"The only double-dip recession of the last 50 years (1980-81) was quite deliberately engineered by the Fed. A major component of GDP will have to turn sharply negative to cause growth to go in reverse. This will require more than the gradual shrinking of the government sector, and there are no obvious candidates at the moment." [link]
Bill: Not that I'm in the same league as Baker, but I'll note that Rosenberg has been quite vocal about saying it's nearly certain that we will see a double dip in the nearish term: "While some stimulus could help mitigate the economic downturn, it is very likely too little too late to save the economy from another recession." (Yesterday). We are, according to Krugman, DeLong, Rosenberg, Ritholtz, etc, etc, and even Baker himself, seeing "major components" of GDP drift substantially lower. What is "sharp"?
PS: I'm sure DR would be uncomfortable being placed in the group of folks I just placed him in. But here's the thing: Even though he can't keep himself from editorializing loudly and frequently on how stooooopid the Democrats are, when he wears his economist hat, or his investor hat, he is in fact quite close to the Keynesian Mafiosi in utterance. As Krug is fond of reminding us, the facts have a well-known liberal bias.