When there is a loss of confidence in financial assets, investors around the world sell them at the same time, which results in a financial crisis. These assets will, of course. be worth a fraction of what they were before. Financial institutions that own these assets may not have enough money to cover them. This causes financial institutions not to lend to people, because they have no liquidity. Without credit available in an economy from financial institutions, an economy contracts.
This is how a financial crisis translates into an economic contraction. This is why governments step in to provide liquidity to the banks—quantitative easing—in order to keep the economy from further contracting on itself. A financial crisis can bring an economy to its knees. The government’s job is to ensure there is no loss of confidence in the first place, because this is what triggers a financial crisis.
The thought of an economic crisis in 2015 is all too distant for too many. With the S&P 500 advancing 200% since its bottom in 2009, it’s worth taking some time to pause and reflect. As is often the case, the most devastating risks are those that we don’t see coming. Few recognized the dangerous consequences of the overvalued housing. Read More
Credit card companies are some of the best indicators in the global economy. Visa Inc. (V) just reported a pretty decent quarter. While earnings were down comparatively due to a one-time charge, adjusted earnings handily beat consensus.The company’s fiscal fourth quarter came in solid, with growth of 10% on a constant dollar basis. Read More
Now that the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 1,035 points (six percent) from its mid-September peak, the question investors are asking is “how far will she go?” For small-cap investors, the drama is greater, as the Russell 2000 Index has fallen 12.5% from its July peak.Since 2009, every market pullback presented investors. Read More
Getting a sense of where stocks are going to go in the year ahead is always difficult with the major indices at their all-time highs.The fundamental backdrop is still very favorable for equities. While the Federal Reserve has put off raising interest rates for the near future, the cost of capital, especially for corporations, remains. Read More
According to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, next year, the government is expected to incur a budget deficit of $469 billion and then another budget deficit of $536 billion in 2016. (Source: Congressional Budget Office web site, last accessed July 21, 2014.) From there, the budget deficit is expected to increase as far as the projections. Read More