Who put the chill on American businesses? 

In a blogpost earlier today, I suggested that Barack Obama’s April 13 speech at George Washington University, in which he signaled that he would be in campaign rather than governing mode for the remainder of the 2012 campaign cycle, triggered the economic slowdown clearly indicated by the numbers that have been coming in this week. Here’s some additional evidence for that proposition, from Business Insider’s Joe Weisenthal, reporting Goldman Sachs’s response to the jobs numbers announced this morning.

Key quote from GS: “After the recent run of weaker-than-expected data, our Current Activity Indicator (CAI) now stands at just 1.0% for May, down from 1.6% in April and 4.2% in March.” Weisenthal’s comment: “That is a major drop in almost no time at all.”

Could an April 13 presidential speech account for it? Well, the timing seems right . . . .

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Michael Barone

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