It’s a simple concept but one which is lost on many modern economists and lay people alike.
In the event of an economic downturn get government out of the way. Let markets clear. Then like a forest after a forest fire the economy will come back with real growth.
Of course no one likes this idea—the one that actually works—because when things go bad everyone wants leaders “to do something, anything!” This action from planners and pols then in turn extends recessions/depressions as was the case during the Great Depression and the most recent depression.
But this was not the case during the acute, but short, 1920-1921 depression. Lack of government action allowed the system to correct and thereby lessened the long term pain.
We are 6 years out from the Crash and everything still feels weird. The economy hasn’t come back. It’s a strange new beast. Alive and not alive. A zombie. Feasting on the last scraps of the real economy.
We all know it’s coming. We don’t know how it’s coming. But it’s like we are walking through the economic forest at night just waiting for a puma to take our head off.
Call it the new abnormal.
Since 2008 the world has been turned upside down. In our collective panic we have disrupted whatever used to pass for economic homeostasis. Now the globe is moving (moved) toward a negative interest rate environment for government bonds.
Please, take my money. I’ll pay you to take my money! Why am I paying a government to hold my money? Well, because the economy is so healthy of course.
Stan Humphries – the author of the attached article – and I agree that home ownership often is not such a good deal. For many it is a downright terrible investment. More people are awakening to this fact, and that is a good thing.
But we differ on why it is such a bad deal for some.
The Fed will always be able to stop a crash. Just like how the prices of houses always go up?
They say “don’t fight the Fed.”
This has been especially true from an equities investment perspective since the Crash.
The question now though is how much fight is left in the Fed.
My colleague Hunter Lewis has this to say about Paul Volcker –
“Volcker really cares about the poor and the middle class. He is also scrupulously honest, not a scintilla of cronyism or corruption in him. And he has even admitted that the financial system was actually more stable before the creation of the federal reserve.”
Water policy in California is bizarre. I had no idea how bizarre until Jerry Brown declared his water emergency last week.
With 39 million people living in a semi-arid to desert environment (at least the southern 2/3 of California) doesn’t it stand to reason that at some point water might become a critical issue? A really critical issue? Doesn’t it also stand to reason that the people of California should be priority number 1 when it comes to water, not a politically powerful agriculture sector which only constitutes 2% of the California economy while taking 80% of the water? (Though there are of course apologists for ag.) But the “planners,” like they always do, thought they had the situation in hand.
There is always magma rolling and roiling under the financial plates of the world. Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s CEO commented on a rumble which occurred last October which he thinks is of particular import.
It’s going to happen. We don’t know when, but it will.
Or maybe you think we are in a healthy and organic market. If so good for you and good luck.
Not to worry we are told however. (Is it ever time to really worry?) According to Morgan Stanley’s David Darst Squawk Box’s guest analyst this morning the market is just warming up. (Wow.) The bulls are still running and the matadors are nowhere in sight.
I remember sitting in my car in college listening to Howard Stern on the radio before class sometime in 2000. Howard and his crew were talking about the stock market which was roaring. The Tech Bubble was in full effect. The sky was the limit. If you weren’t in the market you were losing out. It was a similar vibe to the Housing Bubble which would emerge only a few years later.
Stern took a call from a listener.
The caller, who sounded like he might have been on the tail end of a serious bender explained in candid terms that he was affiliated with some unsavory characters and that he and his unsavory friends were manipulating the market up. He said there was little under the prices of many of the stocks which were rising at breakneck speed.
In a few months we would see how right that caller was.
I’ll believe this only when I see it. This could be more chaff shot by the Fed to quell “audit the Fed” efforts in Congress. But maybe it indicates real tumult behind the doors of the Federal Reserve. It’s too early to tell.
I will also say that it appears the citizenry has an ally in Congressman Jeb Hensarling who is the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. Not only is Hensarling publicly open to this new proposal from Richard Fisher, the head of the Dallas Fed, the congressman is also actively seeking to kill the Export-Import Bank. An effort which we have given considerable digital ink. The Fed of course is far bigger game. The biggest.
Has this guy not done enough damage? Is he bored? Yes, let’s let the president declare economic martial law. I don’t see how that could be a disaster at all. No way that would be abused. Why bother with even involving Congress at all? It only has the power of the purse after all. (The president by design does not have this power.)
Shoot, why don’t we declare presidents to be kings and just get it all over with. Enough of this Constitution thing.