While 'our' President was out this week patting himself on the back and taking victory laps over the "supposed" 4.9% unemployment rate, he forgot to mention a few important tidbits about what is really going on.
It seems monetary policy is exhausted and the next exogenous lever to pull would be political fiscal initiatives. If/when they fail to stimulate demand, there would be only one avenue left – currency devaluation. If/when confidence in the mightiest currency wanes, we would expect the US dollar to be devalued too - not against other fiat currencies, but against a relatively scarce Fed asset.
As bad as the month of January was for the global economy, the truth is that the rest of 2016 promises to be much worse.
Before this year the lowest level The Baltic Dry Index had reached was 556 in August of 1986 and the highest was in June 2008 at a stunning 11,612. Today saw the freight index hit a new milestone however, crashing through the 300 barrier for the first time ever - at 298, this is almost 50% below the previous record low. But it's not just commodities and the Baltic Dry that stalled, as gCaptain reports, one of the world’s biggest containerships is hard aground in Germany’s Elbe River leading to the port of Hamburg.
The Central Banks have turned us into dispensible members of the Suicide Squad
Major retailers in the United States are shutting down hundreds of stores, and shoppers are reporting alarmingly bare shelves in many retail locations that are still open all over the country. It appears that the retail apocalypse that made so many headlines in 2015 has gone to an entirely new level as we enter 2016.
One glance at The Baltic Dry Index's collapse is all that most need to see the painful state of the global shipping industry. However, as gCaptain reports, reality is even worse as the boom in so-called "zombie ships" suggests there is no recovery in sight for the beleaguered containership charter market, which is facing its biggest crisis since the 2008 financial crash.
Why the Black Hole of Deflation Is Swallowing the Entire World … Even After Central Banks Have Pumped Trillions Into the EconomySubmitted by George Washington on 01/24/2016 13:58 -0500
We Ask 3 Top Economists to Explain What the Heck Is Going On ...
After a brief hope-strewn bounce in September and October, world trade volumes have reverted to their recent stagnating growth trend, drooping 0.1% MoM in November as world industrial production swoons 0.4% MoM. On a smoothed year-over-year basis, world trade volume growth is decelerating at the fastest pace since Q4 2012 (right before QE3 was announced to save the world) and world industrial production growth is near its weakest since Q4 2008. It's not just China either as import volumes declined at the same rate in advanced economies and emerging economies.
Today, none other than railroad titan Canadian Pacific (whose stock is down 4% despite the torrid surge higher in risk assets) confirmed that not only are things "worse", but the bottom may have fallen out from what until recently was one of Warren Buffett's favorite industries, after missing on both the top and bottom line, but especially during its conference call in which the management team admitted to "tremendous pressure" on the top line, "challenging times" for revenue growth, strong headwinds for the US economy in 2016 and warned another 1,000 workers are about to get the pink slip.
While the economic implosion progresses this year, there will be considerable misdirection and disinformation as to the true nature of what is taking place. As I have outlined in the past, the masses were so ill informed by the mainstream media during the Great Depression that most people had no idea they were actually in the midst of an “official” depression until years after it began. The chorus of economic journalists of the day made sure to argue consistently that recovery was “right around the corner.” Our current depression has been no different, but something is about to change. Unlike the Great Depression, social crisis will eventually eclipse economic crisis in the U.S. That is to say, our society today is so unequipped to deal with a financial collapse that the event will inevitably trigger cultural upheaval and violent internal conflict.
For staunch goalseeking Keynesian the collapse in Baltic Dry rates had little to do with actual demand for this services, and everything to do with the alleged supply of drybulk shipping, which was the stated reason for the collapse in costs.In other words, "trade was fine." Well, maybe not as the following chart from Capital Economics shows.
Sometimes its difficult to see the forest for the trees........
A sharper than expected downturn in China, a soaring USD, sudden bouts of global risk aversion, and escalating geopolitical tensions will conspire to make 2016 a "bumpy ride," the IMF says, on the way to cutting its forecast for global growth for the fifth time in fifteen months.
For the first time in three years and before that the recession, the total volume of freight moved by road, rail, pipeline, inland waterways and air has fallen Y/Y. Meanwhile, on the high seas, the Baltic Dry has collapsed under 400.