. With the selector in the middle position (full-automatic), the rifle continues to fire, automatically cycling fresh rounds into the chamber, until the magazine is exhausted or pressure is released from the trigger. As each bullet travels through the barrel, a portion of the gases expanding behind it is diverted into the gas tube above the barrel, where it impacts the gas piston. The piston, in turn, is driven backward, pushing the bolt carrier, which causes the bolt to move backwards, ejecting the spent round, and chambering a new round when the recoil spring pushes it back. ...”
Amazing “Coincidence”: UT Shooting Cancels Pro-Gun Speech – Alex Jones Tv 1/2
Amazing “Coincidence”: UT Shooting Cancels Pro-Gun Speech – Alex Jones Tv 2/2
World — “What Starts Here Changes the World” — UT Austin
Son of a librarian
Returning Books to PCL
“…Charles Joseph Whitman (June 24, 1941 – August 1, 1966) was a student at the University of Texas at Austin and an ex-Marine who killed 14 people and wounded 32 others during a shooting rampage on and around the university’s campus on August 1, 1966.
Three of his victims were killed inside the University’s tower and ten killed from the 29th floor observation deck  of the University’s 307 foot administrative building; one died a week after the shooting from her wounds. The tower massacre happened shortly after Whitman murdered his wife and mother at their homes. He was shot and killed by Austin Police Officer Houston McCoy, assisted by Austin Police Officer Ramiro Martinez.
Charles Whitman grew up in an upper-middle class family headed by a father who owned a successful plumbing contract business in Lake Worth, Florida. Whitman excelled at academics and was well liked by his peers and neighbors. There were underlying dysfunctional issues within the family that escalated in 1966, when his mother left his father and moved to Texas. The elder Whitman was an authoritarian who provided for his family, but demanded near perfection from all of them. He was also known to become physically and emotionally abusive.
Whitman’s frustrations with his dysfunctional family were complicated by abuse of amphetamines and health issues including headaches that he reported in one of his final notes as “tremendous.” A glioblastoma, which is a highly cancerous brain tumor, was discovered during autopsy that experts on the “Connally Commission” concluded may have played a role in his actions. He was also affected by a court martial as a United States Marine, failings as a student at the University of Texas, ambitious personal expectations and psychotic features he expressed in his typewritten note left at 906 Jewell Street, Austin, Texas, dated both July 31, 1966 and later by hand “3 A.M., both dead August 1, 1966”.
Several months prior to the tragedy, he was summoned to Lake Worth, Florida to pick up his mother who was filing for divorce from his father. The stress caused by the break-up of the family became a dominant discussion between Whitman and a psychiatrist at the University of Texas Health Center on March 29, 1966.
- Margaret Whitman, killed in her apartment
- Kathy Whitman, killed while she slept
- Edna Townsley, tower observation deck receptionist
- Marguerite Lamport, killed by shotgun on tower stairs leading to the observation room inside the deck
- Mark Gabour, killed by shotgun on tower stairs leading to the observation room inside the deck
- Thomas Eckman, shoulder wound, kneeling over Claire Wilson, died on the mall
- Robert Boyer, back wound, visiting physics professor
- Thomas Ashton, chest wound, Peace Corps trainee
- Thomas Karr, spine wound
- Billy Speed, police officer, hit in the shoulder and traveled into the chest
- Harry Walchuk, doctoral student and father of six
- Paul Sonntag, shot through the mouth, age 18, hiding behind construction barriers
- Claudia Rutt, age 18, killed helping fiancé Sonntag
- Roy Schmidt, electrician shot outside his truck near the Littlefield Fountain
- Karen Griffith, chest wound, age 17, died after a week in the hospital
- Unborn Child, fatally injured when Claire Wilson was shot in her upper rear hip, exiting the abdomen
Wounded on August 1, 1966
- Allen, John Scott
- Bedford, Billy
- Ehlke, Roland
- Evgenides, Ellen
- Esparza, Avelino
- Foster, F. L.
- Frede, Robert
- Gabour, Mary Frances
- Gabour, Michael
- Garcia, Irma
- Harvey, Nancy
- Gunby, David
- Heard, Robert
- Hernandez Jr., Aleck
- Hohmann, Morris
- Huffman, Devereau
- Kelley, Homar J.
- Khashab, Abdul
- Littlefield, Brenda Gail
- Littlefield, Adrian
- Martinez, Dello
- Martinez, Marina …”
- Mattson, David
- Ortega, Delores
- Paulos, Janet
- Phillips, Lana
- Rovela, Oscar
- Snowden, Billy
- Stewart, C. A.
- Wilson, Claire
- Wilson, Sandra
- Wheeler, Carla Sue
Charles Whitman – Part 1 of 5
Charles Whitman – Part 2 of 5
Charles Whitman – Part 3 of 5
Charles Whitman – Part 4 of 5
Charles Whitman – Part 5 of 5
Related Posts On Pronk Palisades
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Last Four Recessions and their Durations
News Update: NBER Calls An End To Longest Recession Since WWII
NBER: Recession Ended in June 2009
In-Depth Look – Has The Recession Ended? – Bloomberg
Annualized GDP change from 1923 to 2009.
Data is annual from 1923 to 1946 and
quarterly from 1947 to the second quarter of 2009.
According to the Business Cycle Dating Committee, National Bureau of Economic Research the Bush Obama Recession/Depression that began in December 2007 ended in June 2009.
This would make the Great Recession the longest post World War II recession to date.
The economy hit a trough in June 2009 and has been growing and expanding since then.
Unfortunately, job creation has not kept pace with the growth in national product.
The unemployment rate is actually rising as more and more workers who are presently unemployed and discouraged from looking for a job, now reenter the labor market looking for a full-time work.
Thus the unemployment rate measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics U-3 series is expected to go over 10% in early 2011 and be a least over 9% for most of next year.
This could easily lead to another recession starting in 2011 if production should fall again.
This would be the so-called double dip recession.
The Double Dip Recession Debate
Nouriel Roubini Discusses Outlook for U.S. Economy: Video
Should the Republican Party win both the House of Representatives and the Senate in this November’s election, then both consumer and business confidence would be restored.
Republican victories would stop in its tracks President Obama great rush to bring progressive radical socialism to the United States.
My own prediction is the economy will go into another recession lasting about a year and then rebound quickly.
The recession would start in 2011 and be over by the middle of 2012.
Should this happen then Obama will certainly be a one-term President and Hillary Clinton will run against him for the nomination.
The next recession will clearly be blamed on Obama completely and be called the Obama Depression.
Background Articles and Videos
Peter Schiff – Recession, Bond Bubble, unemployment insurance
Why the Meltdown Should Have Surprised No One | Peter Schiff
“… NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
Tuesday, September 21, 2010HOME PAGE Business Cycle Dating Committee, National Bureau of Economic Research
This report is also available as a PDF file.
CAMBRIDGE September 20, 2010 – The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research met yesterday by conference call. At its meeting, the committee determined that a trough in business activity occurred in the U.S. economy in June 2009. The trough marks the end of the recession that began in December 2007 and the beginning of an expansion. The recession lasted 18 months, which makes it the longest of any recession since World War II. Previously the longest postwar recessions were those of 1973-75 and 1981-82, both of which lasted 16 months.
In determining that a trough occurred in June 2009, the committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity. Rather, the committee determined only that the recession ended and a recovery began in that month. A recession is a period of falling economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales. The trough marks the end of the declining phase and the start of the rising phase of the business cycle. Economic activity is typically below normal in the early stages of an expansion, and it sometimes remains so well into the expansion.
The committee decided that any future downturn of the economy would be a new recession and not a continuation of the recession that began in December 2007. The basis for this decision was the length and strength of the recovery to date.
The committee waited to make its decision until revisions in the National Income and Product Accounts, released on July 30 and August 27, 2010, clarified the 2009 time path of the two broadest measures of economic activity, real Gross Domestic Product (real GDP) and real Gross Domestic Income (real GDI). The committee noted that in the most recent data, for the second quarter of 2010, the average of real GDP and real GDI was 3.1 percent above its low in the second quarter of 2009 but remained 1.3 percent below the previous peak which was reached in the fourth quarter of 2007.
Identifying the date of the trough involved weighing the behavior of various indicators of economic activity. The estimates of real GDP and GDI issued by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce are only available quarterly. Further, macroeconomic indicators are subject to substantial revisions and measurement error. For these reasons, the committee refers to a variety of monthly indicators to choose the months of peaks and troughs. It places particular emphasis on measures that refer to the total economy rather than to particular sectors. These include a measure of monthly GDP that has been developed by the private forecasting firm Macroeconomic Advisers, measures of monthly GDP and GDI that have been developed by two members of the committee in independent research (James Stock and Mark Watson, (available here), real personal income excluding transfers, the payroll and household measures of total employment, and aggregate hours of work in the total economy. The committee places less emphasis on monthly data series for industrial production and manufacturing-trade sales, because these refer to particular sectors of the economy. Movements in these series can provide useful additional information when the broader measures are ambiguous about the date of the monthly peak or trough. There is no fixed rule about what weights the committee assigns to the various indicators, or about what other measures contribute information to the process.
The committee concluded that the behavior of the quarterly series for real GDP and GDI indicates that the trough occurred in mid-2009. Real GDP reached its low point in the second quarter of 2009, while the value of real GDI was essentially identical in the second and third quarters of 2009. The average of real GDP and real GDI reached its low point in the second quarter of 2009. The committee concluded that strong growth in both real GDP and real GDI in the fourth quarter of 2009 ruled out the possibility that the trough occurred later than the third quarter.
The committee designated June as the month of the trough based on several monthly indicators. The trough dates for these indicators are:
Macroeconomic Advisers’ monthly GDP (June)
The Stock-Watson index of monthly GDP (June)
Their index of monthly GDI (July)
An average of their two indexes of monthly GDP and GDI (June)
Real manufacturing and trade sales (June)
Index of Industrial Production (June)
Real personal income less transfers (October)
Aggregate hours of work in the total economy (October)
Payroll survey employment (December)
Household survey employment (December)
The committee concluded that the choice of June 2009 as the trough month for economic activity was consistent with the later trough months in the labor-market indicators—aggregate hours and employment—for two reasons. First, the strong growth of quarterly real GDP and real GDI in the fourth quarter was inconsistent with designating any month in the fourth quarter as the trough month. The committee believes that these quarterly measures of the real volume of output across the entire economy are the most reliable measures of economic activity. Second, in previous business cycles, aggregate hours and employment have frequently reached their troughs later than the NBER’s trough date. In particular, in 2001-03, the trough in payroll employment occurred 21 months after the NBER trough date. In 2009, the NBER trough date is 6 months before the trough in payroll employment. In both the 2001-03 and 2009 cycles, household employment also reached its trough later than the NBER trough date.
The committee noted the contrast between the June trough date for the majority of the monthly indicators and the October trough date for real personal income less transfers. There were two reasons for selecting the earlier date. The first was described above — the fact that quarterly real GDP and GDI rose strongly in the fourth quarter. The second was that real GDI is a more comprehensive measure of income than real personal income less transfers, as it includes additional sources of income such as undistributed corporate profits. The committee’s use of income-side measures, notably real GDI, is based on the accounting principle that the value of output equals the sum of the incomes that arise from producing the output. Apart from a random statistical discrepancy, real GDI satisfies that equality while real personal income does not.
The committee also maintains a quarterly chronology of business cycle peak and trough dates. The committee determined that the trough occurred in the second quarter of 2009, when the average of quarterly real GDP and GDI reached its low point.
For more information, see the FAQs and the more detailed description of the NBER’s business cycle dating procedure at http://www.nber.org/cycles/recessions.html. An Excel spreadsheet containing the data and the figures for the indicators of economic activity considered by the committee is available at that page as well.
The current members of the Business Cycle Dating Committee are: Robert Hall, Stanford University (chair); Martin Feldstein, Harvard University; Jeffrey Frankel, Harvard University; Robert Gordon, Northwestern University; James Poterba, MIT and NBER President; James Stock, Harvard University; and Mark Watson, Princeton University. David Romer, University of California, Berkeley, is on leave from the committee and did not participate in its deliberations.
[ NBER Home Page | More information ]
NBER, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138, 617-868-3900, http://www.nber.org
(September 20, 2010) …”
The NBER’s Business Cycle Dating Procedure: Frequently Asked Questions
“…Q: The financial press often states the definition of a recession as two consecutive quarters of decline in real GDP. How does that relate to the NBER’s recession dating procedure?
A: Most of the recessions identified by our procedures do consist of two or more quarters of declining real GDP, but not all of them. In 2001, for example, the recession did not include two consecutive quarters of decline in real GDP. In the recession beginning in December 2007 and ending in June 2009, real GDP declined in the first, third, and fourth quarters of 2008 and in the first quarter of 2009. The committee places real Gross Domestic Income on an equal footing with real GDP; real GDI declined for six consecutive quarters in the recent recession.
Q: Why doesn’t the committee accept the two-quarter definition?
A: The committee’s procedure for identifying turning points differs from the two-quarter rule in a number of ways. First, we do not identify economic activity solely with real GDP and real GDI, but use a range of other indicators as well. Second, we place considerable emphasis on monthly indicators in arriving at a monthly chronology. Third, we consider the depth of the decline in economic activity. Recall that our definition includes the phrase, “a significant decline in activity.” Fourth, in examining the behavior of domestic production, we consider not only the conventional product-side GDP estimates, but also the conceptually equivalent income-side GDI estimates. The differences between these two sets of estimates were particularly evident in the recessions of 2001 and 2007-2009.
Q: How does the committee weight employment in determining the dates of peaks and troughs?
A. In the 2007-2009 recession, the central indicators—real GDP and real GDI—gave mixed signals about the peak date and a clear signal about the trough date. The peak date at the end of 2007 coincided with the peak in employment. We designated June 2009 as the trough, six months before the trough in employment, which is consistent with earlier trough dates in the NBER business-cycle chronology. In the 2001 recession, we found a clear signal in employment and a mixed one in the various measures of output. Consequently, we picked the peak month based on the clear signal in employment, as well as our consideration of output and other measures. In that cycle, as well, the dating of the trough relied primarily on output measures.
Q: Isn’t a recession a period of diminished economic activity?
A: It’s more accurate to say that a recession—the way we use the word—is a period of diminishing activity rather than diminished activity. We identify a month when the economy reached a peak of activity and a later month when the economy reached a trough. The time in between is a recession, a period when economic activity is contracting. The following period is an expansion. As of September 2010, when we decided that a trough had occurred in June 2009, the economy was still weak, with lingering high unemployment, but had expanded considerably from its trough 15 months earlier.
Q: How do the movements of unemployment claims inform the Bureau’s thinking?
A: A bulge in jobless claims usually forecasts declining employment and rising unemployment, but we do not use the initial claims numbers in determining our chronology, partly because of noise in that data series.
Q: What about the unemployment rate?
A: The unemployment rate lags behind the NBER cycle dates as a general matter—it reaches a low point somewhat later than the peak in activity and usually remains at high levels after activity reaches its trough. For example, in the recovery beginning in March 1991, the unemployment rate continued to rise for 15 months after the trough. The lag was 19 months in 2001 to 2003. In the current recovery, the lag was only 4 months, from the trough in activity in June 2009 to the highest point of the unemployment rate in October 2009. But even in September 2010, the unemployment rate remained at high levels, even though these levels were below the maximum reached in October 2009.
Q: Are there estimates of monthly real GDP?
A: Yes. Macroeconomic Advisers, a consulting firm, prepares estimates of monthly real GDP. The committee also considered new estimates of monthly real GDP and GDI constructed by two committee members, James Stock and Mark Watson (available here). Many of the ingredients of the quarterly GDP figures are published at a monthly frequency by government agencies. The monthly GDP numbers are noisy and are subject to considerable revision.
Q: Has the committee ever changed a cycle date?
A: In the past, the NBER has made some small changes to cycle dates, most recently in 1975. No changes have occurred since 1978 when the Business Cycle Dating Committee was formed. The committee would change the date of a recent peak or trough if it concluded that the date it had chosen was incorrect.
Q: Typically, how long after the beginning of a recession does the BCDC declare that a recession has started? After the end of the recession?
A: The committee’s determination of the peak date in December 2007 occurred 11 months after that date and the committee’s action in determining the trough date of June 2009 occurred 15 months after that date. Earlier determinations took between 6 and 21 months. There is no fixed timing rule. The committee waits long enough so that the existence of a peak or trough is not in doubt, and until it can assign an accurate peak or trough date.
Q: Does the NBER keep a record of when it announced the determination of the dates of peaks and troughs prior to those given in the Bureau’s website?
A: The Business Cycle Dating Committee was created in 1978, and since then there has been a formal process of announcing the NBER determination of a peak or trough in economic activity. Those announcement dates were: June 3, 1980; July 8, 1981; January 6, 1982; July 8, 1983; April 25, 1991; December 22, 1992; November 26, 2001; July 17, 2003; December 1, 2008; and September 20, 2010. During the period 1961-1978, the U.S. Department of Commerce embraced the NBER turning points as the official record of U.S. business cycle activity, but the NBER made no formal announcements when it determined the dates of turning points. There was an informal notification process between the NBER researchers and the Commerce Department, followed by publication of turning point dates in Commerce Department publications.
Q: When the BCDC says that the recession ended in June, is there a specific date in June?
A: The committee identifies the month when the trough occurred, without taking a stand on the date in the month. Thus, December 2007 is both the month when the recession began and the month when the expansion ended. Similarly, June 2009 is both the month when the recession ended and the month when the expansion began.
Q: Does the NBER identify depressions as well as recessions in its chronology?
A: The NBER does not separately identify depressions. The NBER business cycle chronology identifies the dates of peaks and troughs in economic activity. We refer to the period between a peak and a trough as a contraction or a recession, and the period between the trough and the peak as an expansion. The term depression is often used to refer to a particularly severe period of economic weakness. Some economists use it to refer only to the portion of these periods when economic activity is declining. The more common use, however, also encompasses the time until economic activity has returned to close to normal levels. The most recent episode in the United States that is generally regarded as a depression occurred in the 1930s. The NBER determined that a peak in economic activity occurred in August 1929, and that a trough occurred in March 1933. The NBER identified a second peak in May 1937 and a trough in June 1938. Both the contraction starting in 1929 and that starting in 1937 were very severe; the one starting in 1929 is widely acknowledged to have been the worst in U.S. history. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, real GDP declined 27 percent between 1929 and 1933, roughly five times as much as in the worst postwar recession. If the term Great Depression is used to mean the period of exceptional decline in economic activity, it refers to the period from August 1929 to March 1933. If it is used to also include the period until economic activity had returned to approximately normal levels, most economists would judge that it ended sometime in 1940 or 1941. However, just as the NBER does not define the term depression or identify depressions, there is no formal NBER definition or dating of the Great Depression.
Q: Does the concept of a double-dip recession exist in the NBER’s business cycle chronology?
A: The NBER does not define a special category called a double-dip recession. Two periods of contraction will be either two separate recessions or parts of the same recession. The main criteria that the committee applies to determine whether a downturn following one business cycle peak and apparent trough is a separate recession or the continuation of the earlier one are the duration and strength of the upturn after the initial trough. For example, the committee’s determination that the recession that began in 1981 was separate from the one that began in 1980 was based in part on the extent to which major economic indicators bounced back in late 1980 and early 1981. Since its inception in 1978, the committee has not encountered any other episode that involved two consecutive contractions. The committee does not apply fixed formulas in this and other determinations, but rather forms judgments based on the underlying concepts of recessions and expansions and the goal of preserving historical continuity in the NBER business cycle chronology.
Q: Has the NBER previously determined a trough date prior to the time when economic activity surpassed its previous peak?
A. Yes, the NBER has done this before. For example, on July 8, 1983, the committee announced that a trough had occurred in November 1982 before real GNP had exceeded its 1981 third quarter peak.
Q: When did the NBER first establish its business cycle dates?
A: The NBER was founded in 1920, and published its first business cycle dates in 1929.
Q: When was your committee formed?
A: The committee was created by the President of the NBER in 1978. Robert Hall has chaired the committee since its inception.
Q: How is the committee’s membership determined?
A: The President of the NBER appoints the members, who include directors of the macro-related programs of the NBER plus other members with specialties in business-cycle research.
Q: Why did the committee not declare the end of the recession when it met on April 8, 2010, even though, as it noted in its announcement, most indicators had turned up by that date?
A: The committee does not make real-time judgments, but waits for the availability of all relevant data and for the completion of early data revisions. The committee then looks back on history and determines in what month the economy reached bottom and began to expand again. The committee also has to guard against the possibility, even if very small, that what seems to be the beginning of an expansion is actually just an interruption in a longer contraction. …”
, Chair — Director of NBER’s Program of Research on Economic Fluctuations and Growth and Professor, Stanford University
— President Emeritus of NBER and Professor, Harvard Univerity
— Director of NBER’s Program on International Finance and Macroeconomics and Professor, Harvard University
Robert J. Gordon
— NBER Research Associate and Professor, Northwestern University
— President of NBER and Professor, M.I.T.
— Director of NBER’s Program on Monetary Economics (On Leave from the Business Cycle Dating Committee), and Professor, University of California, Berkeley
James H. Stock
— Research Associate in the NBER’s Monetary Economics Program and Professor, Harvard University
Mark W. Watson
— Research Associate in the NBER’s Economic Fluctuations and Growth Program and Professor, Princeton University
National Bureau of Economic Research
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
“…The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) is an American private nonprofit research organization dedicated to studying the science and empirics of economics, especially the American economy. The NBER describes itself as “committed to undertaking and disseminating unbiased economic research among public policymakers, business professionals, and the academic community.” The NBER is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts with branch offices in Palo Alto, California, and New York City.
The NBER was founded in 1920. Its first staff economist, director of research, and one of its founders was American economist Wesley Mitchell. Russian American economist Simon Kuznets was working at the NBER when the U.S. government asked him to help organize a system of national accounts in 1930, which became the beginning of an official measurement of GDP and other related indices of economic activity. Due to its work on national accounts and business cycles, the NBER is well-known for providing start and end dates for recessions in the United States.
The NBER is the largest economics research organization in the United States. Sixteen of the thirty-one American winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics have been NBER associates. Six of the past Chairmen of the Council of Economic Advisershave also been researchers at the NBER, including the former NBER president, Martin Feldstein. The NBER’s current President and CEO is Professor James M. Poterba of MIT. NBER research is published by the University of Chicago Press. …”
The NBER uses a broader definition of a recession than commonly appears in the media. The traditional definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of a shrinking gross domestic product (GDP). In contrast, the NBER defines a recession as “a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.”. Business cycle dates are determined by the NBER dating committee under contract with the Department of Commerce. Typically, these dates correspond to peaks and troughs in real GDP, although not always so.
The NBER prefers this method for a variety of reasons. First, they feel by measuring a wide range of economic factors, rather than just GDP, a more accurate assessment of the health of an economy can be gained. For instance, the NBER considers not only the product-side estimates like GDP, but also income-side estimates such as the gross domestic income (GDI). Second, since the NBER wishes to measure the duration of economic expansion and recession at a fine grain, they place emphasis on monthly—rather than quarterly—economic indicators. Finally, by using a looser definition, they can take into account the depth of decline in economic activity. For example, the NBER may declare not a recession simply because of two quarters of very slight negative growth, but rather an economic stagnation.
Though not listed by the NBER, another factor in favor of this alternate definition is that a long term economic contraction may not always have two consecutive quarters of negative growth, as was the case in the recession following the bursting of the dot-com bubble.”The NBER’s Business Cycle Dating Procedure: Frequently Asked Questions”. The National Bureau of Economic Research. http://www.nber.org/cycles/recessions_faq.html. For example, a repeated sequence of quarters with significant negative growth followed by a quarter of no or slight positive growth would not meet the traditional definition of a recession, even though the nation would be undergoing continuous economic decline. …”
||Time since previous recession (months)
|GDP decline (peak to trough)
||1929Aug 1929 –
||Stock markets crashed worldwide. A banking collapse took place in the United States. Extensive new tariffs and other factors contributed to an extremely deep depression. The United States did remain in a depression until World War II. In 1936, unemployment fell to 16.9% but later returned to 19% in 1938 (near 1933 levels.
|Recession of 1937
||1937May 1937 –
||The Recession of 1937 is only considered minor when compared to the Great Depression, but is otherwise among the worst recessions of the 20th century. Three explanations are offered for the recession: that tight fiscal policy from an attempt to balance the budget after the expansion of the New Deal caused recession, that tight monetary policy from the Federal Reserve caused the recession, or that declining profits for businesses led to a reduction in investment.
|Recession of 1945
||The decline in government spending at the end of World War II led to an enormous drop in gross domestic product making this technically a recession. This was the result of demobilization and the shift from a wartime to peacetime economy. The post-war years were unusual in a number of ways (unemployment was never high) and this era may be considered a “sui generis end-of-the-war recession”.
|Recession of 1949
||1948Nov 1948 –
||The 1948 recession was a brief economic downturn; forecasters of the time expected much worse, perhaps influenced by the poor economy in their recent lifetime. The recession began shortly after President Truman’s “Fair Deal” economic reforms. The recession also followed a period of monetary tightening.
|Recession of 1953
||1953July 1953 –
||After a post-Korean War inflationary period, more funds were transferred to national security. In 1951, the Federal Reserve reasserted its independence from the U.S. Treasury and in 1952, the Federal Reserve changed monetary policy to be more restrictive because of fears of further inflation or of a bubble forming.
|Recession of 1958
||1957Aug 1957 –
||Monetary policy was tightened during the two years preceding 1957, followed by an easing of policy at the end of 1957. The budget balance resulted in a change in budget surplus of 0.8% of GDP in 1957 to a budget deficit of 0.6% of GDP in 1958, and then to 2.6% of GDP in 1959.
|Recession of 1960–61
||1960Apr 1960 –
||Another primarily monetary recession occurred after the Federal Reserve began raising interest rates in 1959. The government switched from deficit (or 2.6% in 1959) to surplus (of 0.1% in 1960). When the economy emerged from this short recession it began the second longest period of growth in NBER history.
|Recession of 1969–70
||1969Dec 1969 –
||The relatively mild 1969 recession followed a lengthy expansion. At the end of the expansion inflation was rising, possibly a result of increased deficits. This relatively mild recession coincided with an attempt to start closing the budget deficits of the Vietnam War (fiscal tightening) and the Federal Reserve raising interest rates (monetary tightening).
||1973Nov 1973 –
||A quadrupling of oil prices by OPEC coupled with high government spending because of the Vietnam War led to stagflation in the United States. The period was also marked by the 1973 oil crisis and the 1973–1974 stock market crash. The period is remarkable for rising unemployment coinciding with rising inflation.
||The NBER considers a short recession to have occurred in 1980, followed by a short period of growth and then a deep recession. Unemployment remained relatively elevated in between recessions. The recession began as the Federal Reserve, under Paul Volcker raised interest rates dramatically to fight the inflation of the 1970s. The early ’80s are sometimes referred to as a “double-dip” or “W-shaped” recession.
|Early 1980s recession
||1981July 1981 –
||The Iranian Revolution sharply increased the price of oil around the world in 1979, causing the 1979 energy crisis. This was caused by the new regime in power in Iran, which exported oil at inconsistent intervals and at a lower volume, forcing prices up. Tight monetary policy in the United States to control inflation led to another recession. The changes were made largely because of inflation carried over from the previous decade because of the 1973 oil crisis and the 1979 energy crisis.
|Early 1990s recession
||1990July 1990 –
||After the lengthy peacetime expansion of the 1980s, inflation began to increase and the Federal Reserve responded by raising interest rates from 1986 to 1989. This weakened but did not stop growth, but some combination of the subsequent 1990 oil price shock, the debt accumulation of the 1980s, new banking regulations following the S&L Crisis and growing consumer pessimism combined with the weakened economy to produce a brief recession.
|Early 2000s recession
||The 1990s were the longest period of growth in American history. The collapse of the speculative dot-com bubble, a fall in business outlays and investments, and the September 11th attacks, brought the decade of growth to an end. Despite these major shocks, the recession was brief and shallow. Without the September 11th attacks, the economy may have avoided recession altogether.
|Great Recession[nb 4]
||2007Dec 2007-June 2009
(July 2010)U6 17.4%
||The subprime mortgage crisis led to the collapse of the United States housing bubble. Falling housing-related assets contributed to a global financial crisis, even as oil and food prices soared. The crisis led to the failure or collapse of many of the United States’ largest financial institutions: Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and AIG, as well as a crisis in the automobile industry. The government responded with an unprecedented $700 billion bank bailout and $787 billion fiscal stimulus package. The National Bureau of Economic Research declared the end of this recession over a year after the end date.
The Great Recession
“…The Great Recession is a pun on Great Depression (of the 1930s), which has been periodically used to refer to recessions in the post-World War II era.
Most recently, the late-2000s recession has been referred to as “The Great Recession” among other terms.
In 2010, the Associated Press added the term to its style guide referring to the downturn that existed from December 2007 until June, 2010. …”
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