Thursday, January 04, 2018

The Economy Sucks

1. Presidents don't affect the economy that much. Certainly not in the first year.

2. When there is a big effect (like Obama in 2009 or Reagan in 1981), it is because the market has already turned. In some sense you could say the election of a radically different president is itself a sign of the change in society/market has started.

3. The major shift in consumer confidence is a result of Independents becoming more confident. Republicans and Democrats flipped in their optimism/pessimism. Counterpoint: there's some evidence Democrats are becoming more confident.

4. The prior posts of economic charts show there isn't much of a recovery outside of housing and auto sales. Real GDP growth is slower than it was a few years ago. Lending is slowing.

5. Consumer confidence and unemployment are lagging indicators.

6. Manufacturing PMIs are high. The ISM manufacturing survey hit 59.7 in December. This is a leading indicator. Industrial production is still below the 2007 peak.

7. There's no inflation (because no lending, no money supply growth). The only place where we see rampant money creation is in cryptocurrencies. "The People's bailout."

8. Commodities prices started ramping up in early 2016 because China flooded its economy with cash, not because the market anticipated a Trump win.

9. Without credit/money supply inflation, interest rates and growth have an upper limit because of outstanding debt.

10. Since 2008, every time the economy has heated up and interest rates/inflation are expected to rise, they reverse and hit a new "all-time" low. (peaks in 2011, 2014, and if we repeat, 2017/8)

11. Bonus: the Federal Reserve has started reversing QE. We know QE failed to do what the Fed wanted. Ending might boost the economy: St. Louis Fed: Good Case for QE Being Detrimental. Or it might sink it.

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