Who Is Most Exposed To The Oil Price Shock?
Over the past 5 months, the only reason the US market, and this economy has outperformed the world (or "decoupled" in the case of so-called US fundamentals) is because the trillions in incremental liquidity from generous central planners have homed in on US equities like a heat seeker, in the process boosting confidence, and in a reflexive fashion, making consumers believe that things are getting better (for producers of printer cartridge maybe, everyone else just keeps getting worse off in real, not nominal, terms). Paradoxically, the trillion plus injected into the system from the ECB, ended up helping not Europe, but the US. However, as every action ultimately has an equal an opposite reaction, the recent US "renaissance" has also sown the seeds of its own destruction, because one of the side effects of a massive liquidity reflation is what has happened in the energy markets where the crude complex trades at all or near all time highs. However, as the following chart from UBS shows, it is the US which has the most exposure to that other side effect of soaring liquidity: surging prices. While the number is fluid (economist humor), every $10 increase in crude prices, cuts US GDP by 1%, and less than that in Europe and the ROW. As noted yesterday and today, "strategists" have already started trimming their GDP forecasts. How long before we end up seeing already weak growth turn negative as a result of the most recent central planning reliquification experiment? Because it will - central intervention always leads to adverse consequences in due course. Only this time, corporate profits will not allow the economy (read the markets) to pull itself up by the bootstrap, as they have topped and are now sliding lower.
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