Notes April27 2008
April 28, 2008 § Leave a comment
From the excellent Calculated Risk
[On CNBC] I fleshed out my arguments on why the US recession will be severe and protracted, lasting four to six quarters.
… later in the CNBC program Nobel Prize winner Joe Stiglitz explicitly agreed with my view that this will be the worst U.S. recession since the Great Depression. In some ways Stiglitz was even gloomier than I have been.
Later that morning on CNBC Mohamed El-Erian, co-CEO of Pimco, fleshed out the arguments on why this crisis is not over. That interview followed up his excellent op-ed column on the FT today where he argued that we are now moving to a new stage of the economic and financial downturn.
Here is the Financial Times piece by Mohamed El-Erian: Why this crisis is still far from finished
… During the next few months there will be a reversal in the direction of causality: the unusual adverse contamination by the financial sector of the real economy is now morphing into the more common phenomenon of recessionary forces threatening to undermine the financial system.
Economic data in the US have taken a notable turn for the worse. Most importantly, the already weakening employment outlook is being further undermined by a widely diffused build-up in inventory and falling profitability. History suggests that the latter two factors lead to significant employment losses.
… The sharp slowdown in the US real economy will occur in the context of continued global inflationary pressures. As such, the Federal Reserve’s dual objectives – maintaining price stability and solid economic growth – will become increasingly inconsistent and difficult to reconcile. Indeed, if the Fed is again forced to carry the bulk of the burden of the US policy response, it will find itself in the unpleasant and undesirable situation of potentially undermining its inflation-fighting credibility in order to prevent an already bad situation from becoming even worse.
It is still too early for investors and policymakers to unfasten their seatbelts. Instead, they should prepare for renewed volatility.