Warren G. Harding would be proud
Floyd Norris thinks the economy might have returned to "normalcy," and he has the charts to prove it. These final paragraphs, in fact, are the most optimistic sentences I've seen since 2008:
In February, according to S.& P., 135 companies raised dividends, the largest total in nearly two years. Just 11 percent of the announced changes were negative — eliminations or reductions of payouts. Last March, during the height of the panic, the figure was 82 percent, the highest recorded by S.& P. since it began tallying the figures in 1955.
Some of those increases reflect the fact that companies overreacted when they feared a cutoff of credit and a new depression. But those very overreactions may have set the stage for a recovery that will turn out to be stronger and faster than those after the two previous downturns.
On the other hand, here's David Leonhardt with the pessimistic view.
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