economy


A little exert

It always helps to make a good first impression, especially to the father of the girl you’d like to date. An impressive resume can do the trick. That was certainly the case in the 1997 dark humor classic Grosse Pointe Blank. If you don’t happen to recall the exchange between John Cusack’s character, Martin Q. Blank, and the father of the girl he wanted to date, here’s a refresher:

Mr. Newberry:

“What have you been doing with your life?”

Martin:

“Uh…professional killer.”

Mr. Newberry:

“Oh! Good for you, it’s a …growth industry.”

If only our economy had more growth industries. We’ve just learned that the economy grew by 1.4 percent in the final three months of last year. The sad thing is that’s a vast improvement over the last figure we had in hand of 1.0 percent. For the full year, the economy grew at a 2.4 percent rate, the same paltry pace it has since the recession ended in 2009.

As for the sole source of support of late? That would be the U.S. consumer, without which math tells us the entire world economy would be in recession, not just the United States. In the fourth quarter in particular, spending was buoyed by gains in Transportation and Recreational services.

Sound familiar? It should.

Cars have literally been driving the U.S. economy in the aftermath of the collapse in the energy industry which took high-paying jobs down with it. To be specific, car sales to marginal buyers who cannot afford the payment for very long have pushed car sales to record levels.

If you’re hoping this economic prop is sustainable, and you should be given the alternative, you’re apt to be disappointed. A recent Bloomberg story shed light on how sales have been turbocharged. As was the case with subprime mortgage lending which pushed homeownership to record levels, new car-financing entrants have been responsible for record car sales.

According to J.P. Morgan Chase calculations, among subprime lenders that tap the securitization market to in turn finance their operations, new entrants now account for 28 percent of the business, multiples of the single-digit market share they had between 2011 and 2013. That makes these corporate whippersnappers the biggest players in the market. Their secret weapon? That would be ridiculously lax underwriting standards to qualify unqualified buyers.

As was the case with subprime mortgages, it’s a great growth industry. That is, until it’s not. Investors keeping the lights on at these companies have apparently started to balk at the number of loans backing the securities they’re supposed to be lining up to buy going sour. According to Fitch Ratings, subprime delinquencies of 60 days or more hit 5.16 percent in February, a stone’s throw from the previous record of 5.96 percent in October 1996.

So you tell me. Can the pace of car sales that have been juicing U.S. consumer spending that’s supporting the world economy be sustained?

The answer would be yes if Corporate America was about to go on a hiring spree. The chances of that happening though are nil to none considering the latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data also revealed 2015 corporate profits dropping by the most since 2008 when the economy was veering into recession.

As for what’s to come, the February durable goods suggests more of the same, as in decelerating economic activity. Aside from being a mouthful, nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft orders feed into the GDP calculation. In February, these so-called “core capital goods” orders fell by 1.8 percent, capping a declining trend that’s been underway since the fall of 2014. Since peaking for the current cycle in September 2014, core capital goods have fallen by 9.0 percent.

And yet we continue to rack up job gains: Over the past six months, the economy has churned out 235,000 of them on average. So it’s apparently more of the dichotomous same – jobs up, economic growth down.

Morgan Stanley’s Ted Wieseman does a bang-up job of summing up this frustrating dynamic. “The jobs/GDP disparity results from the God-awful productivity record of the past five years,” Wieseman noted. Over that period, productivity has limped upwards at an 0.4-percent annualized rate.

“The only other five-year period that’s ever been worse was that through mid-1982, which included two recessions and the peak of the Great Inflation.”

In other words, the U.S. economy is desperately lacking in growth industries and will continue shooting blanks until that changes.

Comments

  • GrandpaBrianGrandpaBrian Posts: 679 Silver ✭✭✭✭
    I too wrote about the growing dangers in the auto market...

    http://www.thebitgoldfiles.com/#!The-Trouble-With-Setting-Records/c1q8z/568bed270cf276c4b01e9bb4

    Subprime car loans and student loans are trillion dollar powder kegs.
  • 1halfcockedRooster1halfcockedRooster Posts: 97 Tin ✭
    Nice writing GramdpaBrian thanks
    as I drive to the grocery story and everyone but me is driving a 30-60k new truck .
  • 1halfcockedRooster1halfcockedRooster Posts: 97 Tin ✭
    Economist John Williams of Shadowstats.com with a characteristically non-sanguine stance on the economy.
    Global QE operations are detrimental, meant only for temporary banking system support, as a result long-term QE operations have caused economic dependence.
    The low rate methodology is particularly deleterious for retiree's, many of whom
    House loans are challenging to procure; 25% of existing house sales are cash transactions, indicating nervousness on the part of lenders.
    Our guest expects Fed policymakers to revamp QE operations to prevent a systemic collapse in the US dollar.
    Anything to avoid a Great Deflation - sending inflation to much higher levels.
    The action fails to address the Fiscal spending / monetary debt issues. John Williams favors physical bullion, gold / silver sovereign coins over bullion bars.
    The host / guest agree that as the dollar slide begins in earnest, WTIC, crude oil prices will rebound in spectacular fashion.
    When the unscrupulous share buyback effects are removed from US stock indexes, clearly market momentum has stalled.
    The US economy never truly recovered from the 2008 Great Recession and could roll over into a similar scenario.
    The host notes that the US has been in a recession since the year 2000, when the GDP is properly adjusted for inflation - the guest responds that the current economic quagmire is comparable to the Great Depression (Figure 1.1.).
    The reason why it has not been recognized by the mainline media as a Great Depression, is due to government subsidies.
    Without such programs, lines would form miles long around national soup kitchens.
    John Williams views gold and silver as the ultimate investment portfolio hedging components - essential balancing mechanisms.
    Not only joins the chorus of leading financial pundits, but projects the voice above them all, calling for $100,000-$1,000,000 per ounce gold.


    Economist John Williams of Shadowstats.com a characteristically non-sanguine stance on the economy. Global QE operations are detrimental, meant only for temporary banking system support. Long-term QE operations have caused economic dependence. The low rate methodology is particularly deleterious to retiree's, many of whom require reasonable interest rates for a well-deserved retirement, especially given the substantial empirical inflation in consumer goods. House loans are challenging, 25% of existing house sales are cash transactions, indicating nervousness on the part of lenders as well as borrowers. Our guest expects Fed policymakers to revamp QE operations to prevent a systemic collapse in the US dollar, anything to avoid a Great Deflation - sending inflation to much higher levels. Nevertheless, the action fails to address the Fiscal spending / monetary debt issues. John Williams favors physical bullion, gold / silver sovereign coins over bullion bars, to facilitate ease of sale when needed. The host / guest agree that as the dollar slide begins in earnest, WTIC, crude oil prices will rebound in spectacular fashion. In addition, when the unscrupulous share buyback effects are removed from US stock indexes, the market momentum has stalled. Case in point, the US economy never truly recovered from the 2008 Great Recession and could not be rolling over into a similar scenario. The host notes that the US has been in a recession since the year 2000, when the GDP is properly adjusted for inflation - the guest responds that the current economic quagmire is comparable to the Great Depression (Figure 1.1.). The reason why it has not been recognized by the mainline media as a Great Depression, is due to government subsidies, such as the 50 million food stamp debit cards. Without such programs, lines would form miles long around national soup kitchens. John Williams views gold and silver as the ultimate investment portfolio hedging components - essential balancing mechanisms. Our guest not only joins the chorus of leading financial pundits, but projects the voice above them all, calling for $100,000-$1,000,000 per ounce gold as a reality when the US dollar collapse is complete.
  • 1halfcockedRooster1halfcockedRooster Posts: 97 Tin ✭
    The little April fools day kinda got me excited for a minute during the talk with Eric .
  • 1halfcockedRooster1halfcockedRooster Posts: 97 Tin ✭
    In this world of trying I think when I go fishing I like to talk about the ones I caught and not of the negative of what could have almost happened , that is why I teach my grand children fishing lets change the world and not think and talk about bulloney .
    It seams in this platform and the platform of the world that negative and war with business begets the same and we the people of the world don't seam to mature much . (blah blah blah business as usual . All in all think it is a good company with good hearted beliefs and that is refreshing in a world of misunderstanding . So I take a few gold-worms and go deposit fishing even though I tell them we can't take them home we half to put em back in and let them grow so when your older you can catch a big one .
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