Some politicians and their cheerleaders in the corporate media have been claiming recently that the world economy can look forward to a 'recovery' in the not too distant future.
Depending on who you listen to that recovery has been 'penciled in' for later this year, early next year or late 2010.
At a meeting in Italy of G8 nations last week, the assembled finance ministers said stock markets were rising, interest rates more stable, and consumer confidence was returning.
However, US Treasury chief Tim Geithner also said that it was too early to wind down economic stimulus packages.
He said they should remain in place until a global recovery was 'under way'.
In other words the ordinary taxpayer is still expected to bail out the banks, the corporations and the finance companies.
And the jobless figures continue to escalate.
What is really going on?
A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the work of economists Barry Eichengreen and Kevin H. O’Rourke. Their research showed that world industrial production, trade, and stock markets are dropping faster now than during the time of the Great Depression of 1929-30.
The two economist have just updated their research.
They conclude that while there has been a slight improvement in the world economy, today's capitalist crisis remains as least as bad as that of the Great Depression.
Eichengreen and O'Rourke write that world industrial production continues to track closely the 1930s fall, with no clear signs of the so-called business 'green shoots' that some politicians and commentators claim have emerged in recent times.
They go on to say:
'World stock markets have rebounded a bit since March, and world trade has stabilised, but these are still following paths far below the ones they followed in the Great Depression.'
In short this economic crisis remains as deep and as damaging as the Great Depression of 1929-30 and any claims of a 'recovery' aren't based on any hard evidence at all.
Here are the new updated charts: