Guest Post: Does Anyone Seriously Believe The Global Recovery Is Still Intact?

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

Does Anyone Seriously Believe the Global Recovery Is Still Intact?  

A global recovery dependent on a spiraling addiction to debt and sovereign spending/intervention has been undermined on numerous fronts.

Today's exercise: design a semi-plausible scenario guaranteed to halt a global recovery that is entirely dependent on massive money printing, credit creation, Central Bank intervention and Central State spending.

I don't know about your answer, but here's my scenario for kicking out the rotten posts holding up a fragile, debt-fueled global recovery:

1. A natural disaster which disrupts production in one of the top four exporting nations, preferably one that is essential to the global manufacturing and high-tech supply chain. Once those supply chains are disrupted, then so are product cycles and profits.

2. An event that triggers a financial crisis in one of the four largest economies. The ideal setup for falling dominoes is to take a financially vulnerable major economy and topple it with an unexpected disaster.

3. Ignite a chain reaction of volatile mass movements in the major oil-exporting region of the world,
i.e. the Mideast. I don't mean the disruptions caused by small terrorist cells, I mean the unleashing of mass movements of ordinary people who have suddenly decided to renounce the delegitimized autocracies they have accepted for decades.

By their very nature, such movements are unpredictable, and the situation is thus intriniscally unstable--just what global markets fear.

4. A long-wave increase in global demand for essential materials and grains which are suffering drawdowns of inventory due to inadequate supply.
Throw in a few oil-rig disasters and failed crops in key regions of the world, and what might have been modest supply-demand imbalances balloon into shortages which trigger massive leaps in price.

5. Central banks and governments which have become addicted to radical increases in money supply, sovereign debt and spending to keep their economies afloat. As the banks can't control where these stupendous injections of "free money" will go, they are helpless spectators as the money seeks fat speculative returns somewhere, anywhere--a dynamic that leads to asset bubbles and commodity inflation.

An addiction to money and credit creation is an ideal setup for implosion: high inflation in tangible essentials generates social and political turmoil, while the stimulus acts as a "must-have" drug for the global economy: any slackening in the stimulus will trigger Cold Turkey: a rapid descent into illness and tremors.

6. A failed Status Quo which seeks to mask its own greed, incompetence and servitude to Financial Elites and fiefdoms via propaganda,
i.e. manipulating statistics, misrepresenting risk and obscuring the symbiotic relationship between the Central State and crony-cartel monopolies.

OK, let's run through the list:

1. Natural disaster dusrupts production in a key global exporter: check.

2. An event which nudges a major economy into financial crisis: check. (If you don't think Japan's economy and finances will be pushed over a threshold by the quake, please be patient.)

3. Ignite a chain reaction of mass movements in a key oil exporting region: check.

4. Supply-demand imbalances in critical materials and grains: check.

5. Central banks and sovereign states addicted to vast quantities of printing-money and credit creation stimulus which trigger rampant inflation in essentials: check.

6. Massaged statistics, channel-stuffing, misrepresentation of risk and unlimited propaganda by a failed Status Quo: check.

Does anyone seriously think the global recovery is still intact? Based on what? Does anyone think that stagnant/declining wages, falling real estate values, skyrocketing prices for materials and energy, and belt-tightening by bankrupt States are ideal foundations for higher profits?

Anyone who doesn't realize the quake in Japan is a tragic load dumped on a fragile addict's quivering back (i.e. the global recovery) will undoubtedly be surprised by how fast the global economy will start unraveling. Anyone who kept their eyes open is only wondering how a debt and propaganda-fueled recovery lasted this long.

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doomandbloom's picture

Is it possible that a large proportion of the job losses is due to technology and not lack of growth. Then this was meant to happen.

The way forward could be for everyone to work 3/4 days a week( instead of 5/6). That way people who lost their jobs will get back to work.

The question is whether we are ready to take a pay cut. Other factors being personal greed and debt.

Dr. Porkchop's picture

It's very interesting what Kellog did with the six hour workday. I think we have other problems though.

GubbermintWorker's picture

I'd gladly only work 3/4 days a week....uh, wait, nevermind...I already work less than that.

jus_lite_reading's picture

HOLY CRAP! BREAKING NEWS!!! Rods in all three reactors are now melting!!!



Sudden Debt's picture

THAT'S IT!!!!!!!!!


I didn't mind the mercury but radiotion to...


jeff montanye's picture

i don't know why i haven't seen it called such yet but how much bigger and blacker a swan do you need than the one that swam ashore from the northwest pacific last week?

Absinthe Minded's picture

i have taken a pay cut. I have lost all the overtime I used to get. My paycheck is back to what I was making five years ago. Guess what, I'm thankful I've still got a job. But it pisses me off that my company, like the big banks, make all us peons bite the bullet while they buy new Iphones for all the management dicks, have catered lunches every Friday, and pretty much spend like drunken sailors. Companies are more productive than ever but they don't want to share it with the blue collar workers.I'm not pro-union but dammit I'm fed up with this bullshit.

bbaez's picture

It is like all of the Corporate Welfare we are not addressing in [ "SPENDING CUTS" ]






JR's picture

I don’t think this is the question.  For me, the question is whether we are prepared to allow these international corporations without borders to continue eroding American worker opportunities with their greed over patriotism.

A few years back, MIT counseled students not to pursue engineering careers because of the university “masters” already knew the path U.S.-based corporations would take.

These attitudes remind one of the great humanitarian view of CNN's Larry Kudlow"s comment on the Japanese disaster over the weekend: "The human toll here appears to be much worse than the economic toll, and we can be grateful for that."

PeterSchump's picture

Did that dickhead really say that?

Ted Celeste's picture

For me, the question is whether we are prepared to allow these international corporations without borders to continue eroding American worker opportunities with their greed over patriotism.

Exactly.  This is one of the most important questions facing us all today yet we aren't anywhere close as a society to engaging with it.

Maybe we will one day, however.  In the interim, it is advisable to bone up on your survivalist skills.  And try to enjoy the ride as best we can - life is beautiful despite all the pain and craziness going on in the macro-world.

johnnynaps's picture

Your wording is wrong. The way forward is that the cost of living for the average American is equivalent to 3 days work instead of 6. With our technology and resources, why not? Oh, guys like Mozilla, Soros and Paulson need 10 boats each!

I do believe that this is the answer though. We can't increase efficiency, resources and our population on this finite planet. It is simple mathematics. Everyone is going to have to learn to share a little.

Arch Duke Ferdinand's picture

Oil revenues/prices gonna keep dropping big time due to Japan's decimated manufacturing economy, so...

War Is Definately Coming to Middle East....Shiites vs Sunni's..Iran vs Saudi Arabia

They both need oil revenue $$$....

AbandonShip's picture

Posted in 2 threads now, eh?  Won't happen. They both have plenty of money/oil already.  And Sunnis don't hate Shiites as much as you think. In fact, many get along just fine.

Arch Duke Ferdinand's picture

""And Sunnis don't hate Shiites as much as you think. In fact, many get along just fine.""

7 year Iran/Iraq war comes to mind.

...Factoid, Oil revenue/prices gonna drop 30% because Japan's economy is stopped dead in its tracks.

...Factoid, three Japanese nuclear reactors are leaking.

Saudi / Iran war is a given.

Course the reason for war will be blamed on Israel.

No Bid's picture

Factiod... Without nuclear power they will have to use a lot more of the old fashioned stuff to get by.

4shzl's picture

Gimme a break -- Bahrain = 40K bpd = who cares?   Certainly not Iran, they'll be lucky to keep their own troublemakers under control.

clones2's picture

So - you're saying I shouldn't sell my April VIX Calls today??? ;-)

NOTW777's picture

theres a long list of believers - 1. MSM, 2. cnbc/liesman, 3. obama supporters, etc

Alex Kintner's picture

I used to hang out at the Daily Kos site when everyone was bashing Bush (and deservedly so). But now. after Obama and the Dems have proved they are as bad as the Repubs, the denial is palpable. All the Obamabots are still singing "Kum bama ya".

IrishSamurai's picture

Yep.  The "your" guy sucks ... but "my" guy is awesome sauce syndrome.

Afflicts boths sides of idiot sheeple.

Alex Kintner's picture

+1. As the Lemmings jump off the cliff, they yell "Look, I'm flying!" :-)

jeff montanye's picture

never did kos much but that is the tell.  anyone who hated bush's policies re: the military, civil liberties, financial bailout, transparency, whistle blower treatment (you get the drift) but makes excuses for (or, my goodness, likes) obama's policies in these areas, has no credibility.  i am thankful that their numbers seem to be shrinking slowly.

IrishSamurai's picture

"Way to harsh my mellow, Mr. Educated Dude." - Ted  (or the typical American sheeple these days)

vote_libertarian_party's picture

"Still intact"....why the nice men with white teeth on TV keep telling me to buy buy buy.


Surely they wouldn't lie to us.

johnQpublic's picture

never believed the recovery nonsense in the first place

even before i was reading ZH

no stretch of the imagination required here

MachoMan's picture

Exactly...  if everything was predicated upon the largest credit bubble in history and, post burst, demand for credit is declining...  then how can there even be a nominal recovery, let alone a real one?  And, further, in order to have a real recovery, there would need to be viable capital expenditures...  such as infrastructure development...  How many decades would we need to account for??? 

All I see are cost cutting measures to try and squeeze out that last bit of margin or direct handouts that go nowhere but hookers and blow. 

Kobe Beef's picture

Is there an ETF for hookers and blow? I'd like to invest in a growth sector.


MachoMan's picture

A few:









Quintus's picture

Does anyone seriously think there was a global recovery except in the minds of the Fed and their shills?

Successfully keeping a braindead patient on life support for a couple of years does not constitute a 'Recovery' to my mind.

Rogerwilco's picture

So true. In the prior decades Americans spent, on average, about $1.08 for every dollar they earned, all financed by credit card borrowing and home-equity extractions. When that magic source of "income" dried up, the government stepped in to provide a 10% boost to GDP, and allowed trillions in losses to remain hidden.

The goose is full cooked.

falak pema's picture

Benocide can print enough money to launch a zillion $ scheme to save : Japan, USA, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, you name it. He is as proliferate as Gutenberg. Called "project marshmelon". A latter-day Marshall plan.

Silverhog's picture

I'm in the retail business. Business went off a cliff 2nd week in January. December was no great shakes.

Richard Head's picture

You should get some tips from Harry Wanker.  His retail business is off the hook, as far as we all know.

jeff montanye's picture

haven't seen him wankin' around lately, have you?

clones2's picture

This could be the first day today that all 3 major indices close below their 50 DMA...

Tough to find any near-term support below the current levels.  Could be an ugly week.

FunkyMonkeyBoy's picture

I believe!

I also believe that Barrack Obama was born in a U.S. state.

IrishSamurai's picture

"Everybody should believe in something -- I believe I'll have another drink." -- W. C. Fields

RobotTrader's picture

The economy is in shambles.

But that won't stop everyone from buying AAPL products, buying SBUX coffee, and renting movies from NFLX.

The "Resilient Consumer" absolutely refuses to cave in.

I keep eyeballing the XRT to look for a short opportunity, but people keep buying it and propping it up.

the not so mighty maximiza's picture

When you have radiation sickness low exertion activities like watching netflix and fingering your ipad might be the ticket.

sodbuster's picture

First iPad, now iPad2, I think that's why they named it an iPad- it's like feminine hygeine products, they want you to buy them on a regular basis.


velobabe's picture

funny how that worked out. i wasn't a heavy bleeder,  kept costs down.

seriously, we were propaganda ed into thinking we need all these cleaning products for our home, body and personal hygiene. not really, just a little soap. i wash my dedicates, panties bras, etc in the shower with me. cuts down on shampoo cost and water use. i only shower every fourth day. but i can recycle my hair shampooing onto my dedicates. it is so fun, after the initial showerboarding warm up.

DRT RD's picture

I need you to have a talk with the wife.

Sudden Debt's picture

Does the Iphone have a Geigher counter?



Coast Watcher's picture

Isn't there an app for that?