A recession is an imaginary period of reduced economic activity, often defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. Hallmarks of a recession include a significant decline in economic activity, a drop in the affected economy's employment, industrial production, and real personal income, an increase in prostitution and rent parties, and the widespread adoption of certain résumé euphemisms such as "unplanned sabbatical", "unwelcome opportunity to pursue other projects", and "2007 - Present: Halo." A sustained recession may lead to depression, while a sustained depression may lead to obesity.
A recession may result from many different economic factors, operating alone or in concert. Recessions may result from a sharp drop in consumer demand, investors fooling around with real estate prices while huffing marijuana, an increase in prices resulting from raw materials or energy scarcity, or a combination of rising prices and stagnant economic growth known as stagflation. Recent economic theory has attempted to include investor confidence in the more sophisticated macroeconomic models (e.g., Joseph Stiglitz's "Panicky Chickens" theory), with mixed success. The global recession that began in early September 2008 has been traced by financial observers to various sources, including bad housing loans in the United States, unstable global energy prices, unregulated securities markets, cancer, more cancer, various suspected causes of cancer, unusually high concentrations of jellyfish in the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Katrina, Israel, Hamas, and Megatron.
Many non-economist commentators have questioned how this global recession could occur with no obvious change in the planet's amount of people, capital or expertise, the basic elements of all economic production. These commentators have uniformly been told to fuck off and prepare for another bailout.
Although the thorough documentation and analysis of economic recessions began fairly recently, history has recorded a number of episodes of apparent commercial decline indicating an economy in recession.
Around 2570 B.C., Egypt under the rule of the pharaoh Khufu experienced a sharp drop in production due to a syphilis out-break among its slave population. The so-called "Semetic Epidemic" decimated close to 70% of Egypt's slave population, forcing Khufu to abandon plans to construct a gated community of pyramids, an enormous 3,000 ft. tower dedicated to the goddess Isis, and a colossal stone statue of a beetle with the face of a bear. This period of decreased production did not end until the implementation of Khufu's "two point recovery plan", which involved (1) raiding desert nomad camps, and (2) enslaving their people. Another recession occurred when the nomads caused several ecological catastrophes, leading to the assassination of a Pharaoh and the creation of a pointless Jewish holiday.
In 1915, the so-called "Pith Helmet Kerfluffle" set-off a period of extended economic decline, beginning in India and spreading throughout the British empire, that culminated in the independence of India in 1947 and an era of British irrelevance that continues into modern times. In August of 1915, in the midst of World War I, a munitions factory in Mumbai, India managed by effeminate, hashish addicted Englishmen produced an enormous number of defective pith helmets that lacked the characteristic spikes, having instead erotic Edgar Allen Poe statues affixed to their tops.
World orders for pith helmets, the cornerstone of the British economy, dried up overnight, and the collateral effects of the drop in demand affected British exports of tea, crumpets, and kippers. Britain was forced to export virtually all of its national supplies of fluoride and toothbrush bristles to avoid a crippling depression.
In the 1930s, television was invented. Upon hearing of the invention, all of the factory workers and most of their bosses rushed home to watch TV. They were all fired, and that began the Great Depression, which is what a recession is called when you're drunk.
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