Brains Not Included

Cracked Up, Whacked Out and Completely Out of Control

As The World Turns

As The World Turns is a daytime drama that has been on for years. And as all soap operas are apt to do, the drama that unfolds on a daily basis is so complex and drastic as to be unbelievable. Well the same can be said for the World Economy…

In America we woke up this morning to news that the Swine Flu has broken out in Mexico and Mexico City is like a ghost town. Luckily the epidemic has only spread into 5 states in the U.S. and outbreaks here have been minor.

We also learned that the British Pound-Sterling will stay that way for quite some time. For better or for worse (I think for the better) the Brits will not acquiesce and diminish their economy even further by joining the EU and converting their currency to the Euro.

And yes, there’s even more world wide news, seems that China is developing even closer ties with Taiwan while property prices in Hong Kong are making a huge comeback.

So, why do I report all of these things going on around the world? It’s because they affect our bond market which ultimately affects the flow of capital and the interest rates we pay.

Weak Economies Follow the Strong

I wrote that article because many of the more liberal financial journalists were decrying our capitalist system and pointing to the strength of the EU and China and implying that their economic systems were superior to ours. In truth, these journalists with an agenda were wrong.

We don’t live in a vacuum and neither do our trading partners. Many bemoan the fact that America consumes so much, but we consume because our economy is so strong. What is happening to the world economy right now is a direct result of our economy losing it’s ability to consume.

So where is all this heading this morning? I’m not trying to make a political point here, I’m making a statement of fact. Property values in Europe have fallen and their banks are a mess. Their economic cycle follows ours by about 12-18 months.

Next it’s the BRIC economies …Brazil, Russia, India and China… These economies follow ours with a 20-24 month lag.

Stabilization is the Next Step

In the US we have seen a recent stabilization of property values and in the economy overall. Things may still be trending downward but not at as rapid a pace. The same is starting to happen in Europe, however, they still have a few big hits before they get to where we are.

But, China and the other BRIC nations are just starting to feel the heat. Remember earlier in this article I mentioned that property values in Hong Kong were on the rise? That’s because Hong Kong is one the few places in the world where the economy is somewhat insulated.

Their tax system (a consumption tax akin to the Fair Tax) has made the economy very insulated over the years. They follow patterns similar to the US so now that China is feeling the squeeze money is moving from China to Hong Kong!

What does all this mean to us …US…? It means this. We are getting close to the end of our economic down turn. Nobody knows if growth will be robust or sluggish, but that’s not the point. The point is we probably have one more big-hit coming and then we stabilize.

Ferocious Entrepreneurial Spirit!

This also proves another point. Many left-leaning ideologues would have us believe that capitalism can’t work without highly restrictive government oversight. But, they are wrong, capitalism works in spite of highly regulatory environments.

If you look at the data you will find that the government actions did very little to stop our precipitous fall. Some will argue that the TARP helped save banks, but did it really? Not all of the TARP money was even used.

The government still has hundreds of billions in unspent TARP money and the banks have stabilized. A very, very small percentage of the pork-filled, ear-mark laden, $800 billion dollar stimulus package has hit the economy. Yet, we are stabilizing.

The correction of the bubble in the economy was due to normal business cycles within the world wide Capitalist economy. No the ferocious entrepreneurial spirit will turn the American and World economies around despite the best efforts of central governments around the world and NOT because of them and their actions!


Filed under: Economics 101

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