Where Do We Go From Here? Economic Analysis For Remainder Of FY2020

The world started 2020 on the shakiest of terms, economically speaking. The world was already in the early stages of a contraction in aggregate demand. The covers of magazines had articles of various corporate analysts and CEOs talking about a serious recession as early as late 2018. We stress this was a global contraction, not limited to one or even a few countries. As was the case in 2008 some would fare better than others for myriad reasons. The last few months of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 saw the resignation of CEOs from several prominent companies such as Disney.

Being perpetual cynics, we wondered if they knew something the rest didn’t. The prospect of a recession was largely downplayed in the US/UK/EU mainstream press, which was no surprise. They’ve been derelict in their duty for decades now. The average American/Brit/European had no idea what was coming. Even the central banking community was bathed in complacency. They’d achieved Ben Bernanke’s ‘Goldilocks Economy‘ even if only in their own minds.

We pointed to one event as a harbinger of an upcoming crisis as early as 2016 – the appointment of Neel Kashkari to the position of President of the Minneapolis ‘Fed’. Huh? Neel Kashkari was tapped by Henry ‘Hank’ Paulson back in 2008 to head up the TARP fund created by Congress in November of that year as part of the massive Wall Street bailout brought on by a spate of bankruptcies, insolvencies, and general financial mayhem.

Why Kashkari in 2016? The last we’d heard, he was living in the mountains of California planting potatoes or some such. The TARP mess stank on every level and it was apparent that once his work was done, Kashkari was off for a long, long early retirement. So his appointment to such a position registered an 8 out of 10 on the weird-stuff-o-meter.

Moving into 2020 the United States economy was balancing on the triple supports of consumerism, financial sector activity, and government excess. The FY 2019-20 Federal deficit was going to be one for the ages long before the term ‘Corona’ was known as anything other than part of the Sun.

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