Monday, September 3, 2018

Reflections on economics

I read articles very carefully, always trying to learn new information or views I haven't encountered before. I also read comments that way. This comment is from an article on a financial crisis that is looming:
As to QEs, this is the only way for the Western economies to keep growing, nominally. You can call this idiotic, but they simply need much bigger monetary bases just to stay where they are. This needs to be reflected in prices. Since the last EM crisis of 1997-1998 Dollar devalued by about 4 times relative to the variety of asset classes - from oil to stocks to gold to real estate to China's hard currency reserves. Commodities, as an asset class, cannot sink for long. Supply and demand, of course, play a role, but as an asset class they have to reflect the value of the currency they underpin (primarily through oil). The oil price may be hurt longer term only if the monetary base contracts. Do you think this is going to happen? If yes, this will, of course, hurt everyone. Weak EMs will drop first. Americans may think they will get out relatively unscathed as they did in 1998, with capital flowing to "safe haven". I guess that is what they would like to see.
The difference between then and now is that China is now way bigger and is going to be the major beneficiary of any collapse in commodities along with EU and India. America has deteriorated into a resource economy and is now going to be hurt much more than in 1998, along with a number of its trading partners and allies such as Australia, Canada and Mexico.
As to Russia. It is indeed more a bystander now. Watching how others struggle, mostly.--Dmitry Vakin (commenter)
There are very specific predictions made here, and we can see if they are fulfilled or not.

I haven't been formally educated in economics, but I'm very numerate. I've been watching economic issues all my life, even longer than my interest in politics. As someone with an interest in numbers, it's impossible for me to ignore prices, wages, taxes, spending, etc. I swim in this daily. So I'm not ignorant of economics.

One thing I want to see is how an economically advanced country handles population stabilization and minor population loss. I'm watching Japan. It's not making me scared because Japan doesn't appear to be imploding. It looks quite stable to me. So I'm hoping to see economic ideas based on steady-state rather than growth.

In contrast to Japan, I also see countries like Haiti, the Philippines, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. Populations have exploded with dire consequences. There's a lesson, but too few learn it.

Japanese public housing


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Jerry said...

The stock market is way overvalued. So much so that anything could start a crash, even something unrelated to financial issues.
America will lose Trump's trade wars. Prices will rise and we will lose oversea customers. We no longer hold a strong enough position in many products (like steel) that we can strong arm other countries (like China) to win a war on mutual tariffs. China already has a long list of products that get a tariff coming into America and vise-versa for many products leaving America going to China, but we need their products more than they need our products.
The Arab countries are still screwing with the price of oil and even though we import much less oil from Mideast countries, those price fluctuations have a global effect, so the oil we buy from Canada reflect those price fluctuations.
Low unemployment and cash rich companies won't save us from the financial problems headed our way and Trump's tax cut will certainly add to our already obscene, unhealthy debt.