Recession

Debt, Propaganda And Now Deflation

Our world, our life, has been built on debt and propaganda for many years. They have kept us from noticing how poorly we are doing. But now a third element has entered the foundation of our societies, and it’s set to eat away at everything that has – barely – kept the entire edifice from crumbling apart. Deflation.

The Real Reason For America's Collapsing Labor Force

"You might think legions of retiring Baby Boomers are to blame, or perhaps the swelling ranks of laid-off workers who’ve grown discouraged about their re-employment prospects. While both of those groups doubtless are important (though just how important is debated by labor economists), our analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data suggests another key factor: Teens and young adults aren’t as interested in entering the work force as they used to be, a trend that predates the Great Recession." - Pew

Perhaps The BIS Can Share Its Next "Debt Trap" Warnings With Its Own Board Of Directors First

Here is the BIS once again with its noble - and now thorughly 'Austrian' - public service announcement, this time warning about the implications of a global "debt trap" and how everything will end in tears (stop us when this becomes familiar). We have just one request. Next time, instead of sharing these profoundly Austrian observations with the general public, maybe you can just discuss them at the next BIS Board of Directors' meeting which consists of...

Stephen Roach Warns The Fed's Fixation With Markets Is "A Potentially Deadly Trap"

The Fed remains fixated on financial-market feedback – and thus ensnared in a potentially deadly trap. Fearful of market disruptions, the Fed has embraced a slow-motion exit from QE. By splitting hairs over the meaning of the words “considerable time” in describing the expected timeline for policy normalization, Fed Chair Janet Yellen is falling into the same trap. Such a fruitless debate borrows a page from the Bernanke-Greenspan incremental normalization script of 2004-2006. Sadly, we know all too well how that story ended.

This Is How Greece Celebrates "Exiting" Its Historic Recession

Greece - it would appear by this morning's GDP print - is now the engine of growth for Europe. Despite near-record unemployment, record suicides and poverty, and an increasing number of Greeks doing unpaid work (or in slavery), GDP rose at the fastest rate across the EU... However, it appears, judging by the protests across Athens today, the people did not get the message that the crisis is over... as police resort to tear gas and stun guns.

Frontrunning: November 14

  • "The hate us for our..." Americans’ Cellphones Targeted in Secret U.S. Spy Program (WSJ)
  • Ukraine and Russia take center stage as leaders gather for G20 (Reuters)
  • Moscow and Kiev trade accusations; U.S. warns Russia against escalation (Reuters)
  • Heartland Central Banker Calls Asset Bubbles Top Concern (BBG)
  • U.S. Said to Give Banks December Deadline in FX Probe (BBG)
  • Series of Failures Enabled White House Breach, Report Finds (WSJ)
  • Yen plumbs seven-year trough on likely Japan sales tax delay (Reuters)
  • JPMorgan Chase Bankers Said to Lead Moscow Departure (BBG)

Italy Remains In Recession As Germany Avoids Triple-Dip By Smallest Possible Margin

The key event overnight was the release of European Q3 GDP data, which saw Germany averting a recession by the narrowest of margins when following a -0.2% drop in Q2 economic growth, Germany grew by the smallest amount possible in Q3, or 0.1%, in line with expectations, thus averting two consecutive quarters of decline, the technical definition of a recession. The French economy likewise posted a modest increase in Q3, although one wonders how aggressively the data had to be fudged for a country whose PMIs all indicate a -1% or greater contraction. Italy however was less creative with its use of "hookers and blow", and continued its recession with a 3rd negative print, contracting at -0.1% as expected, while Portugal also missed third quarter growth estimates.

The Most Destructive Generation Ever

The Silent Generation (people born between 1928-’45), finds itself in a 'sweet spot' but refuses to spend enough. America has a problem: the ' by far' richest group in the US doesn’t spend, while those who would like to spend, for instance to build a home and a family, are too poor to do it.

If WTI Drops To $60, It Will "Trigger A Broader HY Market Default Cycle", Says Deutsche

Suddenly it is not just the shale companies that are starting to look impaired as a result of tumbling energy prices. According to a Deutsche Bank analysis looking at what the "tipping point" for highly levered companies is in "oil price terms", things start to get really ugly should crude drop another $15 or so per barrell. Its conclusion: "we would expect to see 1/3rd of US energy Bs/CCCs to restructure, which would imply a 15% default rate for overall US HY energy, and a 2.5% contribution to the broad US HY default rate.... A shock of that magnitude could be sufficient to trigger a  broader HY market default cycle, if materialized. "

The Economic End Game Explained

Throughout history, in most cases of economic collapse the societies in question believed they were financially invincible just before their disastrous fall. Rarely does anyone see the edge of the cliff or even the bottom of the abyss before it has swallowed a nation whole. This lack of foresight, however, is not entirely the fault of the public. It is, rather, a consequence caused by the manipulation of the fundamental information available to the public by governments and social gatekeepers.

24 Reasons Why Millennials Are Screaming Mad About America's "Unfair" Economy

Do you want to know why Millennials seem so angry?  We promised them that if they worked hard, stayed out of trouble and got good grades that they would be able to achieve the "American Dream".  We told them not to worry about accumulating very high levels of student loan debt because there would be good jobs waiting for them at the end of the rainbow once they graduated.  Well, it turns out that we lied to them.

The 1937 Recession

This Austrian School interpretation of events fits the facts rather better than the monetarist account.  The lesson for policymakers today is uncomfortable.  For, on this view, if there is a parallel with the 1930s, the damage has already been done.  It was done when the Fed allowed funds available for investment in capital markets to balloon, not this time through unsterilized gold inflows but through its QE experiment. 

Why The Stock Market Is Detached From The Economy

The recent mid-term elections sent a very clear message to Washington, D.C., which was simply "the economy sucks."  While statistical economic data suggests that the economy is rapidly healing, it has only been so for a very small percentage of the players. For most American's they have only watched the "rich" prosper as the Federal Reserve put Wall Street before Main Street. Stock buybacks, dividends and acquisitions are great for those that have money invested in the financial markets, however, for the rest of America it is only a spectator sport. The risk to the markets currently is that the wave of deflationary pressures engulfing the globe have only begun to wash back on the domestic economy. The drag on exports, combined with the potential for extremely cold winter weather, puts both economic and earnings growth rate projections at risk. With the markets in extremely overvalued territory, the risks to investors clearly outweigh the rewards over the long-term.