Alan “Bubbles” Greenspan has been going around the world, promoting his book…which, in a roundabout way, promotes our book. Amazon.com has paired Greenspan’s memoir, The Age of Turbulence with our latest missive, written with co-author Lila Rajiva, Mobs, Messiahs and Markets. He’s been telling interviewers around the globe that the odds of a recession for the United States are increasing. Uh…yes…
What could take up the slack? Business spending? The latest reports show the rate of business spending – new plant, equipment, ‘durable goods’ – is going down, not up. But what would you expect? Why increase production when consumers can’t buy?
Another possible source is government. The feds have no money either, but as Ben Bernanke once put it, they “have a little technology called a printing press”. Ah yes…that is long story too…
But for the moment, the pols think they are better off preaching the gospel of budget cutting (more about that below too…).
Recession? “Yes” is our guess.
What’s this? Michael Bloomberg is in England. He spoke to the Conservative Party conference in Blackpool, and sounded like a presidential contender.
We have wondered when Republicans would begin to act like conservatives again. We don’t know Bloomberg, but he sounded like one this weekend. Of the Republicans, he said this:
“Too many of them want to run up enormous deficits and hope that some way, somehow – someone else will pay for it. That’s not conservatism – that’s alchemy, or, if you like, lunacy.”
The 65-year-old added: “In New York , the economic uncertainty our two countries face today is beginning to feel similar to the economic downturn we experienced six years ago – but this time, the stakes are higher because more people owe more debt and so do our governments.
“The sun is rising on our borrowing bacchanalia and pretending otherwise will only make the recovery slower and more painful.”
He went on to outline four principles of responsible government:
“First, improve the quality of life that residents and visitors experience. Second, stick to fiscally responsible principles.
“Third, invest in projects that will unleash and incentivise private sector investment – and that will both leverage and diversify the economy.
“And fourth, provide strong leadership that is based on independent problem-solving, not partisan politics, and that is not afraid to tackle the toughest problems.”
Markets and Money