Armstrong Economics Blog/BRITAIN
Posted Jul 18, 2019 by Martin Armstrong
Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party is now the second largest in Britain. The Conservatives still topped the YouGov poll with 24% of the vote, but they were boosted by the prospect of Boris Johnson, who is a Brexit believer, as the next Tory leader. The prospects for Europe remain up in the air as Brussels still refuses to reform and is looking to punish Switzerland as an example for Britain. But trying to exclude the London markets as a place Europeans can invest will cause a major economic decline for Europe rather than London.
Armstrong Economics Blog/Agriculture
Re-Posted Jul 18, 2019 by Martin Armstrong
One of the most fascinating observations I have made over my career has been that the banks always lend at the top and contract lending at the bottom in every market. Going into 1980, banks were calling me to ask if I wanted to borrow money. Recently, I got a phone call from my bank asking, once again, if I would be interested in a loan. This to me is merely a confirmation that we are approaching a major turning point.
When I look at lending into the agricultural sector, the big Wall Street banks are once again perfectly in line with the cycle. They peaked in loans to farmers back in 2015, and have been declining ever since going into 2020. Bank lending to the agricultural sector peaked with the ECM and we will see it bottom in 2020. Our model will be correct in forecasting the next wave, which will be a cost-push inflationary wave. As the agricultural sectors come back to life, thanks to shortages, then the bankers will be willing to lend once again. The banks are the PERFECT indicator of how not to run a business. They make decisions emotionally and always get the economy dead wrong (i.e mortgage-backed securities peaked in 2007)
Excellent interview by Charles Payne as White House Manufacturing Policy Advisor Peter Navarro outlines how the strategic road map of MAGAnomics is converging. If you want to see the future, listen to how Navarro outlines what’s coming.
The six MAGAnomic components to pay attention to include: ♦changes to the Universal Postal Union (UPU); ♦HUD Opportunity Zones; ♦America First raw material policy for infrastructure; ♦retail sales strength; ♦the current status of the U.S-China negotiations; and ♦the USMCA ratification.
♦The UPU was one of those archaic policy issues set-up with good intentions, and then maintained by ‘stupid’ politicians well after it should have been renegotiated. It’s good to hear that mess is coming to an end in October.
♦The Opportunity Zones is a huge internal growth program. President Trump has positioned a federal tax abatement program for money used to invest in revitalizing urban zones. Corporations can now bring back money into the U.S. and position themselves to gain from domestic investment.
The opportunity zone private investment means municipal money to improve infrastructure without the need for federal dollars. Additionally, those areas then get the benefit of new development and building. This is one of the reasons why people living in urban areas are seeing massive increases in the value of their homes and property. Hundreds of billions in tax incentives pouring into areas where some of the most previously disenfranchised voting groups live. This program is transformative.
♦The intransigent state of U.S-China trade discussions is favorable to the position of America First. Investment into China is frozen because no-one knows the outcome. Meanwhile President Trump is presenting multiple domestic alternatives for those investment dollars (see Opportunity Zones).
However, China has caught on to what President Trump is doing; and as outlined in a recent article from South China Morning Post, they now see President Trump playing the ‘panda mask game’ and Beijing is angered about their own strategy being used against them. Panda has sad:
“The current situation is very fluid and complicated with a lot of internal deliberations. Things will only be clearer after the negotiations resume,” said the expert, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter in China. (link)
♦House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appears to want to delay any passage of the USMCA. However, as soon as democrat candidates start being questioned about their position the pressure will mount toward ratification. That’s likely the reason why the U.S. media are not asking the candidates anything about trade policy.
The USMCA is structured to the benefit of U.S. workers; the Democrat candidates will likely all align in favor. The U.S. media are protecting Pelosi et al by keeping the USMCA out of the headlines, but that cannot last too much longer. It’s only a few ‘tweets’ away from surfacing… like, maybe, tweets around the next debate?
::nudge, nudge:: – ::wink, wink:: – ::say no more, say no more::
An article from Reuters discussing the position of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is interesting. Essentially the IMF is warning that “global economies” will contract by $455 billion next year due to the ongoing trade conflict between the U.S., China, the EU and to a lesser extent, Japan. Yes Alice, there are hundreds of billions at stake.
There’s really no reason to doubt the amount estimated, though I think it’s on the short side, but the yearly value seems in line. I have no doubt President Trump will cost the “Global Economy” $455 billion…. because that money will be transferring back to the America First economy. That’s what happens as MAGAnomics reverses the IMF trade (wealth distribution) model.
The IMF is correct in part (the effect), incorrect in part (the cause), and mostly hypocritical. The Euro-minded IMF rails against the high value of the U.S. dollar, but simultaneously ignores the motives behind the intentional devaluation of currencies that are pegged against the dollar.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday the U.S. dollar was overvalued by 6% to 12%, based on near-term economic fundamentals, while the euro, the Japanese yen and China’s yuan were seen as broadly in line with fundamentals.
The IMF has been at odds with U.S. President Donald Trump over his use of tariffs to resolve trade imbalances, but its assessment that the dollar is overvalued is likely to give Trump more fodder for his frequent complaints that dollar strength is hampering U.S. exports.
Trump has railed against European and Chinese policies that lead to what he calls a devaluation of the euro and other currencies against the dollar.
[…] The Fund – which has warned that the U.S.-China trade war could cost the global economy about $455 billion next year – said recent trade policy actions were weighing on global trade flows, eroding confidence, and disrupting investment. But they had done nothing to reverse external imbalances thus far. (read more)
China and the EU have devalued their currency in an effort to block the impacts from President Trump and the ‘America First’ trade policy. Because those currencies are pegged against the dollar, the resulting effect is a rising dollar value. In essence, the globalist IMF is now blaming President Trump for having a strong economy that forces international competition to devalue their currency.
That’s the stupid hypocrisy of global banking outlooks. They make a decision to devalue their currency, which causes the dollar value to rise, and then turn around and blame the U.S. dollar for being overvalued.
The root cause of the devaluation is unaddressed in their argument. The EU and China are trying to retain their global manufacturing position and offset the impact of President Trump’s tariffs by lowering the end value of their exports.
In the bigger picture this is why President Trump is the most transformative economic President in the last 75 years. The post-WWII Marshall Plan was set up to allow Europe and Asia to place tariffs on exported American industrial products. Those tariffs were used by the EU and Japan to rebuild their infrastructure after a devastating war. However, there was never a built in mechanism to end the tariffs…. until President Trump came along and said: “it’s over”!
After about 20 years (+/-), say 1970 to be fair, the EU and Japan received enough money to rebuild. But instead of ending the one-way payment system, Asia and the EU sought to keep going and build their economies larger than the U.S. Additionally, the U.S. was carrying the cost of protecting the EU (via NATO) and Japan with our military. The EU and Japan didn’t need to spend a dime on defense because the U.S. essentially took over that role. But that military role, just like the tariffs, never ended. Again, until Trump.
The U.S. economy was the host for around 50 years of parasitic wealth exfiltration, or as most would say “distribution”. [Note I use the term *exfiltration* because it better highlights that American citizens paid higher prices for stuff, and paid higher taxes within the overall economic scheme, than was needed.]
President Trump is the first and only president who said: “enough”, and prior politicians who didn’t stop the process were “stupid” etc. etc. Obviously, he is 100% correct.
For the past 30 years the U.S. was a sucker to keep letting the process remain in place while we lost our manufacturing base to overseas incentives. The investment process from Wall Street (removal of Glass-Stegal) only made the process much more severe and faster. Wall Street was now investing in companies whose best bet (higher profit return) was to pour money overseas. This process created the “Rust Belt”, and damn near destroyed the aggregate manufacturing industry.
Fast forward to 2017 through today, and President Trump is now engaged in a massive and multidimensional effort to re-balance the entire global wealth dynamic. By putting tariffs on foreign imports he has counterbalanced the never-ending Marshal Plan trade program and demanded renegotiation(s). Trump’s goal is reciprocity; however, the EU and Asia, specifically China, don’t want to give up a decades-long multi-generational advantage. This is part of the fight.
One could argue that China’s rise happened inside this period, and as a consequence they have no comprehension of an economic history without the institutional advantages. They’ve never competed with the U.S. under any terms of equivelence or fairness; they’ve only ever known the advantages. Combine that with the Chinese communist mindset and you get the extreme severity of their position.
So yeah, there’s going to be pain – for them; massive economic pain – as the process of reestablishing a fair trading system is rebuilt. This dynamic is the essence of reciprocity that benefits Main Street USA. Unfortunately, putting ‘America First’ is now also against the interests of the multinationals on Wall Street; so President Trump has to fight adverse economic opponents on multiple fronts…. and their purchased mercenary army we know as DC politicians.
No-one, ever, could take on all these interests. Think about it… The EU, Asia, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, China, Russia, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Iran, U.S. Congress, Democrats, U.S. Senate, Wall Street, the Big Club, Lobbyists, Hollywood, Corporate Media (foreign and domestic), and the ankle-biters in Never Trump…. All of these financial interests are aligned against Main Street USA and against President Trump.
Name one individual who could take them on simultaneously and still be winning, bigly.
They say he’s one man. They say they have him outnumbered. Yet somehow, as unreal as it seems, he’s the one who appears to have them surrounded.
Lord knows we can’t spare this man.
This Year’s WEC is extremely important as we now approach the turn in the Economic Confidence Model come January 2020. There were two critical patterns which were possible – 2020 low and rally thereafter, or a 2020 high with respect to the share markets. Meanwhile, we face the biggest Bond Bubble in the history of civilization and the last time something like that took place, it did not end very nicely for civilization.
We are looking at such an important shift this time in the Business Cycle that those attending the WEC this year will also receive ongoing video updates as needed because things are not going to be just a walk in the park. The fact that the Dow has exceeded the 2018 high already, warns that the pattern we face is going to be plagued with a political crisis. Indeed, politics is becoming so polarized, not merely in the United States, but also in Britain, Switzerland, EU, and it is beginning to surface in Asia in Japan and Hong Kong.
The Pi target on the ECM 11/21/2018 was the start of a slingshot where we had to drop sharply, scare the longs, and then rally to new highs. The problem with this pattern is that such moves are more often not sustainable on a broader sense and can warn of trouble ahead depending on who gets sucked into the mix.
We have so many markets at critical junctures as we head into the ECM turning point, this year’s WEC is going to be a critical forecasting event. Most importantly, we have to face not just a Monetary Crisis Cycle which is becoming obvious to everyone as the British pound takes a nosedive, but everything from Energy to Agriculture is in the staging ground for the next ECM along with precious metals.
For these reasons, we have some markets preparing for false breakouts and a critical mass approaching in 2020 on such a global scale. Central Banks (some who have been attending the WEC), are now beginning to lobby the fiscal side trying to warn them of impending doom and how they CANNOT possibly prop-up the world economy this time around. There is also a debate behind the curtain about pegging interest rates (long-term) v Quantitative Easing. We also have a battle brewing over cryptocurrencies as a major push to start eliminating cash in Europe.
Because all of these things are coming together, the attendees of this year’s Orlando WEC will receive ongoing video updates because this is just such a widespread crisis that is impacting every possible corner of the global economy and the ONLY way to survive this is going to be with Socrates because there is ABSOLUTELY no precedent to which we can refer to in history.
There are people calling now for the greatest crash in history, and others are now starting to claim the Dow will test 30,000. The opinions ARE just not going to cut it in this environment. So this year’s WEC will be different, but very critical. So are we Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door or the Big Fake Out as we face the Monetary Crisis Cycle and probably the most polarized political election ever in 2020. So those attending will get ongoing updates as necessary since this is probably the most critical period we face in modern economic-political history.
Armstrong Economics Blog/Pension Crisis
Re-Posted Jul 17, 2019 by Martin Armstrong
We are facing a serious collapse in government that appears to be shaping up on the horizon beginning 2021/2022. Take the city of Chicago for example. The city is buried under a mountain of city employee pension debt and it’s impossible to see how their city could possibly survive. There will be a major financial collapse because those in power are also involved in the very same pension scheme so they have no incentive to do what is required to save Chicago — implement major structural reforms.
The total amount of city, county, and state retirement debt Chicagoans are on the hook for amounts to $150 billion, according to Moody’s most recent pension data. If we look at the city’s one million plus households, that means that each household is on the hook for nearly $145,000 to cover government employee pensions. They can forget their own pensions. One-fifth of Chicagoans live in poverty and nearly half of all Chicago households make less than $50,000 a year. There is no possible way to raise taxes to cover these obligations.
Naturally, the politicians want to hunt the rich. If we then look at the households that earn $200,000 and just tax the “rich” we end up with $2 million in obligation per household. We cannot expect government officials to save the day when they too have personal pensions at stake. This story is being repeated around the nation and in Europe. Nobody is willing to address the problem because they have personal pensions on the line.