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The Definitive Chart Collection Of America's Bipolar [Non] Recovery

Tyler Durden's picture


Today the IMF released its complete Article IV Consultation report, focusing on US economic development and policies. While there are 70 pages or so of textual fluff (it comes from the IMF after all), where the report excels is in presenting the complete picture of the "bipolar recovery" in the United States, in about 50 or so charts, which is a recovery for some and an outright recession if not depression for most. Furthermore, the report corroborates that when it comes to the economy, the US "recovery" has been one of two stories 7 quarters following the business cycle trough: a contraction in virtually all key non-business segments, including real GDP components, fixed investments, and the business sector, and a flourishing renaissance for the business sector and for financial firms, profits and financial conditions. In other words, from the very beginning the whole purpose of the orchestrated recovery was one and one only: not to improve the general economic situation, but to pander to corporations and to the wealthiest. It is no wonder that rumors of social disobedience and discontent are getting ever louder: by now even the most average American has understood that the administration has betrayed them. However, we do not want to delve in the ethics of it all. Others will do that. Instead, here are all the charts that tell the story of America's recovery. Or, more specifically, lack thereof as the case may be and is.

First the one chart that compiles it all: comparing recoveries across different verticals 7 quarters after a business cycle trough.

Here is how the IMF summarizes its key findings (full report here). All these are well-known to regular readers:

  • The U.S. economy continues to recover at a modest pace, in line with international experience following severe financial crises.
  • Several indicators point to a significant growth slowdown in the first half of 2011, which appears partly related to transient factors.
  • Macroeconomic policies have thus far remained supportive, but face tighter constraints going forward.
  • The current recovery has been held back by significant adverse feedback loops between housing, consumption, and employment
  • Housing markets remain depressed, given a large overhang of vacant or distressed properties—a key legacy of the housing bubble.
  • Household balance sheets have suffered considerable damage from the housing bust.
  • The state of the housing market plays an important role in explaining the weakness of U.S. private demand.
  • Job growth has been held back by the weak recovery of aggregate demand as well as by the low employment intensity of output gains.
  • Major labor market dislocations may have pushed up the structural unemployment rate.
  • Improving financial conditions have helped underpin the recovery, but healing is still incomplete.
  • Securitization activity remains substantially below pre-crisis levels.
  • While corporate spending remains relatively weak, firms have had record-high profit growth and large firms face easy financing conditions.
  • U.S. exports have been buoyed by strong external demand, even though the external sector has not added to growth.
  • Despite a string of very large current account deficits, the U.S. net international investment position (IIP) has deteriorated only modestly during the past decade, and the net income balance remains positive.
  • Looking ahead, the recovery is expected to continue despite the expected fiscal tightening, helped by accommodative monetary policy, while inflation should remain subdued.
  • Over the medium term, both saving and investment are projected to rise, leaving the current account deficit broadly stable around current values.
  • Core inflation remains subdued, despite some recent firming.
  • Downside risks to the outlook have increased. These include:
    • Renewed housing market weakness
    • Unfavorable fiscal outcomes
    • Further commodity price shocks, which could impact both growth and inflation
    • Credit supply constraints
    • Challenging conditions for some European sovereigns
  • The authorities broadly agreed with staff’s near-term outlook and risks, but considered that the recovery could be firmer next year as headwinds lessen.

Or not. It won't be the first time the IMF has been wrong about everything. or the last time. Anyway, the full text can be found here.

And now for the start attraction: lots of charts.

Figure 1. The Recovery in Perspective

Figure 2. The Economy Hit Another Soft Patch in the First Half of 2011

Figure 3. Macro Policy Levers are Strained

Figure 4. Real Estate Still Under Stress

Figure 5. Households Shedding Debt Burdens

Figure 6. Loss of Household Wealth Weighing on Consumption

Figure 7. Lack of Dynamism in Labor Markets

Figure 7. Lack of Dynamism in Labor Markets (continued)

Figure 8. Slow Financial Sector Healing

Figure 9. Corporate Sector Gaining Strength

Figure 10. Core Inflation Remains Subdued

Figure 11. The Dollar, Financial Flows, and Trade

Figure 12. U.S. Federal Government Plans to Embark on a Fiscal Consolidation

Figure 13. State and Local Government Finances Are Under Pressure


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Mon, 07/25/2011 - 18:50 | 1492323 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Charts Bitchezzzzz

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:18 | 1492372 Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture

That is some serious chart porn. Now I am really confused

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:46 | 1492466 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

Woooooo Chart porn. Send the kids out to the neighbours for a sleep over. Grrrrr!


Mon, 07/25/2011 - 20:57 | 1492645 i-dog
i-dog's picture

Information overload ... hides the basics. Politics101.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 18:57 | 1492335 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

BiChFlation, BiCheZ

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:17 | 1492345 Shocker
Shocker's picture

Excellent Charts, very informative.

Did I miss something here... I heard of recovery, just haven't see it

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:01 | 1492348 whaletail
whaletail's picture

Chart porn, but just jpeg's [sigh]

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:01 | 1492349 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

and furthermore, ain't nobody testing the markets w/ their tootsies, tonite

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:02 | 1492350 kito
kito's picture


Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:48 | 1492474 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

You and I both know they enjoy that sort of thing.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:03 | 1492351 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Yup, Biflation as far as the eye can see. 

There's now a "haves" economy and a "haves not" economy, which is parallel to the "Main Street-Wall Street" bifurcation, which in turn mirrors the "Papaer economy-Real economy" paradox.

We've created a whole lot of nuthin'! That much is clear from the data. 

And that makes the economy just as precarious as it was on the day of Lehman's bankruptcy. 

But the political/social situation has decidedly deteriorated and will pick up steam. 

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:20 | 1492382 toady
toady's picture

'we've created a whole lot of nothin'

The banksters like to call that 'financial innovation'.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 21:18 | 1492722 FIAT_FixItAgainTony
FIAT_FixItAgainTony's picture


Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:04 | 1492352 knukles
knukles's picture

Hamy!  Yoo hoo Hamy?  Where are you, Hamy?

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:19 | 1492378 camaro68ss
camaro68ss's picture

Hamy is in his backyard digging up silver for $5

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:50 | 1492484 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

So that's where my Silver went! Now I can tell the IRS what happened to it.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:08 | 1492359 km4
km4's picture

"Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive but what they conceal is vital.”

- Aaron Levenstein


Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:48 | 1492475 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

Did you make this quote up?  If so, did you attribute the quote to this person just to piss off some people here?  In any case, I like it.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:10 | 1492362 dogismyth
dogismyth's picture

a bunch of useless charts.  Anyone find a trend?????




That's it...I'm done for the day.  The only reason I logged on was to say



Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:38 | 1492450 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

but first, consider my pleas, please, you fab degenerate spawn of pond scum & bilgewater:

  • free zHedge!
  • end The Committee To Keep Total Score!
  • eat shit; lay eggs; and die young
Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:51 | 1492487 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

I'm with you on the score thing.  Are we supposed to be worrying about what we write because someone is going to give us bad grades?  I don't want to live in a cyber world where that's the case.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:54 | 1492492 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

(Total Score:1) is soooooooo boring. Please let us + or - posts.

Just limit the number of + and - points available in 24 hours.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 20:31 | 1492582 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

i got this over on   And The Kickers In Reid's Proposed "Deficit Cutting" Plan Are...

slewie the pi-rat (Total Score:2)

but only on one post

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:20 | 1492364 ThisIsBob
ThisIsBob's picture

Fuck them.  They are quite happy to get 17% of their budget from the US.  Maybe we would be in better shape if we stopped wasting  money on things like helping the IMF pay the Greeks' interest bill to the bankers.



Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:15 | 1492370 rlouis
rlouis's picture

My bs detector was humming from the beginning as I perused the graphs - cutsie colors and all, but finally went off when I came to figure 10 "Core Inflation Remains Subdued" ...  reminds me of the old saying if you can't blind them with brilliance bury them in bs.  California public pensions are shown in the  79-87% funded group. lol - time to start a group against data torture for statistical reporting.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:28 | 1492415 toady
toady's picture

Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:25 | 1492404 Diatribe
Diatribe's picture


Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:58 | 1492504 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

You are talking about having a real chick vs. just having porno right?  Don't ask me to think of anything else when I see your avatar.

Tue, 07/26/2011 - 03:23 | 1493687 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Oooh, Cat Fight!

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:36 | 1492437 CombustibleAssets
CombustibleAssets's picture

Hours of Chart Porn...

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:36 | 1492438 vocational tainee
vocational tainee's picture

The whole that surounds hole ,would fit into the hole,even without the whole..

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:36 | 1492439 tickhound
tickhound's picture

Only missing the Therefore Gold's Up Bitchez Chart

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 21:21 | 1492740 FIAT_FixItAgainTony
FIAT_FixItAgainTony's picture

excellent point.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:38 | 1492446 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture

How can the US (2/3s of it consumer spending) Economy be recovering (at any pace) with real UE pegged at 20% or more, wages down, consumer credit (the kind use to buy stuff~not student loans or autos) declining...?

The first bullet is nonsense.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:43 | 1492460 Everyman
Everyman's picture

Well there it is.  We have a "smoking gun" that has been pointed at "US".  NOw it is time to start taking heads off of these banksters, financial criminals, economic academics that support this crap, and the politicians that enable and promote this crap.

What is the effect on the economy with the deaths of the "top 1% of all earners" and "top 1% of the wealthiest"?

I think that would be bullish.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 19:46 | 1492465 Ye Ye
Ye Ye's picture

Re: Lack of Dynamism in Labor Markets.  The startup I'm at is hiring aggressively overseas.  We'd like to hire in America but cannot find the talent.  Costs savings from hiring overseas are gravy: since everybody hates the coordination issues with a 12 hour time zone difference, we'd move people here if that were easy to do legally.  So due to our retarded visa policies, the US misses out on having some excellent immigrant labor paying serious $$$ income taxes and doing things like buying housing and eating in restaurants.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 20:47 | 1492625 Everyman
Everyman's picture

So you use a business plan with "exploitable labor" (SLAVE LABOR) and expect the United States Taxpayer to pick up the tab for UE, Work Comp?  The US misses out on JOBS for CITIZENS.  The retarded business that requires an "immigrant" is basically flipping off the AMERICAN CITIZEN.  "Can't find the talent???  You really mean "YOU DO NOT WANT TO PAY WHAT IT TAKES TO GET THE TALENT.  You are a putrid piece of filth.


YOU re no businessman sir.  You ilk only "make profit" and is not as asset to a country.

Tue, 07/26/2011 - 01:14 | 1493545 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

that statement seems a little harsh, not knowing what the "job specifications" are;  which he omits, again, below 

maybe he makes a lot of money getting these people into the country

if he is, indeed, a start-up situ, let's cut him some more slack for that too, ok?  that is tough sledding, right now

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 21:07 | 1492660 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

LOL...  Right...

You mean pull those people over here and expect them to live on the wage you pay them now?  You're clueless.

Tue, 07/26/2011 - 00:13 | 1493430 Ye Ye
Ye Ye's picture

The idea is to move them over here and pay them American wages.  For people who have legal clearance already, that's what we do.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 20:04 | 1492519 JenkinsLane
JenkinsLane's picture

I read this comment attributed to Bush Senior
around 10 years ago - it resonated then
and that continues to the present day.
The only objective of the US elite is,
"The continual consolidation of wealth
and power into higher, tighter and righter

Explains everything in one succinct sentence.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 20:10 | 1492537 InMisesITrust
InMisesITrust's picture

Can anyone link for me the Tyler post/article that contained a mountain of trading study material?  Much plot bitchez!

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 21:01 | 1492659 duncecap rack
Mon, 07/25/2011 - 21:19 | 1492734 InMisesITrust
InMisesITrust's picture

Much obliged, duncecap rack

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 21:02 | 1492663 CD
CD's picture

Dude, you do realize there is a search box in the upper right corner, right?

The last time Tyler posted the link, the site went down (due to excessive spike in traffic), so I think the original post presenting it has been removed from ZH. IT seems to be working now. Just don't everyone pile on at once...

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 21:22 | 1492748 InMisesITrust
InMisesITrust's picture

Sure did...had a mental jeetner on the word "library".


Mon, 07/25/2011 - 20:33 | 1492588 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 The ultimate { HEAT MAP} Yes i looked at the nominal maps as well... Excellent work Tyler! Although, you would accept nothing less of your self.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 20:35 | 1492589 JMT
JMT's picture

The average person 30 years old makes $60,000 a year, has well over $100,000 in student loan debt, another $20,000 - $50,000 of credit card debt, and of course the $650 a month car payment for the Acura or the BMW X6 (plus insurance).  I was there too --- by the summer of 2008 I was also $75,000 in credit card debt (I did however and still drive cars until they are about 5 years old and stick to regular Hondas or Toyotas -- (I put $10,000 down on a preowned 2009 Accord lwith 18,000 miles ast year and the dealer told me that no one ever puts that much down on any vehicle purchase).

Luckily thru great timing I entered back into the market back in early 2009 and now have gotten that debt down to just over $14,000.. From what I understand this was perfectly normal (the high amount of revolving debt), of course I can admit it and take responsibility -- most of my peers my age (late 20's - mid 30's) constantly blame the economy and older people (whom they hate by default).   

Actually this has been one of the strongest recoveries, interest rates are at a near record low, profits are at record highs, and the market is up over 80% from the 2009 lows. 

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 21:13 | 1492682 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

"The average person 30 years old makes $60,000 a year..."

BS much?  Divide that by 2 and subtract 5k or 10k and you're getting close.


The comments are just full of jokerz this evening.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 22:01 | 1492964 FIAT_FixItAgainTony
FIAT_FixItAgainTony's picture

yeah, agreed dwdollar, where i'm at the average 30 yo is garbage picking and scrapping making $45 to $215 FRN per week day, so even at the high end with $215 days constantly, you get around $55K, but more likely is low and high days scrapping, so it averages out at $33.8K, just like you figured dwdollar.  on the low end, $11.7K is much more typical.

now a corporate drone at Walmat may have different results, but by me they only hire the obese 50 somethings who wear heavy make-up or frail 70 somethings who need to suppliment Socialist Security income to keep the homestead.

i guess it IS possible that a 30 yo drug dealer can make in excess of $60K per year.  maybe that is what he was referring too!

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 22:04 | 1492987 JMT
JMT's picture

FIAT_FixItAgainTony's picture yeah, agreed dwdollar, where i'm at the average 30 yo is garbage picking and scrapping making $45 to $215 FRN per week day, so even at the high end with $215 days constantly, you get around $55K, but more likely is low and high days scrapping, so it averages out at $33.8K, just like you figured dwdollar. on the low end, $11.7K is much more typical.


But they all own the latest designer fashions, wear $200 Nikes, have a $10,000 worth of Itunes on their IPODS.  Sure most of it is on credit, but if one Chooses to do that they need to own up to it and take responsibility. Credit cards don't charge themselves into $50,000 of debt and most people get into credit trouble because of overspending plain & simple

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 22:02 | 1492974 JMT
JMT's picture

I know I know 'Most people aren't like that' or "I should meet new people etc' -- that is what people say when I talk about this..

Actually $60,000 is nothing here in the Boston MA area even for these just out of school college kids.  Oh, I forgot most are the children of helicopter parents and have purchased many of these luxuries on credit etc...  I couldn't imagine living on $30,000 or $40,000 not that I had to anytime since the turn of the millenium. 

The fact is that I am one of the few who can admit my overspending & take responsibility and pay it off without defaulting, going into bankruptcy, blaming this person or that person etc.....  Sure it 'feels different' now but I am not a slave to designer fashions or $700 a month car payments or $1,600 a month + credit card payments either.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 20:51 | 1492635 jack stephan
jack stephan's picture

The Wizard: The ashes were trampled into the Earth, and the blood became as snow. Who knows what they came for... weapons of steel, or murder? It was never known, for their leader rode to the south, while the children went north with the Vanir. No one would ever know that my lord's people had lived at all............. His was a tale of sorrow.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 21:01 | 1492656 glenlloyd
glenlloyd's picture

The 'key findings' are just fluffy observations, there's nothing substantive in there at all. If they'd back out a factor of 10x they might see something more significant, like the fact that this is four decades of excess credit creation / money printing coming to an end.

What'll they say when the 'transitory' 'soft patch' sticks around for years? They'll just continue their observations never really addressing the source of the problems.

tsk tsk

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 21:21 | 1492743 ThirdCoastSurfer
ThirdCoastSurfer's picture

The June unemployment rate in Mexico was 5.4% - a 2 year high! The top tax rate is 30% (soon to be 28%). There is Universal Health Care, Social Security and a debt to GDP ratio of 41.5%. It's a nice place to visit (from the security protected balcony of a resort), but who the hell wants to live there!?! Is there really an inalienably solution "for all" in the U.S., or is Mexico the unavoidable "best fit" model? One thing's for sure, and as Mexico so clearly demonstrates, government alone can't fix it or stop it.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 22:00 | 1492956 Everyman
Everyman's picture

The UE rate in Mexico is NOT 5.4%.  That may be the official rate, but a country with 107 million shipping in excess of 20 million here to AVOID a 40% UE rate makes that number meaningless.  Additionally without the money sendbacks to Mexico from US illegals AND the social security and other benefits that MEXICAN CITIZENS get from the United States TAXPAYERS and YES their GDP is good.  It all comes from tourism, DRUGS, HUMAN SMUGGLING, OIL, MONEY FROM THE US from ILLEGAL WORKERS, and US ENTITLEMENT BENEFITS.


So their GDP would be much less that the "official" if Mexico was really a reputable and non-corrupt "nation".

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 23:55 | 1493373 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

Unemployment rate doesn't count the quality of employment.

college grads selling bags of oranges on the interstate ramp is not a real employment.

doctors driving taxis around is not a real employment.

But in Mexico, people are desparate, so they hustle.


US can take away unemployment insurance and all other welfare and see Americans work. Nobody is so stupid and lazy that they will go hungry. Except $10/hr at starbucks with $100k  law school debt is worse than illegal immigrant mowing lawns for $20/hr.


Tue, 07/26/2011 - 00:12 | 1493421 Uncle Keith
Uncle Keith's picture

To One and All:


On 9/12/01, the New York Investment Banks ceased being a consideration for those seeking capital. The business moved to Singapore, London, etc... On 9/12/01, the once great firms of Wall Street, New York turned predatory. 

Would they suffer a decline in their individual standards of living? Not when they can game the economic motor that drives the economy: Underwriting the process for those who are elected to represent "us" in Washington, DC. Chief Justice John Roberts - purgering herself - handed us a decision titled "Citizens United vs the FEC". The result has been a full blown decent into Plutocracy. 


Until that incredible wrong is undone, expect no relief. If any of you deciples of what ever intellectually bankrupt school of economic thought you so religiously prescribe think to the contrary, all I can say is "Watch". It's happening as we speak. If you aren't on the "inside track", you, too, will be on the outside looking in. We have devolved into a two tier state. Don't allow yourselves to be distracted.


Tue, 07/26/2011 - 01:28 | 1493569 ElTerco
ElTerco's picture

"The authorities broadly agreed with staff’s near-term outlook and risks, but considered that the recovery could be firmer next year as headwinds lessen."


Does anyone remember on what page of Orwell's book, "1984", I can find the above passage?

Plus good, Double plus good.

Tue, 07/26/2011 - 01:28 | 1493571 jomama
jomama's picture

I <3 chart pr0n!!

thanks very much to whoever put all these data together!  great work!!

Tue, 08/23/2011 - 23:07 | 1593426 karmete
karmete's picture

Well done! Thank you very much for professional templates and community edition sesli siteler sesli sohbet

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 03:33 | 1667033 chinawholesaler
chinawholesaler's picture

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Wed, 09/14/2011 - 03:34 | 1667042 iNull
iNull's picture

Would somebody please nuke this ChiCom asshole.

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