The entire global financial system resembles a colossal spiral of debt. Just about all economic activity involves the flow of credit in some way, and so the only way to have “economic growth” is to introduce even more debt into the system. Unfortunately, any system based on debt is going to break down eventually, and there are signs that it is starting to happen once again.
Moody's puts $3 billion in student debt-backed ABS on default watch leading us to wonder when 30% delinquency rates in a market where nearly $1.3 trillion in credit has been extended will finally result in the bursting of what is America's most spectacular debt bubble.
Chair Yellen frequently reminds us how effective and innovative QE is as a monetary policy tool. She even referred to the monetary actions, of her former boss, as heroic at a commencement speech this past spring. Literally…QE has saved the financial world. So, why are we, the citizens of this great country, no longer worthy of the almighty, far ranging and omnipotent QE? Ms. Yellen, don’t you stop this money printing anytime soon. Just erase that thought from your mind just like you can simply erase away all my financial worries with that great machine of yours. We, the ignorant public, are so relying on you. As we see it there is just no downside to any of this money printing.
A new St. Louis Fed study finds that the delinquency rate for student borrowers in repayment is 27.3%, meaning nearly one in three of the Americans laboring under a debt load that has now swelled to $1.3 trillion are more than a month behind on their payments. Ackman says there's "no way they are going to pay it back." We can hear the "cancel the debt" cries now.
- Shale Oil Boom Could End in May After Price Collapse (BBG)
- Oil above $58 on U.S. shale output report, Mideast (Reuters)
- Ackman Says Student Loans Are the Biggest Risk in the Credit Market (BBG)
- Alibaba Disputes U.S. Group’s Claim it Tolerates Fake Goods on Taobao (WSJ)
- Petrobras takes steps to avert a technical default (FT)
- Yen’s Drop Is Approaching Its Limit, Says Abe Adviser Hamada (BBG)
- 'Slicing and dicing': How some U.S. firms could win big in 2016 elections (Reuters)
- Fed official warns ‘flash crash’ could be repeatedv (FT)
GE’s announcement that its getting out of the finance business should be a reminder of how crony capitalism is corrupting and debilitating the American economy. The ostensible reason the company is unceremoniously dumping its 25-year long build-up of the GE Capital mega-bank is that it doesn’t want to be regulated by Washington as a systematically important financial institution under Dodd-Frank. Oh, and that its core industrial businesses have better prospects. We will see soon enough about its oilfield equipment and wind turbine business, or indeed all of its capital goods oriented businesses in a radically deflationary world drowning in excess capacity. But at least you can say good riddance to GE Capital because it was based on a phony business model that was actually a menace to free market capitalism. Its deplorable raid on the public purse during the Lehman crisis had already demonstrated that in spades.
And it’s dragging down the economy.
"The systematic destruction of the American way of life is happening all around us, and yet most people have no idea what is happening. Unfortunately, in our society the value that we place on individuals has a tremendous amount to do with how much money they have."
The great conundrum of the U.S. economy today is that we have record numbers of working age people out of the labor force at the same time we have businesses desperately trying to find workers. So why aren’t workers filling these available jobs - or getting the skills necessary to fill them. We would posit five impediments to putting more Americans back to work - First, government discourages work...
America continues to be a country where there are only jobs for old men, those 55 and older, who saw a 329,000 increase in jobs in the past month. Every other age group saw job losses!
Before you think about holding out for a taxpayer government-sponsored bailout on your student loans, you may want to check the laws in your state because as it turns out, you may end up losing your driver’s license or worse, your barber’s license.
Current policy coming from the Fed seems to be geared to create a never-ending series of booms and busts, with the hope that the busts can be shortened with more debt and easy money. Yet one major driver behind the financial crisis in 2008 was too much debt - much of which led to taxpayer-funded bailouts. In spite of this, the best the Fed can come up with now is to lower interest rates to boost demand to induce households and governments to borrow even more. Interfering with interest rates, however, is by far the most damaging policy. The economy is not a car, and interest rates are not the gas pedal. Interest rates play a critical role in aligning output with society’s demand across time. Fiddling with them only creates an ever-growing misalignment between demand and supply across time requiring an ever larger and more painful adjustment.
Like many of our prevailing social constructs, this education system is on the way out...
The average American student graduating with a bachelors degree leaves with approximately $28,400 of debt to be repaid over the course of their career. In fact, over 70% of students graduating will be in this position, making it the norm.