Is the Recovery Upon Us?

It seems so. For the first time since June 2007, growth forecasts for the world's rich nations are being revised upward, according to the latest OECD data. Also, some new figures from the IMF show that predictions of world GDP growth for 2010 are up by half a percentage point, to 2.5 percent. OK, that's about half of what it was in the heyday, but we should still be thankful.

Despite all our problems, the U.S. is driving all this. We're still the biggest kid on the block, with the most liquid currency. The U.K. and Japan are in recovery too, but the euro zone isn't─growth there is still lagging, and things could very well get worse before they get better, given that German banks are exploding left and right, as is debt in most of the major economies.

But, as Martin Wolf notes in his very smart FT op-ed piece today, this recovery isn't going to feel much like one. He makes the important point that the moral-hazard problem in banking has only gotten worse, given the huge bailouts. I'm personally very curious about just how Goldman Sachs managed to get those great profit numbers yesterday.

The other thing that worries me is that while this upswing is clearly great for companies─a number of global blue chips are awash in profits─it's not good for labor. As most of us know, labor's share of the global wealth pie has been decreasing relative to corporates' since the 1970s. It looks like this recession may have sped up that trend. Jobless recovery, indeed. For more on what the recovery means everywhere, check out our package in next week's print issue.

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Is the Recovery Upon Us? | Business