Posts Tagged ‘Steve Keen’

Back to the Future?

Back to the Future?

Courtesy of Steve Keen in Debtwatch

HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 16:  Actor Michael J Fox   who attended the launch party of the 'Back to the Future' DVD release held at Universal Studios on December 16, 2002 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Things are looking grim indeed for the US economy. Unemployment is out of control—especially if you consider the U-6 (16.7%, up 0.2% in the last month) and Shadowstats (22%, up 0.3%) measures, which are far more realistic than the effectively public relations U-3 number that passes for the “official” unemployment rate (9.6%, up 0.1%).

The US is in a Depression, and the sooner it acknowledges that—rather than continuing to pretend otherwise—the better. Government action has attenuated the rate of decline, but not reversed it: a huge fiscal and monetary stimulus has put the economy in limbo rather than restarting growth, and the Fed’s conventional monetary policy arsenal is all but depleted.

This prompted MIT professor of economics Ricardo Cabellero to suggest a more radical approach to monetary easing, in a piece re-published last Wednesday in Business Spectator (reproduced from Vox). Conventional “Quantitative Easing” involves the Treasury selling bonds to the Fed, and then using the money to fund expenditure—so public debt increases, and it has to be serviced. We thus swap a private debt problem for a public one, and the boost to spending is reversed when the bonds are subsequently retired. Instead, Caballero proposes

a fiscal expansion (e.g. a temporary and large cut of sales taxes) that does not raise public debt in equal amount. This can be done with a “helicopter drop” targeted at the Treasury. That is, a monetary gift from the Fed to the Treasury. (Ricardo Caballero)

The government would thus spend without adding to debt, with the objective of causing inflation by having “more dollars chasing goods and services”. This is preferable to the deflationary trap that has afflicted Japan for two decades, and now is increasingly likely in the US. So on the face of it, Cabellero’s plan appears sound: inflation will reduce the real value of financial assets, shift wealth from older to younger generations, and stimulate both supply and demand by making it more attractive to spend and invest than to leave…
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Naked Capitalism and My Scary Minsky Model

Naked Capitalism and My Scary Minsky Model

Courtesy of Steve Keen at Debtwatch

I met with Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism on the weekend, at a superb Japanese restaurant that only New York locals could find (and I’ll keep its location quiet for their benefit–too much publicity could spoil a spectacular thing). Yves was kind enough to post details of my latest academic paper at her site in a post she entitled “Steve Keen’s scary Minsky model“.

Yves found the model scary, not because it revealed anything about the economy that she didn’t already know, but because it so easily reproduced the Ponzi features of the economy she knows so well.

I have yet to attempt to fit the model to data–and given its nonlinearity, that won’t be easy–but its qualitative behavior is very close to what we’ve experienced. As in the real world, a series of booms and busts give the superficial appearance of an economy entering a “Great Moderation”–just before it collapses.

The motive force driving the crash is the ratio of debt to GDP–a key feature of the real world that the mainstream economists who dominate the world’s academic university departments, Central Banks and Treasuries ignore. In the model, as in the real world, this ratio rises in a boom as businesses take on debt to finance investment and speculation, and then falls in a slump when things don’t work out in line with the euphoric expectations that developed during the boom. Cash flows during the slump don’t allow borrowers to reduce the debt to GDP ratio to the pre-boom level, but the period of relative stability after the crisis leads to expectations–and debt–taking off once more.

Ultimately, such an extreme level of debt is accumulated that debt servicing exceeds available cash flows, and a permanent slump ensues–a Depression.

There are 4 behavioural functions in the model that mimic the behaviour of the major private actors in the economy–workers, capitalists and bankers. Workers wage rises are related to the level of employment and the rate of inflation; capitalists investment and debt repayment plans are related to the rate of profit; and the willingness of banks to lend is also a function of the rate of profit.…
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Steve Keen on Max Keiser

Steve Keen on Max Keiser

Courtesy of Tim Iacono at The Mess that Greenspan Made

Max Keiser and and Stacy Herbert talk about a number of topics including Charlie Munger’s must-read commentary from earlier in the week "Basically, It’s Over" and then Steve Keen is interviewed starting at about the 12 minute mark.

The discussion about the impact of the China slowdown on the Australian economy is well worth a close listen since you don’t hear too much about it these days. It seems the economy down under is still viewed as some sort of a miracle system that escaped recession back in 2008-2009 and has only blue skies ahead.


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Steve Keen: Debt and the economy – how do we pay for all of this?

Steve Keen: Debt and the economy – how do we pay for all of this?

Via Edward Harrison at Credit Writedowns

 


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A Sobering Dose of Reality from Economist Steve Keen

Courtesy of inoculatedinvestor

Tired of the same old US-based bears such as Nouriel Roubini, Peter Schiff and Doug Kass? Sick of hearing the US is in deep trouble argument from Marc Faber and ex-pat Jim Rogers? Then, for those of you who are not familiar with the most outspoken Australian Nostradamus, let me introduce you to economist Steve Keen. Keen is one person who can legitimately contend that he saw the crisis coming and even warned about the potential impacts extensively on his website. Keen’s writings serve as another example of how nonsensical the claim is that “no one could have seen this coming;” a refrain that you hear from politicians around the world who want to remain blameless for the current economic calamity. Keen is a straight shooter who pulls no punches in his criticisms of other economists, political leaders, and central bankers all over the globe.  The reason it is important to listen to him now is that he is still pounding the table about the debt overhang that is plaguing the Anglo-Saxon world. Unlike the bubble-perpetuating pundits you see on CNBC, Keen does not believe economies can recover from the implosion of a debt bubble by printing money or through just the passage of time. As such, he happens to believe that both the US and Australia are on an unsustainable path that may lead to an even larger crash.

I have embedded a video below of a must watch presentation from Keen. Here is a preview of some of the topics covered and associated commentary:

·         Amusing and condescending explanation of the fact that Milton Friedman was not a Keynesian economist (as some professor named Joshua Gans had stated the day before)

o    In fact, according to Keen calling Friedman a Keynesian is like calling the devil one of God’s angels

§  Calling Friedman a Keynesian is an insult to real Keynesians such as Minsky

·         Discussion of the delusional theories espoused by Friedman and the other neo-classical economists who completely missed the crisis and whose ideas do not share anything in common with reality

o    Neo-classical models cannot endogenously produce a
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Is Debt-Deflation Just Beginning?

Is Debt-Deflation Just Beginning?

deflationCourtesy of Mish 

Last Thursday I received an email from David Meier, Associate Advisor at the MotleyFool concerning Debt-Deflation.

David asked if I had any comments on his article Debt-deflation: Just the beginning? Here is a partial listing:

The debate rages on.

Is inflation or deflation the bigger threat? There are lots of people — lots of smart people — on both sides of the debate and they present lots of good arguments. One thing that I have not seen — and maybe I just missed it — was an analysis using Irving Fisher’s debt-deflation framework. So I decided to put one together myself and to inject my understanding of what Bernanke is try to do to stop deflation from taking hold.

The question I keep coming back to, especially as I read more about the situation Japan faced (I’m reading everything I can by Richard Koo, including his book "The Holy Grail of Macroeconomics."

And just to make sure I am not being one-sided, I am countering my fears of deflation with "Monetary Regimes and Inflation" by Peter Bernholz, which should arrive next week.

Without further ado, below is my research on debt-deflation.

Dave

Dave’s research is a 70 Slideshow Page On Debt-Deflation that is easy enough to read or download from Scribd.

Here is my response ….

You should not be afraid of deflation.

You should be afraid of policies attempting to fight it.

Deflation (rather price deflation) is actually the natural state of affairs. As productivity increases, more goods and services are produced relative to the population and prices would therefore be expected to drop.

It is the Fed, along with misguided Keynesian and Monetarist economists who think falling prices are a bad thing. Who amongst us does like falling prices (except of course on things we own like houses, but even then who is not sick of higher property taxes that result)?

The reality is inflation benefits those with first access to money. Guess who that is? The answer is easy: banks, government, and the already wealthy. Inflation is actually a tax on the middle class and the poor who get access to money last. During the housing bubble, by the time the poor could get access to to money easily, it was far too late to buy.

Given that inflation


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Is Pent-Up Inflation From Fed Printing Waiting On Deck?

Is Pent-Up Inflation From Fed Printing Waiting On Deck?

Courtesy of Mish

Inquiring minds are wondering about the possibility of "pent-up" inflation from the massive expansion money supply by the Fed. Our search for the truth starts with the question "Which Comes First: The Printing or The Lending?"

This is a critical question given the massive expansion of base money by the Fed as shown in the following chart.

Base Money Supply

Since the beginning of the recession, the Fed has expanded base money supply from $800 billion to $1.7 trillion. Conventional wisdom suggests this money is going to come soaring into the economy at any second causing hyperinflation on the notion banks will lend out 10 times the amount of reserves.

So is this pent-up inflation just waiting to break out?

Hardly.

A funny thing happened to the inflation theory: Banks aren’t lending and proof can be found in excess reserves at member banks.

Excess Reserves

Banks are Insolvent, Consumers Tapped Out

Because of rising credit card defaults, commercial real estate defaults, foreclosures, walk-aways, and other bad debts, banks need those reserves to cover future losses.

In practice, banks are insolvent, unable or unwilling to lend. Moreover, tapped out consumers are unable or unwilling to borrow. As a result, Spending Collapses In All Generation Groups.

Bernanke can flood the world with "reserves" and indeed he has. However, he cannot force banks to lend or consumers to borrow.

Yet every day someone comes up with another convoluted theory about how inflationary this all is. It is certainly "distortionary" in that it creates problems down the road and prolongs a real recovery by keeping zombie banks alive (as happened in Japan). However, it is not (in aggregate) going to cause massive inflation because it is not spurring the creation of new debt.

Consumers and banks both are suffering from a massive hangover. Their willingness and ability to drink is gone. No matter how many pints of whiskey Bernanke sets in front of someone passed out on the floor, liquor sales will not rise.

In a debt-based economy, it is extremely difficult to produce inflation if consumers will not participate. And as noted above, demographics and attitudes strongly suggest consumers have had enough of debt and spending sprees.

Those pointing to flawed measures of money supply as proof of inflation just don’t get it,


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Global Debt Bubble, Causes and Solutions

Global Debt Bubble, Causes and Solutions

Courtesy of Mish

Australian economist Steve Keen is one of the very few who have called this economic crisis correctly. What distinguishes Keen is that his economic forecasts are based on levels of debt and changes in levels of debt as opposed to money supply, output capacity and other things that led most economists astray.

The following video is about 19 minutes long but very much worth listening to in entirety, improving as it goes along. The video may take a while to load but it’s well worth it. Everything below in quotes, until the next bold title is a partial transcript from the video.

Steve Keen:

"If you have a sane economy, and by sane economy I mean one which is not addicted to debt, not a Ponzi economy, then the change in debt each year should contribute a minor amount to demand. Therefore, if you tried to correlate debt to the level of unemployment you would not find much of a correlation. Unfortunately that is not the economy we live in."

deleveraging driven downturn

"The red line shows the percent contribution that debt contributes to demand and the blue line which is inverted is the unemployment rate."

"There should be no correlation if the economy is operating sensibly. Correlation is now at the level of 83%. Because we have a debt driven economy, the change in debt levels each year is the major determinant in the change in economic performance."

"Neoclassical economic theory is dangerous. Neoclassical economists completely missed this crisis. My favorite statement comes from the OECD in its June 2007 report"

" A recent survey trying to find economists who predicted this found 12. And there are 10,000-15,000 economists in the US alone which is why I don’t particularly accept their assurances that everything is OK from now on."

"Now why are economists so ignorant? Two major reasons. First of all the type of modeling they do is static where you ignore time, or if you have dynamics you assume they are converging to some nice stable situation in the future. And they ignore almost completely the role of credit and debt."

"I probably win the Dr. Doom award around the planet these days now that Nouriel Roubini is expecting the recession will end in about 6 months time. I…
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Zero Hedge

It's "The 1%" vs Everyone Else: FAAMG Earnings Soar As Russell 2000 EPS Growth Craters

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

The earnings recession which lasted for all of 2019, is finally coming to an end. According to Factset, with a majority of companies reproting, the blended earnings growth rate for the S&P 500 for the fourth quarter is 0.7% as of February 7. This growth rate is above the estimated earnings decline of -1.7% at the end of the quarter (December 31).

More importantly, if 0.7% remains the actual growth rate for Q4...



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Phil's Favorites

Bloomberg Has Built a Star Wars Machine to Try to Steal the Democratic Nomination

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Michael Bloomberg

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg is used to getting his way. After serving two terms as New York City’s Mayor as a Republican, he used his own vast stash of cash to repeal term limits and give himself another four-year term, running as an Independent. Now he has promised to do the unprecedented: spend $1 billion of his own money to install himself as President of the United States, running on the Democratic ticket.

Bloomberg’s campaign increasingly resembles an octopus with money gushing out of its tentacles into anything and everything that will inject Mic...



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Insider Scoop

AMX Buys Fellow Alabama Company Powell, Adds Reefer Capacity

Courtesy of Benzinga

Alabama Motor Express will push deeper into the refrigerated business with purchase of Powell Transport Solutions.

The acquisition, announced earlier this week, will bring 35 refrigerated trailers to AMX, the company said in a statement. A spokeswoman for AMX, in response to questions submitted by FreightWaves, said the company's business is currently about 10% refrigerated. The AMX fleet before the acquisition was 210 trailers, she said.

Powell's business is 100% refrigerated, according to the...



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Biotech & Health

Coronavirus: the blow to the Chinese economy could be felt for years

 

Coronavirus: the blow to the Chinese economy could be felt for years

Courtesy of Chusu He, Coventry University

Investors are still being fairly complacent about the novel coronavirus. After the number of new daily cases suddenly shot up to more than 15,000 on February 12 following more than a week of decline, there were some jitters in the markets. With Chinese authorities saying the increase was due to a decision to broaden the definition for diagnosing people, there were falls in the region of 1% in European markets, and smaller retrenchments in Asia and North America.

It is...



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Members' Corner

How to Stop Bill Barr

 

How to Stop Bill Barr

We must remove this cancer on our democracy.

Courtesy of Greg Olear, at PREVAIL, author of Dirty Rubles: An Introduction to Trump/Russia

...



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The Technical Traders

Is The Technology Sector Setting Up For A Crash? Part I

Courtesy of Technical Traders

One thing that continues to amaze our research team is the total scale and scope of the Capital Shift which is taking place across the globe.  For almost 5+ years, foreign investors have been piling into the US stock market chasing the stronger US dollar and continued advancement of US share prices. It is almost like there is no other place on the planet that will allow investors to pool capital into such a variety of strong assets while protecting against foreign capital risks.  Yet the one big question remains – when will a price reversion event hit the US stock
market?

So many researchers, even our team of researchers, believe we have found the keys to unloc...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Joe Friday Says Germany (DAX) Could Rally 30%, Happy Valentines Day For The Bulls!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

German DAX Index “weekly” Chart

The German DAX is one of the more important global stock market indices, as it represents the largest economy / market in the Euro Zone.

So it would be a real treat for the bulls to see this stock market index breakout as we celebrate Valentine’s Day.

The facts, Ma’am. Just the facts; The German DAX looks to have formed a bullish ascending triangle over the past 3 years and it is currently attempting to breakout above the top at (1)....



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ValueWalk

Russell 2000 Index (RUT) hits an almost one-month high

By Gorilla Trades. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Ad the Russell 2000 Index (INDEXRUSSELL: RUT) hit an almost one-month high today, commenting on today’s trading Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman said:

Q4 2019 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Russell 2000 Index (INDEXRUSSELL: RUT) Outperforms Large-Cap Benchmarks

While the overnight session was nothing short of scary stocks held on to most of yesterday's gains and small-caps even extended their winning streak. The Russell 2000 Index (INDEXRUSSELL: RUT) hit an almost one-month high today, finishing higher for the fourth day in a row while outperforming the large-cap benchmarks, and since the Volatility...



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Chart School

Dow theory warning from the Utilities Index

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Charles Dow died in 1902, and the investors should thank him for his ever lasting Dow Theory Analysis.

Carrying on this blog theme looking at the Utility stocks. Previous post.
Dow Jones Utility index could trade like the FANGs
Formula for when the Great Stock Market Rally ends



You can learn about Dow Theory here

This post is concerned wi...

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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin Price May Hit $27K All-Time High By Summer, Predicts Fundstrat's Tom Lee

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by William Suberg via CoinTelegraph.com,

Bitcoin is primed for average gains of almost 200% over the next six months, one of its best-known supporters has told mainstream media. 

...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

 

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

Courtesy of  

The repo market problem isn’t the problem. It’s a sideshow, a diversion, and a joke. It’s a symptom of the problem.

Today, I got a note from Liquidity Trader subscriber David, a professional investor, and it got me to thinking. Here’s what David wrote:

Lee,

The ‘experts’ I hear from keep saying that once 300B more in reserves have ...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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