Thursday, August 13, 2009

2Q rebound... but not for all

It doesn't quite count as an "I told you so", but the economic downturn of the last 4 quarters seems to have run its course right on schedule in those economies that haven't the reliance on the financial sector that Great Britain and the U.S. of A. have... or the degree of singleminded interventionism on the part of the government in "doing something" about the economy.

France and Germany exited the recession in the 2nd Quarter.

There is the concern that, even in those countries, the banking sector in particular is dependent on government protections and much of the rise in consumer activity is tied to some degree of stimulus spending... terms like "very fragile" are still being used to describe the recovery.

No such love is being shown to Gordon Brown's extravagant effort to mortgage the nation to "save" the economy, and there should still be alarms sounding over both the pace of new government spending in the U.S. *and* the need to sell an extraordinary volume of bonds before September 30th to pay for what is committed already... that bond sale succeeds, things may hold together for a while longer... *if it fails*, though, the Americans can expect a currency exchange collapse of epic proportions. Think 70 en (Yen) to the US$. Remember that the current ~95 to the dollar is almost 20 percent below nominal par for the currencies.

Yes, that last is a nightmare scenario.

Yes, if the Obama administration does not learn some economics very very quickly, that is where things are headed. Running the printing presses will do that to even the world's strongest economy.

All the petro-economies and the East Asian trading nations are not going to be happy if (when?) their foreign exchange holding devalue by another 20%.

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