Friday, August 28, 2009

"We Are In A Death Spiral!"

So says retail analyst maven Howard Davidowitz, who observes that the consumer isn't consuming at anything like the rate he and she did just a few years ago. Too much debt coupled with poor job prospects will do that. Depending on one's vantage point, this is either very bad news or perhaps good news. It might be good news if it portends our culture possibly veering away from a profoundly wasteful and spiritually destitute way of life. The bad news is that with the consumer comprising 70% of the U.S. economy, the transition to a new and hopefully better mode of living will be quite rocky indeed.

In the meantime the powers that be are desperately trying to convince us and possibly themselves that "a recovery" is underway. The favored logic they tend to employ amounts to about as paltry and appalling a narrative as one can imagine. Here it is in a nutshell, and I emphasize the nut part of nutshell. A person with a severe and chronic drinking problem switches from a bottle of grain alcohol a day to a bottle of the grape. Voila, recovery! The MSM are flogging this less than compelling tripe anywhere they can, and the vast majority of the several thousand U.S. economists who didn't predict the most recent economic collapse are on board with it. Inter alia, new star economist Nouriel Roubini, who seems more or less in agreement with the recovery bandwagon, risks losing some substantial portion of the cred he earned by not being one of the multitude of economists who missed our financial and economic cliff dive by a country mile.

To return to the theme of the mortally wounded consumer briefly, one devoutly hopes that when all vestiges of green shoots are inevitably and unmistakably revealed to be brown weeds-the result of John and Jane consumer's persistently moribund condition- attempts to audit, if not completely do away with, the grotesque Federal Reserve System may finally achieve the impetus to reach escape velocity speed. Because right now, HR 1207 appears to be languishing in the bought and paid for (where it isn't simply a clueless and cowardly) Congress.


Glenn Atias said...

Yes, the consumer is down for the count and the boomers will not boom any more as retirement approaches.

As far as the Fed ..

When you have a shadowy institution that is able to grossly distort and manipulate markets, I'm not sure why the debate would be whether that institution should be subject to audit and control. The debate should be whether that institution should even be allowed to exist.

Right now we have PEs > 100 all over the place. The stock market is TARP-juiced, a generational ponzi scheme that's going to pop.

Ponzinomics is all we're getting from these shmucks. Let Bubble Blowing Ben go back to some ivy league hole somewhere and teach rich white kids paying $50,000 a year his wrong conclusions about the Great Depression. Or let him go be chief economist for BoA so he can teach them how to fly their business into the ground. But for god's sake .. get him out of tinkering with our society!

Edwardo said...

Well, said, Glenn. Thanks for stopping by.

DED said...

I think the efforts to audit the Fed are merely the first step in its eradication. The bill's proponents hope that by shining a light on the Fed they can show the public just how bad it is and convince them to eradicate it.

It's funny. The last admin spent all its time denying that we were in a recession and this admin spends all its time saying that we're out of it.