Put yourself in Ben Bernanke’s shoes. Assume that a recession was inevitable. When was the right time to take it? At seventy-two months, the current expansion is already longer than any of the thirty years before Volcker, except for the inflationary nine-year Vietnam boom. Meanwhile, the problems awaiting the next president are simply enormous, whoever it is who takes office in January 2009 – budget deficits, the war in Iraq, health care reform, climate change. Would the Fed chairman be doing the new administration a favor to push ahead a recession, too, into its first couple of years?