Hoisted from comments: Robert Waldmann writes:
Re: Comments at Quigley Housing Finance Symposium: I think there was one other recession which didn't start in the Eccles building. My sense is that the 90-91 recession was sort of like a midget version of the current recession, started by bankers behaving badly.
It was a nightmare for time series macro-econometricians and, in particular, Stock and Watson who had this model which, when fit to past data, always had the probability of a recession within a year over 80% in years before recessions and never over 20% in years not followed by recessions. Such a fit I have never seen. The first out of sample test was that in 1989 the probability of a recession in 1990 never got over 20%. Ouch. Their useful variables were all directly or indirectly monetary policy variables.
I'd say that the new kind of recessions now number 3. More importantly so does Krugman and he notes that the last two were followed by the job less recovery and the job loss recovery. Using the alphabet, I'm afraid I'm going to have to predict a job lyss recovery.