Great Recession: All's Well That Ends Well?

09/05/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

So it's almost official. The recession is almost over.

The Dow has put in its best performance in years. Houses are starting to sell. Banks are paying bonuses again.

But what does this mean?

It means, some pessimists believe, a W curve. It's going up, only to come down again -- to go up again (presumably).

Or it could mean nothing at all. Rather, things are so bad that they can no longer get much worse, hence they seem better -- and if they seem better, they get better.

Or, it's the broken clock analysis. Certain politicians and media people have started to say the recession is over because it will eventually be over and then they'll be able to say they were prescient -- and if enough people say it's over, that helps make it over.

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