ECONOMICS: Confusion reigns. Outlook for late-2010/early 2011


Bill4DogCatcher.com continues to recommend: Pay down debt. Avoid new debt. Build up a cash reserve. Expect that now is as good as it gets until 2013 or 2014 at the earliest.

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Gold hit a record high earlier today at $1,280/oz, jumping 2.5% in value. Gold going up in value is usually a bad thing … unless you already own lots of gold. Gold tends to indicate concern about where the economy is going. Source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-futures-climb-as-much-as-4-on-globex-2010-09-20

On the other hand, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) has determined that the recession ended back in June of 2009. The NBER, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit group entrusted by the government with determining when recessions begin and end. The Cambridge, Ma.-based group includes leading economists in business, academia and trade unions.  

We are now four quarters past the "official" end of the recession. The feeling is kinda like have been pushed to the edge of a cliff, teetering and being thankful that you didn't go over. But now that I think about it, I have a very unstable feeling and I haven't moved from the edge of the cliff. Help! Source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-recession-ended-june-2009-nber-says-2010-09-20

That hanging on the edge of a cliff feeling seems well spread around. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo (WF) housing market index remained at 13 in September, tying the August reading for the worst showing since March 2009 and coming in below MarketWatch-compiled economist estimates for a reading of 14. March 2009 was pre-end-of-recession. In some ways things in the housing industry are getting worse — and out in the American west the NAHB/WF index is just 8 … barely half of not good. Source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/home-builder-index-stuck-at-multi-month-lows-2010-09-20

With all of this in mind I decided to stop over at economist Nourel Roubini's homepage over at http://www.roubini.com — Dr. Roubini is credited with having been fairly accurate about 2007's Great Recession prior to it hitting. Of course, if you stand in  room full of economists I guess that you will always meet one that seems to be right … at that moment. Still, I like Roubini. He tends to talk in specifics.

Roubini's assessment as of September 16th: "The global multispeed recovery turning into a slowdown, in line with our “Year of Two Halves” theme."

The “Year of Two Halves” theme for 2010 = First half better than the second half. A race to the bottom as it were.

As Roubini explains it: “Given political and fiscal constraints and banks’ unwillingness to lend, we remain doubtful of the potential for policy to prevent a double dip. Even a new round of monetary and quantitative easing can provide limited stimulus. The real issue facing the U.S. is the need for balance sheet deleveraging and repair, and that will be a multi-year process. The U.S. must brace itself for a long period of below-potential growth.”

Source: http://www.dailymarkets.com/stock/2010/09/02/roubini-no-chance-of-a-v-shaped-recovery/

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Bill4DogCatcher.com is Bill Golden, an independent, conservative observer of politics, economics and trends. Not a wingnut but a pragmatist and a centrist as to how America should move forward.

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