Thursday, October 29, 2009

"A Sham GDP For A Sham Economy"......

The high quality of the GDP aka "Government Domestic Product" growth is indeed "impressive".... As a GOLDBUG you gotta love this kind of "sustainable" growth.....

Solch "solides" und vor allem "nachhaltig" erkauftes GDP bzw "Government Domestic Product" Wachstum verdeutlichen eindrucksvoll warum ich starker Befürworter von GOLD bin..... ;-)

Mean Street: A Sham GDP for a Sham Economy Even Newmark

Americans rejoice! GDP grew by 3.5% in the third quarter and the recession is over.

It’s time to drink champagne, dance in the streets, and have a group hug with Nancy Pelosi and Ben Bernanke. But whatever you do, don’t ask yourself why the recession has ended. The answer might ruin the party.

The recession is over only because Washington decided it should be. With billions in fresh government spending, it was only a matter of time before GDP posted some growth.

It’s too bad all that government spending is borrowed money. Someday, we’ll actually have to pay off this year’s $1.4 trillion deficit.

Of course, all of the president’s Keynesian men will argue that everything is working to plan — the stimulus is stimulating. But it’s hard not to see today’s GDP bounce as a bit of a sham.

Just check out where the economy grew. Almost half — or 1.7% of the pickup in GDP growth came from “motor vehicle output.” That’s the summer’s $3 billion cash-for-clunkers program doing its thing.


H/T Clusterstock

But at what cost? just released some compelling analysis on cash-for-clunkers. Apparently, it cost the U.S. taxpayer about $24,000 per vehicle sold. Edmunds gets that number by dividing the $3 billion by the 125,000 additional car sales generated by the program. The methodology makes sense to me, but click here and decide for yourself.

The White House would probably contend that it’s impossible to determine incremental sales — meaning each sale that only happened because of the government $3,500 to $4,500 subsidy. And that the sale of each and every car spurs economic activity well beyond the program’s $3 billion.

But isn’t it possible that the analysis is actually understating the true costs to the taxpayer? What about the interest costs on the borrowed $3 billion?

What about the cost of propping up GMAC so that it could underwrite cash-for-clunker loans?

That’s the catch with all this government intervention — lots of unforeseen consequences. And we never learn. The trillion dollar disasters with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac haven’t stopped the government from tinkering with the housing market.

Consider another one of Washington’s smashing successes: the $8,000 credit for first-time home buyers.

For the third quarter, “real residential fixed investment” — also known as “homebuilding” — jumped 23.4%. That boosted GDP by another 0.5%. Do you feel like hugging Harry Reid now?


H/T Mark Hanson

> More Homes.......Just what the Doctor ordered...... Thank god there are only 18.8 Million Vacant Homes In Q3 ......

> Mehr Häuser.....Macht bei Ansicht der o.g. Grafik die das Verhältnis von neuen Hausverkäufen und neuen Zwangsvollstreckungen extrem viel Sinn..... Besonders wenn man bedenkt das in den USA lediglich 18.8 Million leerstehende Häuser existieren ...... Brauche nicht zu erwähnen das diese mehr als sinnvolle Förderung gerade ausgedehnt und verlängert worden ist......

But we’re not seeing the real cost of the homebuyer tax credit. This is very expensive stuff. The Calculated Risk blog figures the home-buyer credit costs the taxpayer $43,000 per incremental home sale. Goldman Sachs ran its own numbers, reckoning that each incremental home sale cost the taxpayer an astounding $80,000. Again, the methodology seems right to me, but decide for yourself.

And again, this analysis understates the program’s true costs. We don’t include the cost of all the fraud — even though we know thousands of false and improper claims are being filed.

We don’t consider the cost of propping up the FHA , which is now underwriting all of the mortgages

And we can never calculate the true economic cost of messing with home prices – though the crisis over the last three years certainly gives us a hint.

So, let’s party as we welcome GDP growth. But never forget how the party ends – a group hug with lots of tears.


Monument Securities' Stephen Lewis via FT Alphaville

Government purchases were surprisingly strong. Instead of falling back from what had looked an erratic 14.0% annualised rise in Q2, defence spending increased further, at an 8.4% rate.

Cheering Over Ugly Report MISH

Personal income decreased $15.5 billion (0.5 percent), while real disposable personal income decreased 3.4 percent, in contrast to an increase of 3.8 percent last quarter. Those are horrible numbers

The savings rate is down, which no doubt has misguided economists cheering, but people spending more than they make is one of the things that got us into trouble.

The government sloshed trillions around and yet disposable income is down, jobs are horrendously weak, and the only reason GDP rose is wasteful government spending, cash-for-clunkers and extremely unaffordable housing tax credits whose effect is soon going to start diminishing even though the program was just extended.

I see plenty of chances for negative territory or at least extremely anemic growth starting in the second quarter of 2010, if indeed not the first quarter.Let's see what Christmas brings.

I am expecting far weaker numbers than most. In the meantime, let's party even if only for a day or two. Reality is likely to return soon.

Mark Zandi H/ Claculated Risk
This suggests that all the growth in Q3 was due to the stimulus package, and the impact will now wane - only 2% in Q4, and 1.5% in Q1 2010 - and then the package will be a drag on the economy in the 2nd half of 2010.

It's Alive, It's ALIVE, It's ALLLIIIIVVVE! Paul Kedrosky

Turns out coursing a few gigavolts of financial stimulus current through even an economy the size of the U.S. will still get Frankenstein off the slab, however briefly.

Inside GDP : The Figures Behind The Number ( nice chart )

Full GDP observations from Goldman Sachs ZH

David Rosenberg: GDP Head-Fake H/T Expected Returns

> Why i´m not surprised that the bubblehead from CNBC brouht up all the "Cash On The Sidelines"...... UPDATE: What a difference a day makes.... The same guys laughing at Rosenberg & spinning the cash on the sidelines, strong gdp, markets moving higher etc have reversed course and are suffering severe AMNESIA.....Click here for BUBBLEVISION at its best.....

> Passend zur euphoriuschen GDP Stimmung verwundert es nicht das der Typ von CNBC das Totschlagargument "Cash On The Sidelines" ins Spiel gebracht hat...... UPDATE: Was für ein Unterschied doch 24 Stunden machen können.... Dieselben "Gestalten" die noch gestern Rosenberg "belächelt" haben und was von Cash on the sidelines, starkes GDP, etc gefaselt haben leiden unter akutem Gedächnisverlust und haben Ihre Meinung um 180% gedreht....Hier klicken um zu erfahren warum CNBC als Bubblevision geadelt worden ist....

From the latest Rosenberg report


Never before did a gap between a 3.2% consensus GDP forecast and an actual print of 3.5% manage to elicit so much excitement in the equity market. It just goes to show how speculative the stock market has become. The question is why it is that the economy couldn’t do even better?

Historically, the auto sector adds 0.1 percentage point or 0.2 percentage point to any given GDP report. In the third quarter, courtesy of cash-for-clunkers, the sector added 1.7 percentage points to the headline figure, which is less a than 1-in-10 event in terms of probabilities.

Because of the housing and auto subsidies, the personal savings rate plunged to 3.3% in Q3 from 4.9% in Q2 — in the past quarter-century, there have been only four other times that the savings rate went down so much in one quarter.

If not for that plunge in savings, real GDP actually would have contracted fractionally last quarter. The entire GDP growth was funded by a rundown in the savings rate that occurs less than 5% of the time.

Moreover, what is normal in that first positive post-recession GDP release is a 5% annual rate of growth. That puts 3.5% in Q3 into a certain perspective, especially when you consider the massive amount of stimulus that underpinned the latest batch of data.

While it seems very flashy, 3.5% growth is far from a trend-setter. Let’s go back to Japan. Since 1990, it has enjoyed no fewer than 19 of these 3.5%-or-better GDP growth quarters.

That is almost 25% of the time, by the way.

And we know with hindsight that this was noise around the fundamental downtrend because the Japanese economy has experienced four recessions and the equity market is down more than 70% from the peak

Without "Cash for Kindles, I-Phones, trucks etc" 2010 will be very "interesting".... Thank god the "experts" still argue the stock market is discounting the obviously bright outlook for the coming years....How else would you justify one of the biggest stock market rallies of all time ( chart ) ...... Would be shocking to see the "Herd" get it wrong ......... ;-)

Ohne "Cash for I Phones, LKW´s usw. " dürfte das Jahr 2010 mehr als interessant werden.... Zum Glück schauen die Märkte ja wie uns regelmäßig erzählt wird voraus und haben die "exzellenten" Aussichten für die nächsten Jahre sicher eingepreist.... Wie anders ist einer der gewaltigsten Aktienmarktrallies aller Zeiten ( Chart ) auch sonst zu erklären.....Wäre ja auch das erste Mal das die "Herde" komplett daneben liegen würde, oder ? ;-)

Fuzzy Numbers
Chris Martenson

"Enron-esque characteristics".......

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Blogger jmf said...

Another reason to be bullish.. ;-)

via Rosenberg

What doesn’t seem to make the headlines is that initial jobless claims have now been above 500k for 42 consecutive weeks. The only time we had a more prolonged period of labour market angst based on this measure was back in the 1982 down-cycle, when claims were above 500k for 48 straight weeks. We are seven weeks away from a new record, and not one to be proud of. The difference of course is that back then, all the government had to do was break the back of inflation, and then we were off to the races. The median age of the boomer was 25, not 52; household balance sheets were expanding, not shrinking; credit growth was accelerating, not contracting; the labour force participation rates were rising, not falling; and government regulation was receding, not increasing. And, 1982 represented the onset of a secular 18-year bull market; 2009 represents the mid-point of a secular bear market.

6:40 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

I feel that the govt is severely limiting the potential of new and up and coming business by continuing to prop up failed companies like Citigroup, AIG, GM, etc. They are wasting so much taxpayer money that could instead be used to support new companies with sustainable business models. And until this trend changes, of which there has been little evidence of, I think the economy is going to continue to suffer significantly. That's why I believe one of the few ways for the average person to protect him or herself from this is to invest some portion of their portfolio in gold related assets. I recently saw some good articles at which discuss the policies of the Federal Reserve and Treasury and their impact on the financial markets, fiat currencies, the gold price, and specific gold mining companies that are leveraged to the gold price. One article I found particularly helpful is called "Gold Price Up, Dollar Down - Does it Matter?" which talks about the history of monetary policy in the US and the consequences of the inflationary system that the Fed perpetuates.

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