UNDATED (CNN) -- We're four years out since the 2008 financial crisis. As the U.S. recovery sputters, people are wondering who, or what, is to blame. It's a case that's got all the elements of a murder mystery.
The play is called Perfect Crime, an intricate who-dunnit that literally begins with a bang. In this off-Broadway production, the race is on to find the cold blooded killer of W. Harrison brent who lives in Connecticut with his wife. In real life, another mystery has been unfolding for months, the case of who- or what- killed the U.S. Economic recovery"
just like in this show there's no shortage of suspects for what's slowing economic growth.
Suspect number one: Europe. President Obama has said, "The biggest headwind the American economy is facing right now is uncertainty by Europe." American firms have seen European sales plummet amid fears that a Greek default could spark another global banking crisis.
Suspect 2: Congressional gridlock. White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew has said, "If Congress had passed the proposals the president submitted, there'd be a million more jobs today." New stimulus that democrats say could have created jobs has been shot down amid beltway bickering. Sen. John McCain said, "They believe that government creates and spending creates jobs, we believe business and growth creates jobs."
Suspect 3: Runaway national debt. Rep. John Boehner said in June, "This $16 trillion worth of debt serves as a wet blanket over our economy, scaring employers of all size." Fiscal uncertainty is a key reason why companies aren't hiring. And the fiscal cliff of automatic spending cuts and tax increases that could hit next year, is terrifying firms.
And suspect 4: energy prices. Prof. Michael Greenberger said in May, "The ever accelerating gasoline prices. This will break the back of the recovery." High gas and heating bills act like a direct tax on consumers, taking away money that would otherwise be spent at restaurants and stores.
But one thing is certain, U.S. Growth has fallen from over 4 percent last year, to under 2 percent today amid one of the weakest post war recoveries on record.
In the end, this cop gets his culprit the real life mystery may be harder to solve. Because when it comes to who killed the recovery, all the prime economic suspects may be to blame.