debt

Insider

Everything You Need To Know About The Credit Impulse

And why it's signalling a coming recession, likely this year
Friday, June 16, 2017, 7:23 PM

Executive Summary

  • The case of the missing credit impulse
  • The credit impulse is the worst its been in recent history
  • How the situation is deteriorating fast
  • Why a credit impulse-driven recession is nigh

If you have not yet read Part 1: The Pin To Pop This Mother Of All Bubbles? available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

The Case Of The Missing Credit Impulse

An enormous oversight of nearly every major economist is the role of debt in both fostering current growth but also stealing from future growth. 

It seems like such a simple concept, and it’s one I covered in great detail back in 2008 in the original Crash Course, but it remains a mysterious oversight of most here in 2017.  The concept is easy enough; if I borrow money to increase my spending here today, it probably makes sense to take note of that if you're an economist responsible for tracking spending.

My debt-funded spending today is my lack of spending in the future when I pay down the debt. 

Professor Steve Keen has this topic nailed beautifully. In it, he explains how even simply keeping a massive pile of previously accumulated debt at the same level as last year is a net negative on economic growth. A very simple and a very profound concept that still is not a part of conventional thinking.

Now here where things get interesting. And frightening. If we look at... » Read more

Blog

entrepreneur.com

The Pin To Pop This Mother Of All Bubbles?

A worsening shortfall in new credit creation
Friday, June 16, 2017, 7:23 PM

Global macro economic data has been weak for many years, but there’s now a very real chance of a world-wide recession happening in 2017.

Why? A dramatic and worsening shortfall in new credit creation. » Read more

Podcast

perfectlab/Shutterstock

Steen Jakobsen: 60% Probability Of Recession In The Next 18 Months

The world economic engine is slowing to a standstill
Sunday, June 11, 2017, 6:46 PM

Steen Jakobsen back on, Chief Investment Officer of Saxo Bank, returns to the podcast this week to share with us the warning signs of slowing economic growth he's seeing in major markets all over the world.

In his view, the world economy is sputtering badly. So badly, that he's confident predicting a global recession by 2018 -- or sooner. » Read more

Insider

curraheeshutter/Shuttterstock

Get Ready For The Coming Massive Correction

One we may never fully recover from
Friday, June 9, 2017, 7:46 PM

Executive Summary

  • The economic data is getting darker fast
  • The over-indebtedness of the economy is the worst it's ever been
  • Predicting the timing of the next major market correction
  • As the risks mount, what should the concerned investor do?

If you have not yet read Part 1: Why The Markets Are Overdue For A Gigantic Bust available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

The Data Says…Another Downturn Is Upon Us

Our view is that a massive market correction is coming, one that may well rip the financial markets apart, and cause very long-term and long lasting damage, possibly to the point of taking generations to repair in any meaningful sense.

In fact things may never actually recover to the current heights because recovery requires energy and there simply isn’t the net energy per capita that existed in the past.

For now, we see plenty of signs of fundamental economic weakness, and this is not surprising at this stage of the so-called economic expansion.  The truth is this expansion has been phony to a large degree, and quite probably should have broken down many times in the past, most recently in early 2016.

But the central banks prevented that and we can all feel thankful at the extra time that has provided us to become more resilient under reasonably calm circumstances.

And yet, the one thing that central banks have never been able to do is... » Read more

Blog

r.classen/Shutterstock

Why The Markets Are Overdue For A Gigantic Bust

It's just not possible to print our way to prosperity
Friday, June 9, 2017, 7:38 PM

As much as I try, I simply cannot jump on the bandwagon that says that printing up money out of thin air has any long-term utility for an economy.

It's just too clear to me that doing so presents plenty of dangers, due what we might call 'economic gravity': What goes up, must also come down. » Read more

Blog

Jennbang | Dreamstime.com

Less Than Zero: How The Fed Killed Saving

It destroyed the incentive to do it
Friday, June 2, 2017, 6:27 PM

Savings accounts were created to provide an incentive for people to plan for the future. Put money away today, let it grow through the miracle of compounding interest, and have more tomorrow.

Prudent savings is essential to a healthy economy. It offers resilience during downturns, and provides seed capital for productive enterprise.

But we are no longer a nation of savers. The Federal Reserve has killed the incentive to be one. » Read more

Insider

Understanding The Fed's Endgame Is Key To Protecting Your Wealth

When all this breaks, the carnage will be astounding
Friday, May 26, 2017, 11:52 PM

Executive Summary

  • Why the Fed's rate hikes are not actual "hikes"
  • The new debt issuance directly or indirectly enabled by the Fed is staggeringly large
  • Why the Fed's intervention in the financial markets is creating worrisome instability
  • As the risks mount, what should the concerned investor do?

If you have not yet read Part 1: The Federal Reserve Is Destroying America available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

When Is A Rate Hike Not A Rate Hike?

The Fed keeps talking about raising interest rates, but they really aren’t doing any such thing.  In fact they are doing the opposite.

I know that’s a controversial statement, so let me explain.  The point of a ‘rate hike’ is not to make the cost of money (interest rates) go up, but to drain excess money from the system.  That’s why a rate hike cycle is called a ‘tightening’ cycle; because it is making the amount of money available for lending to shrink, or for conditions to become tighter.  The same as if you don’t have quite enough money at the end of the month, things are tight. 

This means that the interest rate is the derivative, and the amount of money is the main driver.  You don’t set interest rates, you control the amount of money in the system, and the interest rates follow along.  They are the result, not the cause.

Or at least that’s how it used to be.  But not any longer.

In the past, when the Fed ‘hiked rates’ what it actually did was drain money from the system.   Money out = interest rates up.

Now when the Fed hikes rates it removes zero money in the system, and this is why a rate hike is not actually a rate hike at all, but the opposite because it leaves 100% of the money in the system but raises the amount that banks and other financial institutions can charge you for new loans and outstanding credit.

How did we get to this ‘upside down world’ where a rate hike increases money? 

To understand let’s be sure we are clear on... » Read more

Insider

Wollertz/Shutterstock

Prepare For The Great Global Contraction

How hard will we hit the ground?
Friday, May 19, 2017, 8:01 PM

Executive Summary

  • The repercussions of the Fed's Free Money Machine
  • Why debt-funded state control stagnates productivity
  • The importance of the 8-year cycle
  • What should guide investors' focus and decisions

If you have not yet read Part 1: How Long Can The Great Global Reflation Continue? available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we asked these questions: can we just keep doubling and tripling the economy’s debt load every few years? What if household incomes continue declining? Are these trends sustainable?

In the near-term, we asked: is this Great Reflation running out of steam, or is it poised for yet another leg higher? Which is more likely?

Let’s start by looking at the mechanism that funds the government’s deficit spending, i.e. its ability to borrow and spend enormous sums of money year after year.

The Free Money Machine

The state can afford to continue or increase fiscal stimulus (deficit spending) because the central bank (the Federal Reserve) has created what amounts to a free money machine. Here’s how the machine works.

The federal government issues $1 trillion in new bonds to fund another $1 trillion in deficit spending. The central bank (Federal Reserve) creates $1 trillion with a few keystrokes, and buys the $1 trillion in bonds with newly created money.

The Federal Reserve earns interest on the $1 trillion in bonds it now owns, but it returns this income to the Treasury, minus the Federal Reserve’s relatively modest expenses of operation. Let’s say the bonds carry an interest rate of 2.5%.  The government pays the Federal Reserve $25 billion in annual interest, and the Federal Reserve returns $20 billion annually, so the net cost of borrowing and spending $1 trillion is an insignificant $5 billion.

If this isn’t entirely free money, it’s extremely close to free money.

So in ten years, the Federal Reserve owns $10 trillion more in federal bonds (assuming the bonds are long-term and didn’t mature).

It's no wonder that some economist propose... » Read more

Blog

wk1003mike/Shutterstock

How Long Can The Great Global Reflation Continue?

And what will happen when it ends?
Friday, May 19, 2017, 8:01 PM

Given the extraordinary failure of both Keynesian stimulus and private-sector credit growth to create a self-sustaining cycle of expansion whose benefits flow to the entire workforce rather than to the top few percent, what can we expect going forward? Can we just keep doubling and tripling the economy’s debt load every few years? What if household incomes continue declining? Are these trends sustainable?

In the near-term, is this Great Reflation running out of steam, or is it poised for yet another leg higher? Which is more likely? » Read more

Blog

Audy39/Shutterstock

Where There’s Smoke...

...There’s central bank manipulation
Friday, April 21, 2017, 8:26 PM

Many questions surround the elevated financial asset prices we are faced with today.

I'm talking not just about the sky-high prices of stocks and bonds, but also of the trillions of dollars’ worth of derivatives that are linked to them.  All are intricately linked together. For instance, stocks are elevated, in part, because bond yields are so low. 

These questions are important to consider because -- if central banks have been too involved and gotten themselves mixed up in trying to ‘wag the dog’ by using elevated financial asset prices as a means to drive economic expansion -- then the risk is a big implosion in financial asset prices if their efforts fail. » Read more