Greenspan says US 'on the edge' of recession

Updated: 2008-02-15 19:42

HOUSTON - Former US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan on Thursday said the US economy is "clearly on the edge" of a recession.

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan [File photo] 

Greenspan said the economy will continue to erode until there is a stabilization of US housing prices.

"We have a long way to go" before housing prices hit a bottom, Greenspan told energy executives at the CERA conference.

High oil prices are dragging on the economy, but the fact that they haven't done more damage shows its resiliency.

"It's a burden now," Greenspan said. He added that it's "quite remarkable" that the US economy is "able to do reasonably well" with oil prices near historic highs.

Crude oil futures hit above $95 a barrel on Thursday and went above $100 in early January.

Greenspan again - as he had last month - said that the likelihood of the US economy going into recession was "50 percent or better."

He said the US economy was growing at "stall speed."

"Stagflation is too strong a term for what we are on the edge of," Greenspan said.

The subprime mortgage crisis would already have put the United States into recession if US businesses weren't healthy in part as the result of years of low interest rates, Greenspan said.

"If businesses weren't in extraordinarily good shape, I have no doubt we wouldn't be asking if we're in a recession, but how long and how deep," Greenspan said.

"Obviously, they (businesses) are not pushed for credit," said Greenspan.

   1 2   

Related Stories  
Top World News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours