Wells Fargo economists are predicting the recession will be over by the second half of 2009.
The bank’s senior economists said in a teleconference last week that the government stimulus, pent-up consumer demand and returning consumer confidence will lead to a turnaround in the third quarter.
The second half of ’09 is going to be “better than expected,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist for Wells Fargo Capital Management:
“It’s like you’re at a cookout and you’re trying and trying to get your charcoal going and you keep squirting lighter fluid and all of a sudden it goes ‘poof!’ “
Maybe this is a sign of the bank’s optimism: The Associated Press reports that executives from Wells Fargo and five other financial firms receiving government bailouts are still flying around in their corporate jets.
A Wells Fargo spokeswoman told the AP that the bank owns a single jet that “is strictly for business purposes” and that “no (government) funds will be used for corporate jet travel.”