In the chart below (from Doug Short), can you see the difference between the current "recovery" versus all of the other post-war recoveries?? Employment still hasn't recovered after 4 years of the Obama administration. This despite the "pissing-away" of debt-financed money on "non-stimulus" stimulus (costing $400,000 per job "saved"), HARP, TARP, ZIRP, Trillions of money printing and $6 trillion of new Federal debt. What if these programs hurt the normal recovery process?
Notice that all of post-War recoveries were much quicker even when the downturn was severe. See the 1948 and 1957 recoveries for example.
Also note that the recoveries of 1990 and 2001 took noticeably longer. But the current (2007) recession is far worse in duration than all of the others. There is a trend of worse recoveries. I wonder what the "recovery curve" for the next recession will look like??
The past two recessions were caused by burst financial bubbles and the next one will be too.