Global Economy

Grasshopper Nation: Planning For Those Who Aren't Prepared

The rift between the preparedness-minded and those not is age-old. Humans aren't wired well to respond to future risk that isn't visible as an immediate threat. And temperamentally, we prefer good news over bad, so we seek to overweight the former and discount the latter. Who wants to stress out about what "might" happen tomorrow, anyways -- can't we just enjoy life today? But to fail to plan for the needs of the unprepared is, in itself, a plan to fail. After all: it's a grasshopper nation, and we ants are too few.

The Equal Sign Can Be A Real Bitch

On a long enough timeline, consumption equals production. Understand that equality, and the future comes into stark relief.

Frontrunning: June 2

  • Global stocks struggle as ECB and OPEC meetings loom (Reuters)
  • Iran Resists Saudi Gesture for Unity as OPEC Fractures Reappear (BBG)
  • Clinton to blast Trump on North Korea, NATO in foreign policy speech (Reuters)
  • Hillary Clinton Shifts to California as Race Tightens There (WSJ)
  • Puerto Rico’s U.S. Rescue Won’t Come Soon Enough to Halt Default (BBG)

Flexible Labor Is The Future

We can't go back, so we must go forward. It is possible to create employment security, but it can't be forced by imposing guarantees on employers. If employers can't respond flexibly to a dynamic global economy, their only choice will be to shut down. When that happens, everyone loses.

The Message From The Collapsing Yield Curve

The FOMC is tightening monetary policy because Fed officials believe that the US economy is showing more signs of sustainable growth with inflation rising back near their 2% target. Yet the yield curve is warning that the Fed’s moves could slow the US economy and halt the desired upturn in the inflation rate. Most worrying for the Fed's narrative is the fact that the yield curve spread on a weekly basis has been highly correlated with the y/y growth rates in both the forward revenues and forward earnings of the S&P 500. The recent narrowing of the spread isn’t a good omen for either of them.

Global Stocks, US Futures Slide On Mediocre Manufacturing Data, Yen Surge

Following the latest set of global economic news, most notably a mediocre set of Chinese Official and Caixin PMIs, coupled with a mix of lackluster European manufacturing reports and an abysmal Japanese PMI, European, Asian stocks and U.S. stock index futures have continued yesterday's losses. Oil slips for 4th day, heading for the longest run of declines since April, as OPEC ministers gather in Vienna ahead of a meeting on Thursday to discuss production policy. The biggest winner was the Yen, rising 1%, with the USDJPY tumbling overnight and pushing both the Nikkei 1.6% lower and weighing on US futures.

Alan Greenspan: "We're Running To A State Of Disaster"

"Entitlements are crowding out savings, and hence capital investment. Capital investment is the critical issue in productivity growth, and productivity growth in turn is the crucial issue in economic growth. We're running to a state of disaster unless we turn this around."

Japan Is First To Panic; Won’t Be The Last

The most widely-reported result of the recent G-7 meeting was Japan’s attempt to convince the other major economies to admit that a crisis is imminent and take appropriately radical steps. The response seems to have been a bunch of blank stares. What does this mean? In a nutshell, the next phase of the global economic crisis has begun.

Gas-Guzzlers Take Over The Roads Again

SUVs in Europe and US now top sales of every other car and China SUV purchases have soared. "Consumers are thinking that a period of plentiful oil supply is here to stay" says Christof Ruhl, head of research at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. All we can say to this is that just as with the last financial crisis, cheap oil is there until its not, and vehicle manufacturers have demand for all of those trucks and SUVs until another crisis hits and they find themselves back in need of a bailout for over committing to those product lines.

The Five Stages Of Central Bankers' Failure

Only when central bankers accept the complete and utter failure of their policies and accept the reality that their policies have increased wealth inequality and crippled the global economy with debt, speculation and manipulation, can we finally move forward. Until then, we're stuck with the world central bankers have created: a world of rising wealth and income inequality, of permanent manipulation of markets as a means of managing perceptions and of speculative debt/leverage bubbles that will burst with a ferocity few expect or understand.

Former Morgan Stanley Chief Asia Economist: "Don't Listen To The Ruling Elite, The World Economy Is In Real Trouble"

"Don't listen to the ruling elite," warns former Morgan Stanley Asian Economist, Andy Xie, "the world economy is on the cusp of a prolonged period of stagnation and instability." Xie points out that the ruling elite is blaming it on people seeing things (skeptic and fiction peddlers), and that "their strategy is to change people’s psychology." Unfortunately for them he concludes, "the world is catching fire and that fire will eventually reach their Davos chalets."

Here's Why All Pension Funds Are Doomed, Doomed, Doomed

It's looking increasingly likely that third time's the charm: this set of bubbles is the last one central banks can blow. And when markets free-fall and don't reflate into new bubbles, pension funds will expire, as they were fated to do the day central banks chose zero interest rates forever as their cure for a broken economic model.

G-7 Refuses To Warn Of "Global Economic Crisis" Over Fear "Sentiment Can Become Self-Fulfilling"

In order to press his individual agenda of preserving optionality to intervene in the FX market and push the Yen lower (using increasingly more desperate measures), Japan's Prime Minister had just one task in the latest G-7 meeting: to have the Group of Seven leaders warn of the risk of a global economic crisis in the final communique issued as the summit wrapped earlier today in Japan. He failed. The reason why: "the G-7 is obviously aware of the ‘announcement effect’ the official communique has. In such a situation, warning of negative risks and sentiment can become self-fulfilling.""

Losing Ground In Flyover America, Part 2

There has never been a more destructive central banking policy than the Fed’s current maniacal quest to stimulate more inflation and more debt. That’s what is killing real wages and economic vitality in flyover America - even as it showers prodigious windfalls of unearned wealth on Wall Street and the bicoastal elites who draft on the nation’s vastly inflated finances. Indeed, Fed policy has had a double whammy effect on the flyover zone economy. It drove inflation up when down was needed; and its strip-mined capital from American business when increased capital investment was of the essence.