August 4th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

How will you know when recession ends?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Some of the sharper financial minds out there think the worst recession in decades may be ending soon. Economist Nouriel Roubini says: "There is now potentially light at the end of the tunnel." He thinks the recession will end at the end of the year.

He's worth listening to. He predicted the financial crisis. But his prediction isn't all rosy. He says there's a chance the economy will start to recover - only to drop back into a recession by late 2010 or 2011 because of growing government debt - among other things.

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan says he's pretty sure we've seen the bottom; and that economic growth may even pick up at a faster rate than what experts are predicting. But, Greenspan warns that recovery depends a lot on the housing market - which could possibly take another downward turn.

Other positive signs include recent reports on improving home and auto sales along with GDP numbers that show the economy shrank much less in the second quarter.

President Obama has credited the economic stimulus package for helping get things back on track. He says it helped "put the brakes on recession," and that he's optimistic about the economy, although there's still "a lot more work to do."

One of the biggest areas of concern is unemployment. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner says even as the economy on the whole improves - the unemployment rate may not peak until the second half of next year.

Here’s my question to you: How will you know when the recession ends?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Recession
August 4th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Release of U.S. journalists affect N. Korea's relations with rest of world?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Before we nominate Kim Jong Il for the Nobel Peace Prize for releasing those two journalists, it's worth remembering who we're dealing with. The fact that former President Clinton was able to gain the women's release shouldn't change anything.

North Korea is still a very dangerous regime armed with nuclear weapons and in the midst of a lot of questions about who will succeed the little mad man who runs the place.

In all likelihood, North Korea would like to sit down with the United States alone and negotiate another of the phony deals they've been party to in the past. They don't like the six party talks aimed at trying to get them to disarm. They would rather get the United States to agree to feed their people without having to do much of anything in return.

There should be no letting up on the part of the group of six nations just because of today's humanitarian gesture on the part of North Korea. These are the same folks who have threatened to fire a missile toward Hawaii and have made repeated threats against South Korea and other of their neighbors.

There is absolutely no reason to believe that today's developments change anything when it comes to North Korea. But North Korea undoubtedly will think it does.

Here’s my question to you: How will the release of the two American journalists affect North Korea’s relations with the rest of the world?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Global Image • Global matters • North Korea
August 4th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Why did Bill Clinton succeed in N. Korea where U.S. govt failed?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Go figure. Bill Clinton waltzes into North Korea and wins the release of two journalists accused of entering North Korea illegally and engaging in hostile acts.

Bill Clinton met earlier today with N. Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

They were sentenced to 12-years at hard labor. Which in all likelihood they would never have survived.

The U.S. has been trying for weeks to win their release. From President Obama to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, all efforts have been rejected up to this point.

And then Bubba comes along and presto - the two women are free to go.

Makes you wonder what gives... The old expression is, "Beware of a stranger bearing gifts." And no one is any stranger than Kim Jong Il, the weird little dictator who runs North Korea and goes around threatening to blow up the world.

Nuclear tests, missile firings… he's a real day at the beach. And he refuses to even listen to the international community when they suggest he give up his nuclear weapons program in exchange for membership in the community of nations and things like food. North Korea has no food… But Kim could care less.

Recently this absurd regime had taken to calling our Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton names - things like: "She looks like a primary school girl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping." They called her a "funny lady unaware of the elementary etiquette of the international community."

Now Hillary's husband walks in and walks out with these two prisoners. Very, very strange... But the women, their families and the rest of us will take it. Way to go, President Clinton.

Here’s my question to you: What does it say that Bill Clinton succeeded in North Korea where the U.S. government failed?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Bill Clinton • North Korea