Friday, September 21, 2012

Recession Signs Abound For Dummies

The "Dummies" book series is popular because it doesn't insult it's readers intelligence.  I don't insult my readers because they're intelligent enough to get my analysis and humor.  The people I do insult are too dumb to ever read my blog.  This post is about them; more specifically, it's about a few signs of a renewed recession that they'll probably miss, because they're dumb.

The WTO is downgrading its global trade forecast for 2013.  I'm puzzled by their continued insistence on some growth rather than none.  They've caught on to all the noise made by doom and gloom prognosticators who will soon be hailed as prophetic.  It's funny to recall the chatter from a few years ago about how the world's economies were supposed to decouple, mainly from portfolio managers looking to validate their theories about geographic diversification.  The only useful diversification for the next few years will be in currencies not linked to the dollar or euro, or in countries with economies focused on natural resource production.  Everything else remains coupled due to central banks' foolish penchant for monetary stimulus.

A majority of U.S. states is now reporting rising jobless numbers.  These numbers won't be counted in federal unemployment statistics because the DOL's economists are more skilled at massaging unpleasant data than the amateurs in state capitals.  Look for more dine-in restaurants to start accepting EBT payments, because catering to welfare recipients is a growth industry.

Every baseless rescue announcement in 2008 pumped the stock market up until the unavoidable liquidity crisis hit in September.  The same nonsense is happening now, with European stocks rising on pump promises that can't be fulfilled without destroying the euro.  Equity markets move in one direction while macroeconomic data moves the other way.  Only dummies would ignore these clearly marked warning signs of a big fat global recession.  Count on Wall Street analysts to stay bullish and money managers to keep buying equities and fixed income.  They're dumb.