A Bad Case of Economic Hypochondria?

Leo Kolivakis's picture

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snowman's picture

Leo, do yourself a favor and read up on what is really going on in global trade. Global trade is the key indicator on how the economies are really doing because it tells you not only if people are making and buying stuff, but who is making and buying. Go see capgemini's latest survey http://www.capgemini.com/insights-and-resources/by-publication/global-tr...

Bottom line, trade has not remotely recovered in the developed markets and volumes are up in BRIC with China leading the way buying every raw material it can get it's hands on. Oh, and do check the Baltic Dry Index from time to time. If there is a recovery, they why is the index still languishing around 2,800 i.e., 2006 levels. Check the facts, please, so people like me don't have to do the work for you.

The NBF report you cited carries a lot of subjective assumptions. From their latest newsletter "muscular interventions from the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Government have led to an improvement in financial conditions and a recovery in the real estate sector". Come on!


spinone's picture

If I were to have some money to invest - I'd give 1/3 to Leo, and 2/3 to Marc Faber.


No one can predict the future.  All we have are the choices immediately in front of us.


It all comes down to a choice right now, between this and that.  And another choice after that, then another.  Don't let your bias keep you from making the best choice right now.

Astute Investor's picture

Leo, I think there is one primary reason that you have being excoriated by your most recent post.  You continually try to play both sides of the argument about the current state of global economy and the outlook.  On one hand, you often leave short comments about the game being rigged in favor of the banksters or imbedded corruption, etc. so you can try to have some "street cred" with the majority of participants on ZH.  In contrast, the articles that you post are silly puff pieces, long on superlatives and short on facts, talking about how things will get better because they always have in the past.  Not exactly intellectual honesty.

I would be interested in how you would handle the following hypothetical situation.  An investment opportunity is presented to you that would net you $500 million.  The average person would view the transaction as clearly unethical, but the transaction is in a grey area in terms of legality.  Two potential outcomes: (1)  You are found innocent of any wrong doing and net $500 MM; or (2)  you neither deny or admit guilt and must pay a fine of $100 MM so you only net $400 MM.  Would you participate in something that is technically legal, but unethical and not in the spirit of fair dealing?

I'm not trying to be the morality police, but I would venture that the vast majority of people would go forward with the investment given the extraordinary pay-off under either scenario.  Too much of the world is about relative measures.  Sometimes it needs to be about absolutes.


Miramanee's picture

What makes me angry and sad is that, slowly and surely, we are witnessing the end of the American democratic experiment. Any vestiges of representative government are being hijacked and destroyed by the new Feudal oligarchy. Leo's observations---like those of people like Warren Mosler---may reflect some modicum of truth vis-a-vis operational market realities, but they do so without contextualizing such issues under the umbrella of staggering poverty and suffering for a growing number of the world's citizens.

Vendetta's picture

the trade deficit increased in July so of course the 'emerging economies' are doing better.  However, this does not mean the fundamental trade imbalance issue is a solved problem and it is not going to rear its ugly head with another whammy.  It reminds me of the 'green shoots' meme that rose and fell as reality settled in.  The global economic distortions, such as China's empty city and the massive buildup of homes owned simply by speculators and unoccupied, will make themselves known again.  The concept of just talk and feelings about the economy being poor to dismal isn't a fantasy, a drive through some neighborhoods in my neck of the country where formerly wealthy US citizens abandoned or foreclosed home on premo waterfront lots is all the evidence I need to buy more PMs and wait for reality to show itself again



Problem Is's picture

Leo, Don't Fuck Yourself as Mr. Anonymous Suggests...
But if I were you, I would burn my tarot cards and toss my ouija board in the trash... Your Magic 8-Ball (which you are squarely behind)  is saying "Try Again."

BTW: "How's that Canadian Housing bubble working out for you? Good. Keep it up then, right up."

justtotaketheedgeoff's picture

 We all know we are on the ragged edge and we don't know what will happen and that makes us nervous but let's all calm down a little. I'm new here but I can see how important ZH is.  It seems to me that ZH is an integral part of what we used to call a "free press."  Information is exchanged here that doesn't seem to show up many other places.  We all get upset and curse because we really do give a damn about our countries and the futures of our children.  The point is, everyone here cares, no matter what our opinion may be.  That alone sets ZHer's apart. So, back to the free exhange of ideas...

tomdub_1024's picture

Which is why I did not rip on Leo personally in my earlier post, I disagreed with his sources, and placed my vindictive where it belongs....polictical and regulatory caprice that makes it very difficult to plan, and as a business, I need to plan...

Stormdancer's picture

Yup....even ZeroHedge can benefit from the presence of a foil against which the light of facts interpreted with common sense shine all the brighter.

But, back to my idea...


"We're gonna need a lot of rope...."



Leo Kolivakis's picture

"The point is, everyone here cares, no matter what our opinion may be.  That alone sets ZHer's apart. So, back to the free exhange of ideas..."


Mitchman's picture

True Leo!  Ad hominem attacks aside, when was the last time a post engendered so much serious discussion?

Bob's picture

JHC.  Looks like fucking replicons are at work against me. 

Bob's picture


And on so many different levels!  Great shit.


Boilermaker's picture

Someone tell me this doesn't fit this article PERFECTLY!


Leo Kolivakis's picture

Oh please, your head is so far up the US shithole that you fail to see there is a world out there that is actually GROWING! If you didn't learn anything, it's because you're an imbecile.

Boilermaker's picture

Someone tell me this doesn't fit this article PERFECTLY!


sweaty7's picture

lol, it's all in our head, it's all in our head!!!!! i take back everything i said about your contributions to the site. this latest opus is pure comic gold! keep em coming Leo.

Everyman's picture

I agree, it is LONG PAST TIME for civility!  These momo's and other miscreants that lied and stole money and life savings and then continue to whine for bailouts is the total lack of civility.

Civility is a two way street, you lie and mislead me, and then complain about my response???   Are you f-ing kidding me?????

Civility is taking these Wall Street criminals out behind a building and beating them into the asphalt for all the lying they are doing.


That includes Leo if he is going to continue this lying.  Simply put he has the right to "free speech" as long as it is not like yelling "fire" in a theater.  But free speech is also not allowed to keep lying to keep people in a burning theater so you can sell them more popcorn and & dollar sodas! 

GET REAL!  The world has changed and people like the wall street criminals (that include Leo) are an anachronism, and of yesterday's world, they simply have no place or perspective in the "new normal".


Guys like Leo expect everything to return to normal, and that is the problem with them, their vision is backwards and not looking forwards.  It is very bleak for the economies of the world and all this debt is going to default, period.


Boilermaker's picture

He does have the right to free speech.  He also has the right to get his ass kicked up to his ears by some impoverished ripped-off pensioner left for dust bin of history.

The tipping point is here.  The Leo's of the world have a chance at semi-redemption by owning up to the fiasco and putting the cards on the table.  Will that happen?  Nope.  It's a fucking addiction now.  They are pure lying junkies. 

Frankly, and you know it's true, the Leo's are basically in pure vulture stage and trying to pick the last bit of meat off the bones now.  It's like a rich cancer patient in their final days when 3rd cousins start coming to visit and convince the dying vicitim that they are worthy of being in the will, so to speak.

I know one thing...It's going to get very very messy.  But, someone said, a little revolution now-and-then is a good thing.  Wealth disparity is the worst in history, including the great depression, and there is only one way to reboot the system at this point.

Leo Kolivakis's picture


Before you continue talking out of your ass, do some research  on my stance regarding the pension industry. Nobody has been more outspoken than me on criticizing many practices going on at public and private pensions. I am not a vulture, but I do realize that the game is rigged and it's futile to bet against the power elite. But if you feel you're smarter, by all means, go ahead, have fun betting on Armageddon.

Hang The Fed's picture

The "gaming the game" theory actually only serves to reinforce the capabilities of the elite, as they stand.  Society has been touting that route for generations, and all that's happened is that things have become progressively worse as a result.  At some point or another, the thinking has to change, or we really will become little more than a slave population.  I will never subscribe to the idea that some banker or politician should ever control the course of my life.  Further, a quick browse of the Constitution rather supports that notion.

Everyman's picture

"I am not a vulture, but I do realize that the game is rigged and it's futile to bet against the power elite. But if you feel you're smarter, by all means, go ahead, have fun betting on Armageddon."

So you recognize that the game is crooked and corrupt and you still "take that side" and play that game???  "Betting on Armageddon", well "WE" did not make this mess, and those people that did need to have a steel rod driven through their damn skulls, thye are the ones that should lose.  The market is screwed and we did not screw it up, it is the game riggers, and like you they keep making the ignorant and arrogant comments that we are "betting againsty America" or "cheering for USA decline". 

NO we are not, as I said we did not make this mess, and we recognize the trend.  Whey is it now that people like you don't want to play "The trend is your friend" anymore?  Huh?  Gimme an answer smart guy.

Leo YOU are are part of the problem, and I wish you would stop posting here.  You are a shill, and if you are going to publish such rubbish, DO NOT EXPECT TO NOT BE CRITICIZED for such stupid and malinfomed comments you make.

Free speech, by all means.  But we know the difference between shite and shinola.



Leo you are going to be alright!


Bob's picture


Leo's posts are becoming ever-greater dramas and this, so far, seems to be the most entertaining plot line on this latest installment.  It looks like the Director's Cut. 

Great thread.  I used to feel sorry for Leo and still, of course, support him speaking his mind and even playing the Court Fool in the Kingdom of Fight Club (reminds me of Hamlet 2000 . . . great shit.) 

He rachets up the intensity of resident participant involvement, too.  Great marketing/product development. 

Just keep working on that juggling, Leo! 

Boilermaker's picture

How about doing your own research.  I'm not in favor of being in any 'investments' right now and inclusive of pensions, 401(k)s, and or the equities or bond markets.

I'm not 'betting' on armageddon either.  But, I sure as fuck am not betting on a return to 'normalcy' either which is where you lose all credibility.  Your constant attempts to dupe people into making investments now..."BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!!" is sickening.  It's also extremely transparent.

Hey, I'll agree with you on one thing.  I really do hope you the pensioners don't lose everything and are told "oh well, we tried...sorry folks" because that's what seems apparent to me.

elfuturo's picture

It seems as if it may all just be a question of timing. The US is still an integral part of the global economy, and still has all those entitlement obligations and war spending, while projected growth remains on the low side.

In other words, we could see a "Potemkin" normalcy as the gathering storm of debt continues to bear down on us. It could be a matter of months, or years.

Glaucus's picture

"The amount consumers owed on their credit cards in this year's second quarter dropped to the lowest level in more than eight years as cardholders continued to pay off balances in the uncertain economy."

Not according to Jim Quinn:


Boilermaker's picture

Ironically, they are defaulting on their installment accounts, mortgages, cars, and student loans, at record levels.

Wierd, huh?

firstdivision's picture


While I see the point, it is also failing on the fact that the markets suffered nothing more than a sugar high.  Nearly all of the graphs from CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis are showing inflection points and pointing downward.  The data is starting to refute your own statement of economic hypochondria.  When CPB posts their July report, it will become too obvious that we are heading for a global contraction yet again.  Nice try to lure retail into your corner so you can liquidate, but your bait smells bad.

tom's picture

Leo seems to be applying for the job of poster child for the Austrian crack that "irrationality" is when others behave not as you think they should.

2009-2010 inventory rebound: people are responding rationally to the stimulus!

2010 inventory rebound collapses: hypochondria!

RingToneDeaf's picture

Guillotine, is the answer.

Wait and see if I am not right.

Right here on Zero Hedge.

RingToneDeaf's picture

Sorry for the triple post but I might as well flesh out a thought.

Grey lines are being crossed. An old guy was arrested for looking at girls washing cars. No charges but he had to post a bond. Cops do not bust real crime, they look for "bad stuff" instead. Anyone could be targeted or pointed out for prosecution.

This is real interesting.

OldTrooper's picture

No kidding.  I probably broke five laws before getting out of bed.  Do you have a link to the old guy story?

RingToneDeaf's picture


58 year olds should not be looking at teenage girls during fund raiser washing cars.

Pelham, NH

RingToneDeaf's picture

Leo, I wonder about you, but not too much, because there are millions of minions of Obama (88% of ABCCBSNBC types gave $ to elect Obama) out there and while they will have to be dealt with, no need to waste too much time because we are not fully prepared yet for what is coming or when it comes.

I do not mind vulgarities. I can sort through naughty words, keep it up folks.

Grey lines are being crossed. Everyone could be targeted or pointed out for prosecution. This is going to get real interesting.

Bohica's picture

What this tells you is that this cycle is different than previous cycles because the Emerging economies are the source of growth.”


If their growth reflects growing domestic consumption, you might have a point.


If their growth reflects growing investment, and the continuing transfer of production to those emerging economies, it just ain’t sustainable.  And we’ll learn sooner or later that this cycle is not different.

Pondmaster's picture

So Leo , are consumers paying down debt , or saving more ? Gov't propaganda includes debt payment as savings , a whopping 6% . Bull !!  Leo , you need a good dose of Denninger , and less doses of the electric Kool-Aid . 10% unemployment - Wall St loves it , LOVES IT !!! Do you ? I bet you do .


Leo Kolivakis's picture

No, I don't love unemployment and am deeply concerned, but do believe that once we pass this period of economic uncertainty, businesses will start hiring again. We already see part-time employment up, productivity reaching its limits, so to maintain profitability, they'll have to hire again. Job growth is incredibly slow, especially after the last recessions. These are structural issues that politicians and business leaders have yet to address.

RockyRacoon's picture

...once we pass this period of economic uncertainty, businesses will start hiring again.

Emphasis mine.  With these few words you have just reinforced and accepted the entire thesis of the article you posted.  It is as if the words in the comments, and the counter-arguments, were for naught.   You ACCEPT it as gospel.  In a way you are a bit like Johnny Bravo, some circuits must be fried.  Blind obedience to an economic phantom.  There are real people who do not become a part of your equation, therefore they cannot be considered important.  I'm reminded of how Steve Forbes addresses issues, all government fault, no fault of business.  He believes that all of this is government's fault because they did not stop Wall Street from raping the public.  Wall Street is the scorpion; it stings because that's its nature.  It must be stopped by Washington or the fault lies totally with Washington.  Not so.  Just not so.


OldTrooper's picture

These are structural issues that politicians and business leaders have yet to address.


I beg to differ.  These 'structural issues' of which you speak are the creation of politicians and business leaders (if you really want to call them 'leaders' instead of what they are - predators and scavangers).  I'd say that they have rather thoughly 'addressed' these 'structural issues' already.

Do you really want them to address these structural issues any more?

Ned Zeppelin's picture

No demand = no hiring = no demand = no hiring.  Get it?

HungrySeagull's picture

Actually no hiring of employees, only temps. Temps are cheap.

Now Temp company are being sorted for the ones who can provide bodies one time for a work day legally and for the cheapest price in town.

I enjoy being a temp because the moment my assigned task or assigned crew is finished with the specific mission or task that day (10 am, 2 pm or 7 pm does not matter.,..) we go to our cars and go home.

Regular employees are stuck because they are required to stay at the jobsite until the prescribed quitting time plus or minus 5 minutes to 5 PM even if everything is finished that day and they sit for hours bored to tears and fighting the sugar/food crash past 3 PM.

Even worse the employers have tightened the freedom of movement SO much making everyone swipe a card at every door inside and outside of a building you think if they spent more than 1 minute 30 seconds urinating inside a bathroom they will lose pay.

Boilermaker's picture

You obvioulsy havn't seen the accelerating yet insignificant trade between the BRICs?  Why oh WHY can't you just let that dupe you?  Christ, you sure are resistant.

Boilermaker's picture

Ah...the 'Big Bang' theory...somehow...someway...it will all work out in one shining moment.

Bruce Krasting's picture

Krugman summed it up over the weekend pretty well:

The next few years will bring economic stagnation

He ended with:

This is going to be almost inconceivably ugly.

I don't at all agree with PK on what we ought to do about the problems we face. But I don't disagree with him on what are the problems we face.

So follow the advice of Brian Westbury at your risk. I think your eyes are closed as to what is happenening.



Leo Kolivakis's picture

And did anyone stop to think WHY Krugman is forecasting doom & gloom? THINK before you post these silly comments.

Mitchman's picture

Leo, are you calling Bruce's comment silly?

Boilermaker's picture

He's counter-shilling your counter-shilling?

Ohhhhh....he's setting up QE^10.  Got it.  So, he's even more devoid of intellectual honesty and integrity than you.  Krugman wins!