Monday, April 13, 2009

The mainstream media simply cannot stop looking for some good news in all of this. It may be my own observational bias, but every day seems to be another talking head or news article saying "could this be it?" or hoping that the upswing will begin soon.

Can't say I blame them, but my gut suggests that this is not over. First, now that this deleveraging has started, it's going to be difficult for them to stop it, although they are trying mighty hard. Secondly, perhaps deleveraging isn't a bad thing. If it means that regular citizens can live within their means, and that an average wage will buy an average house, then that may be the trendline we will regress to.

But also, demographic trends are conspiring to foil attempts to reinflate the economy. For boomers who were hoping to retire soon, but also just saw half their wealth evaporate, fancy new cars, techy toys, and housing renovation are likely to be last on their list of goals for the next 5 years. Especially considering that even without the great depression 2 setting in, we would be expecting that demographic to be downsizing from family houses to retirement houses right about now. That would set forward a devaluation all on its own.

Also, today's news that government receipts are down 25% at exactly the same time government spending is ramping up to combat the current troubles bodes poorly for government solvency. This guy's analysis captures my worries quite well.

There will be an upturn at some point. The question is what will transpire between now and then?

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