Who's wishing for a recession?

Left-wing comedian Bill Maher has let the cat out of the bag.  He speaks a truth that is in the heart of leftists everywhere but they dare not say too loudly — namely, their hope for a recession as a means of defeating President Donald Trump in 2020. 

Devoid of winning issues, the Democrats need a recession to win the White House.  That a recession would harm many hundreds of thousands of average Americans doesn't faze them.  According to the liberal mindset, it's a worthwhile price to pay to stop Trump.  To them, it's better to stagnate in Obama's America than to have America healthy and vibrant with Trump's Make America Great Again agenda. 

Leftists don't see a recession as that big a deal.  Recessions come and go, and the country survives.  That's Maher's rationale, and he's not shy about making it.

Then there are the media.  More than just hope for a recession, many in the media encourage it.  They do this by putting a negative spin on all the good news in the U.S. economy since Trump became president.  Low unemployment, especially among minorities; growing GDP; rising middle-class incomes; strong retail sales; and high consumer confidence and job creation are all played down.  The media paint Trump's China tariffs as hurting the U.S. consumer but can offer no proof for this assertion.  This is the same game the media play with their fake opinion polls.

The latest media pretext for predicting a recession is the inverted yield curve, which occurs when interest rates on short-term obligations are higher than interest rates on longer-term ones.  The rationale is that investors are so worried about the near-term future that they are shifting into longer-term investments to lock in the rates.  This is taken as a harbinger of a coming recession.  If enough people can be convinced a recession is coming, people will spend less money, and businesses will stop hiring and curtail expansions.  Thus, the prediction becomes a self-fulfilling reality. 

This inverted yield curve as a recession predictor is a supply-demand argument.  It makes a great deal of sense...if there aren't any extenuating circumstances.  But there is a big extenuating circumstance in this case.  It's that there is now about $16 trillion of negative yield bonds around the world, mostly in Japan and Europe.  The data show that not only is the overall amount of negative interest rate bonds rapidly growing, but it's also spreading.  That is, negative interest rates are expanding from short-maturity to longer-maturity bonds and have also moved down the risk spectrum from high-quality bonds to lower-quality ones.  The situation is so severe that four European countries — Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Finland — have their full maturity spectrum of bonds trading at negative yields, while other countries have a sizable section of their maturity spectrum in negative yield territory.

America is the only major bond market without negative yields.  Given that, is it any surprise that foreigners are piling into long-term U.S. treasury bonds, thus driving down their yields?  This is a distortion in normal bond pricing.  Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou of JPMorgan agrees.  He notes that the yield curve inversion is less a sign of U.S. recession risks and more of a reflection of the desperation for yield by foreign investors flocking into the U.S. bond market as bond yields turn negative in Europe and Japan.  How could it be otherwise?

Unfortunately, such a commonsense view as Panigirtzoglou's does not get much play in the media, because it doesn't fit the Orange Man Bad agenda.

As things currently stand, the likelihood of a recession is not nearly as great as the media are making out.  One thing is for sure, however: there will be no level too low for the Democrats and their media allies to stoop in order to defeat Donald Trump.  With that in mind, remember: eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

Left-wing comedian Bill Maher has let the cat out of the bag.  He speaks a truth that is in the heart of leftists everywhere but they dare not say too loudly — namely, their hope for a recession as a means of defeating President Donald Trump in 2020. 

Devoid of winning issues, the Democrats need a recession to win the White House.  That a recession would harm many hundreds of thousands of average Americans doesn't faze them.  According to the liberal mindset, it's a worthwhile price to pay to stop Trump.  To them, it's better to stagnate in Obama's America than to have America healthy and vibrant with Trump's Make America Great Again agenda. 

Leftists don't see a recession as that big a deal.  Recessions come and go, and the country survives.  That's Maher's rationale, and he's not shy about making it.

Then there are the media.  More than just hope for a recession, many in the media encourage it.  They do this by putting a negative spin on all the good news in the U.S. economy since Trump became president.  Low unemployment, especially among minorities; growing GDP; rising middle-class incomes; strong retail sales; and high consumer confidence and job creation are all played down.  The media paint Trump's China tariffs as hurting the U.S. consumer but can offer no proof for this assertion.  This is the same game the media play with their fake opinion polls.

The latest media pretext for predicting a recession is the inverted yield curve, which occurs when interest rates on short-term obligations are higher than interest rates on longer-term ones.  The rationale is that investors are so worried about the near-term future that they are shifting into longer-term investments to lock in the rates.  This is taken as a harbinger of a coming recession.  If enough people can be convinced a recession is coming, people will spend less money, and businesses will stop hiring and curtail expansions.  Thus, the prediction becomes a self-fulfilling reality. 

This inverted yield curve as a recession predictor is a supply-demand argument.  It makes a great deal of sense...if there aren't any extenuating circumstances.  But there is a big extenuating circumstance in this case.  It's that there is now about $16 trillion of negative yield bonds around the world, mostly in Japan and Europe.  The data show that not only is the overall amount of negative interest rate bonds rapidly growing, but it's also spreading.  That is, negative interest rates are expanding from short-maturity to longer-maturity bonds and have also moved down the risk spectrum from high-quality bonds to lower-quality ones.  The situation is so severe that four European countries — Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Finland — have their full maturity spectrum of bonds trading at negative yields, while other countries have a sizable section of their maturity spectrum in negative yield territory.

America is the only major bond market without negative yields.  Given that, is it any surprise that foreigners are piling into long-term U.S. treasury bonds, thus driving down their yields?  This is a distortion in normal bond pricing.  Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou of JPMorgan agrees.  He notes that the yield curve inversion is less a sign of U.S. recession risks and more of a reflection of the desperation for yield by foreign investors flocking into the U.S. bond market as bond yields turn negative in Europe and Japan.  How could it be otherwise?

Unfortunately, such a commonsense view as Panigirtzoglou's does not get much play in the media, because it doesn't fit the Orange Man Bad agenda.

As things currently stand, the likelihood of a recession is not nearly as great as the media are making out.  One thing is for sure, however: there will be no level too low for the Democrats and their media allies to stoop in order to defeat Donald Trump.  With that in mind, remember: eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.