Bubble, Bubble, Double Trouble

By David Stockman – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

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.

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24 Points Pressing Hard Toward Recession

World Trade Suffers Biggest Collapse Since Financial Crisis

By Mark O’Byrne – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

The recent collapse in world trade volume is the worst since the financial crisis and as dangerous as during the dot-com bubble of the early 2000s, according to The Telegraph.

Data from the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis revealed that world trade volume dropped 1.8% in the three months to January compared to the preceding three months as a synchronized global downturn gained momentum.

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What Ballooning Corporate Debt Means for Investors

By Frank Holmes – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Few people know the risks in today’s economy and marketplace as much as David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Canadian wealth management firm Gluskin Sheff & Associates. For years he’s educated investors with his popular “Breakfast with Dave” newsletter, which you can subscribe to here. He’s also a regular contributor to the Globe and Mail and the Financial Post.

Considered by many to be a Wall Street permabear, Rosenberg successfully predicted the 2007-2008 financial crisis.

Now he’s predicting another recession to make landfall as soon as the second half of this year. Why? In short, the Fed has been too aggressive tightening liquidity at a time when corporate debt is at an all-time high. What’s more, the Trump administration has already enacted fiscal stimulus in the form of tax reform, which has historically been reserved for times of economic turmoil, not expansion.

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Wall Street is Chasing Ghosts

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From Pento Portfolio Strategies

Wall Street’s absolute obsession with the soon to be announced most wonderful trade deal with China is mind-boggling. The cheerleaders that haunt main stream financial media don’t even care what kind of deal gets done. They don’t care if it hurts the already faltering condition of China’s economy or even if it does little to improve the chronically massive US trade deficits—just as long as both sides can spin it as a victory and return to the status quo all will be fine.

But let’s look at some facts that contradict this assumption. The problems with China are structural and have very little if anything to do with a trade war. To prove this let’s first look at the main stock market in China called the Shanghai Composite Index. This index peaked at over 5,100 in the summer of 2015. It began last year at 3,550. But today is trading at just 2,720. From its peak in 2015 to the day the trade war began on July 6th of 2018, the index fell by 47%. Therefore, it is silly to blame China’s issues on trade alone. The real issue with China is debt. In 2007 its debt was $7 trillion, and it has skyrocketed to $40 trillion today. It is the most unbalanced and unproductive pile of debt dung the world has ever seen, and it was built in record time by an edict from the communist state.

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Why Monetary Easing Will Fail

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

The major economies have slowed suddenly in the last two or three months, prompting a change of tack in the monetary policies of central banks. The same old tired, failing inflationist responses are being lined up, despite the evidence that monetary easing has never stopped a credit crisis developing. This article demonstrates why monetary policy is doomed by citing three reasons. There is the empirical evidence of money and credit continuing to grow regardless of interest rate changes, the evidence of Gibson’s paradox, and widespread ignorance in macroeconomic circles of the role of time preference.

The current state of play

The Fed’s rowing back on monetary tightening has rescued the world economy from the next credit crisis, or at least that’s the bullish message being churned out by brokers’ analysts and the media hacks that feed off them. It brings to mind Dr Johnson’s cynical observation about an acquaintance’s second marriage being the triumph of hope over experience.

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Will The 35th Recession Bring A Swift Return To Zero Percent Interest Rates?

By Dan Amerman – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Many people view the seven years of zero percent interest rates experienced in the United States between 2008 and 2015 as being safely in the past, with normal times having returned.

As explored in this analysis, so long as the business cycle of expansions and recessions has not been repealed – then we are highly likely to see a swift return to a potentially protracted bout of zero percent interest rates with the next major downturn in the economy.

Indeed, even the staff of the Federal Reserve itself expects more frequent episodes of zero percent interest rates in the future, and for those episodes to be on a more protracted basis.

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