Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Stock market bubble fueled by printed money

So the Dow Jones has hit 15,000, it was 14,000 just over two months ago, with the S & P reaching a record level, the FTSE is at its highest since 2007, and the German DAX index reaching levels not seen since before the global financial crisis.

It is like the crisis didn't happen, but oddly enough there isn't a huge amount of evidence to demonstrate that this is due to performance, rather than cheap credit.

Yes there has been a bit of a recovery, and yes some stock prices were low compared to expected revenues.

"Ultra-loose and interventionist monetary policy globally is one of the main causes of this resurgence. Pretending that it isn’t, and that economies – even those like America’s which have liquidated many past malinvestments – could immediately and easily readjust to neutral interest rates and zero intervention is a dangerous delusion.

Much of the central-bank induced madness that led to the last two bubbles is reaching ever more dangerous proportions, not least the Fed’s hubristic determination to prop up markets..."

It was the perpetual issuing of fiat money by central banks that fueled the crisis, with CPI inflation hidden by a combination of plummeting prices from Chinese imports (a scenario that has come to an end, as China no longer offers lower costs) and the inflation being largely seen in stock and property prices.

The new bubbles will be stores of future problems. 

Increases in stock prices due to good performance and optimistic earnings based on improved productivity and market growth are one thing,  increases due to banks, flooded with cheap money from central banks, seeking somewhere to put it, are another.

No one has learned anything.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Not all austerity is equal...

Allister Heath of City AM:

Spending cuts are austerity of the public sector  (as it has to reduce its activity)

Tax increases are austerity of the private sector

Think about which one is more likely to decrease employment, and which one is more likely to reduce economic growth.