The Ghost of ’37

With the Fed supposedly steeling itself at last to remove a little of its emergency ‘accommodation’, it has suddenly become fashionable to warn of the awful parallels with 1937, as the highly-respected Ray Dalio of Bridgewater has notably done.

That year, the story goes, the nation’s ascent from the depths of the Great Depression was aborted because the Fed ‘tightened’ and the government ‘cut spending’: a sharp recession was the immediate and highly avoidable result. Therefore, we are told, we must not act today.

We strongly refute the analogy: Fed actions were marginal and largely technical in nature while the real fiscal story was the rise in taxes, not any slashing of regular outlays

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Global M

As part of our analytical process, we frequently consult our proprietary estimate of global money supply, something we construct by combining the individual measures for 15 countries (strictly 33, since we include the euro as one of them) which together account for almost three-quarters of global output.

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Market Mayhem

Between Li Keqiang, Mario Draghi, and the BLS, markets everywhere had a wild ride into the weekend.

Starting east and working west, the upshot of the Chinese ‘Twin Sessions’ was a perseverance with the so-called ‘New Normal’ theme – namely, with the idea that headline, GDP-style growth should be lower in future with the emphasis shifting from brute volume to the encouragement of a shift in the productive structure towards the provision of higher-value added, more technology-rich goods, towards service in place of smokestacks, aall the better to spread the benefits of industrialization to the domestic populace.

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Money, Money, Money

As the title of the blog suggests, we pay close attention to developments in money and credit since the twin precepts of our outlook are that ‘the credit cycle IS the business cycle’ and that ‘silver [i.e., money] is the true sinews of the circulation’.

It is all very well for both macro-economists and stock-pickers to look at flows, but unless a weather eye is kept on how they are being financed and what that implies for the future vulnerabilities of the contracting parties, a very important element is being overlooked.

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