Monday, April 01, 2013

No fool'n on April Fools

So, as we all have a little fun trying to crush the self-esteeem of those around us; here is something to wipe the smile of you face.

In promoting his new book The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America, David Stockman puts out a marker that will make you ponder a little deeper the economic base everything is built on;
Over the last 13 years, the stock market has twice crashed and touched off a recession: American households lost $5 trillion in the 2000 dot-com bust and more than $7 trillion in the 2007 housing crash. Sooner or later — within a few years, I predict — this latest Wall Street bubble, inflated by an egregious flood of phony money from the Federal Reserve rather than real economic gains, will explode, too.

Since the S.&P. 500 first reached its current level, in March 2000, the mad money printers at the Federal Reserve have expanded their balance sheet sixfold (to $3.2 trillion from $500 billion). Yet during that stretch, economic output has grown by an average of 1.7 percent a year (the slowest since the Civil War); real business investment has crawled forward at only 0.8 percent per year; and the payroll job count has crept up at a negligible 0.1 percent annually. Real median family income growth has dropped 8 percent, and the number of full-time middle class jobs, 6 percent. The real net worth of the “bottom” 90 percent has dropped by one-fourth. The number of food stamp and disability aid recipients has more than doubled, to 59 million, about one in five Americans.

So the Main Street economy is failing while Washington is piling a soaring debt burden on our descendants, unable to rein in either the warfare state or the welfare state or raise the taxes needed to pay the nation’s bills. By default, the Fed has resorted to a radical, uncharted spree of money printing. But the flood of liquidity, instead of spurring banks to lend and corporations to spend, has stayed trapped in the canyons of Wall Street, where it is inflating yet another unsustainable bubble.
Read it all over at NYT.

I know, I know, he is selling a book, but ... when it comes to issues of debt and its impact long term - I consider Paul Krugman a negative indicator. In that light, Krugman is not happy with Stockman, so maybe we should read Stockman a bit closer.

I recommend that if you want a second opinion from the left side of things, this is a fair interview by Daniel Gross at The Daily Beast worth your time.

Always remember, without a sound economy - there is no sound military.

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