Optimism has seized stock markets in the past month on the back of better economic data in the United States and a late-summer lull in the euro crisis. Market volatility is at its lowest level in years. [That being said, however,] BofA’s top economist Ethan Harris…thinks the U.S. economy is “in the eye of the storm” right now. Below is what Harris sees on the horizon. Words: 363
So says Matthew Boesler (www.businessinsider.com) in edited excerpts from his original article* entitled BofA: The US Economy Is ‘In The Eye Of The Storm’.
Lorimer Wilson, editor of www.FinancialArticleSummariesToday.com (A site for sore eyes and inquisitive minds) and www.munKNEE.com (Your Key to Making Money!), has edited the article below for length and clarity – see Editor’s Note at the bottom of the page. This paragraph must be included in any article re-posting to avoid copyright infringement.
Boesler goes on to say, in part:
Here’s what Harris sees on the horizon:
“We remain very concerned about the outlook. In our view, the markets have been lulled to sleep by a temporary remission in negative macro news….
We believe the Euro zone crisis is far from over. At this stage the policy pattern for Europe is well established:
A funding problem in one of the peripheral countries arises;
policy makers engage in brinkmanship with the core demanding austerity and the periphery demanding bailout;
the markets start to melt down;
policy makers do just enough to satisfy the markets, but not cure the underlying problem.
There is nothing merry about this go around. Over time it undercuts the foundations of the Euro zone. The economy steadily slides into recession, populist parties grow in strength and the markets become increasingly fragile. For the US and the rest of the world this means ongoing collateral damage, primarily through confidence and capital markets.
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The worst of the U.S. fiscal crisis also lies ahead. Note that in the uncertainty shock literature, the impact of the shock grows exponentially as the day of reckoning approaches. The cliff is slowly working its way into corporate thinking. The real test will come in the fourth quarter when the cliff will be just months away and the incentive to delay spending and investment decisions will peak.
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The timing is tough, but we would expect some…very soft numbers in the October to January period. We are keeping a close eye on corporate commentary, confidence surveys, indicators of hiring and capital goods orders.”
*Source of original article: http://www.businessinsider.com/bofa-us-economy-eye-of-the-storm-2012-8#ixzz24i77UKQm
Editor’s Note: The above post may have been edited ([ ]), abridged (…), and reformatted (including the title, some sub-titles and bold/italics emphases) for the sake of clarity and brevity to ensure a fast and easy read. The article’s views and conclusions are unaltered and no personal comments have been included to maintain the integrity of the original article.
We all know that high debt is a growth killer and, at the moment, the U.S. has a budget deficit of about $1 trillion. That’s a very big number…The question is, at what point do countries have to deal with high debt levels? How high do debt levels have to be before one has to deal with the problem by lowering budget deficits? Also, what are the consequences of such debt and budget reductions? Words: 500
Under current law, a sharp reduction in the federal budget deficit between 2012 and 2013 will cause the economy to contract but, the Congressional Budget Office projects, will also put federal debt on a path more likely to be sustainable over time. To illustrate the effects of fiscal tightening, CBO compared its projections under current law (the “baseline” projections) with projections under an alternative set of policies — two scenarios in a broad spectrum of choices – in the infographic below.
The U.S. federal government is scheduled to implement a fiscal tightening of unprecedented severity (approx. 5% of GDP) at the start of 2013. The last time a tightening of such proportions occurred (3% of GDP in 1969) it presaged a recession. Thus, unless mitigated by an act of Congress, we expect the fiscal cliff would lead the U.S. into a recession in 2013. Below, in 26 charts, we examine all aspects of the impending crisis to gauge its potential impact on the credit markets and, by extension, our strategic investment recommendations.
Unless the government acts quickly, it is probable that the term “fiscal cliff” will become a household phrase over the next few months. Unfortunately, this is reminiscent of the budget ceiling crisis about a year ago. In this report we will explain what the cliff is, discuss the worst case scenario, and determine what, if anything, you should do about it. Words: 1436
The International Monetary Fund, the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, the National Association of Manufacturers and many other authorities are now warning that with the largest tax increase in U.S. history — plus the largest government spending cuts our nation has ever seen – one of the deadliest financial crises in U.S. history is set to strike the U.S. economy beginning this coming New Year’s Day. Barring a miracle in Washington….. Words: 1028
There are several variations of Long Wave theory, but the most famous is based on the work of Nicolai Kondratieff, a Russian economist who gave the various stages seasonal names, with summer and autumn denoting the peak of financial speculation and winter the aftermath of the resulting crash. The conditions for a global catastrophic failure are in place. Snow (in the form of trillions of new dollars and euros) is falling. There’s no way to know which dollar (or which external event) will start the avalanche, but without doubt something will. [Let me expand on why I hold that view.] Words: 888
October has a well-deserved reputation of being a volatile month for the market. Historically, it is the second-worst performing month after September, and it has had its share of market meltdowns (1929, 1987). I don’t foresee anything that dramatic this October after the long rally. However, I think it is going to be a challenging month for investors for a variety of reasons. [Below are 10 reasons to be wary this October in particular.] Words: 498
In the financial world, the month of October is synonymous with stock market crashes. So will a massive stock market crash happen this year? You never know. Hopefully we’ll get through October (and the rest of this year) but, without a doubt, one is coming at some point. The truth of the matter is that our financial system is even more vulnerable than it was back in 2008 and, as such, many financial experts are warning that the next crash is rapidly approaching and that those on the wrong end of the coming crash are going to be absolutely wiped out. Let’s take a look at some of the financial experts that are predicting really bad things for our financial markets in the months ahead. Words: 1634
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when investors hear the word October? Ghoulish Halloween costumes? Nope. Memories of World Series heroics from slugger Reggie Jackson, better known as Mr. October? Nope. Stock market crashes? Bingo! Words: 1477
Based on the latest S&P 500 monthly data, [my analyses indicate that] the market is overvalued somewhere in the range of 33% to 51%, depending on which of 4 indicators I used. This is an increase over the previous month’s 31% to 48% range. [Let me explain the details.] Words: 475
“Portfolio managers have been swayed by hope over experience” when it comes to anticipating the effects the fiscal cliff will have on markets. Investors aren’t giving as much attention to the fiscal cliff as they should be, and that may be helping to set the markets up for a repeat of last year, when the debt ceiling negotiations sent stocks plummeting.
Back in April and May, it looked like the economy was falling apart, the euro was going to come unglued, and stocks were going to plunge. Sentiment was extremely bearish and volatility was jumping. Now in August, you can’t find a bear anywhere on Wall Street! Me? I continue to be worried about the likelihood of a sharp market decline this fall for several reasons which I share with you below. Words: 495
The six factors discussed in this article suggest a near-term peak for equity markets, avoiding fresh exposure to equities at these levels and selling some of one’s equity holdings. Long-term investors can still ignore the volatility and buy quality stocks, however, it would make more sense to buy the same stocks after the markets decline 10%-15% than buying it at current levels. [Let me explain more fully.] Words: 665
For over two years now, I’ve been warning that the 2008 Crash was just a warm up and that the REAL Crisis would occur when the stock market realized that the Central Banks, lead by the US Federal Reserve could NOT actually hold the financial system together. Well, the Crisis I’ve been warning about is here. [Let me explain.] Words: 306
I keep wondering to myself, do our money-printing central banks and their cheerleaders understand the full consequences of the monetary debasement they continue to engineer? [Below is what I think awaits us.] Words: 1013
The level of debt has surpassed the possibilities of being serviced. Mathematically, the debt problem cannot be solved, regardless of economic policies. That, unfortunately, is written. For it to be serviceable would be to violate the laws of mathematics and that cannot happen. [As such, America is quickly approaching a catastrophic economic collapse. As repelling as that sounds, it’s in your own best interest to learn just how bad the situation is. This article is an attempt to do just that.] Words: 310
The U.S. already has more government debt per capita than the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain) do and it just keeps getting worse and worse thanks to both political parties. We are on the road to national financial oblivion yet most Americans don’t seem to care. They don’t realize that we have enjoyed the greatest prosperity we will ever see…and that when the debt bubble bursts there is going to be an immense amount of pain. That is a very painful truth, but it is better to come to grips with it now than be blindsided by it later. [Let me explain.] Words: 1140
The deficits aren’t going to stop anytime soon. The debt mountain will keep growing…Obviously, the debt can’t keep growing faster than the economy forever, but the people in charge do seem determined to find out just how far they can push things….The only way for the politicians to buy time will be through price inflation, to reduce the real burden of the debt, and whether they admit it or not, inflation is what they will be praying for….[and] the Federal Reserve will hear their prayer. When will the economy reach the wall toward which it is headed? Not soon, I believe, but in the meantime there will be plenty of excitement. [Let me explain what I expect to unfold.] Words: 1833
…The US Government and its catastrophic fiscal morass are now viewed by the world as a ‘safe haven’. This would easily qualify for a comedy shtick if it weren’t so serious….[but] the establishment is thrilled with these developments because it helps maintain the status quo of the dollar standard era. However, there are some serious ramifications that few are paying attention to and are getting almost zero coverage from traditional media. [Let me explain what they are.] Words: 1150
With the U.S. election just months off, political pressures will mount to favor fiscal stimulus measures instead of restraint. Such action can only accelerate higher domestic inflation and intensified dollar debasement culminating in a Great Collapse – a hyperinflationary great depression – by 2014. [Let me explain why that is the inevitable outcome.] Words: 2766
The US Federal Reserve, which has been the life-support for the U.S. economy (for better or for worse), is finally discovering that its policies and theories don’t actually apply [in] the real world….This means that the primary prop underneath the U.S. stock market and financial system (namely Fed intervention) is slowly being removed. What follows will not be pretty and smart investors should be taking steps now to prepare in advance. Words: 350