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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cossack55's picture

Charts Bitchezzzzz

Taint Boil's picture

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

Long-John-Silver's picture

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


i-dog's picture

Information overload ... hides the basics. Politics101.

Shocker's picture

Excellent Charts, very informative.

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

whaletail's picture

Chart porn, but just jpeg's [sigh]

slewie the pi-rat's picture

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

kito's picture


Long-John-Silver's picture

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

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. 

toady's picture

'we've created a whole lot of nothin'

The banksters like to call that 'financial innovation'.

knukles's picture

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

camaro68ss's picture

Hamy is in his backyard digging up silver for $5

Long-John-Silver's picture

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

km4's picture

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

- Aaron Levenstein


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.

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



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
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.

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.

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.



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.

toady's picture

Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

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.

CombustibleAssets's picture

Hours of Chart Porn...

vocational tainee's picture

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

tickhound's picture

Only missing the Therefore Gold's Up Bitchez Chart

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

InMisesITrust's picture

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

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...

InMisesITrust's picture

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


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.

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. 

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.

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!