Fallout: The Financial Crisis

Washington not too bad in recession

Marketplace Staff Jan 20, 2009
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Fallout: The Financial Crisis

Washington not too bad in recession

Marketplace Staff Jan 20, 2009
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: But everyone’s attention is on Washington, not Wall Street this morning. The recession has certainly hit the nation’s capital, but not nearly as hard as some other places. Ronni Radbill explains.


Ronni Radbill: During times of crisis, Washington tends to prosper. From the Civil War to today’s recession, the region’s economy typically gets a boost from increased government spending.

Steve Fuller is Director of George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis:

Steve Fuller: Federal government isn’t cyclical. It may not spend a lot of money when things are going well, but wars, recessions, crisis of various nature, it spends money.

And much of that money falls to local contractors who carry out government work. D.C. is also a magnet for special interests who spend millions on lobbying firms to press their agendas.

Pete Metzger helps staff those firms at D.C.-based recruiting agency CTPartners:

Pete Metzger: People who have government relations outposts here are trying to position themselves in front of the new democratic leadership.

D.C.’s unemployment rate is 4.4 percent, one of the lowest in the country. But the region is not immune to hardship. Retailers are struggling, businesses have closed and homes are in foreclosure.

Still, as long as the federal government’s in town, the local economy appears to be insulated from the worst of the country’s troubles.

In Washington, I’m Ronni Radbill for Marketplace

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