This month the economic expansion brought to you by your Federal Reserve and by US government largess becomes the longest expansion in the history of the United States! That’s something, right? Something? Let’s take an honest look at what we now call great.
By “the longest expansion” we mean the longest period in which US GDP has been growing without a recession. Now, that’s something to crow about, right?
Not so fast for many reasons. It’s also been the most anemic expansion on the books, and it’s not too hard to see why it’s been the longest, having nothing at all to do with a great economy. It has cost us far more than any expansion (by an order of magnitude) because we’ve piled up ten times the national debt over any amount we accumulated during previous expansions. (I’ve said before, it’s easy to let the “good times” roll when you are buying it all on the company credit card.) We also quadrupled the size of the Fed’s balance sheet. That didn’t cost anything, but we sure didn’t get much bang for the buck! We actually got less bang than in any previous expansion!
By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax
Deutsche Bank laid off staff in Asia on Monday as it began cutting 18,000 jobs as part of a 7.4 billion euro ($8.3 billion) “reinvention” set to tip Germany’s largest lender into yet another annual loss.
In a retreat from a long-held ambition to make its struggling investment bank, which employs 38,000 people, a force on Wall Street, Deutsche Bank said on Sunday it would scrap its global equities operations and cut some in fixed income.
By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse
Towards the end of long expansions (this one is the longest on record) things get tight. Factories operate flat-out and start raising prices. Good workers become harder to find and companies start competing for them with higher wages and other perks.
This story is about the “other perks” which, because they don’t show up in wages aren’t directly inflationary. But they do cost money, which means they shrink corporate profits nearly as much as would a big wage increase. From today’s Wall Street Journal:
Factories Tire of Wage Wars; Give Fridays Off, Spiff Up Bathrooms
The Donald was at it again in Wisconsin this weekend, reiterating his patented boast that the US economy is booming like never before.
We’re now the No. 1 economy anywhere in the world and it’s not even close,” he said on Saturday night at a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
“At the end of six years, you’re going to be left with the strongest country you’ve ever had,” he said.
We beg to differ, profoundly. The debt- and bubble-freighted US economy is actually running out of gas after a long, artificial cycle of tepid expansion; and so far the Donald’s Trade Wars and fiscal borrowing binge have only piled more debilitating baggage on America’s deeply impaired economy.
By Bloomberg – Re-Blogged From Newsmax
Just as single-income families began to vanish in the last century, many of America’s elderly are now forgoing retirement for the same reason: They don’t have enough money.
Rickety social safety nets, inadequate retirement savings plans and sky high health-care costs are all conspiring to make the concept of leaving the workforce something to be more feared than desired.
For the first time in 57 years, the participation rate in the labor force of retirement-age workers has cracked the 20 percent mark, according to a new report from money manager United Income.