The middle class in America forgot all about the importance of savings and frugality and instead bought into the lie that one’s future would be “taken care of” if only it threw its money into the stock market.
Since modern-day “policymakers” are averse to allowing even the slightest bit of economic pain to materialize (except if the countries concerned are small and helpless, such as Greece), they have implemented unprecedented monetary pumping and debt expansion to hold recessions at bay. China’s planners have been especially diligent in this respect, misallocating resources in truly grand style and leaving the country buried in a pile of unsound debt. The combination of demographic and economic challenges the country now faces means that more than just a small hicc-up is probably in store, even though the timing of the denouement remains uncertain.
Any honest person working with such models know their gross limitations and how awful their track-records are. Still, these are the tools guiding the world’s central planners when they micromanage economies, be it fiscal or monetary expansion. They are obviously completely clueless, but still act with an extravagant level of hubris simply because they believe the scripture and their models.
If one adds up the Total Social Financing injected in the first quarter, one gets a stunning $1 trillion dollars in new credit, or $1,001,000,000,000 to be precise, shoved down China's economic throat. As shown on the chart below, this was an all time high in dollar terms, and puts to rest any naive suggestion that China may be pursuing "debt reform."
Good news is still bad news after all. After last night's China 6.7% GDP print which while the lowest since Q1 2009, was in line with expectations, coupled with beats in IP, Fixed Asset Investment and Retail Sales (on the back of $1 trillion in total financing in Q1) the sentiment this morning is that China has turned the corner (if only for the time being). And that's the problem, because while China was a good excuse for the Fed to interrupt its rate hike cycle as the biggest "global" threat, that is no longer the case if China has indeed resumed growing. As such Yellen no longer has a ready excuse to delay. This is precisely why futures are lower as of this moment, because suddenly the "scapegoat" narrative has evaporated.
In 1977, the total indebtedness of U.S. government, corporate and household borrowers was $323 billion. By 1985, that figure had grown to $7 trillion. Volcker left the Fed in August of 1987 after handing the reins over to Alan Greenspan. By year’s end 2015, U.S. indebtedness had swelled to $45.2 trillion. Tack on financials, which few do, and it’s $64.5 trillion and unabashedly growing. We are a nation transformed. What has today’s vast store of debt purchased? Certainly not freedom.
In the first half of 2013 earnings per share (EPS – as reported) for the S&P 500 (as provided by Standard & Poor’s) averaged $88.50 per share, almost $2 higher than EPS as of December 31 2015. The closing price of the S&P 500 on June 30, 2013 was $1,618. Today the index stands at $2,066, a 28% premium. To put it bluntly, investors today are paying an extra $450 per share for less.
Something isn’t working. Not for Janet Yellen nor for any of her delusional central banker buddies around the world. Their tricks no longer work. They just make the tidal wave higher.
With The Atlanta Fed's slashing its Q1 GDP growth expectations to just 0.1%, consensus estimates for 2016 growth have collapsed. However, none of this should surprise anyone as this is the sixth year in a row that over-optimistic growth hopes devolve into hype for more stimulus and a hockey-stick just around the corner. While expectations have not improved since 2010, at least one these dreadful soothsayers is defending this year's drop in the same old manner - by promising that H2 will be better, for these 4 reasons...
"Money-financed fiscal programs (MFFPs), known colloquially as helicopter drops, are very unlikely to be needed in the United States in the foreseeable future. They also present a number of practical challenges of implementation, including integrating them into operational monetary frameworks and assuring appropriate governance and coordination between the legislature and the central bank. However, under certain extreme circumstances—sharply deficient aggregate demand, exhausted monetary policy, and unwillingness of the legislature to use debt-financed fiscal policies—such programs may be the best available alternative."
One thing we could not have simultaneously is both “inflation” and “deflation,” for we could not have simultaneously both an expansion and contraction of the money supply. But we could have a frustrated inflation. We could have simultaneously, as experience in Europe has already proved, both inflation and industrial disruption, inflation and unemployment, inflation and stagnation.
The mainstream loves to hate gold, but then again, these are the same people who were bearish on gold all the way up from $250 to $1,900 (some turned bullish shortly before it topped, but that’s another story). What actually explains all this contempt for gold is the fact that it remains the main antagonist of the current statist centrally planned fiat money system. It’s as simple as that.
The rules of the game are changing. Those stuck within the old paradigm of mainstream finance face huge threats to their retirement....and quite possibly even their current standard of living.
The alienation between Germany and the ECB has reached a new level. Back in deutsche mark times, Europeans often joked that the Germans "may not believe in God, but they believe in the Bundesbank," as Germany's central bank is called. Today, though, when it comes to relations between the ECB and the German population, people are more likely to speak of "parallel universes."... Should it come to helicopter money, Berlin would have to consider taking the ECB to court to clarify the limits of its mandate. In other words: the German government and Draghi's ECB would be adversaries in a public court case.
The Greater Depression has started. Most people don't know it because they can neither confront the thought nor understand the differences between this one and the last. As a climax approaches, many of the things that you've built your life around in the past are going to change and change radically.