We at BootheGlobalPerspectives have repeatedly warned that there are emerging structural weaknesses in the United States Economy, and these are beginning to show.
First, we agreed with the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco when their economists pointed out a negative or inverse yield curve where short term treasury notes were now yielding less than short term money market indicators.
In every case that this has occurred, a recession has followed.
It suggests that smart money managers are anticipating recession and lower yields, and in U.S. History it has been a fail-safe bell weather.
Other indicators are telling. The graph on the left illustrates a drop in investment in real estate.
The new income tax law that was passed with much fanfare and many promises by Republican leaders has not worked. It had promised it would bring growth and a surplus. Instead it has been documented for causing billions of dollars of economic loss and increased deficits in the American budget in record numbers. The question is, "Did they lie or were they just exaggerating to get that law passed to help big business at the expense of the American Economy? In our opinion, the answer is yes, to both. They either lied or they were simply incompetent and wrong in their analysis. But like every other economic loss, it is the majority of the American people who must pay for their mistakes.
The USA has seen a 5.2 percent drop in exports, probably because of the tariff policies and trade wars the Trump Administration has initiated. Randy Kroszner, former governor on the Federal Reserve Board, said, "Trade policy uncertainty weighs on companies, they must think about whether to invest now or wait and invest later." This contributes to confidence and lack of predictability in U.S. economic policy.
We have also seen:
1. Drops in business investment.
2. Declines in investment commercial real estate and housing market (see the graph).
3. A surge of government spending bringing the highest budget deficits in history for the USA.
4. Manufacturing has been hurt because of trade wars.
5. "We are seeing slowing momentum in the U.S. economy and slowing business investment overall," said Greg Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics.
"What should be feared is that if the economy falters more, Trump might declare even more impulsive and drastic policies that might further destabilize economic stability and confidence," said Ben Boothe, Sr. of Boothe Global Perspectives. "Let's hope it doesn't come to that point, that this president makes even wilder and more destabilizing policies, and hope the American people and system will demand better and more stable economic leadership for the USA," said Boothe.
All of these factors have an impact upon value, confidence and appraised values of property. Let us remember that confidence and stable leadership are the most powerful pocketbook issues, according BBAR Inc. Appraisers, Valuations, Environmentals.
TRADE WARS AND CONFLICTS
Farmers have been hurt terribly by U.S. trade war policies. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has strongly opposed Trump's policies as "destructive to American business." Note the box on the left to point out a few examples:
Trade wars, conflicts with the most powerful nations on earth, are shaking the alliances of our European and Japanese allies. Plus there are still weak points and fragility in the "big bank" financial statements.
But perhaps the most powerful indicator is the lack of stability and confidence that leadership in the White House has provided. One of the first principles of the U.S. economy is that our entire banking and currency system is based upon confidence.
To have confidence, economic and corporate leaders and investors -- the money people -- must have the ability to project rates of growth, inflation, foreign policy, imports, exports and interest rates and must be able to rely on a sound and stable policy program from Washington.
How can they plan or predict inventory levels, hiring or firing levels and expansion or contraction when the leader of the nation comes up with impulsive new presidential rulings weekly, sometimes daily. If confidence is lacking, the ability to predict and plan is almost impossible. This can impact everything -- interest rates, lending ability, stability of the equity and debt markets, sources of borrowing funds and bond and stock markets. All of this depends upon a stable and "predictable" government. This is one of the weakest and most threatening aspects of the U.S. economy.
When people lose confidence, the currency loses value, banks lose deposits, lenders stop lending and walls and barriers to free and open commerce begin to go up.
So today, when it was reported that U. S. Economic Growth FELL TO 2.1 PERCENT ANNUAL RATE IN THE SECOND QUARTER, the Commerce Department was confirming the trends that we have been predicting and warning about for months.
Let's just hope that the Trump people don't resort to a new "real war" to supposedly pump up political support for this failing economic system that they have engineered.