3 November 2009

"Have we dodged the Iceberg? " ~ Nope, I also posit...

The combination of massive fiscal stimulus and a monetary policy set to "full flood" did a lot of the heavy lifting but the real kicker was a flood of "hot money" driven by a carry trade by investment banks flush with bailout money looking for a yield differential and currency gains as the pound and buck dive. The Ruddster bought some time but it will end badly, imo.

Keen notes...

2010 will be a bad year for the Australian economy:
The combination of the RBA’s rate rises and the ending of the First Home Buyers Boost will in all likelihood prick the house price bubble inspired by the Boost in the first place—and lead as many as 175,000 households to be very angry that they were enticed into this speculative bubble in the first place. If this happens, there is little prospect of making the House Price Souffle rise twice by yet another foolish enticement into debt.
The political pressure on the government may lead it to unwind its stimulus, which will remove a key prop from the economy; and
Deleveraging, which has been the looming problem that government policy (especially the First Home Vendors Grant) has simply delayed, will kick in as it has in the USA. The most likely manifestation would be a decline in discretionary consumption and non-mining investment.

I therefore expect that the RBA won’t get to complete its intended program of raising interest rates, but will be forced to go into reverse in 2010 as it was in 2008. It shouldn’t be forgotten that the RBA was still raising rates in mid-2008 to fight inflation. They didn’t see the GFC coming, and I believe that they’re making a similar mistake this time—believing that it’s all behind us when the special factors that minimised the impact are terminating.

So no I don’t believe we have dodged the iceberg—we’ve merely pushed it below the surface, from where it will rise again to dent out economic hull once more. And all the while the neoclassical economists who didn’t realise they were in an ice field in the first place are busily rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.


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