JAMES RICKARDS: Watch out
BSSB.BE Economic Discussion 24.04.2018
EX-USSR Europe USA
*There are four major factors driving the market. The factors are growth, trade wars, geopolitics and regulation of technology.
Each of the four factors has its own internal contradictions, in effect a binary outcome for each. This means there are 16 possible paths the market might follow (24 = 16). No wonder the market acts confused.
With regard to growth, the bulls expect a boost from the Trump tax cuts. They are also anticipating inflation due to strong job creation, rising labor force participation and a low unemployment rate. They expect interest rates to rise but consider this more a sign of economic strength than a cause for concern.
Strong growth is good for corporate earnings, and a little inflation is usually good for nominal stock prices, at least in the early stages. The bull case for growth is a curious mixture of the Phillips curve and the Laffer curve.
Bears point to an economic slowdown in the first quarter (most projections are around 2% or less). This is consistent with the dismal average of 2.1% growth since the end of the last recession in June 2009.
Stronger growth is impeded by demographic and debt head winds and the impact of Chinese labor and technology on global pricing power. Tax cuts are not expected to help, because the drag on growth caused by increased debt will outweigh any stimulus from lower taxes.
The Fed is giving a weak economy a double dose of tightening in the form of rate hikes and the unprecedented destruction of base money as they unwind QE. The Fed will probably push the economy to the brink of recession before they get the message and pause on rate hikes.
- The publication is not an editorial. It reflects solely the point of view and argumentation of the author. The publication is presented in the presentation. Start in the previous issue. The original is available at: Economic Discussion