Sunday, January 3, 2010

Denninger: Where we are, where we're headed

From Karl Denninger, who scores his 2009 predictions, and gives us his predictions for 2010. A sample [emphasis below in original]:
... If you take nothing else away from this Year in Review Ticker, it should be that singular chart above and a decent understanding of what it means:
To come back into equilibrium, assuming we do not decrease debt in the system at all, we would have to shrink GDP by about 20%. But shrinking GDP means that money available to pay down debt would also decrease which would generate even more defaults.

This is how deflationary depressions happen - years, even decades of playing Ponzi by layering debt upon debt. Bernanke and Geithner, along with President Obama, are well-aware of these facts which is why they are all pounding the table demanding that banks "loan more."

The problem with such a prescription is that the wise person won't borrow, for he knows what's coming. The unwise has no collateral to pledge, and thus can't borrow.

If the government forces (either by persuasion or legislation) lending to those who can't pay they only extend the Ponzi and in doing so make the inevitable collapse WORSE.

We have made no progress economically in terms of the common weal of the average American but have added debt in dramatic amounts to paper over the deficiency. That's the bottom line on the 2000s, and despite all the crooning that "the economy is on the mend" one has to look at the reality of the common man on the street to see what's coming around the bend for our economy and ask the following question:
How do we get positive economic growth when by every metric available the disposable personal income available to Americans has gone down, personal wealth has in fact decreased when one subtracts out debt (and you must; nobody in their right mind argues that if you go to the bank and take a cash advance for $20,000 on your credit card that you are "more wealthy" as a consequence of having done so!) and while employment at first blush looks "equal" to 2000 in fact there are 25 million more unemployed due to population growth - people who create drag on the economy due to entitlement spending rather than contributing to productive output?

So with all this said, here's what I believe we're looking at for 2010... ready or not, here it comes! ...

Read it all here.

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