I really dislike sounding inflammatory. Saying that things are going to go terribly wrong runs a risk of being classed with those who think the world will end in December 2012 because of something Nostradamus or the Bible says, or because that’s what the Mayan calendar predicts.
This is different. In the real world, cause has effect. Nobody has a crystal ball, but a good economist (there are some, though very few, in existence) can definitely pinpoint causes and estimate not only what their immediate and direct effects are likely to be (that’s not hard; a smart kid can usually do that) but the indirect and delayed effects.
In the first half of this year, people were looking at the U.S. economy and seeing that some things were better. Auto sales were up – because of the wasteful Cash for Clunkers program. Home sales were up – because of the $8,000 credit and distressed pricing. Employment was up – partly because of Census hiring, and partly because hundreds of billions have been thrown at the economy. The recovery impresses me as a charade.
Let’s get beyond what the popular media parrots are telling us and attempt to derive some reasonable assumptions about how things really are and where they’re headed.
A Brief Summary of Our Story So Far….
Before we get to where things stand at the moment, let’s briefly look at where we‘ve come from.
That a depression was in the cards has been foreseeable for decades. The distortions cranked into the system in the ‘60s – the era of “guns and butter” spending by the government – resulted in the tumult of the ‘70s. Things could, and one could argue should, have come unglued then. But they didn’t, for a number of reasons that have only become clear in retrospect:
- Interest rates were allowed to rise to curative levels;
- The markets were non-manipulated and so, as they became quite depressed, were left to send out real distress signals;
- The U.S. was still running a trade surplus;
- The dollar had only come off the gold standard in 1971 and was still relatively sound. More Here..Long Read