Disclaimer. After nearly 40 years managing money for some of the largest life offices and investment managers in the world, I think I have something to offer. These days I'm retired, and I can't by law give you advice. While I do make mistakes, I try hard to do my analysis thoroughly, and to make sure my data are correct (old habits die hard!) Also, don't ask me why I called it "Volewica". It's too late, now.

BTW, clicking on most charts will produce the original-sized, i.e., bigger version.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A tale of two worlds

This chart is fascinating.  At least I think it is.  It shows the level of industrial production, indexed to January 2008, the beginning of the GFC.

Note how OECD IP (industrial production) is still below the peak in January 2008.  But BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) IP is now nearly 40% above the January level.  Note also how the recession in the BRIC countries was mild and short, while in the OECD as a whole (there are exceptions: Turkey for example) the recession was very deep and the recovery, contrary to the usual pattern, where a sharp downturn is followed by an equally sharp upturn, output is rising only slowly and tediously.  And this is despite massive monetary and (initially) fiscal stimulus.

Debt is an obvious reason, and the tea party numpties' desire to eliminate the deficit is superficially laudable but actually beyond-belief cretinous.  Cutting government spending now will push the US back into recession.  In 1937, after a long and painful recovery from the Great Depression, the last downturn caused by excessive debt, the Republicans who had gained control of both houses in the previous election (though the President remained the Democrat Roosevelt) , cut the deficit ("it will restore confidence") and plunged the US back into the deepest recession since the Great Depression.  Does mankind ever learn?

Meanwhile, thank your lucky stars that despite the brainless ningies in Washington, China is still growing fast. For without it we really would be in the dwang.

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