Monday, October 15, 2012

Financial Sarcasm Roundup for 10/15/12

Clueless consumers are more divorced from reality than ever as their optimism rises to a five-year high.  Maybe that's the 47% of the voting populace that is steeped in victimhood and needs an endless stream of government handouts to sustain their household spending.  I don't see how a macroeconomic report on sentiment can help an incumbent, since it only reaches high-information voters who have already made up their minds.  Low-information voters won't understand the content.

The IMF is now mouthing support for "growth" out of fear.  The demonstrations in Spain and Greece now have Eurocrats fearing for their lives.  Do the math and you'll find that European debtor nations can't grow their way out of their debts.  The IMF knows this and is putting new memes into play, partly to avoid blame when the demonstrations hit Berlin and Brussels.  This position is intended for headline play and public consumption.  Now the other shoe drops.  The IMF warns debtor nations to "grow" by delaying sudden fiscal balance for as long as possible.  Following the urge to "act decisively" means forcing balanced budgets that will destroy growth in the short term.  The cognitive dissonance inside IMF headquarters must be deafening.  Words are all they have left, until the Fed launches its swap lines with the ECB.

Actually, I take that back.  Rhetoric isn't the only tool policymakers have left in Europe.  They also have fraudulent accounting.  The EU may delay Basel rules on bank capital adequacy for a year.  That's great news for bank executives running scams.

China has new lies to tell the world about its export growth.  Someone in the Politburo freaked out when they realized the word was getting out about the country's unrealistic growth estimates, so they've doubled down and told bigger lies than ever.  There must be some kind of uneasy symbiosis between the Wall Street pumpers who keep pushing the discredited China growth story and Chinese Communist Party hacks who want the foreign investment to keep coming.  I got off that merry-go-round.  China also lies about its inflation rate decelerating.

If all of this lying, fraud, and wishful thinking makes you sick then you're my kind of person.  If you're also an attractive woman then you should contact me immediately for some fun times.