Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Hope for the best, plan for the worst (3)

Last April, the US personal savings rate hit a historic 33%. CNBC, May 29: “There is a tremendous uncertainty and virus fear that is lingering and that is restraining people’s desire to go out and spend as they normally would,” said Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics.”

Saving money makes sense when some 1 in 4 American workers is out of a job (eg, CNN). A May 19 Forbes article gives “3 Reasons Unemployment Is Already At Great Depression Levels” and mentions: “It is estimated that unemployment hit 24.9% during the Great Depression”. Please also read Note 2, below the video.

Obviously, huge unemployment and saving – rather than spending – money must have an impact on any economy. Axios, June 3: “The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow tracker estimates that real GDP growth in the second quarter will decline by -52.8%. [] That estimate is down from -51.2% on May 29 and -40.4% on May 28.”

Despite the above, global stock markets have been going upwards. Its most likely explanation is the ginormous money supply by central banks (eg, ECB, Fed). Their excessive buying of any financial asset will decrease market interest levels and/but increase asset inflation. Contrary to other types of inflation, asset price inflation is viewed as a profit. See my 2019 blog: The inflation conundrum.

Early June, the FT warned that “Wall Street strategists say dollar could be set for ‘dramatic’ falls“. FT: “Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup have all argued that the long-term dollar rally may finally come to an end. Analysts have noticed that several US dollar supports have recently disappeared or started to shake.”

Like many others, I’ve long been expecting a dollar depreciation. The Modern Monetary Theory may argue that government budget deficits are fine but that assumption only holds as long as there is trust. Once trust is gone then USA is like an emperor without clothes. NYT, June 3:

“Now there is a sense of America’s weaknesses being exposed, and a feeling that the emperor has no clothes,” given the virus and the riots, one former Obama official said.”

Any dollar decline (compared to other currencies) would cause an outflow of money (and eventually a foreign sale of US assets) in order to avoid currency (translation) losses. The US might even be forced to increase interest rates to slow the dollar decline, at the expense of economic recovery. Such a scenario is similar to the Turkish lira, including its 2018 Turkish currency and debt crisis.

I Need A Dollar (2010) by Aloe Blacc

artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Bad times are coming and I reap what I done sowed (Hey, hey) 

Well let me tell you something, all that glitters ain’t gold (Hey, hey) 

It’s been a long old trouble, long old troublesome road 

And I’m looking for somebody come and help me carry this load

Note 1: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

Note 2:

Subsequent to writing this blog, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics announced surprising job numbers for May 2020. It appears that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has caused the substantial rise in employment of 2.5 million people while a significant rise in unemployment was expected. The duration of this rise in employment is, however, fully dependent on the (temporary) duration of the PPP.

Furthermore, several media, including this Washington Post article, have been reporting about “[a] ‘misclassification error’ [which] made the May unemployment rate look better than it is”.

Lastly, there is still a huge gap of nine (9) million people between the (lower number of) people reported as unemployed and the (higher number of) unemployed people receiving unemployment benefits (eg, Axios Markets 5 June, Axios Markets 8 June, Axios Markets 12 June).

Hence, I think, feel and believe that using 25% unemployment in this blog is justified given the additional information in Note 2 above.


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