Jun 23, 2011

Economic Outlook

Optimists argue that the global economy has merely hit a “soft patch". Firms and consumers reacted to this year’s shocks by “temporarily” slowing consumption, capital spending, and job creation. As long as the shocks don’t worsen (and as some become less acute), confidence and growth will recover in the second half of the year, and stock markets will rally again.

But there are good reasons to believe that we are experiencing a more persistent slump. First, the problems of the eurozone periphery are in some cases problems of actual insolvency, not illiquidity: large and rising public and private deficits and debt; damaged financial systems that need to be cleaned up and recapitalized; massive loss of competitiveness; lack of economic growth; and rising unemployment… - in WSJ

Tickers: ProShares UltraShort S&P500 (ETF) (SDS), SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), iShares Russell 2000 Index (ETF) (IWM), ProShares UltraShort QQQ (ETF) (QID), SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA), iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSE:VXX), iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Indx (ETF) (EEM), General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), 3M Company (NYSE:MMM), Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT)

Second, the factors slowing U.S. growth are chronic... Third, economic growth has been flat on average in the U.K. over the last couple of quarters, with front-loaded fiscal austerity coming at a time when rising inflation is preventing the Bank of England from easing monetary policy.