Monday, August 30, 2010

Japan and U.S. Offer More 'Stimulus You Can Believe In'

The 'Helicopter Economics Investing Guide' is meant to help educate people on how to make profitable investing choices in the current economic environment. We have coined this term to describe the current monetary and fiscal policies of the U.S. government, which involve unprecedented money printing. This is the official blog of the New York Investing meetup.

The mainstream media on Monday was hyping a Japanese expansion of a low-interest loan program to financial institutions after talking up Fed Chair Ben Bernanke's statement on Friday that the Fed "will do all that it can" to support the economy. Japanese stocks and U.S. stocks respectively rallied strongly on these essentially negative news items.

The Japanese have been trying to fix their economy for twenty years. They have engaged in one stimulus program after another after another after another after another and it's still dead in the water. Despite the repeated failure of the approach they have taken, this doesn't deter them from engaging in the same behavior again. There is no reason to believe things will be any different this time. Nevertheless, the mainstream media cues the cheerleaders and dutifully reports this as good news, instead of pointing out that the need for a new stimulus program indicates all the previous ones have not worked. That sounds like bad news to me.

The U.S. monetary and fiscal authorities seem to be doing their best to imitate the Japanese. The Fed though has only had three years to follow them on their road to perpetual economic failure. Bernanke's statement on Friday was made from the Fed's annual meeting at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which the media described as a 'confab' (confab is short for confabulation, which in psychiatry means 'the replacement of a gap in a person's memory by a falsification that he or she believes to be true' - unquestionably an important concept when dealing with establishment economists). What exactly was Bernanke implying when he said that the Fed would be doing all that it can to support the economy? Does this mean that it wasn't doing all that it could have done previously? In at least one sense the answer to that question is yes. The Fed could have opened the floodgates of uncontrolled money-printing and Bernanke was intimating that this is what is going to be happening in the future.

While the Fed and its cohorts in the economic community continue to maintain that there will be no double-dip recession, Intel threw some more cold water on this assumption on Friday. The tech bellwether sharply lowered its third quarter earnings expectations after raising them only a month earlier. PC sales have been running below previous forecasts. This is a strong blow to the U.S. economy since computer and software sales were up 24.9% in the second quarter GDP report. A drop to a negative number for this category could turn the entire third quarter GDP negative. But don't worry, Ben Bernanke will be handling the situation and we all know what an excellent job he's done previously in fixing the economy. Wait, isn't that a confabulation?

Disclosure: No positions

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer, New York Investing meetup

This posting is editorial opinion. There is no intention to endorse the purchase or sale of any security.

No comments: