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One of the more remarkable events this year has been the new record highs achieved by the major averages despite steadily and repeatedly falling earnings and revenues, the Standard and Poors 500 companies have racked up 5 and 6 consecutive quarterly declines respectively. This against a clearly deteriorating economy whose problems are of a structural as opposed to cyclical nature. Meaning that they are caused by long term fundamental trends related to excessive debt, ZIRP or Zero Interest Rate Policies and demographics amongst other items. The recent mea culpa contained in the latest FOMC or Federal Open Market Committee meeting announcement saw the Federal Reserve lower its forecast for long run economic growth to less than 2% annually, incidentally this is the level they have claimed for some years now would be required for them to raise interest rates. A basic long held tenet of economics is that beyond a certain point debt and its related service costs crowd out investment, consumption and economic growth. Looking at the data over the last 30-years or so and particularly in the last 10-years and it’s a relationship that’s hard to miss. Why our economic and political leadership fails to see this and continues to encourage the same failed bubbelicious debt based growth economic model is beyond me.

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