Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Source of Our Economic Malaise

I suppose it occasionally does not hurt to support my CasualObservations with some punditry.  I have been writing that the cause of our economic malaise has been over-stimulation of the economy.  We can actually blame Bush for this.  Regretfully Obama wants to outdo Bush with even greater stimulus, which I have been arguing is wrong.  I have periodically mentioned that both Fox News and CNBC mention over-stimulation, but they never seem get around to linking it to the failure of Obama to stimulate the economy.  Very frustrating. This time I made a point to get a link to this CNBC interview with Stephen Roach of Morgan Stanley.  Here is a link to a CNBC video Global Recession: Begins & Ends With U.S.?. The interview starts 50 seconds into the video.

The short synopsis, Mr. Roach states: "That's what the markets are telling you right now, David. It all starts with the American consumer. The biggest piece of the U.S. economy by a large margin. [???] biggest consumer in the world. Here's one number that will say it all. over the past 14 quarters, from 2008 q-1 to the second quarter of 2011 average analyzed growth in U.S. consumer spending in real terms 0.2%. never before has the biggest consumer in the world, the American consumer, been this weak for this long and that feeds everywhere, not just in driving jobs in America, but driving external demand for export-led economies in Europe and Asia. and without the American consumer, the global economy's in trouble.  ...  consumers got hammered in a crisis largely because they overspent, they borrowed more than they ever should've. They squandered their [savings] and now they're facing record high unemployment and underemployment, weak income growth. the consumer's going to be in a hole for many years to come." (emphasis added)

My apologies if the cutting an pasting above is crappy.  The CNBC transcript was difficult to read.

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