Thanks very much to my old friend, Steve Sedgwick at Squawk Box Europe for the chat this morning. We looked at Growth v Value, the US v ROW, we touched on bonds and borrowing, money supply, inflation, lockdown, commodities & gold – all in under 10 minutes!
In line with the trends – both real and monetary – whose development we have long been documenting, China’s economic situation continues its sharp deterioration. Much of this is principally domestic in origin even if patently being aggravated by President Trump’s ‘Trade War’ – something which is actually providing a not entirely unhelpful, political fig-leaf for the regime. Here, we present a short, but concentrated overview of the nation’s woes. [CLICK FOR PDF: 19-08-19 Cracked China]
Charts prepared just ahead of the June FOMC, then a detailed synopsis of the economic and financial conditions informing the July decision, prepared for TV appearances on CNBC Europe’s Squawk Box and IG-TV’s Jeremy Naylor show [CLICK HERE FOR PDF: 19-08-20 FOMC June & July]
When Fed Chairman Jay Powell cleared his throat to speak at the Council for Foreign Relations late in June, the air was one of rapt attention, fully in keeping with that remarkable feature of the Modern Age, the heed we pay to the pronouncements of men such as he.
This concludes our rehabilitation of Say’s Law with a summary of the principal Austrian School arguments against that form of capital consumption which comes about when artificially cheap and too-easily monetized credit promotes increased consumption at the same time that it is fostering an outbreak of that ‘Destructve Creation’ we call ‘malinvestment’.
Here I have considered in much more detail whether there is such a thing as a ‘Consumer’ in isolation? I ask if a person’s role as producer is not more important. I look at the part played by interest rates, capital, and entrepreneurs, as well as by the state. I argue that worship of that False God – the ‘Consumer’ – not only slows economic progress in general and encourages heavy-handed and often harmful policies of intervention but also that it leads directly to the wastefulness of Boom and Bust.
I’ve entitled this episode of Cantillon Effects, ‘Duck Hunting’, not because I have any sudden urge to blast waterfowl out of the sky, but because a number of economic canards clearly need shooting down before they can find a safe place to roost in the general consciousness and there begin to breed even more confusion than already exists.
With his latest sophomoric outpourings, Ray Dalio confirms our impression that here we have a man who is undoubtedly a first-class money-maker but who has recently quit that lucrative last in order to display his second-rate intellect by peddling distinctly third-hand ideas.
The phrase on everyone’s lips at the moment is ‘Yield Curve’ – largely for its supposedly unerring ability to predict a recession if not, as its most extreme devotees seem to imply, actually to cause one. But is that a valid interpretation of what is afoot in financial markets and does that jibe with how the real economy is developing?
There must be something in the air this winter – something that is besides the whiff of climate cant and manufactured eco-hysteria emanating from Davos and all the other organs of bien pensanterie. For, everywhere you look, someone is going less than quietly insane, either cooking up or Swedish chef rehashing glaring errors of economic idiocy or sweet-shop window socialism. Bork, bork, bork!