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What Is About To Crash - The Markets, The Economy? Neither, Even If Greenspan (Who?) Says So!
It's late spring, and the Chicken Littles are back. They don't fly but they do cluck. Ever since the US economy again showed barely any growth for the first quarter of the year, and even before, there was no end to the nay-saying commentators that jumped to cable TV attention by declaring that finally, after five straight springs of false predictions of trading or commercial collapse due to this or that - this was going to be the year that everything finally falls apart, like the Titanic after it came upon the iceberg!
Indeed, the metaphor of "chickens coming home to roost" - mostly in terms of the US Federal Reserve's "highly accommodative" monetary policy - was a common theme. Ignoring the strong economic growth in the second and third quarters of 2014 (4.6% and 5%), the strongest back-to- back quarters since 2003 with a respectable 2.2% in the fourth quarter, the Wall Street Journal and a commentator for The Hill proclaimed it was time for the Fed to acknowledge that its policy of low interest rates had not worked to stimulate the economy, even though it had repressed inflation to below the 2% target. To its critics, the Fed has failed to promote economic growth, even though three million net new jobs have been produced in the last 12 months, because productivity measures remain slack and wage growth remains subdued. Read More