Did you\u00a0have ANY doubts that we have been in a recession?\u00a0 I sure didn't.\u00a0 Yesterday, the National Bureau of Economic Research here in the United States\u00a0 confirmed it, "Yes, it is officially a recession." What may come as a surprise to you, though, is that we have been in a recession here in the United States for a year already, since\u00a0December 2007.\u00a0 At least -- that's according to the definition given by the aforesaid authorities. But it's a\u00a0strange thing about recessions.\u00a0 Just as\u00a0it takes a while to determine you're\u00a0in one,\u00a0there's also a lag on the back end.\u00a0\u00a0 We'll likely be coming out of\u00a0the recession before anybody confirms that.\u00a0\u00a0 That's why, in a strange way, it's a good thing that we have been in this recession for a\u00a0year now.\u00a0 Recessions by nature are temporary.\u00a0 Historically the "official recession" doesn't last long -- not more than a year and a half. Here's a chart from an article by Jon Hilsenrath of the Wall Street Journal, showing recession time frames: \u00a0 No one knows for sure how long this recession will last.\u00a0\u00a0Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke gave a speech yesterday\u00a0in which he said that weakness in the economy would likely continue for a while.\u00a0\u00a0His remarks\u00a0struck me as\u00a0realistic:\u00a0 not overly optimistic nor pessimistic.\u00a0\u00a0And here's the important news:\u00a0 he\u00a0scoffed at\u00a0references to\u00a0the Great Depression of the 1930s, saying "there's no comparison." Chances are\u00a0the only way we will really know we are coming out of recession and back into growth is by looking backwards, after we have already started the recovery.\u00a0 And just like it's darkest before the dawn, we may be ready to come out of this situation precisely when things appear bleakest.\u00a0 We just\u00a0may not\u00a0know it until later, after we look backwards. Hang in there!