So, the economy? It’s not so hot. We’ve heard grumblings about a recession here and and there , but how many of us have really taken all the talk seriously? Most of us are just assuming (or hoping) it’s simply a bump. But now, the daily signs of an impending recession are becoming harder and harder to ignore.

On March 13, the International Monetary Fund warned world markets to “prepare for the worst” as expectations of a worldwide drop in the economy looks less like a possibility and more like a reality.

The dollar continues to fall in value and oil is selling at a record $111/barrel and the value of gold keeps going up , as it tends to when investors lose confidence in the economy.

The President took the unusual step of going to Wall Street himself to try and assuage fears of a financial downturn:

“Our economy obviously is going through a tough time,” Bush told a gathering of The Economic Club of New York. “The challenge is not to do anything foolish.”

The Bush administration has been trying to find a balance between acknowledging leaner times and forecasting that better ones will come soon. White House officials predict that things will turn around by summer as the effects are realized from a series of aggressive interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve and an economic stimulus package that will send tax rebate checks to 130 million households starting in May.

Today comes fresh news of the dollar’s plunge. After the billions of dollars in write-offs by the world’s biggest banks ever since the beginning of the sub-prime mortgage crisis that appears to only be getting worse, this financial situation appears to only be getting worse.

As dawn looms and the fear of a huge stock market plunge this morning grows ever more realistic, the idea that we can avoid a very deep recession in the upcoming months and year is even more unlikely. Bear Stearns sold to JP Morgan for about $2/share in an attempt to save Stearns from going under.

The Fed has had to step in an attempt avoid a complete meltdown of the US financial markets and another bank from going under.

Read Krugman for more.

Some are even saying that we have not seen the worst of it yet and it could get bad, really, really bad. 1930’s bad.