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IMF Slashes US Growth Expectations; Pushes Higher Minimum Wage, Removing Tax Loopholes & Fiscal Stimulus

Tyler Durden's picture


Who could have seen that coming? The IMF has slashed US growth expectations for 2014 from 2.8% to 2.0% (with 2015 hockey-sticking back to 3.0%). The IMF also warned the Fed should be "mindful of financial stability," but that is not the most surprising aspect of the IMF's mea culpa as they plunge head first into policy decisions...


And then there's this...




As Bloomberg reports,

The International Monetary Fund cut its growth forecast for the U.S. economy this year and said the Federal Reserve may have scope to keep interest rates at zero for longer than investors expect.


The Washington-based IMF now sees the world’s largest economy growing 2 percent this year, down from an April estimate of 2.8 percent. The IMF left a 2015 prediction unchanged at 3 percent, and said it doesn’t expect the U.S. to see full employment until the end of 2017, amid low inflation.


For the Fed, the forecast means “policy rates could afford to stay at zero for longer than the mid-2015 date currently foreseen by markets,” the fund said in its annual assessment of the U.S. economy.

Then they piled into policy...

They urged the U.S. to raise the minimum wage, invest in infrastructure and overhaul immigration policies to boost  potential growth as it slips below the long-term average.


The IMF also urged the implementation of more proactive labor market policies, which included strengthening the Earned Income Tax Credit and increasing the minimum wage to align more closely with U.S. historical levels and international standards.


“This would help raise incomes for millions of working poor and would have strong complementarities with the suggested improvements in the EITC,” said the report.

And worries about bubbles and fragility...

The Fed has to contend with “multiple areas of uncertainty,” making the outlook for its policy “particularly uncertain,” according to the IMF. That is “in contrast to the narrow range of market views on the path for future policy rates as well as the current historically low pricing of asset price volatility.”


Even if the Fed communicates well its planned increase in interest rates, there’s still a risk for “significant swings in market flows and prices” in coming months, including beyond U.S. borders, the IMF said.

Finally, and perhaps most worrying for the bond bears is the new terminal rate low growth new normal appears to be confirmed...

The IMF also said it foresees longer-run potential growth averaging around 2 percent for the next several years, below historical averages and less than last year’s estimate. A year ago, the IMF projected potential growth rates at 2.3 percent in 2015-2016 and 2.4 percent in 2017-2018.

One wonders, rhetorically of course, if the IMF also pulled a "Polish Central Bank"
and suggested that the US fire all Republicans in return for this
; and we wonder how El-Nino is "priced-in" to this forecast.


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Mon, 06/16/2014 - 09:45 | 4860970 TheRideNeverEnds
TheRideNeverEnds's picture

Meanwhile the e-minis explode higher out of the gate, BTFD bitchez! 

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 09:47 | 4860977 Newsboy
Newsboy's picture

If the minimum wage goes up, do I get a bigger unemployment check?

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 09:52 | 4860989 lordylord
lordylord's picture

So basically, the IMF recommends that the US takes action to hurt the economy even more.  Wonderful.  I can't wait for the NWO and the coming utopia.  2% growth still seems optimistic, but with the bs numbers, GDP could "beat" the expectations.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 09:55 | 4861013 Stackers
Stackers's picture

This from a group of bureaucrats who pay zero % in tax.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 09:58 | 4861021 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

I suppose they would have also recommended that we buy an infinite amount of STAWKS but apparently that is already being handled at the highest levels...

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:09 | 4861058 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Not only is the IMF a tool of the CBs it appears to have gone full librtard!!

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 21:24 | 4863592 duckandcover
duckandcover's picture

Me thinks you've missed the point.  The banks live to keep the status quo, the elite skim off the top and reinvest and round and round, it's not about ideology.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 11:16 | 4861278 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

But they will pay a "head tax" later.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 09:57 | 4861017 Occident Mortal
Occident Mortal's picture

That's absolutely nothing compared to what they told the Greeks to do.


"Sell your kidneys and send the proceeds to your government, foreign banks are counting on you"

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:06 | 4861043 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Hurting the economy more is not what drives those recommendations. The recommendations are meant to maintain the status quo for as long as possible. The recommendations drive increasing structural debt AND inflation, which work hand in glove. GDP is a red herring in all of this. It's a meaningless statistic. Our eCONomy is based, in part, on a game of pretend as we trade trinkets amongst ourselves, measured in DOLLARS, and reported as GDP. It's a bit of shell game built on top of the Ponzi scheme of a monetary system where ALL money is debt with interest attached.

To be perfectly clear... I'm not defending the IMF's recommendations, but people need to understand the fundamental flaws (unfixable flaws) that are core to our predicament.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 11:20 | 4861298 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

Good analysis.

Let me add that the recommendation for an increase in the minimum wage is really a tax increase. An increased minimum wage will bump up SS and Medicare tax receipts, at least on paper, and enable the DC US to buy maybe one more year.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 09:51 | 4860996 Haus-Targaryen
Haus-Targaryen's picture

lol ... never even thought about this. 

I love how no matter what the government does it is just screwing up the situation more and more and moar.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:10 | 4861063 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

But that's exactly what a bloated pig of a government like ours does to keep justifying their existence.

They keep fucking things up and creating disasters like global warming so the sheeple want an even moar bloated government to save them!

And of course the same government does all it can to obliterate even the concept of individual responsibility so the sheeple become moar and moar dependent on it.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:34 | 4861150 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

It's known as "government creates its own demand."

Just as long as the sheeple bleat out for more.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 11:03 | 4861232 BlindMonkey
BlindMonkey's picture

In addition to causing misery, .gov is most expert at can kicking.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 11:28 | 4861324 War_is_Peace
War_is_Peace's picture

"I love how no matter what the government does it is just screwing up the situation more and more and moar.


If you look at everything they do in the context of causing intentional damage to the many in order to benefit the few, it all begins to make sense.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 12:45 | 4861614 Uncertain T
Uncertain T's picture

Do you think anyone in government would ever recomend that we return to the tried-and-true system where "wages" are negotiated between the employer and employee?   No, that would destroy the central planning from which their power is derived. 

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 09:53 | 4861003 pods
pods's picture

If the IMF wasn't so evil I would call them stupid.


Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:03 | 4861029 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

=====================FUCK THE IMF======================

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:46 | 4861193 max2205
max2205's picture

Fuck the IMF








........('(...´...´.... ¯~/'...') 


..........''...\.......... _.·´ 





Mon, 06/16/2014 - 11:04 | 4861236 BlindMonkey
BlindMonkey's picture

You would wear out that finger raising it to all the .gov and para-governmental agencies that deserve it.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:08 | 4861052 JRobby
JRobby's picture

Laugh track deafening now, for so many, many reasons. IMF? Really?

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:04 | 4861035 Common_Cents22
Common_Cents22's picture

do the EXACT OPPOSITE of what the IMF prescribes.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 09:47 | 4860975 nah
nah's picture

The IMF recomends free deserts and playtime for volunteers in the US

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 09:48 | 4860980 youngman
youngman's picture

Pretty political....who do they think they are.....

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 11:29 | 4861326 Bioscale
Bioscale's picture

Banksters mafia of the world. Most of politicians of the countries on this planet must obey what they say and claim.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 09:49 | 4860983 BobTheSlob
BobTheSlob's picture

Newsflash: the FED CAN'T raise interest rates. Each 1% = 150 billion in new debt. Welcome to the new normal.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 09:50 | 4860986 valley chick
valley chick's picture

Well this has got to be bullish! It's all bullish!!  What a joke this all has become!

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 09:51 | 4860987 101 years and c...
101 years and counting's picture

Fuck the IMF, and the oompa wanna-be running that criminal syndicate.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 09:50 | 4860988 jay28elle
jay28elle's picture

F* the IMF.  Mind your own biz...

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:31 | 4861141 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

They don't have any business to mind.

Thus yours will have to do.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 09:52 | 4860998 john_connor
john_connor's picture

It's only "fair".

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 09:52 | 4860999 Frank N. Beans
Frank N. Beans's picture

thank you IMF, oh magnificent and all-seeing one.

now stfu

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 09:53 | 4861004 notadouche
notadouche's picture

U.S. note to self: "Do the exact opposite of what IMF states.  The IMF equates to the being the Geroge Costanza method of success, doing the exact opposite of what he thinks is right.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 09:59 | 4861018 overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture

IMF remind us all if your top execs pay any income tax?? 0% you say,  of course tax loop holes have no meaning to that elite reptile cartel. at ZH i recommend to the FED that no one pays income tax to .gov see how fast our military comes home from those 100's of bases across the world.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:01 | 4861025 zaphod42
zaphod42's picture

I think the IMF is simply reminding us that the workers are also the buyers of goods and services.  If you starve them, eventually that does rise to the top and your economy dies as you no longer have consumers able to purchase anything.  

Unlike trickle down, which never happens, trickle up is guaranteed.  Don't believe it?  Just wait!  American Spring is coming.


Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:14 | 4861077 The Most Intere...
The Most Interesting Frog in the World's picture

They wouldn't starve if prices didn't rise due to inflationary policies implemented by the government and Fed (like minimum wage)...

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:19 | 4861089 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

But that's EXACTLY how our system was designed. Debt issued as money with interest attached. Only the "system" doesn't contain both the principal and the interest. Sooooo.... more debt must be created/loaned into existence at ALL TIMES. It's a scam, but it's our reality. There is no fix.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:16 | 4861080 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

This is correct... and it's part of maintaining the status quo. It's not a "solution" mind you... it just kicking the can a little further down the road. The road ends at the collapse of the currently economic/monetary system. What that timeframe is or what's next is way beyond me.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:05 | 4861040 Common_Cents22
Common_Cents22's picture

i am telling the IRS i lost all my tax data.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 14:43 | 4862106 11b40
11b40's picture

Well, the IMF says get rid of itemized deductions, so it won't matter.  They have records of all your reported income.

My advice to anyone who can swing it is to start an LLC and run everything you can through it.  Mine is about to buy me a pick-um-up truck.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 09:55 | 4861010 jubber
jubber's picture

Even the European markets having trouble following this ridiculous US ramp today

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 09:59 | 4861024 Smegley Wanxalot
Smegley Wanxalot's picture

To get to 2% for 2014 we have to average 3% per quarter for Qs 2 thru 4.  Expect a further revision for 2014 to 1.25%, and a reality of 1.1% when all is said and done and printed.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:02 | 4861028 MFL8240
MFL8240's picture

Are you fucking joking?  Who in the hell does this group think they are?

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:04 | 4861034 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Bring back the French Rapist. 

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:06 | 4861041 vote_libertaria...
vote_libertarian_party's picture

So is that 2% est WITH all of the policy suggestions?


So are they saying if we don't do that the economy will be slower?

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:06 | 4861042 wmbz
wmbz's picture

The IMF (international mother-fuckers) says raise he minimum  wage! So do I, raise it to $50.00. That would fix everything!


Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:09 | 4861057 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

Min wage to $100 and tax rate to 100% will fix everything. /s

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:07 | 4861045 GCT
GCT's picture

The IMF is just recommending what our commander in chief has been stating for years.  Now with the IMF stating this, the administration will have even more firepower.  If it backfires then they can blame the IMF even though the IMF is nothing but a mouthpiece for the USA government!  WIN WIN for the politicians!  Blame someone else!!

Hell our GDP looks even worse if you use last years metrics.  Oh I forgot we had to revise histroy last year by changing the metrics once again and changing the history of the GDP going all the way back to when they started using it!  Well those in charge get to write and re-write history! 

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 11:36 | 4861346 Chupacabra-322
Chupacabra-322's picture

"If it backfires then they can blame the IMF even though the IMF is nothing but a mouthpiece for the USA government!"

Word on the street is,it's where the Criminal CIA parks & launders their Herorein money.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:07 | 4861050 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

The IMF told the UK they were doing the wrong thing with austerity a couple of years ago.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:09 | 4861054 Hindenburg...Oh Man
Hindenburg...Oh Man's picture

Wow, all overnight gains in gold completely eliminated, and markets in the green. I was out this morning---did the situation in the Ukraine resolve, and Iraq is now stablized?

Actually, the usual lately--geopolitical unrest gets you a 3 dollar pop in gold, and when it is "jawboned" away, gold drops by 50 dollars/oz. 

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:08 | 4861056 CuriousPasserby
CuriousPasserby's picture

I might have been for limiting itemized deductions until the IMF stuck its nose in, now I'm against anything the IMF is for.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:11 | 4861066 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

More like the cut was tied to lack of woar. They are already priming the anus for penetration of the next round of lies/excuses.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:11 | 4861067 Chuck Knoblauch
Chuck Knoblauch's picture

wow, what a surprise. i'm shocked. wake me up ...................... :0

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:16 | 4861083 Chuck Knoblauch
Chuck Knoblauch's picture

IMF recommends a wealth tax on middle class pensions and real property.

The rich are exempt because they are too wealthy to fail.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:51 | 4861134 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

I guess Mittens isn't the rich member of the club he thought he was, since the proposed 3m cap on IRAs that Obozo advancing is not compatible with his obscene 100M+ IRA.

With a 20 year life expectancy retiring at age 65, and assuming one can keep up with inflation, that 3M is only 150,000/yr in current dollar income, and if they force distributions over 5 years, then keeping up with inflation with taxable retirement savings will be that much harder, particularly since RETIREES should NOT be 100% allocated to equities.

But then then we expect the banksters' own "Profit-to-Earning Ratio" organ grinder to understand such basic financial concepts.


Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:20 | 4861095 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

Lower Largarde!!!!  LOWER!!!!  LOL


2.0% growth says that the US has 9 months to grow 4.0% as, magically, the US economy shrank 2.0%.


April and May retail numbers were shit.


Q2 GDP - welcome the disaster.


But then again, gewbermints will cook the numbers as best they can despite the fact that 50M Americans remain on food stamps.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:26 | 4861122 Chuck Knoblauch
Chuck Knoblauch's picture

real gdp is negative, bitch.


Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:24 | 4861111 Ban KKiller
Ban KKiller's picture

Thank you for the laugh of the day....for now.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:27 | 4861124 all-priced-in
all-priced-in's picture

The best thing Christine Lagarde has going for her is her looks.









Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:37 | 4861156 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

IMF recommends the US become France.....

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:48 | 4861195 SpanishGoop
SpanishGoop's picture

Downgrade !, downgrade !, downgrade !, downgrade !

Junk status in sight.


Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:53 | 4861203 Duffy Duck
Duffy Duck's picture

Nothing about raising the capital gains tax rate though, eh?

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:57 | 4861214 Porous Horace
Porous Horace's picture

The IMF had growth expectations for the US? That would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 11:08 | 4861253 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

There is just no way the US is going to recover with this kind of idiotic financial bureaucracy.  Who the fuck is Legarde to tell a business owner how much he should pay employees or how much he can even afford to pay employees?  If the IMF is unable willing to pay the extra wages itself, why should it think anyone else can?

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 11:13 | 4861269 Puncher75
Puncher75's picture

Why (and who cares) does the IMF comment on US polital affairs?

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 11:17 | 4861284 moneybots
moneybots's picture



I recommend the IMF be shut down.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 11:19 | 4861290 walküre
walküre's picture

Q1 GDP -1.6% Q2 GDP -2.0% but annualized we're looking at +2%?

Yup, that 3rd and 4th quarter are going to be bombastic.

What are these people smoking?

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 11:23 | 4861307 Dan The Man
Dan The Man's picture



Had to look that one up.  Glad i did, got on a tangent on quantum mechanics.



Mon, 06/16/2014 - 11:23 | 4861310 moneybots
moneybots's picture

The Fed has to contend with “multiple areas of uncertainty,” making the outlook for its policy “particularly uncertain,”


That seems pretty certain.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 11:31 | 4861331 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

If IMF were a poster on ZH they would be plonk bait.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 11:34 | 4861340 bagehot99
bagehot99's picture

The weather!!!!

Holy Shit we must look really fucking dumb, because they aren't even trying any more.


Mon, 06/16/2014 - 11:42 | 4861376 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

or Ms Lagarde wanted to be sarcastic


LAGARDE SAYS IMF'S CUT IN U.S. OUTLOOK TIED TO 1Q WEATHER /Yeah, /Sarc: let's call it "the weather"

though I understand public sarcasm is not allowed to IMF employees, so I suspect a certain number of them lurks here on ZH


one thing I'm not sure is: since when does the IMF give policy advice to the US? Everybody else, yes, but the US? and what's the whole frigging point?

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 11:38 | 4861347 moneybots
moneybots's picture


"Even if the Fed communicates well its planned increase in interest rates, there’s still a risk for “significant swings in market flows and prices” in coming months, including beyond U.S. borders, the IMF said"

Equal and opposite reaction.  The laws of math apply, regardess what the FED says and when it says it.  When the FED began to cut QE rate, the 10 year rate began to drop. 

When Greenspan warned of irrational exuberance, the market hiccupped because it thought Greenspan would actually DO something about it.  When it turned out to be all talk, the market just kept on climbing.

When Bernake pulled in the slosh- liquidity, during the TARP talks, the market crashed.


Mon, 06/16/2014 - 11:37 | 4861355 FreeNewEnergy
FreeNewEnergy's picture

Just in!

I (as in me, with no MF, mutherfuckers) say US GDP will be extinct by 2016.

Of course, "official" guberMINT money numbers will express an alternative reality that US GDP is growing at 5-6% per year because of the additions of blow sales, hooker income, skinflutehomosuckingdicks, pond goldfish growth, moar iCrap, dog barks being worth $2 a crack, record aloe harvest, Monsanto, birth-death model hitting all-time highs and other nonsense that doesn't really matter as long as...


All you need to know in one line. The global economy has become pure fantasy.

skittle-shitting Unicorns as far as the eye can see.

Oh, yeah, and some soylent green for good measure, after ISIS is defeated (again) in Iraq and Putin decides to just give Ukraine all the NATGAS it needs.

Glory, glory, halelujah! Thank goodness INDEPENDENCE DAY is less than 3 weeks off. The over/under on Greewald/Snowden reveal of the NSA "list" is 3-1 before July 4, 2-1 ON July 4, even money forever after.

I just hope Tom Hanks, Al Sharpton, Demi Moore, Quentin Tarantino and other celebs and pols are heavily over-represented.

God Bless America! Send moar troops to Iraq! USA! USA! USA!

Did I cover everything? Back to learning some jazz riffs. C YA...

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 12:31 | 4861571 Jano
Jano's picture

Christine L. and the whole IMF have been always reliably accurate: each time they overshoot.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 12:34 | 4861572 Cthonic
Cthonic's picture

In The Wizard of Oz, at least Oscar Zoroaster seemed a bit perturbed upon being revealed by Toto; the burnt orange humbugs at the IMF so far have exhibited no such modesty.  BTW tanline on that bitch must be obscene.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 13:12 | 4861695 SMC
SMC's picture

The IMF appears to be terrifed of deflation. Their "solutions" are focused on increasing demand while ignoring the underlying problem of unproductive debt.

The 99% are paying for almost two decades of crony-capitalists instructing their government minons to socialize risk while privatizing profits for the 1%.

Thankfully, economic reality trumps political machinations.

The situation will get uglier over the next few years or so, however the future looks good for those frugal Americans who are debt free and have focused on accquiring productive assets and the knowlege to efficiently utilize them to service realistic levels of demand.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 13:43 | 4861826 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

US federal gov't should have been investing in infrastructure and in a huge way after commodities prices collasped in '09 and 10-year Treasuries especially made it absurdly cheap.  US isn't even investing right now to keep almost every major infrastructure area up to present levels let alone to backlogged rates and future population expansion.  Hell the US federal gov't spends less than half of what it did on infrastructure spending now than in the heyday of the '45-'70 period. 

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 14:16 | 4861982 JRobby
JRobby's picture

Or better:



Mon, 06/16/2014 - 21:32 | 4863621 duckandcover
duckandcover's picture

Wouldn't it be hilarious to hear Christine do a standup routine?  Yay for ZH tracking on the BS meter.

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