Guest Post: Where Is The Recovery? I Cannot Seem To Find It

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Tony Pallotta of Macro Story

Where Is The Recovery?  I Cannot Seem To Find It

"The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision."
- Helen Keller

Possibly the only thing worse than having a serious problem on your hands is when you clearly do not understand the problem.  You ignore the data and find an easy scapegoat for why the problem is temporary and will pass.  The slowdown in the US economy is not transitory as the Fed chairman states.  Hopes for 3-4% GDP growth in the second half of 2011 are simply that, hope.

The earthquake in the third largest economy occurred two months before US economic data began slowing sharply. It is easy to say that must be the cause.  It is far harder to blame failed policies for that involves being honest with oneself.  Accepting failure is everyone's Achilles' heel.  Something few can overcome.

What is most disturbing about the failed policies of the Federal Reserve and Federal Government are the millions of Americans suffering when they do not have to.  With one in seven Americans on food stamps, one in five unemployed or under employed, 28% of mortgages underwater, do leaders truly think we are this naive and that recovery is underway?

In a recent survey 48% of Americans feel we are already in a depression, forget recession.  Regardless of what the NBER says or measures of real GDP, something easily manipulated through the deflator, it feels and therefore it is a depression. Food prices are rising.  It costs more to fill up our gas tank. Walmart and countless other low cost stores bare witness to the modern day bread line.

If the US government reduced spending by 40% today, right this second we still could not put a dent in a $12 trillion national debt, closer to $70 trillion when factoring in unfunded liabilities.  The government nearly shut down in May as leaders tried to agree on 1% in budget cuts later found to be a pure accounting scheme.  All is not well in the US economy and a recovery is not and has not begun. Trillions have been spent since 2008 and we have nothing to show for it.

Ask a child wearing a red shirt what color their shirt is.  They will shout red. Ask that same question to an adult and they will hesitate, afraid to answer the most obvious question out of fear they are being set up.  As adults we seem to lose the ability to see the obvious. We live in constant fear of being wrong, being judged by others for our inadequacies.  Rather than focus on the task at hand we focus on the failure. The safety of going along with the group outweighs the truth we see with our own eyes.

Ask a fund manager with $5 billion in assets under management (AUM) if the economy is recovering and they will say yes.  They will say this soft patch is transitory, it is a function of Japan and the revolution in MENA (Middle East and Northern Africa).  They will tell you Greece is contained.  They will tell you housing is bottoming.  They will tell you stocks are cheap.

Do they believe that?  Aside from group think I certainly hope not but if the group says that red shirt you are wearing is in fact blue well dammit that shirt is blue. No one believes they are a lemming, that they are part of the herd.  The word sheeple does not include them.  Then why does history always show the majority to be wrong?

As the market rolls over investors are beginning to question the color of that shirt. Perhaps it is red after all.  The Federal Reserve has a horrible record at economic forecasting, absolutely horrid yet with each new forecast we are expected to believe "this time it is different."  With each passing day more data tells us they are wrong yet again.  As investors we must be diligent in our work, diligent in understanding the issues.  We must think for ourselves, beyond the noise, beyond the pressure to conform. Now is the time to have courage in our convictions.

When I listen to Bernanke speak what scares me most is not his forecasts of 3-4% economic growth but his complete lack of comprehension of the problems.  His apparent belief that this soft patch will pass.  That QE was successful.  That with more time structural changes in our economy will fix themselves. That the answer to debt is more debt.
In the words of Helen Keller his sight makes him a very dangerous man.

Bonds forecast, equities confirm.

Bonds have spoken. Equities are finally listening.


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Silver Bug's picture

The Average joe fund manager is indeed a lemming. The problem is when they all actually figure out that they are indeed wrong. Which they will eventually. Hopefully then all the intelligent investors are far out of the way, at least the ones who read Zero hedge and other informative blogs will be prepared.

Cleanclog's picture

Worse than lemmings, fund managers want to be able to point to everyone else and say to their investors "see, we all flubbed up, stick with me".  Pathetic.  A fearsome lack of confident research analysis investment decisions and a plethora of HFT technical dinky movements done in massive quantity.  That's not investing, it is nano second arbitrage.  It works until it doesn't, but it isn't investing.  No commitment to company, product, service or future.

ShankyS's picture

Fund managers have a problem - they keep you invested and make money or tell the truth and go broke. That simple. Want to eep the BMW, beach house and mistress? Keep the sheeple invested. Want to loose it all? Tell the truth.

ShankyS's picture

Fund managers have a problem - they keep you invested and make money or tell the truth and go broke. That simple. Want to eep the BMW, beach house and mistress? Keep the sheeple invested. Want to loose it all? Tell the truth.

Ergo's picture

New definition of recovery = slowing down the rate of decent. 

In short, necessities cost much more, houses are worth a bit less, and we work longer hours to make less money.  But the world didn't end yet, so things must be getting better...  

I'm not surprised that governments lie.  I'm not surprised by the enormous transfer of wealth to an elite few.  But I'm sad that our people so readily accept lies as truth.  I suppose those who don't love truth, can't see it.  And unfortunately, we will all suffer for their lack of foresight. 

SheepDog-One's picture

When a 747 crash lands the rate of descent is also slowed, sometimes more violently than others. And even the Titanics rate of descent slowed. It doesnt surprise me that govts and banks lie, what gets me is the people always believe the lies.

Cleanclog's picture

Or how about recomposing the economy as it decomposes?


DaveyJones's picture

that was a great post ergo

...Victory Gin

Hugh G Rection's picture

Fed policy isn't failing.  It's shareholder banks are plundering trillions of dollars from taxpayers, and perpetrating the greatest wealth transfer... err theft, in history.


Thinking that the private Federal Reserve is in the business of creating jobs, helping the economy, or doing anything other than enrich it's members is naive at best.

BS_Merchant's picture

What does the "IG Peaks" from the graph mean?



traderjoe's picture

Investment Grade [bonds] peak.

SheepDog-One's picture

Lotta sheeple about to go up in flaming BBQ.

ZeroPower's picture

Its unfortunate, but true.

Oh well. Serves sheeple right for not saving for a rainy day. Investing in stocks is not saving for a rainy day.

Alcoholic Native American's picture


Leon Panetta: Is He A Sneak Communist?

Karl Denniger and his teatard derp squad have exposed the head of the CIA as a secret communist Jew!

I knew it!  This country is finished!  We got communist Jews running the CIA and a Marxist Muslims as POTUS.

SheepDog-One's picture

And theres a point in your post somewhere?

SheepDog-One's picture

Of course he is. Hardly news. 

BTW thanks for the totaly off-topic troll post.

anony's picture

Is there any way in the fucking world you can stop using the term "Troll"? 

I mean for an articulate bunch, the constant use of one word that has lost ALL of its impact from pure overuse by everyone with whom they disagree is nauseating.

Find a new one.

SheepDog-One's picture

OK heres a new one, asshole. BTW I didnt 'disagree', I said theres no point to the off topic post.

SheepDog-One's picture

Huh, back when I was a kid that was what a 'dork' was.

Gully Foyle's picture

Fuck y'all! Dork, Troll, none of those carry the insulting weight of the word POLITICIAN!

From now on no one is "trolling" they are politizing. They are no longer "trolls", they are politicians.

However BANKER can be used as an effective insult.

Why the fuck would an Economic site use fantasy slang, other than stock market and economist, as insults?


aheady's picture

All synonymous with douche.

Dburn's picture

+1 I'm in favor of Douche, Douchebag, Douchebaggery and other creative derivatives with the root being Douche, It acts as a noun, adjective or verb depending on usage.

malikai's picture

We just call them cunts here in Britain.

falak pema's picture

One should run east jerusalem, the other west J; I'd vote for that immediately. If you did Jerusalem would become a fun place. Lots of free booze for tourists like you.

So when do we shoe them in there? Get Denniger to raise congressional support Pronto!

Alcoholic Native American's picture

I live in the U.S.  I'm more concerned about this country.

falak pema's picture

You sir, don't know where your alcohol gets's in Jerusalem with move your butt pronto if you want to drink rye scotch with your baked potatoes from IDAAAHO!

Enceladus's picture

I always had a thought it would be interesting to have the U.N. move to Jerusalem, they could run it like the Papacy in Vatican City. They could have their own stamps, tax, mint, laws etc. They could enforce 'peace' in the city and best of all leave NYC.

Dan The Man's picture


You cannot look into the fishbowl when you are in the fishbowl.  They have as much rational perspective as congress. 

Urban Redneck's picture

If you are a fish and leave the fishbowl, you are likely to die.  The smart fishes figure out that they are in a fishbowl and learn to deal with it.

falak pema's picture

even when the fish bowl water is fukushimad? That be very dumb logikkk.

Urban Redneck's picture

well if the water is from fukushima then you're fugu'd

falak pema's picture

I'm immune to Fuku fukk, as not a fish from a consumerised fish bowl, but a flying fish from Ithica where we learnt to avoid sirens who said 'sayonara' to US soldiers. Thus enticing them taste their own Hiroshima medicine. Oh the horrors of reverse globalisation.

King_of_simpletons's picture

Buy the dip. It's going to make you rich. Ha Ha !

digitlman's picture

Since we are going off-topic:


Hey Larry - go fuck yourself!

Salah's picture

Listen-up bitchez

Get to know this rabbit (term):  "Financial Repression"

Ref starter: Carmen M. Reinhart,

Rastadamus's picture

Babylon and this chart is falling.....

mayhem_korner's picture

I wonder how many are long lampstands and oil...

hannah's picture

jesus christ....get off this sh&t that the 'FED DOES FORECASTING'....the fed puts out PR for the sheeple. they arent stupid. they know exactly the effects of QE etc are before they do them....I KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN...IT DOESNT TAKE A PHD TO KNOW THAT PRINTING MOENY OUT OF THIN AIR (OR ADDING ELECTRONS TO A COMPUTER SCREEN) WILL RESULT IN CHAOS...sometimes i think these sites are apologist for the fed...?

...and go ahead and delete this post like the half dozen others you have edited....

anony's picture

You've been edited???

Don't say I don't believe you, but when?  Where?  How?

hannah's picture

they are 'protecting their own'....LOL...just make a negative comment about one of their sister blogs and they will pull the comment. i was taking screen grabs of my comments to make sure they posted but then the next day the comments are gone AND their if no refernce in search......tooooo funny. even this media outlet pulls the same BS as the major media who owns this website....?

SheepDog-One's picture

Hannah Ive been saying the same for years here on Zerohedge, printing money out of thin air can not result in wealth it ends in chaos.

falak pema's picture

Hannah only listens to the great dictator, who can bounce a globe on his extended foot or finger. So you better put on your Charlie mustache!

TruthInSunshine's picture

The Federal Reserve has a horrible record at economic forecasting, absolutely horrid yet with each new forecast we are expected to believe "this time it is different."

  Bernanke Epic Failures of Advice and Forecasts (total, epic fail)
oogs66's picture

+1  this was great, is there an updated one where he goes through his economic quarterly forecasts for the past 2 years followed with what actually occurred?

doggings's picture

looks like Geithner's hedging his bets at least this time, with an unofficial and an official line, take your pick.