- OECD: Japan Public Debt in 'Uncharted Territory' (WSJ)
- Germany holds firm on Greece as IMF pressure mounts (Reuters)
- Schäuble and Lagarde clash over austerity (FT) - it would be great if someone actually implemented austerity...
- Merkel hints at tax cuts for growth boost (FT)
- Hollande Robbed of Growth Engine as Companies Cut Investment (BBG)
- Romney Narrows Gap With Obama in Swing State Polling (BBG)
- Sluggish Growth Seen Into Next Year (WSJ)
- Softbank Founder Has 300-Year Plan in Wooing Sprint Nextel (BBG)
- Singapore Forgoes Currency Stimulus on Inflation Risk (Bloomberg) - as does China day after day
- Sharp Jabs Dominate Combative Vice-Presidential Debate (WSJ)
- Japan and China Agree to Hold Talks on Rift After Noda Call (Bloomberg)
This past Friday, Barack Obama was at a Minneapolis-area Honeywell plant touting his economic recovery credentials to cheering disciples. One of the excited faithful was a young boy, fifth-grader Tyler Sullivan, who took the day off from school to hear the President speak. The President was full of the usual bombast about how Congress needs to work with him to ‘build a strong economy’, and how he wants to get $3,000 to everyone in the American middle class so that people can go out and buy ‘thingamajigs’. Naturally, the crowd cheered. It was the typical sort of gross misunderstanding of economic prosperity that you see from politicians… and most people at this point. People these days think it’s a great idea when the government sprinkles money around the middle class, and love the idea of politicians ‘coming together’ to build a better economy. In reality, when people hear talk about politicians ‘building an economy’ they should run away like a scalded dog. Throughout history, a lot of other politicians have also tried building an economy– it’s called central planning, and it just doesn’t work.
Whatever one thinks of the practical implications of the Kalecki equation (and as we pointed out a month ago, GMO's James Montier sure doesn't think much particularly when one accounts for the ever critical issue of asset depreciation), it intuitively has one important implication: every incremental dollar of debt created at the public level during a time of stagnant growth (such as Q1 2012 as already shown earlier) should offset one dollar of deleveraging in the private sector. In turn, this should facilitate the growth of private America so it can eventually take back the reins of debt creation back from the public sector (and ostensibly help it delever, although that would mean running a surplus - something America has done only once in the post-war period). This growth would manifest itself directly by the hiring of Americans by US corporations, small, medium and large, who in turn, courtesy of their newly found job safety, would proceed to spend, and slowly but surely restart the frozen velocity of money which would then spur inflation, growth, public sector deleveraging, and all those other things we learn about in Econ 101. All of the above works... in theory. In practice, not so much. Because as the WSJ demonstrates, in the period 2009-2011, America's largest multinational companies: those who benefit the most from the public sector increasing its debt/GDP to the most since WWII, or just over 100% and rapidly rising, and thus those who should return the favor by hiring American workers, have instead hired three times as many foreigners as they have hired US workers. Those among us cynically inclined could say, correctly, that the US is incurring record levels of leverage to fund foreign leverage, foreign employment, and, most importantly, foreign leverage.
- First Japan now... Australia Ready to Help IMF (WSJ)
- "Not if, but when" for Spanish bailout, experts believe (Reuters)
- Spain’s Surging Bad Loans Cast New Doubts on Bank Cleanup (Bloomberg)
- Spain weighs financing options (FT)
- Spanish Banks Gorging on Sovereign Bonds Shifts Risk to Taxpayer (Bloomberg)
- Spain and Italy Bank on Banks (WSJ)
- Chesapeake CEO took out $1.1 billion in unreported loans (Reuters)
- China preparing to roll out OTC equity market – regulator (Reuters)
- Angry North Korea threatens retaliation, nuclear test expected (Reuters)
- North Korea Breaks Off Nuclear Accord as Food Aid Halted (Bloomberg)
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Today's Honeywell investor presentation provided another example of the wholesale "kick the can down the road" mentality that has gripped America. And while this myopic approach to the future is fully expected out of the 218 patriots who voted to keep increasing America's debt ceiling, impending debt repudiation be damned, such a shallow view has traditionally not been expected out of corporate America. Until now.