Monday, September 26, 2011

US trapped in depression

"Home sales are down. Retail sales have fallen. The factory orders suffered their largest setback since March last year. So what are we doing about this? Nothing.

California tightens faster than Greece. State employees have seen a 14pc drop in profit this year due to compulsory redundancies. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has cut the cost of 200,000 employees of the state minimum wage to $ 7.25 per hour to cover its deficit of $ 19 billion.

Could Illinois be far behind?
The state has a deficit of $ 12 billion and 5 billion dollars in arrears to schools, nursing homes, daycare centers, and prisons. "It gets worse every day," said Daniel Hynes controller. "We do not pay the bills for the services you need. It's obscene."

Approximately one million Americans have abandoned the labor market entirely over the last two months. It's the only reason the overall unemployment rate did not explode, post-war. Let's be honest. The United States is still trapped in a depression of 18 full months zero interest rates, quantitative easing (QE), and fiscal stimulus that has pushed the budget deficit above 10pc of GDP. The percentage of working-age population in the United States, in June alone, actually fell by 58.7pc. This is a true indicator of stress. The ratio was 63pc three years ago. Eight million jobs have been lost.

The average time to find a job rose to a record high of 35.2 weeks. Nothing like this has been seen before in the post-war period. Jeff Weniger, Harris Private Bank, said this compares with a peak of 21.2 weeks in the Volcker recession of the 1980s.

"Legions of people were left with old skills and little chance of finding meaningful employment, and benefits are exhausted. For our mathematics, people who are unemployed but not receiving a check amounts to approximately 9.2 million. " Washington's fiscal stimulus package is passed. It peaked in the first quarter, but even if the economy eked a growth rate of just 2.7pc. This compares with 5.1pc, 9.3pc, 8.1pc and 8.5pc in the four quarters of the recession of the early 1980s.

The housing market is already crumbling as government props pulled out. End of the tax credit of homebuyers' has led to a 30pc fall in the number of buyers to sign contracts in May. "It is cataclysmic," said David Bloom from HSBC.

The Congressional Budget Office said the fiscal policy will swing from a net +2 pc of GDP to -2pc by the end of 2011. The states and counties may need to cut as much as $ 180bn. The investors are starting to chew over the terrible possibility that America will stop shooting, just like Asia hits the buffers. China's manufacturing index fell in January, a shortage of up to 50.4 in June, slightly above the breakeven line of 50. The momentum seems to be fade everywhere, Australia, Turkey exports or industrial production of Japan.

On Friday, Jacques Cailloux RBS has launched a "double-dip warning" of Europe. "The risk is increasing rapidly. In the absence of an effective policy intervention to address the debt crisis of the periphery in the coming months, the European economy will fall twice in 2011," he said. It is clear that this policy should be to Europe, America and Japan. If budgets are to reduce in an orderly manner for several years then the central banks will have to cushion the blow, and keep monetary policy ultra-expansive till the time it’s necessary.

If the BIS has lost its way, God help us.

1 comment:

  1. people left with old skills. yeah, also legions with new skills unemployed right alongside of them. a service based economy never fared well, look at the UK which started down this same path long before we did


Everyone is encouraged to participate with civilized comments.