Housing is a very important component of any economy, and often an indicator of the well-being of a society. In the US, housing has been deteriorating since the sub-prime crisis. The changes are not only cyclical but structural. Past experiences need to yield to an objective analysis of where we are heading. Here is the way we see it...
"in the 1990s, subprime borrowers typically were offered four-year car loans... Now, the standard is six years, partly because wages haven’t kept up with vehicle prices... I think that’s a good thing,... Unfortunately it seems to be painted as something bad, and I’m not sure why.”
Trillions upon trillions in “stimulus” and the FOMC is left, pathetically, fighting for the distinction of “it’s not as bad as it looks.” That would seem to make this the most costly economic age ever conceived, with global implications that are just now starting to be felt as whatever faith was leftover from 2008, wrong or right, wears off all over the world. That is a highly combustible deficiency, since the longer the global economy remains disorientated the more likely it is to experience not just recession but, since this is all still so leveraged (even more poorly this time), something potentially worse.
Last week the government reported personal income and spending for April. After months of blaming non-existent consumer spending on cold weather, shockingly occurring during the Winter, the captured mainstream media pundits, Ivy League educated Wall Street economist lackeys, and Keynesian loving money printers at the Fed have run out of propaganda to explain why Americans are not spending money they don’t have. The corporate mainstream media is now visibly angry with the American people for not doing what the Ivy League propagated Keynesian academic models say they should be doing. An economy built upon the consumption of iGadgets, Cheetos, meat lovers stuffed crust pizza, and slave labor produced Chinese baubles, along with the production of enough arms to blow up the world ten times over, and the doling out of trillions to the non-productive class, is doomed to fail.
"Over the last couple of decades, we have been engaged in an enormous national experiment, taking impressionable and often ignorant teenagers and young adults and seeing just how much student loan debt they can handle.There is a practical question at hand for people who feel as if they are in over their heads: Is it ever a good idea to try to beat the system by openly defying it and refusing to repay the debt that you willingly took on?"
Land Of The Debt Serf: How "Auto Title Loan" Companies Ruthlessly Prey On America's Growing UnderclassSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/08/2015 20:30 -0400
“I look at title lending as legalized car thievery,... What they want to do is get you into a loan where you just keep paying, paying, paying, and at the end of the day, they take your car.”
May was a banner month for car sales and it's easy to see why. Nearly every conceivable metric for financing hit a record in Q1 according to Experian, including average loan term and average amount financed, suggesting the trillion-dollar US auto loan market has officially hit bubble territory. Meanwhile, the "cash out auto loan" is the new home equity loan.
On a day full of exultation for The Oracle of Omaha, we could not help but see the irony of Warren Buffett losing yet another bet and not paying up...
Now we can see the real tragedy of negative interest rates: they not only have the perverse effect of reversing the flow of time, but they demonstrate that borrowers are not acting with the good faith incentives normally associated with someone who needs money. Rather than paying forward, borrowers are paying backwards because they are effectively trying to return something they don’t want. Such an arrangement renders it impossible for an economy to grow. By destroying the temporal and moral structure of money, negative interest rates destroy the economy. When tomorrow cannot be paid, the current regime must fail. The only question to be determined is the form that failure will assume. This may sound like philosophy but it is cold, hard reality.
Does it really take purportedly intelligent people six years to see that the macros are not responding? Better still, isn’t it time for the Fed to explain the exact channel by which its interest rate pegging and forward guidance is supposed to be transmitted to the main street economy? After all, if these channels are blocked or ineffective - then its flood of liquidity never leaves the canyons of Wall Street. In that event, the central bank actually functions as a financial doomsday machine, inflating the next financial bubble until it bursts. Then, apparently, its job is to rinse and repeat.
QE makes sense only from a Keynesian/socialist perspective and ignores the long-term cost of low interest rate policies to individual investors and financial institutions.
The correlation between wage growth and consumer spending is now 0.93 according to RBC meaning that the 80% of the labor force who aren't seeing their pay increase will not be driving the US economic engine going forward.
“They were people with great dignity,” Ivo Costamagna said of his neighbors who committed suicide in 2013. Romeo Dionisi, 62, and Anna Maria Sopranzi, 68, hanged themselves after Ms. Sopranzi’s pension evaporated. “Romeo just wanted a job.” But no jobs were available in the dismal Italian economy.
In what may be another case of research confirming common sense, a new study finds, in all four regions of the world studied, “unemployment was related to an increased relative risk of suicide by 20-30%." While the tragic consequences of ZIRP, bailouts, and multiple QEs have so far been ignored, a tsunami of suicides are coming as the under-saved American baby boom generation faces the stark reality of having to work until they die to survive.
The deterioration in the subprime auto market is perhaps the clearest sign yet that we have learned literally nothing from the crisis years. That is, this is precisely the same dynamic and it will end precisely the same way: defaults will rise, investors in assets backed by these loans will suffer outsized losses, and the assets themselves will become completely illiquid.