Do Low Interest Rates And Excess Liquidity Actually Cause “De-flation”, Rather Than “In-flation”?- By NEIL SISKIND

Low interest rates and excess liquidity lead to excessive borrowing by real estate developers. More units- especially condominium units- are built. This leads to more supply, and, eventually, due to principle of supply and demand, lower values, lower sales prices, and lower rents. It may take some time and the withdrawal of liquidity until that occurs. One may argue that it is, therefore, the withdrawal of liquidity, and, thus, the lack of liquidity, and not liquidity itself, that causes the deflation. Perhaps- but it is the liquidity and fiscal stimulus, itself, that creates the environment and the supply that is necessary for the subsequent deflation upon a withdrawal of stimulus. Thus, liquidity is a primary component, and cause of, deflation. Excessive liquidity forces imbalances upward, which, sooner or later, result in imbalance to the downside when the buyers disappear, while the assets remaining in existence.

This process applies to all hard assets which experience growth in value as the result of the investment of capital derived from excess liquidity that causes supplies to rise beyond demand, and/or values to disconnect from fundamentals.

But … no … I’m not just talking about withdrawals of monetary stimulus that cause assets crashing and bubble-popping. It’s not that low interest rates just “lead to” deflation- they “cause” it.

Here is an even more direct and immediately occurring correlation between the addition of liquidity and monetary stimulus to an economy through low interest rates (or other monetary tools, such as quantitative easing), and deflation, where withdrawals of liquidity and ensuing corrections and popping of asset bubbles have no relevance to the deflationary result: When interest rates are low, companies borrow capital to grow; in this day and age, growth means gaining “scale”. Growth, in the modern economy, requires “scale”. “Scale” helps companies to reduce input costs, and, thus, consumer prices. Scale has become so vital to growth for two reasons: First, because of a combination of the diminished importance of locality and relationships to sales because of the ability to reach a single point of purchase for all items at all times (i.e. the lack of geographic limitations on e-commerce), which brings me to the second reason, the Internet and the need for retailers (and B2B companies) to get consumers and customers to their websites, instead of competitors’- and then keep them there forever- and that requires heavy marketing and best prices. The companies that offers that online can destroy any competitors. So, the companies that reach the most scale the fastest, in any industry, win. Once “scale” is achieved, it is very hard for third and fourth place companies to compete. Just look at Amazon and Facebook and how they have destroyed competition in their respective spaces because they scaled the largest. “Scale” is achieved through aggressive and expansive marketing programs to attract customers, or through the use of loss leaders (without, or together with, aggressive marketing programs), to attract new customers, or through mergers and acquisitions. These actions can be funded with equity or with debt. “Scale” results in price deflation.

Companies’ sizes and large scale (along with globalized workforces) and the resulting lowest prices, allow companies in industries to depress competition, as only a select number of companies in industries obtain the scale that attracts consumers and customers- and attracts the consumers and customers that helps increase “scale”. It’s a self-fulfilling loop. Consequentially, a small number of very large companies come to control labor markets and are able to keep wages in check throughout the industries and the overall economy. Liquidity and scale cause wage inflation to get suppressed by two forces- a global workforce, and a rise in bargaining power. In the former case, pressures are dispersed, in the latter, they simply disappear with “take it or leave it” type propositions.

These are the reasons why, despite all of the liquidity in the system for the past ten years, inflation keeps undershooting. The capital is flowing to non-traditional channels, ones not classically used to measure inflation pressures and economic risk to an economy from too much money chasing too few resources. The capital is flowing to assets, to funding loss leaders, and to marketing initiatives, resulting in bubbles, disconnects between incomes and home prices, and scale and monopoly-like companies. The Fed’s so-called “dual mandate” becomes a challenge for the Fed as it sniffs-out financial dislocations (which many feel is also part of its mandate to mange), but raising rates slowdown jobs and wage growth- which already, at least the latter, are too weak- especially in light of home prices. The Fed is hesitant to identify, or point a finger at, or provide an opinion on asset prices or “bubbles”- or target them, at least not officially. Thus, the situation does not mean that the economy is not at risk. 2007 and 2008 prove that, notwithstanding low inflation, the economy is at great risk, perhaps greater risk, from asset dislocations and bubbles that from other kinds of inflation, such as prices and wages.

In the modern economy, monetary stimulus does not flow from the Fed, to banks, to companies, to capex and investment, to employment, to wages, to higher consumer prices. It flows direct form the Fed, to banks, to real estate investors, and to businesses that invest in scale initiatives, revenue-driven tech businesses, and share buybacks. So, when the Fed withdraws liquidity, assets crash, yield curves invert because growth- which is from assets and low (or no) margin growth investments, rather than the way it was in days of yore, where liquidity led to inflation and to company pricing-power and the potential for prices, and, thus, stocks to rise- disappears.

This new paradigm is the cause of the so-called “conundrum”, where the Fed raises rates and people panic because assets can quickly crash, as opposed to the economy having a slow orderly decline in employment and wages while product prices remain elevated until the inflation dissipates. It’s simply a more boom and bust model, as opposed to balancing and re-balancing, where costs rise and fall to compensate and balance-out other rising and falling costs. Think of it like a see-saw. In the past, you had two equally-weighted children whose balances of power shift, as one grows and then the other grows, and one develops a strategy, and then the other a counter-strategy. But, now, the economy and liquidity has become more like a boulder being dropped on one side and then removed off by a crane, and then dropped again, and then removed again.

So, the outcome of monetary stimulus and excess liquidity is that there can be, and in the modern economy is, immediate producer and consumer price deflation, immediate wage suppression and deflation, and temporary asset inflation, followed by eventual asset deflation.

Historically, debt capital has been used for innovations, productivity, and paying for the best talent- and increased home values were a by-product of rising wages in a community (often mortgaged by local, rather than national and international, banks, or private “hard money” lenders). In the modern economy, debt capital is used for: Revenue growth at the expense of margins (temporarily, for profitable companies, and permanently, for modern-economy/technology companies that have the goal of being acquired) through marketing and loss-leaders; asset speculation; and excessive stock buybacks.

The more monetary stimulus we get, the more that asset supplies and scale grow, the lower that asset values, product prices, and wages sink- later …

… or sooner.

 

Neil S. Siskind, Esq., President
The Siskind Law Firm
Tel: 646.530.0006

Neil Siskind is the Founder & Chairman of The Fatherhood Assignment
Neil-Siskind-photo
Learn more at:  http://www.neil-siskind-the-fatherhood-assignment.org/

Neil Siskind is the Conservator of the Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve
Neil-Siskind-Picture

The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve is over 7 acres of environmentally-pristine waterfront land in a magnificent setting along New York’s majestic Hudson River. The Preserve includes a variety of species of animal and plant life, and is a precious example of the thoughtful maintenance of New York’s priceless open spaces. The land’s uses are limited to outdoor recreation such as hiking and climbing, and the study of ecology, nature and land use. The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve allows for the intelligent contemplation of our valuable natural resources and the most effective ways to maximize them and keep them protected.

Neil Siskind, Founder, “National Fatherhood Day” – March 29th

Neil-Siskind-pics
To encourage recognition of the needs of boys and girls who are living without fathers or father-figures in their lives.

Read about the non-profits and charities whose missions Neil Siskind supports and promotes: www.neilsiskindsupports.com
Caring is Free®

You can read what clients and associates say about Neil Siskind at: http://siskindlawfirm.com/neil-siskind-bio/.

Neil Siskind’s Volunteer Work:

– Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Volunteer

– Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, My Fundraiser- Help Neil Siskindhelp children with cancer to be more comfortable: http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR?px=3182108&fr_id=2632&pg=personal

– Make-A Wish Foundation- Help Neil Siskind make sick children’s wishes come true by creating your own fundraiser: Neil-Siskind/Help-Make-A-Child-Smile.htm

– DonorsChoose.org- Donate to one of my needy public classrooms: http://www.donorschoose.org/NeilSiskindGiving

– Champion Children– We seek to inspire people through stories of children who have overcome challenges: http://siskindlawfirm.com/neil-siskind-champion-children/


Neil Siskind’s Pro Bono
 Work:

– Saving Senior Citizens- Protecting New York’s senior citizens from fraud and financial abuse www.savingseniorcitizens.com

– Senior FreeStart Business– Pro Bono: We seek to help put senior citizens in the right direction so that they can face the challenges of the modern economy: http://siskindlawfirm.com/free-start-business/

– Veteran FreeStart Business– Pro Bono: We seek to help put Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans in the right direction so that they can face the challenges of the modern economy: http://siskindlawfirm.com/free-start-business/

– In development: The Neil S. Siskind School of Hope: A free school to teach inner-city youths the skills of entrepreneurship and importance of economic self-sufficiency.

Neil Siskind’s Government Work:

– Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Boston, MA, 1994, Intern
– Office of Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Newington, CT, 1992, Intern
– Hartford County Department of Probation, Hartford, CT, 1991, Intern

Neil Siskind’s Community Assistance:

Financed & operated a legal clinic providing low-cost legal services to struggling Long Islanders during the recession to help clients resolve debt, organize finances, and launch new businesses.

Neil Siskind’s Professional Curriculum Vitae: http://neilsiskind.com/

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What Analysts Are Missing About The Economy- By NEIL SISKIND

Analysts are used to a business cycle ending with growing demand chasing less resources (i.e. inflation) resulting in higher interest rates, and, thus, slower growth or even recession.

Some analysts fear this process is in place, but will take a year or so to play out, provided that the Fed does not go too far, too fast.

Other analysts see no recession coming soon, or any significant slowdown at all in the near future, because their training and experience leaves them with a void in thinking. Inflation is not persistent and wages and prices (tariffs aside) may not create upward pressures enough to push the Fed onward and upward.

What these latter analysts fail to realize is that the Fed has already made a significant dent and doesn’t need to go much higher in order to induce a slowdown. But, this an opinion; this is my opinion versus theirs. So, let’s talk facts. On a factual basis, these analysts fail to recognize that price and/or wage inflation do not have to happen before a slowdown. In modern economies, where liquidity drives asset growth, such as trading of houses as assets, and companies using profits to buy back stock instead of raising wages and creating more consumer demand, and companies using debt for acquisitions and loss leaders instead of for capex, any withdrawal of liquidity- such as we have already seen- even if it the withdrawal eventually ceases (if the Fed stops hiking), is enough to sink an economy built on debt- as opposed to one that is built upon demand from growing wages, stronger consumers, and resulting higher prices by businesses with pricing power. It just does’t work this way anymore.

Where, in the past, the withdrawal of liquidity can slow wages and prices, in the modern economy, which is a structurally weak economy, rising interest rates and removals of liquidity have a faster and deeper affect on the economy than a mere slowing of prices and wages would have. Asset values and risk capital can immediately disappear as cash and bonds offer less risk with near equal returns, and as corporate and consumer debt from previously low rates and high liquidity can’t be paid back as easily, and as risk capital fast disappears because investors are not willing to buy corporate loan and debt instruments.

This is exactly what happened in 2007 and 2008. Risk capital became more costly and everyone ran for the exits on assets.

This is why the yield curve is flattening again as the Fed remains hawkish. The yield curve is flattening because the Fed- and investors- agree that we are about to slow down … soon.

The Fed has been targeting asset prices and financial instability, not wage and price growth- because there isn’t any. The Fed is getting what it wants- but it may regret what it wished for.

So, let’s talk tariffs. Lower interest rates can’t get prices lower if they are based on tariffs, and not based on demand or higher wages. So, companies will earn less, or consumers will pay more, or demand will decline (which means companies will earn less). The Fed can’t help things if the tariffs take hold; but if the Fed pushes rates higher due to price inflation from tariffs, it sure would do us a world of hurt.

 

Neil S. Siskind, Esq., President
The Siskind Law Firm
Tel: 646.530.0006

Neil Siskind is the Founder & Chairman of The Fatherhood Assignment
Neil-Siskind-photo
Learn more at:  http://www.neil-siskind-the-fatherhood-assignment.org/

Neil Siskind is the Conservator of the Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve
Neil-Siskind-Picture

The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve is over 7 acres of environmentally-pristine waterfront land in a magnificent setting along New York’s majestic Hudson River. The Preserve includes a variety of species of animal and plant life, and is a precious example of the thoughtful maintenance of New York’s priceless open spaces. The land’s uses are limited to outdoor recreation such as hiking and climbing, and the study of ecology, nature and land use. The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve allows for the intelligent contemplation of our valuable natural resources and the most effective ways to maximize them and keep them protected.

Neil Siskind, Founder, “National Fatherhood Day” – March 29th

Neil-Siskind-pics
To encourage recognition of the needs of boys and girls who are living without fathers or father-figures in their lives.

Read about the non-profits and charities whose missions Neil Siskind supports and promotes: www.neilsiskindsupports.com
Caring is Free®

You can read what clients and associates say about Neil Siskind at: http://siskindlawfirm.com/neil-siskind-bio/.

Neil Siskind’s Volunteer Work:

– Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Volunteer

– Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, My Fundraiser- Help Neil Siskindhelp children with cancer to be more comfortable: http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR?px=3182108&fr_id=2632&pg=personal

– Make-A Wish Foundation- Help Neil Siskind make sick children’s wishes come true by creating your own fundraiser: Neil-Siskind/Help-Make-A-Child-Smile.htm

– DonorsChoose.org- Donate to one of my needy public classrooms: http://www.donorschoose.org/NeilSiskindGiving

– Champion Children– We seek to inspire people through stories of children who have overcome challenges: http://siskindlawfirm.com/neil-siskind-champion-children/


Neil Siskind’s Pro Bono
 Work:

– Saving Senior Citizens- Protecting New York’s senior citizens from fraud and financial abuse www.savingseniorcitizens.com

– Senior FreeStart Business– Pro Bono: We seek to help put senior citizens in the right direction so that they can face the challenges of the modern economy: http://siskindlawfirm.com/free-start-business/

– Veteran FreeStart Business– Pro Bono: We seek to help put Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans in the right direction so that they can face the challenges of the modern economy: http://siskindlawfirm.com/free-start-business/

– In development: The Neil S. Siskind School of Hope: A free school to teach inner-city youths the skills of entrepreneurship and importance of economic self-sufficiency.

Neil Siskind’s Government Work:

– Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Boston, MA, 1994, Intern
– Office of Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Newington, CT, 1992, Intern
– Hartford County Department of Probation, Hartford, CT, 1991, Intern

Neil Siskind’s Community Assistance:

Financed & operated a legal clinic providing low-cost legal services to struggling Long Islanders during the recession to help clients resolve debt, organize finances, and launch new businesses.

Neil Siskind’s Professional Curriculum Vitae: http://neilsiskind.com/

Sponsored Advertisements

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Is The Fed Really Fighting Inflation? Probably Not – By NEIL SISKIND

Isn’t the credit/lending bubble what the Fed is really fighting here?

The inflation concern due to low unemployment is just a red herring to prevent panic based on the truth- financial instability and bad loans. This is what is causing conflicts within the FOMC between hawks and doves and the confusion in markets about why the Fed is hiking so much with little inflation in sight? Higher wages is not wage “inflation”- in a pejorative sense. It’s o.k. for wages to rise modestly. If you can borrow money at 1% or 2% and lend to a company or for a real estate development at 7% or 8% … or in the case of consumer loans, at 12% or 14% … it’s worth the risk, and what the Fed is really scared about … as it should be, since this is what Greenspan and Bernanke missed … too many bad loans and risky behaviors. Easily-achieved yield spreads is probably why this time stocks are leading credit downward, where it is usually the opposite. The credit side is so easy to play at zero/low rates; borrow short- lend long.  It’s easier to borrow money at 2% and lend it out at 7% (especially if it’s secured, and particularly if it’s secured at a low LTV) then it is to borrow money and create equity, or make successful capital investments; seemingly, this is how investors have been seeing it … and the Fed has had enough of it. The Fed isn’t against rising prices and wages within a fair range … it’s called economic growth. What the Fed fears are unadvised loans on bad assets or to weak borrowers, and bad equity investments, all encouraged by irresistibly cheap money- with the ultimate fear, of course, being systemic risk. Credit and lending risks lead to asset bubble risks.

Watch the yield curve. It will invert in 2019- and the only thing that will cause it to re-steepen is not growth prospects- it will be the growing deficit as tax revenues decline … and then your tax rates may rise.

 

Neil S. Siskind, Esq., President
The Siskind Law Firm
Tel: 646.530.0006

Neil Siskind is the Founder & Chairman of The Fatherhood Assignment
Neil-Siskind-photo
Learn more at:  http://www.neil-siskind-the-fatherhood-assignment.org/

Neil Siskind is the Conservator of the Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve
Neil-Siskind-Picture

The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve is over 7 acres of environmentally-pristine waterfront land in a magnificent setting along New York’s majestic Hudson River. The Preserve includes a variety of species of animal and plant life, and is a precious example of the thoughtful maintenance of New York’s priceless open spaces. The land’s uses are limited to outdoor recreation such as hiking and climbing, and the study of ecology, nature and land use. The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve allows for the intelligent contemplation of our valuable natural resources and the most effective ways to maximize them and keep them protected.

Neil Siskind, Founder, “National Fatherhood Day” – March 29th

Neil-Siskind-pics
To encourage recognition of the needs of boys and girls who are living without fathers or father-figures in their lives.

Read about the non-profits and charities whose missions Neil Siskind supports and promotes: www.neilsiskindsupports.com
Caring is Free®

You can read what clients and associates say about Neil Siskind at: http://siskindlawfirm.com/neil-siskind-bio/.

Neil Siskind’s Volunteer Work:

– Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Volunteer

– Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, My Fundraiser- Help Neil Siskindhelp children with cancer to be more comfortable: http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR?px=3182108&fr_id=2632&pg=personal

– Make-A Wish Foundation- Help Neil Siskind make sick children’s wishes come true by creating your own fundraiser: Neil-Siskind/Help-Make-A-Child-Smile.htm

– DonorsChoose.org- Donate to one of my needy public classrooms: http://www.donorschoose.org/NeilSiskindGiving

– Champion Children– We seek to inspire people through stories of children who have overcome challenges: http://siskindlawfirm.com/neil-siskind-champion-children/


Neil Siskind’s Pro Bono
 Work:

– Saving Senior Citizens- Protecting New York’s senior citizens from fraud and financial abuse www.savingseniorcitizens.com

– Senior FreeStart Business– Pro Bono: We seek to help put senior citizens in the right direction so that they can face the challenges of the modern economy: http://siskindlawfirm.com/free-start-business/

– Veteran FreeStart Business– Pro Bono: We seek to help put Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans in the right direction so that they can face the challenges of the modern economy: http://siskindlawfirm.com/free-start-business/

– In development: The Neil S. Siskind School of Hope: A free school to teach inner-city youths the skills of entrepreneurship and importance of economic self-sufficiency.

Neil Siskind’s Government Work:

– Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Boston, MA, 1994, Intern
– Office of Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Newington, CT, 1992, Intern
– Hartford County Department of Probation, Hartford, CT, 1991, Intern

Neil Siskind’s Community Assistance:

Financed & operated a legal clinic providing low-cost legal services to struggling Long Islanders during the recession to help clients resolve debt, organize finances, and launch new businesses.

Neil Siskind’s Professional Curriculum Vitae: http://neilsiskind.com/

Sponsored Advertisements

Inventors, IP Owners, Manufacturers
Learn How To Bring Products To Market And To Expand Your Distribution Channels
The Complete Guide To The Ways To Manufacture & Sell Your Products

 

 

 

What Would Be Far Worse Than An Inverted Yield Curve? Read-My-Lips- By NEIL SISKIND

When the economy slows, tax receipts to the government, necessarily, will fall. At the exact time that we need, and expect, bond yields to move lower, they could do exactly the opposite.

As the economy slows, the government still needs to fund the budget, including paying interest on the national debt, defense expenditures, entitlements, federal employee pensions, etc. If tax receipts are not enough to fund these obligations, then the government will need to take on more debt by selling Treasury bonds to fund the obligations, which could cause yields to skyrocket, as investors demand more and more yield (and, perhaps, the term premium rises where capital is not being attracted), and as other investors discontinue viewing U.S. bonds as safe havens and move to other assets, including other select countries sovereigns that are unlikely to fall further, while offering good yields that justify the risk. The 10-yr. Treasury yield could completely disconnect from the economy (or from the needs of the economy at that time), and the yield curve could aggressively steepen- sending a slow economy into recession, or one that is already in recession- even deeper. Because of the government’s excessive and growing funding needs, even the floating 10-yr. yield would be out of the control of market dynamics and market demands[1]. The President recently, strangely, is beginning to publicly excuse and accept “deficits”.

Why are yields suddenly rising?

The 10-yr. yield is rising as economic data points in the U.S. are declining. Even as the economy slows- as we’ve recently seen lower than expected PPI and CPI prints, lower consumer spending, a rising target Fed funds rate and 2-yr. yield, higher consumer and federal debts and deficits, consensus expectations of lower GDP prints ahead, EPS buttressed by tax cuts and stock buybacks with less of these impetuses ahead, an increasingly challenged housing market; corporate debt is growing; much Dow and S&P growth due to rising interest rates and bank stocks and rising energy prices and energy stocks (these are taxes on businesses and consumers); and reports on capex (how much and what on) are mixed and unclear- there still may be a floor on the 10-yr. yield due to the need to fund deficits- and the yield curve (or yield curves) may never invert- even as recession looms or arrives. The safe-haven nature of the U.S. 10-yr. Treasury bond may be compromised by the deficit.

Are we experiencing economic growth- or, rather, a rise in inflation expectations? Stocks have been rising while yields have been rising. Many analysts, portfolio managers and market participants and observers are pointing to bullishness on the U.S. and beliefs in bottoming in select EM markets as the reasons. As oil and gas prices and interest rates have been rising, taxes (tariffs) on consumer goods from China have been announced, labor markets are tightening[2]- the U.S. dollar is weakening. This certainly sounds like inflation, or, at the least, inflation expectations. On the day President Trump announced his final decision on the most recent round of tariffs on China’s goods, yields spiked and the U.S. dollar sank.

The question is whether there is inflation- and growth. Growing economies with rising interest rates do not see their currencies weaken. Semiconductors can be leading indicators for the economy.

We will see what the next GDP print and upcoming earnings present. Remember that EPS growth is not net income or revenue growth- earnings can rise by decreasing stock floats. Even where there is revenue growth to exhibit true organic growth, consumer, corporate, and government debt-spending is what is helping create those revenues- and the cost of debt is rising. GDP and earnings show us levels of spending and revenue growth, but don’t explain the countervailing debt that was incurred to achieve these growth outcomes.

Regardless of why the 10-yr. is suddenly rising – anticipated earnings growth, China’s selling of U.S. Treasury bonds, inflation fears, quantitative tightening, expectation of growing U.S. Treasury bond offerings, re-allocations to EM assets, the tapering off of pension fund bond purchases, tariffs and product price inflation, or any mix thereof, the issue of the deficit (unless we grow out of it) remains, and will worsen as and when the economy slows. So any rises in yields will be in addition to the above reasons and will only be compounded if deficit concerns persist, and Treasury sales grow.

In any event, budgets and deficits can’t be funded by endless debt and bond offerings. The budget, by and large, has to be funded by income and tax revenues.

At the 1988 Republican National Convention, when accepting the Republican Party’s nomination as their candidate for U.S. President, George H.W. Bush famously made the statement, “Read my lips: No new taxes” to assure voters that his administration would not raise taxes on Americans. By 1990, rising budget deficits fueled by slowing growth and mandatory spending, greatly increased the federal deficits. As the result, on November 5, 1990, President Bush, grudgingly, signed The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 that raised multiple taxes.

This decision was the equivalent of Present Bush signing his own political death certificate as Bill Clinton used this broken promise on taxes against Bush in the 1992 presidential campaign (yes- Bill Clinton actually used the issue of “truthfulness” against someone- and it worked; irony- and gall- in politics- and in life- never cease to amaze)[3].

President Trump may face a George H.W. Bush “Read my lips: No new taxes.” moment where, despite prior promises and actions, he, nevertheless, has to agree to raise taxes to fund on-going budget deficits- regardless of which party controls Congress- or else allow longer term Treasury yields to soar, especially where rate cuts by the Fed would be difficult if the Fed funds rate and related shorter term Treasuries are still low- one of the reasons (one of the main reasons) that the Fed points to any scintilla of inflation to use as an excuse to keep raising rates- as insurance for the future. The Fed would not be able to rescue the economy with rates cuts designed to stimulate growth- at least not without cutting to zero.

Hopefully, in such case, U.S. bonds would become more appealing to investors as tax hikes (hopefully) bring deficits under control, allowing rates to decline, and a new economic cycle to begin[4]. With higher taxes ad little room for the Fed to lower rates, it would be a challenge.

So, to the initial query:

What would be far worse than an inverted yield curve in a slowing economy?

Answer:

A steep yield curve in a slow economy where lower tax receipts to the government mean bigger deficits, causing higher costs of capital to businesses and consumers, accompanied by a weak dollar from sluggish or negative growth, and with higher taxes to follow … all at the worst possible time.

Everyone assumes that if we see a weak economy we will get low interest rates and low yields. But, just look around the world; if fiscal discipline is absent, it may not go that way.  Everyone assumes that higher interest rates and high yields mean a strong currency- but, just look at what is happening in the United States today.

_________________________________________

fn

  1. The U.S. dollar would be weak, even as yields climb, due to deficits and due to the expectation of low internal rates of return due to an economic slowdown.
  2. At this stage of the cycle, wage inflation may be more of an expense (rather than a demand side stimulus), and, anyway, is offset by the rising commodities costs (namely, energy) and higher interest rates (both of which, along with tight labor markets, appear late in business cycles). It’s unknown, and unknowable, how wage inflation earlier on in the cycle would have helped or hindered growth.
  3. It was, actually, the overall sluggish economy, probably combined with many American’s “Republican-fatigue” after twelve years of a Republican White House (all of which included Bush) that contributed to President Bush’s defeat- plus the possibility that many Ross Perot votes would, otherwise, have gone to Bush.
  4. Certain dynamics could offset rising yields, such as, at a certain point, high yields attracting yield-seeking capital that helps push yields lower.

 

 

endnotes

  1. A few things to note about people on “Wall Street” (analysts, CEOs, portfolio managers) to keep in mind as you evaluate markets and the economy:
  • They either didn’t see or didn’t warn about the 2007 housing crisis (as some investment banks were selling housing securities short).
  • They touted a “global coordinated” growth story for months in 2017 and 2018, that never panned out- quite the opposite.
  • They spent the latter parts of 2017 and early 2018 recommending emerging market stocks and bonds to everyone – Great call!
  • You never see calls from investment banks about shadow banking risks (even China had enough sense … and transparency… to try to step-in on and reel-in theirs. It’s only when asked – such as on Bloomberg TV- that Wall Street concedes to a possible problem. This whole shadow banking issue is addressed when brought up, but glossed over … and percolates below the surface, along with other non-regulated high return debt investments.

In light of the above, when “Wall Street” over and over, stresses a 2020 slowdown in the economy and stocks – you can be sure that they will not be waiting until 2020 to do something about it. In 2019- not in 2020- they will be getting their clients out of the market long before “you” are out. So, don’t wait until “they” call the slowdown and alert you. It will be too late. Look at CPI, PPI, expected GDP, consumer spending, interest rate trajectories, housing permit applications … the slowdown is here.

 

 

Neil S. Siskind, Esq., President
The Siskind Law Firm
Tel: 646.530.0006

Neil Siskind is the Founder & Chairman of The Fatherhood Assignment
Neil-Siskind-photo
Learn more at:  http://www.neil-siskind-the-fatherhood-assignment.org/

Neil Siskind is the Conservator of the Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve
Neil-Siskind-Picture

The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve is over 7 acres of environmentally-pristine waterfront land in a magnificent setting along New York’s majestic Hudson River. The Preserve includes a variety of species of animal and plant life, and is a precious example of the thoughtful maintenance of New York’s priceless open spaces. The land’s uses are limited to outdoor recreation such as hiking and climbing, and the study of ecology, nature and land use. The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve allows for the intelligent contemplation of our valuable natural resources and the most effective ways to maximize them and keep them protected.

Neil Siskind, Founder, “National Fatherhood Day” – March 29th

Neil-Siskind-pics
To encourage recognition of the needs of boys and girls who are living without fathers or father-figures in their lives.

Read about the non-profits and charities whose missions Neil Siskind supports and promotes: www.neilsiskindsupports.com
Caring is Free®

You can read what clients and associates say about Neil Siskind at: http://siskindlawfirm.com/neil-siskind-bio/.

Neil Siskind’s Volunteer Work:

– Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Volunteer

– Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, My Fundraiser- Help Neil Siskindhelp children with cancer to be more comfortable: http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR?px=3182108&fr_id=2632&pg=personal

– Make-A Wish Foundation- Help Neil Siskind make sick children’s wishes come true by creating your own fundraiser: Neil-Siskind/Help-Make-A-Child-Smile.htm

– DonorsChoose.org- Donate to one of my needy public classrooms: http://www.donorschoose.org/NeilSiskindGiving

– Champion Children– We seek to inspire people through stories of children who have overcome challenges: http://siskindlawfirm.com/neil-siskind-champion-children/


Neil Siskind’s Pro Bono
 Work:

– Saving Senior Citizens- Protecting New York’s senior citizens from fraud and financial abuse www.savingseniorcitizens.com

– Senior FreeStart Business– Pro Bono: We seek to help put senior citizens in the right direction so that they can face the challenges of the modern economy: http://siskindlawfirm.com/free-start-business/

– Veteran FreeStart Business– Pro Bono: We seek to help put Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans in the right direction so that they can face the challenges of the modern economy: http://siskindlawfirm.com/free-start-business/

– In development: The Neil S. Siskind School of Hope: A free school to teach inner-city youths the skills of entrepreneurship and importance of economic self-sufficiency.

Neil Siskind’s Government Work:

– Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Boston, MA, 1994, Intern
– Office of Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Newington, CT, 1992, Intern
– Hartford County Department of Probation, Hartford, CT, 1991, Intern

Neil Siskind’s Community Assistance:

Financed & operated a legal clinic providing low-cost legal services to struggling Long Islanders during the recession to help clients resolve debt, organize finances, and launch new businesses.

Neil Siskind’s Professional Curriculum Vitae: http://neilsiskind.com/

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Chairman Powell & Alan Greenspan’s Deadly Errors- by NEIL SISKIND

The Fed Chairman and Alan Greenspan- probably Janet Yellen, too- look at consumer and business spending, wholesale and retail prices, and employment (among other things) to determine inflation and inflation expectations. But, when they see inflation, they fail to weigh consumer debt and low wages heavily enough against the inflation picture. When they raise interest rates, they fail to account for higher interest rates plus higher gas prices (which, themselves, can lead to higher interest rates, or at least be a factor in such) being too cumbersome for heavy personal balance sheets and stagnant incomes. Moreover, neither Chairman adequately addressed- and hardly address- housing prices, especially as to how they are connected- or should be connected to wages. Vast housing price growth in a society that lacks equally or faster income growth is entirely inappropriate, and economically dangerous.

These factors, combined, led to the great recession. The lack of wage growth and growing consumer debt should have led to higher interest rates sooner. Again, like then, we have a Fed raising its target rate while never speaking of the high housing prices and the consumer debt that is allowing for the higher retail spending and continued home buying (now slowing).

Should the Fed keep its Fed funds target rate low and slow down it’s quantitative tightening program? I’m not suggesting this. Low rates can’t persist forever or asset bubbles and other bubbles will emerge and grow. But, to suggest that incomes are doing okay and housing is fine, and that spending will rise sans excessive consumer debt as gas prices rise and incomes stagnate is either ignorant or just psycho-babble intended to try to keep markets stable as rates rise. If these are in fact Jedi mind games being played by Chairman Powell- he should look to how that played out for Mr. Greenspan- and develop a better strategy.

Chairman Powell wrongly believes that he has reached stability in the economy through monetary policy because low wages are causing low inflation rates as spending persists, interest rates rise, gas prices are elevated, and homes are unaffordable.

That’s success? This is stability?

Incomes, incomes, incomes … it’s the incomes, stupid. More accurately, it’s the debt to income ratios … stupid. And it’s the incomes to home prices ratios … stupid. Consumer spending is 70% or so of the economy. How can that continue without wage increases, and how can home prices rise as incomes don’t? And how can spending continue as interest rates and gas prices rise while incomes stagnate? … stupid.

 

Neil S. Siskind, Esq., President
The Siskind Law Firm
Tel: 646.530.0006

Neil Siskind is the Founder & Chairman of The Fatherhood Assignment
Neil-Siskind-photo
Learn more at:  http://www.neil-siskind-the-fatherhood-assignment.org/

Neil Siskind is the Conservator of the Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve
Neil-Siskind-Picture

The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve is over 7 acres of environmentally-pristine waterfront land in a magnificent setting along New York’s majestic Hudson River. The Preserve includes a variety of species of animal and plant life, and is a precious example of the thoughtful maintenance of New York’s priceless open spaces. The land’s uses are limited to outdoor recreation such as hiking and climbing, and the study of ecology, nature and land use. The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve allows for the intelligent contemplation of our valuable natural resources and the most effective ways to maximize them and keep them protected.

Neil Siskind, Founder, “National Fatherhood Day” – March 29th

Neil-Siskind-pics
To encourage recognition of the needs of boys and girls who are living without fathers or father-figures in their lives.

Read about the non-profits and charities whose missions Neil Siskind supports and promotes: www.neilsiskindsupports.com
Caring is Free®

You can read what clients and associates say about Neil Siskind at: http://siskindlawfirm.com/neil-siskind-bio/.

Neil Siskind’s Volunteer Work:

– Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Volunteer

– Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, My Fundraiser- Help Neil Siskindhelp children with cancer to be more comfortable: http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR?px=3182108&fr_id=2632&pg=personal

– Make-A Wish Foundation- Help Neil Siskind make sick children’s wishes come true by creating your own fundraiser: Neil-Siskind/Help-Make-A-Child-Smile.htm

– DonorsChoose.org- Donate to one of my needy public classrooms: http://www.donorschoose.org/NeilSiskindGiving

– Champion Children– We seek to inspire people through stories of children who have overcome challenges: http://siskindlawfirm.com/neil-siskind-champion-children/


Neil Siskind’s Pro Bono
 Work:

– Saving Senior Citizens- Protecting New York’s senior citizens from fraud and financial abuse www.savingseniorcitizens.com

– Senior FreeStart Business– Pro Bono: We seek to help put senior citizens in the right direction so that they can face the challenges of the modern economy: http://siskindlawfirm.com/free-start-business/

– Veteran FreeStart Business– Pro Bono: We seek to help put Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans in the right direction so that they can face the challenges of the modern economy: http://siskindlawfirm.com/free-start-business/

– In development: The Neil S. Siskind School of Hope: A free school to teach inner-city youths the skills of entrepreneurship and importance of economic self-sufficiency.

Neil Siskind’s Government Work:

– Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Boston, MA, 1994, Intern
– Office of Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Newington, CT, 1992, Intern
– Hartford County Department of Probation, Hartford, CT, 1991, Intern

Neil Siskind’s Community Assistance:

Financed & operated a legal clinic providing low-cost legal services to struggling Long Islanders during the recession to help clients resolve debt, organize finances, and launch new businesses.

Neil Siskind’s Professional Curriculum Vitae: http://neilsiskind.com/

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Inventors, IP Owners, Manufacturers
Learn How To Bring Products To Market And To Expand Your Distribution Channels
The Complete Guide To The Ways To Manufacture & Sell Your Products