Bearish No Matter What
- Posted by ToddSullivan
- on April 19th, 2012
HT Reader Scott for finding this…
This is proof of what I have been saying for a while now. No matter how positive the news, no matter how many years have passed since we were going to into a”double dip” that never came, no matter how many thousands of points to Dow has risen, no matter how many millions more people are working and on and on and on…..no matter any of it…..people will find it all to somehow be bad.
Scott called this perfectly, it is “creative bearishness”
Now people going back to work at an increasing rate is bad…..
From Business Week
Ian Shepherdson is a nice guy. He’s also an economist, which means that he looks at the world a bit … differently. Right now, he’s concerned that the U.S. unemployment rate might continue to fall faster than the Federal Reserve is projecting.
Shepherdson thinks Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Vice Chairman Janet Yellen are too dovish—that is, they’re underestimating the strength of job growth. He fears the Fed’s rate-setting committee will keep interest rates too low for too long, causing inflation to jump. The Fed has said it anticipates keeping rates “exceptionally low” through the end of 2014. I wrote about the Fed’s take on this on April 5.
Shepherdson may not be right about this, but a lot of people feel the same way, so it’s worth considering the argument. He operates from a London base as chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, N.Y. His claim: While job creation is great, it’s not healthy for unemployment to be falling so rapidly when the economy is expanding at such a modest pace. It means productivity growth is low. It was just 0.9 percent annualized in the last quarter of 2011. Crucially, Shepherdson thinks it will stay low.
His theory: Productivity was high in the early phase of the recovery because large, capital-intensive companies were able to meet rising demand, without hiring, by working their machines harder. But now the expansion has spread to companies that are less capital-intensive and have to hire as soon as demand for their goods and services picks up. Shepherdson fears that if the Fed’s low rates stimulate strong growth in output, companies will quickly run out of people to hire and the competition for labor will drive up wages, leading to inflation. He described his views in his weekly notes on April 16 and elaborated on them in a phone interview.
Bernanke and Yellen have a different explanation. They say companies overshot their job-cutting—perhaps out of fear that things would get even worse—and since then, they’ve corrected that mistake by staffing back up. That’s consistent with a fair amount of research, including some by economists at Citigroup (C).
Either theory, the Fed’s or Shepherdson’s, seems capable of explaining what has happened so far. But they have starkly different implications for what happens next. Shepherdson fears the labor market will overheat unless the Fed starts nudging up interest rates. The Fed’s central forecast is that unemployment will still range from 6.7 percent to 7.6 percent at the end of 2014, meaning that labor-market tightness is the last thing for anyone to worry about.
Being a “bear” is cool. Just look around. Bears are the economic equivalent of hipsters. Everything is a joke, everything is to be mocked and anyone who thinks the opposite of them is just clearly a moron. Despite everything that has happened since the depths of ’08-’09, people are still overwhelmingly pessimistic. Pick any 10 randoms headlines from any financial publication. If 8 of them aren’t negative, I’d be shocked.
Somehow being optimistic has dwarfed into not seeing reality or thinking there is no way anything can go wrong. Neither is the case. So as this market continues to climb, it is doing so “in spite” of the sentiment out there, not because of it. It is grudgingly accepting the economic realities of the US.
Whenever people going back to work can be twisted into a negative in a major publication…….people are just still stuck in the recession mentally
To see more posts on any of the companies mentioned in this article, enter their stock ticker symbol in the search box.
The information in this blog post represents my own opinions and does not contain a recommendation for any particular security or investment. I or my affiliates may hold positions or other interests in securities mentioned in the Blog, please see my Disclaimer page for my full disclaimer.
Todd's investing strategy is essentially long with the rare short. He seeks to buy undervalued issues with an upcoming catalyst that will help them realized.... More »
aapl acas ackman aig AN bac BAM BBI bgp BPO buffett CC CODi CRE davidson dow einhorn employment ETFC f fairx ggp hhc housing IGOI jcp jmba joe mbi mcd mgm MO oesx pld PM rail sbux seth klarman SHLD spg spy theory trade VIC xom
- Tuesday links: the secret of SEO | Abnormal Returns on The Private Economy is Doing Just Fine
- The Expansion and Employment | ValuePlays on Housing Thoughts & New Home Supply Sinks to 4.1mos
- Housing Bubble Hysteria: Facts Versus Ficton » CanuckPost.com on Why I Am Cautiously Optimistic About 2010 $$
- CRM Still Thinks -1 + -1 = 2 | ValuePlays on What Did CRM Buy in Buddy Media?? Increasing Losses and Cash Serious Flow Drain…
- Student Loans Won’t Kill Housing Recovery – ValueWalk | on Student Loans and Housing