CNN Correspondent Asks 'Where We Are in This Recession'

     Recession hasn’t been officially determined, but that didn’t matter to CNN’s Senior Business correspondent on "American Morning."

     Velshi offered viewers a preview of an appearance by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke before the Senate Banking Committee on February 14.  

     “[T]here are going to be a lot of questions they’re going to get from senators,” Velshi said. “They’re going to be asked obviously about where we are in this recession, what can be done about it.”

     However, the U.S. economy has yet to meet the official technical definition of a recession – defined as two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth, an important distinction the media often ignore or dismiss.

     Velshi pointed out that the two influential economic officials would likely not say we’re in a recession, despite his own analysis.

     “I think most betting is that neither Ben Bernanke nor Henry Paulson are going to say we’re in a recession,” Velshi said. “They'll talk about a slowing economy. They'll discuss what can be done.”

     But talking about recession can have a negative impact. CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo pointed out earlier this week it doesn’t matter if we’re in a recession or not – constant carping about a bad economy makes it worse.

    “[W]ell, it really is all about perception right now,” Bartiromo said on the February 10 “NBC Nightly News.” “Everybody is trying to figure out, are we in a recession? Are we not in a recession? The fact is, [“Nightly News” anchor] Lester [Holt], it doesn’t matter. We’re already talking ourselves into a recession, and that’s the bottom line,” said Bartiromo.

     The CNBC anchor continued, “Worries about losing your job, the headlines out there, the wild swings on Wall Street that you mentioned – it’s already impacting people. They’re pulling in their purse strings. They’re spending less and that is begetting more fear. Fear begets fear. And that really is the bottom line here.”