Tuesday, July 31, 2012

That Nasty Word - Stagflation

Let's look at the U.S. economy like a "super-star" professional athlete. Much like a star athlete, the U.S. economy is always in the spotlight, and others look for leadership from said "super-star". That being said, global investors should focus on the performance of the U.S economy as a barometer. Here is what I am getting at, if an athletic phenom is taking a boat-load of steroids (much like the Fed pumping trillions of dollars into the economy) - then we should expect exceptional results (one would think). Instead, despite all of the inflationary printing of U.S. dollars by the Fed - the U.S. economy is putting out a whopping 1.5% GDP (and shrinking). The next question should be, what will happen when the Fed runs out of "tools" to spur growth? One answer may be that the Fed will never run out of "stimulus", as they can continue to print more money. The most important question is how markets will digest stimulus measures in the intermediate term. A term that you already know, but is not in the media currently - is stagflation (declining growth with increasing inflation). This is the worst scenario any central bank could deal with, as their hands are tied to make future policy moves. The way the economy has reacted to unprecedented stimulus measures from the Fed should be a clue that stagflation may be much closer than one expects.

No comments:

Post a Comment