June and the first half of 2022 has been historical to say the least.
It looks like we are officially in a "recession." The technical definition being two consecutive quarters of economic contraction. ie. the economy slowed for 6 months in a row. We won't know for certain until July 13, when June's CPI data is released, expect volatile markets when that happens.
Here's what caught my attention and the meaning I am reading into it.
People's expectation for continued inflation continues to remain high. This is bleeding over in to purchasing behavior.
It would be easy to explain this behavior as typical "recession" behavior...and those with an agenda are doing just that.
However, for those of us who care about the facts, it is hard to distinguish between economic fears and true shortages caused by lack of supply and shipping issues. Chips are still hard to come by, there is still a massive backlog of ships at port, and transit cost and times are at all time highs.
At this point, the job of the Fed and the government is to alter perception and try and slow this runaway train. In a very real way, Inflation is a self-fulfilling prophecy. We believe it to be true therefore it becomes reality.
To be clear, I don't think prices are going to return to "normal." That ship has sailed. The question is will we have continued high inflation, or will we be able to settle in to a new normal?
Should we worry about stagflation? At this point I don't think it is a big concern. Stagnation is when the economy does not grow and we have high inflation. I think even with high inflation our economy will continue to expand over the long run....for a number of reasons, including...
Manufacturing is and will be coming back to the US, albeit a lot more high tech than what we had before. The cooling down of the tech-sector is a good sign as well. It shows that people are gearing up for a slowdown, but not a halt.
The Supreme Court's recent decision about the EPA will have the effect of "de-regulating" industry and providing a stimulus to regulated industries by keeping regulatory costs down.
Crypto Continues to Fold. You may be wondering why I consider this a win. For those of you who have followed me long enough, you know that I believe that Crypto will become regulated. I think the current crisis will lead to widespread industry regulation.
Everything that is happening in Crypto was 100% predictable.
The companies repeated all the same mistakes of previous financial crisis. They literally did not learn the lessons of history and so repeated with a high tech twist. As long as it was just hedge funds and zealots, congress was content to leave it unregulated. The second that the "mass" and ordinary voter get hurt - that's when congress steps in...to save the day and be seen as a hero. And there couldn't be better timing for a distraction.
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