EconoMonitor

The Wilder View

World economic reports (June 19-26): seeing some light…really!

Glimmers of hope are starting to emerge in the hard data. Exports in Asia are forming a more decided bottom; but since the trough is -20% to -30% off over the year, the recovery may be a long haul (or it may not). By some measures, home values in the UK and the US are showing signs of stabilization, as the annual pace of decline slows. German business sentiment continues its ascent, moving past its 1993 low! In contrast, inflation maintains its steady descent; Japan is hard hit.

Overall, the global economy is finding its footing on the path toward stabilization.

Exports in Asia: looking a little better, but still WAY down over the year!

exports_chart.PNG

UK and US home values: signs of hope? Yes and no.

home_value_chart.PNG

The US measure, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (used to be OFHEO) includes only conforming mortgage homes; and therefore, it doesn’t capture the full market (there are other measures of home values, i.e., the S&P Case Shiller indices, that do not signal such a decided stabilization in home values). This is a weak market; and with foreclosures persisting and inventories high, prices are likely to fall a bit further.

According to the Ifo Institute for Economic Research, German business sentiment saw its fourth monthly gain! Here is an excerpt from the release:

The brightening was solely the result of the firms’ expectations – the pessimism of the survey participants with regard to the six-month business outlook has again weakened. Their dissatisfaction with the current business situation is just as strong as it was in May. The survey results confirm that the German economy is gradually stabilising.

ifo_chart.PNG

Inflation remains in (or is nearing) the red for Singapore, Hong Kong, and poor Japan.

inflation_chart.PNG

The global economy this week: looks a little brighter but still bad.


Originally published at News N Economics and reproduced here with the author’s permission.

2 Responses to “World economic reports (June 19-26): seeing some light…really!”

God of FinanceJune 26th, 2009 at 2:06 pm

God of FinanceEarthlings, listen up. I am your God, stupid, not him, your God of Finance. I, as you know …hadn’d been with you as long; only 700 years since Emperor Kublai Khan started paying paper instead of silver money. Of course scoundrels immediately started to cheat with faked look-alikes but the punishment was sufficient to deter these devious beings to spoil my coming-out party, heard of Death-by-a-Thousand-Cuts.I was once almost dead, chained by these little rules that they called regulations and destroyed over half of the planet by the halfling who called himself Marx. Devilish wasn’t he; the you-know-who compensated for his you-know-what by that gigantic beard. I was then freed by that odd couple, Ron and Margaret, I thought; but it was she, I believe, said “can do business”. Sorry to say it, but it is true that I am a fickle god and there had been many upheavals, not only in the land of my origin in the Yuan empire but also in much of the new European ones like that has-been Holy Roman province of the Tulip fields, the kill-all-the-Reds British South Seas, the new-paradigm swamps of the French Mississippi, the Versailles victimized Weimar, and of course the blindly blissful 1929 New York. Well, admit it; you are living in one!Contrary to common belief, I do not usually strike a touch of anger unannounced. There were some unchained souls like M. Roubini, Shiller, and even this halfling Krugman; all gentlemen of immense intelligence, and almost my ego, surely would have spoiled my next party, had it not been for your, say, l’armour d’argent. Ah, the causes. It was actually quit simple; I naturally live in your economy, which usually has a productive side, and a financial side. Like, some work and put food on the table, and others count it. So long as the two are balanced, the financial side supports the productive side and the productive side puts more demand on the financial side, which creates the wealth, you know, things like that shining suit on your chest, the sleek iPod in your pocket, and even that seedy establishment, you call it the mall, that you frequent.But unlike me, who is divine, you are only human. Every so often, especially with Ron and Margaret in business, you mistake the shenanigans as “Financial Innovation” – something like “efficient finance” actually produces real wealth by counting it many times. It happens like this. Production gets you feeling rich; you then juice it up by borrowing. Being low in intelligence and high on greed, you are carried away by borrowing so much, until that is, there is nowhere to borrow, only debts to repay, if you can repay at all. Your losses are also piling up at the same time.But, but, but… This time it’s different! You have a New Economy. I have these gifts to you of these talented banksters. Your friendly neighbourhood bankers, if you still remember them, and your scholarly central bankers, you see, are no longer your ally; much now mine and more of his, you know, the one who is denoted 666.I always had this small column of i-banksters, but this splendid army, I have to thank M. Greenspan, and your weatherman in many a fine season. They gave me the shadow-banksters, and with their aid, I won over these your-smiling-uncle-banksters with huge bonuses and you-know-you-don’t-understand giant pay-packages. To make it certain, I make sure they are paid each year so I can have my joyous party on year 5. Even your dignified officials, you know the ones you elect, are in my banksters’ pockets. How do you think they are elected? Not to mention their Italian white shoes, English hand-tailored pinstrips, and trophy blondes in the elbows?You know you cannot win, but still tempted to jump in with these NYSE traps; I deliberately stir them up each quarter so you feel you have no choice. With each passing high-and-low, you feel your gut churn and churn, and I just watch on the sidelines with amusement. Just to magnify my drama, I reward your greed with higher-and-higher highs, and of course, when the end comes, I direct a tsunami on your fine behind.Like all gods, I cannot have mercy. I will have to punish you hard until you are pants down. I remember in 1929, those who feared me jumped and many a window had been thrown on the streets. This year, there hadn’t been a lot of that, only that little puddle of French red, but still it wasn’t fun. The thing is, if you are illusory thinking you all can get ahead by counting money, instead of producing it, you will be very sorry indeed. Like this year, your economy is really lopsided; so many counting, so few producing, and all are greedy.It looks like, all over again, nothing is learned. Your weatherman, he was a bean counter, wasn’t he, is telling you that great for your taxes, you will be on it again; it is all very predictable. What is going to happen is just going to be the same old game of the same people, intoxicated with the same old drug, pushing around the same amount of real money and each taking a same amount of little cut and then pushes it to the next stop. After enough of that go-around, you know there won’t be any cuts left but for the one on your tummy, almost sounds familiar. Oh really, it is not even the same amount of real money, remember you will have to repay your debts. When you are sorry again these more years, don’t say I haven’t told you so.

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