06 February 2018

Charles Hugh Smith on economic fundamentals.

The past 9 years have been one long dead cat bounce of extend and pretend, i.e. do more of what's failed because to even admit the status quo is being undermined by fundamental forces would panic those gorging at the trough of the status quo's lopsided rewards.

This 9-year dead cat bounce was pure speculation driven by cheap central bank credit and liquidity. Demographics, environmental degradation, the decline of middle class security, the erosion of paid work, the bankruptcy of public and private pension plans, the global debt bubble, soaring wealth and income inequality, the corruption of democracy into a pay-to-play bidding war, the destruction of price discovery via market manipulation by those who have turned markets into signaling devices that all is well, the laughable distortion of statistics to mask the real world decline in our purchasing power (inflation is near-zero--really really really), the perverse incentives to leverage up bets in financial instruments that have no connection to the real-world economy--none of these have been addressed in the market melt-up.[1]

There's little evidence that anyone's minding the store. Government "unemployment" statistics are an unfunny joke. The presence of tens of thousands of U.S. factories in China, whom we have strengthened immensely thereby, doesn't seem to perturb anyone, not even unions.

Our higher education institutions fawn over foreigners who must pay the full freight of nation-destroying tuition costs. Young people start their "careers" carrying stupefying debt. Law school tuition for me in the early '70s was $3,000 a year. With my G.I. Bill stipend and active duty service in the Army Reserve during the summers, I graduated owing my sister $1,000 to make it through the last semester. I should pay her back someday.

And the Attorney General of the United States is more worried about pot than crucifying AntiFa scum. Street thugs and attacks on law-abiding citizens just don't concern law enforcement officials at any level of government. And the political establishment attitude toward open borders and nation-destroying, third-world invasion is "ho hum." Yes, that's working great.

I love Smith's "extend and pretend" expression. It succinctly expresses our present game plan. Which includes continuation of our bizarre foreign wars to the tune of $250,000,000 per bleeping day.

Oh well.

Notes
[1] "Is the 9-Year Long Dead Cat Bounce Finally Ending?" By Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds, 2/5/18.

Hat tip: ZeroHedge.

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