Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Waiting on the beach

I feel as if we're sitting lazily on the beach, sipping daquiris, while over the horizon the tsunami is rushing silently towards us. The housing bubble has burst so we are told, and now happy-face types are walking among us talking of "green shoots". Consumer confidence is up — so what am I worried about? Steve Keen has a story from Barry Eichengreen & Kevin O'Rourke entitled "A Tale of Two Depressions" (read the original here) which shows some startling graphs comparing various financial indicators of the Great Depression with our current GFC. Here are a couple of samples: it's not a good look…
Gary North has an interesting take on this "green shoots" talk. He says what's the next bubble? and answers consumer confidence. In other words, don't be sucked in by happy talk. Don't get trapped in the next bubble. Heed the tsunami warnings!

Why are we not experiencing such a sharp decline in Australia compared to many other countries? My guess is it's due to our position in the supply chain. The first people to feel the heat are the retailers, then the importers, then the manufacturers, then the raw material suppliers. It takes a while for it to work its way through the system.

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