Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Recession Will Overtake Us Once Again

There is an ongoing three way debate between those who believe the Fed should do more to strengthen the recovery, those who believe that the recovery is strong enough to continue on its own, and those who believe that the economy has been so fundamentally altered by the recession that no amount of stimulus can succeed in pushing unemployment down to pre-crash levels. As usual, they all have it wrong (although some are more wrong than others).

The false conclusions are being made by the likes of bond king Bill Gross, who has suggested that the economic fundamentals have changed. They argue that a "new normal" is now in place that sets an 8% unemployment rate as a floor below which we will never fall. This is absurd. America can once again prosper if we put our trust in first principles and let the free markets work. Unfortunately, that is not happening. Government is taking an ever greater role in our economy where its efforts will continue to stifle economic growth. A close second in cluelessness comes from those who believe that we are currently on the road to a real recovery. I'm not sure what economy they are looking at, but in just about every important metric, we continue to be essentially comatose.

More accurate are the opinions of those who believe that without a more serious intervention from the Fed, which can only mean another round of quantitative easing (QE III), the current quasi-recovery will soon fade and the tides of recession will overtake us once again. They are correct. And even though this time the water will be rougher and deeper than it was four years ago, it does not mean that the Fed will do the economy any good by breaking out its heavy artillery once again.

- Peter Schiff via Business Insider:

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