The Federal Reserve has pursued the unprecedented monetary policy of lowering rates to zero and increasing their portfolio from 500 billion to over 4 trillion. But as the Fed reminds us, there is a cost.
"I don't buy it at all" exclaims Gluskin Sheff's David Rosenberg in a recent interview with MacroVoices.com, "look all I'll say is that in 2009, 2010 when the Fed embarked on QE, along with 0% interest rates every Tom, Dick and Harry portfolio manager and bond market pundit out there was screaming about the end of the secular bull market in bonds," and they were all wrong.
The real travesty, and what I think deserves top priority (but I don’t see it), is that we have, in addition to 7.5 million officially unemployed (a number that is closer to 15 million when all the hidden unemployment is accounted for), 23.5 million Americans aged 25-to-54 who reside outside the confines of the labor force. And at a time when job openings are at record highs.
Since Trump’s election, the US stock market has climbed unstoppably along a remarkably steep path to round off at a teetering height. Is this the irrational exuberance that typically marks the last push before a perilous plunge?
David Rosenberg has a modest proposal in mind for the US economy: he says only a massive, multi-trillion stimulus package which includes helicopter money attached to a $2 trillion perpetual bond, massive infrastructure spending and measures to tackle the $1 trillion student debt load, has any hope of kickstarting the US economy.
"This is the pain trade.... When I look at valuations and I see PE multiples north of 20…I'm not going to say that the markets are in bubble territory but it's just a little too expensive for me right now."
"When the Household survey is put on the same comparable footing as the payroll series (the payroll and population-concept adjusted number), employment fell 119,000 in June — again calling into question the veracity of the actual payroll report — and is down 517,000 through this span. The six-month trend has dipped below the zero-line and this has happened but two other times during this seven-year expansion."
How on earth did things go so wrong? Could it be as simple as power-mongering and greed? To rob a line from the 2003 Italian Job, “There are two kinds of thieves in this world: The ones who steal to enrich their lives, and those who steal to define their lives.” Could it be that average working Italians, especially those who have been around for a good long while, feel as if they’ve been victims of both of the two kinds of theft, doubly wronged? “Basta!” their voices scream in defiance. Enough is enough!
"I don’t want to alarm anyone but the facts are the facts, and the facts here is simply that this is precisely the sort of rundown we saw in November 1969, May 1974, December 1979, October 1989, November 2000 and May 2007. Each one of these periods presaged a recession just a few months later — the average being five months." - David Rosenberg