Recession

Europe In Triple-Dip Recession, Goldman's Internal Model Finds

Here is Goldman with the loudest warning yet, courtesy of its internal RETINA model, that Europe is now effectively in a triple-dip recession, with Q3 GDP for the Euro area at -0.2%: "We are less than a fortnight away from Eurostat's publication of its flash estimate of Q3 GDP growth in the Euro area. In today's Daily, we look through the lens of our contemporaneous tracker of real-time inflation and activity. Since our previous update in mid-October, RETINA's median estimate of Q3 GDP growth has moved deeper into negative territory, driven largely by a disappointing print for area-wide industrial production in August. The downside risks to our +0.1%qoq judgemental forecast for Q3 GDP now look skewed to such an extent that our point estimate no longer falls within a 50% confidence interval around RETINA's median reading."

An Open Letter To Janet Yellen

"For real world people, it is a simple common sense that wealth does not fall from the sky. It has to be produced. It is beyond me that such an obvious truth is so difficult for elite economists to comprehend. This is largely because they just sit in the ivy tower, imagining the magic golden touch such as monetary and fiscal policies, mocking practitioners. They are so ignorant and arrogant."

 

Saudi Arabia Raises Asia, Europe Prices; Cuts US Prices

It appears, just as we warned two weeks ago, that the 'dumping strategy' designed to punish Obama's nemesis Putin could have morphed into a Saudi Arabian strategy to keep its foot on the neck of the US Shale Oil industry. In an awkward headline for mainstream media to explain, The Kingdom has raised prices of its Arab Light crude exports to Asia and Europe but cut prices to the USA significantly, potentially pressuring domestic suppliers with foreign 'cheap' imports. While not a primary course of US oil, we suspect the signaling of this move is more worrisome for Shale capex  (especially as we noted Saudi Arabia can survive 7.9 years at lower prices) Forget currency wars, meet oil wars...

The Zombie System: How Capitalism Has Gone Off The Rails

"Solutions to the world's problems are not produced in a meeting between Bill Gates and George Soros... Renewal has to come from below... Limiting the influence [of the richest] is of the utmost importance... so that today's upper-class, high-finance capitalism can once again revert to being a capitalism of the real economy and the societal center."

About That Shale Oil 'Miracle'...

...people love to hear about how technology always saves the day... "Among the thousands of shale producers, you can guarantee there are pioneers just like those who started the shale revolution. As profit margins erode due to low or even lower future prices, the pioneers will try out the revolutionary new shale techniques that have yet to be deployed." It sounds good in the same way that Twinkies taste good. We would remind people here that back in the 1700's the South Sea company, the stock shares of which bubbled up enormously - even causing Isaac Newton himself to lose the then-staggering sum of 20,000 pounds - was billed as “a company for carrying out an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is". Would it be unreasonable to restate the author's claim as "shale operators to deploy new technology of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is?".  Ungrounded hype is the same thing no matter when or where it happens.

Keynesian Shangri-La From Myth To Reality

In less than the time it takes for a chrysalis to release one of life’s remarkable transformations, many once called “capitalists” woke to find the world they once new changed into something only dreamed or told in folklore. In this new fairytale land there must certainly be a pot of gold at the end of every “rainbow.” However, one would be mistaken. For one must remember this is a “Keynesian Shangri-la” and gold here is useless. Today, at the end of these self propagated rainbows lies a Central Bank ready and willing to print as much money as one needs to see those vivid colors so plainly; only the term Technicolor® seems appropriate as a descriptor. “Markets right themselves with pain… That’s Capitalism. Back room manipulation to avoid pain only increases the severity of the pain to be felt down the road.”

 

Child Poverty Jumps 2.6 Million Since 2008, While Number Of Billionaires Doubles

Two headlines came across my screen today, which taken together pretty much sum up the effects of policy decisions made by Central Bankers and politicians since the financial crisis. The financial oligarchs got bailed out, and the rich got richer due to decisions made by “leaders” around the globe. As such, the entire planet has now been transformed into a neo-feudal tinderbox.

Something Doesn't Add Up

On the one Hand: "Consumers expect better economic growth and rising incomes in the coming months, pushing a measure of confidence to a seven-year high in October. The University of Michigan said Friday that its index of consumer sentiment rose to 86.9 from 84.6 in September. That's the highest since July 2007, five months before the Great Recession began. Richard Curtin, the survey's chief economist, says that almost six in ten of the respondents said the economy has improved recently, the highest proportion in more than 10 years."

On the other: "Voters are deeply frustrated with the economy as they head to the polls Tuesday for a midterm election Republicans hope will yield them control of the Senate."

Thoughts On Prosperity In America

After peaking in 1999 at 37%, the prosperity line has gradually declined since, and is now sitting at 34%. In between there was a housing boom and a global financial crash, both with noticeable effects on the line. That decline may not sound like much, but it will take years to rebuild all that wealth – assuming that the economy is moving in the right direction. And it was exactly at the bottom of the earnings scale that things got pretty bad. People earning less than $35,000 per year went from 31% at the turn of the century to 34% today, more or less matching the decline in percentage points at the top of the table. The new century brought a lot more discomfort to a growing number of Americans, fueling a lot of talk recently about income inequality in the country. Therefore, despite all the subsequent economic growth, large fiscal stimulus packages, unprecedented Federal Reserve intervention and booming capital markets, we could say that PROSPERITY IN AMERICA PEAKED IN 1999!

"The Most Important Chart For Investors" Flashback, And Why USDJPY 120 Is Now Coming Fast

Back in late September, we posted what Albert Edwards thought at the time was "The Most Important Chart For Investors" which was quite simply, a chart of the USDJPY.  Considering the BOJ's overnight move, he was absolutely correct. So for all those who missed it, here it is again, because it explains not only where the Yen is headed next, but why, sadly, this could well be the end of Japan and the mirage of a recovery that has had everybody hypnotized for the past 6 years.

QE’s Seeds Are Already Sown

When the next crisis comes there will no doubt be economists and commentators who blame it on some proximal event, like the failure of a large important financial institution. Don’t be fooled. The seeds of the next crisis are already sown. Fed policy under Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen has distorted the economy in a way that makes it precariously fragile, and susceptible to collapse.

BusinessWeek Wants YOU To Become A Keynesian Debt Slave

And then there is BusinessWeek, which quite to the contrary, is urging its readers in its cover story, ignore common sense, and do more of the same that has led the world to dead economic end it finds itself in currently. In fact, it is, in the words of NYT's Binyamin Appelbaum, calling the world governments to become the slaves of a defunct economist.  And spend, spend, spend, preferably on credit. Because, supposedly, this time the resulting crash from yet another debt-funded binge will be... different?