The Recession Is Over!

 

 Store Closing

The recession is over!      Probably.

We will continue to feel the pain of the recession for many months to come, but the leading indicators are showing that we hit bottom already or soon will.  A recovery will come in spurts, but we will see a gradual climb in economic activity and growth starting this summer or early fall.

 

To understand that the recession is over, you need to understand the difference between a leading indicator and a  lagging indicator.  The former indicates the level of future economic activity, while the latter shows us the depth of past economic inactivity.  Housing is a leading indicator.  Employment is a lagging indicator.  Thus, we will see high unemployment for some time, and those data will reflect the passing recession.

 

Each day, more and more financial experts and economists are publicly stating that the recession is over, and the data show that to be the case.  For example, new housing inventory data are showing improvement in the housing market.  Historically, unemployment figures do not recover for six months after the end of a recession.  So, if the recession just ended, employment likely will not start to rise again until the end of 2009, or in early 2010.  Layoffs are already starting to slow down, and new unemployment claims are starting to bottom out.  Large employers are increasingly reluctant to lay off talented workers, although hiring has not increased yet.

 

Unfortunately, the insanely high levels of federal borrowing and spending, most of which will not start until 1010, will throw us into a period of high inflation and a “echo” recession in two to three years from now.  The good news is that this recession has ended, and better times are months, not years, away.  The bad news is that federal spending is going to trigger a subsequent recession and devalue assets held today.  The really bad news is that the federal government will be broke in 2011 (It’s already broke, to be accurate.) and will be unable to repurchase debt to control inflation.  So, the Federal Reserve will have no choice but to choke growth and try to slow inflation with high interest rates.  Inflation is the next hurdle we will have to clear, before the economy can fully recover.

 

Armed with this news, what changes are you making to your business?  What are you doing to prepare for higher inflation and the “echo” recession in year 2011 or 2012?

4 thoughts on “The Recession Is Over!

  1. I wish I fully understood this blog and found a way to capitalize on it. Anyway we could get some clarification on the blog? I have read most of your blogs tonight and this one seems to be the most important and the most recent.

    For instance the last paragraph is extremely important but is kind of muddy for me.

    “the insanely high levels of federal borrowing and spending, most of which will not start until 1010, will throw us into a period of high inflation and a “echo” recession in two to three years from now.” clarification?

    These blogs are great

    Casey Cavell
    http://www.AlwaysOpenStorage.com

  2. Armed with this news, what changes are you making to your business? What are you doing to prepare for higher inflation and the “echo” recession in year 2011 or 2012?

    I wish I knew what to do?? I own a self storage facility and plan to purchase several more but unsure of how to read into this.

    Casey Cavell
    http://www.AlwaysOpenStorage.com

  3. Inflation is a monetary phenomenon. The world currently uses pieces of paper backed by nothing to facilitate exchange in goods and services. A dollar has no intrinsic value; it is just a piece of paper. A dollar is an IOU from our government that can currently be exchanged for goods and services; it is a liability of the U.S. government.

    The Federal Reserve controls the number of dollars in circulation; they are a liabiity on the Fed’s balance sheet. The Fed holds assets as well that offset their dollar liability. The Fed’s balance sheet has grown from $871 billion on May 21, 2008 to $2,165 billion on May 20, 2009. U.S. Treasuries were the main asset backing the dollar one year ago. Today, the Fed’s balance sheet contains $523 billion in toxic assets parked in its Maiden Lane LLC. Treasuries comprise only around $400 billion of the Fed’s total assets, down from around $700 billion last year. Finally, the St. Louis Fed’s adjusted monetary base was up a record 113.4% from the same period last year. The monetary base – basically currency plus bank reserves – is the Fed’s primary tool for affecting growth in the money supply.

    Now here’s the important part. The general price level is a function of money supply and the velocity of money (how many times per year a dollar changes hands). Currently, money supply is exploding (dollars backed by toxic assets) but the velocity of money has been falling, leaving inflation at a low level for the time being. However, as soon as economic activity picks up (dollars start moving through the economy) inflation will rise sharply unless the Fed is able to remove dollars from the system very rapidly and in a timely manner. The Fed will need to find buyers for those toxic assets and/or remaining Treasuries at a time when the economy is expanding and inflation is rising. A very difficult assignment to say the least.

    High levels of inflation are almost a given at this point. The only real question is the actual timing of the tragedy as it plays out.

    Best Regards,

    Christopher R. Norwood, CFA
    Biechele Royce Advisors, Inc.
    http://theknowledgeableinvestor.blogspot.com

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