Mike Whitney says we are Running on Empty and it's hard to argue with his explication. (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)
There's a big difference between inventory-driven recessions and credit-driven recessions. An inventory recession is caused by a mismatch between supply and demand. It's the result of overcapacity and under-utilization which can only work itself out over time as inventories are pared back and demand builds. Credit-driven recessions are a different story altogether. They typically last twice as long as and can precipitate financial crises. The current recession is a severe credit bust of Depression-era magnitude. The financial system has effectively melted down. The wholesale credit system (securitization) is frozen, the banking system is dysfunctional and insolvent, and consumer spending has tanked. The Fed's multi-trillion dollar lending facilities and monetary stimulus have kept the financial system from grinding to a halt, but the underlying problems still persist. Fed chairman Ben Bernanke has chosen to avoid the hard decisions and keep the price of toxic assets artificially high with the help of a $12.8 trillion liquidity backstop. That's why stocks have rallied for the last 4 months while conditions in the real economy have steadily deteriorated. Bernanke is using all the tools at his disposal to keep the market from clearing and prevent the mountain of debt that has built up over decades from being purged from the system. Unfortunately, as Ludwig von Mises said, "There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought on by credit expansion.""Mish" (Mike Shedlock) says what has happened in Sweden shows how unlikely the "green shoots" wishful thinking is and a lot more. (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)
There has been a lot of ludicrous recommendations recently to combat deflation by making deposit rates negative. I did not think any central bank would be dumb enough to try it. I thought wrong. Today, Riksbank, Sweeden's central bank cut the deposit rate to -0.25% effectively charging savers interest on deposited money. The weak development of the economy requires a somewhat more expansionary monetary policy. The Executive Board of the Riksbank has therefore decided to cut the repo rate by 0.25 of a percentage point to 0.25 per cent.
Deep economic downturn
Economic activity abroad is very weak and this hits Sweden hard. Exports have fallen substantially and the situation on the labour market is continuing to deteriorate rapidly. The information received in recent months points to the economic downturn in 2009 being somewhat deeper than the Riksbank forecast in April.
Our favorite inspiration in all things political, Helen Thomas, lets us in on the inside information about what Obama is really up to (emphasis marks added - Ed.):
Those of us who care do. Suzan _________________
Following a testy exchange during Wednesday’s briefing with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas told CNSNews.com that not even Richard Nixon tried to control the press the way President Obama is trying to control the press.
“Nixon didn’t try to do that,” Thomas said. “They couldn’t control (the media). They didn’t try.
“What the hell do they think we are, puppets?” Thomas said. “They’re supposed to stay out of our business. They are our public servants. We pay them.”
Thomas said she was especially concerned about the arrangement between the Obama Administration and a writer from the liberal Huffington Post Web site. The writer was invited by the White House to President Obama’s press conference last week on the understanding that he would ask Obama a question about Iran from among questions that had been sent to him by people in Iran.
“When you call the reporter the night before you know damn well what they are going to ask to control you,” Thomas said.