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Even Chuck Todd isn't buying Janet Yellen's latest redefinition of recession

The Rubin Report

'You know when Chuck Todd has to ask a follow-up question, you really stepped in it'

Image source: Video screenshot

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen insisted that the economy is not in a recession — because that word doesn't mean what you think it means. In fact, it doesn't even mean what she said it meant at the beginning of one long, rambling sentence during an interview with Chuck Todd on NBC's “Meet the Press.”

"A common definition of recession is two negative quarters of GDP growth, or at least that's something that's been true in past recessions, when we've seen that there has usually been a recession, and many economists expect second-quarter GDP to be negative, and first-quarter GDP was negative, so we could see that happen, but I do want to emphasize what a recession really means is a broad-based contraction in the economy, and even if that number is negative, we are not in a recession now, and, um, I would, you know, warn that we should be, um, not characterizing that as a recession," Yellen told Todd.

"I understand that, but you're splitting hairs. I mean, if the technical definition is two quarters of contraction, you're saying that's not a recession?" Todd asked.

"That's not the tech-, that's not the technical definition," Yellen insisted. "There's an organization called the National Bureau of Economic Research that looks at a broad range of data in deciding whether or not there is a recession."

"You know when Chuck Todd has to ask a follow-up question, you really stepped in it," said BlazeTV host Dave Rubin in response to Yellen's interview.

Watch the video clip from "The Rubin Report" below. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.


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