Once, a long while ago, back during my SGI days, SGI had been pummeled for missing our numbers one quarter. There was a brief rally, someone asked if we had turned things around. Experienced commentators talked about how even “dead cats bounce”.
Not exactly the most pleasant of images, but there it was.
Obviously, you know how that story turned out. I raise this situation now, as there has been a market rally over the past few days. The DJIA is above 8k.
So is this real? A dead cat bounce? Or something far more ominous?
I wish I knew. Some think it is more ominous.
If we are exporting deflation by devaluing our currency, someone somewhere is going to pay for this. As it turns out, its the Swiss whom are getting punished. As well as a few others.
Here lies the danger. If other countries try to export deflation by this means, we will face a second phase of the global crisis. Taiwan is already devaluing. Korea, Singapore, and Sweden all seem tempted to follow. Japan is chomping at the bit.
“We don’t fully realise in the West what a catastrophic collapse Japan has suffered,” says Albert Edwards, global strategist at Soci??t?? G??n??rale. “The West has dumped a large part of its economic downturn onto Japan by devaluing against the yen.”
This is about to go into reverse as Tokyo hits the ping-pong ball back across the net. “As the unfolding collapse in the yen gathers pace, the West will see its green shoots incinerated to dust,” he said.
I wish I could find this analysis that I saw a few weeks ago. Compared our current state and the onset of this crisis to that of the great depression. Turns out, if that analysis is to be believed, we are about 1/2 way through the crisis. Only another 500-ish days to go or so.
Swiss consumer prices fell 0.4pc in March (year-on-year). Swiss CPI will be minus 1pc at least by July, nearing the level where spending psychology changes. By the time you have a self-feeding spiral, it is too late.
I am an optimist … about our business, about the economy (normally). I have a sense that this is one of those prescient analyses you will think about in 10 years. You see those every know and then. And remember them off in the future.
I hope they are wrong. I fear they may be right.
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