Tag Archives: Recession

Updates from Chicago Booth

How multinational companies help spread recessions
By Bob Simison – The Great Recession a decade ago was one example of how economic cycles across the world can move in parallel, a phenomenon that economists don’t fully understand. It could be that a common event, such as a surge in oil prices, affects many economies at the same time—or perhaps linkages between countries transmit economic shocks from one country to the world economy.

One such linkage is multinational corporations,  according to Marcus Biermann, a postdoctoral scholar at the Catholic University of Louvain, and Chicago Booth’s Kilian Huber, who explore the role of multinationals in spreading the global recession by analyzing the ripple effects of one German bank’s struggles during the 2008–09 financial crisis.

Commerzbank was Germany’s second-biggest commercial lender behind Deutsche Bank. Losses on trading and investments abroad hammered the bank, especially after Lehman Brothers collapsed in September 2008. Commerzbank’s capital fell by 68 percent between December 2007 and December 2009, which forced the bank to reduce its aggregate lending stock by 17 percent. Biermann and Huber find that this pullback in credit available to German parent companies affected subsidiaries in other countries, thus helping to transmit the economic contraction. more>

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How to Survive a Recession: 12 Steps You Should Take Now to Protect Your Money

By Diane Harris – “The global economy is facing increasingly serious headwinds,” said OECD chief economist Laurence Boone. “An urgent response is required.”

It shouldn’t exactly come as a surprise then that the latest Gallup poll found about half of Americans now believe that a recession in the next year is likely—a more pessimistic reading than the survey found 12 years ago, just two months prior to the start of the Great Recession.

Even more affluent households are often cash-strapped. Among those making $85,000 or more—the top 25 percent of the income range—the typical family only has enough in liquid savings to replace 40 days of income.

If a recession hits, what would your biggest financial problem be? Taking steps to address that pain point now will make your life a lot easier if trouble comes.

“Your emotions are your best clue,” says Stephanie McCullough. “What stresses you out the most—credit card debt, the feeling that you’re spending beyond your means? Whatever the little nagging voice in your head is telling you is what you should tackle first.”

These moves address the most common contenders for many families.

  1. Pay down the plastic
  2. Earmark spending cuts
  3. Get a check-up

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Is a Recession Coming?

By Derek Thompson – Cascading stock prices might seem like a random crisis if you’ve been paying attention to the overall economy, which is booming. At 3.7 percent, the official unemployment rate is the lowest of this century. Job satisfaction is at its highest level in more than a decade. Small-business and consumer confidence hit record highs this year.

Observing the gap between Wall Street jitters and Main Street optimism, some are inclined to point out that “the stock market is not the economy.” But you should resist that temptation. The stock market is not the entire economy. (Neither is wage growth or health-care spending.) Rather, the stock market is a part of the economy that reflects both the value of capital investment in public companies and a prediction of their future earnings. As labor costs increase (good news for workers), and interest rates creep up (good news for traditional savings accounts), cost of business increases for many large companies, which can hurt their stock value.

For many years, corporate profits thrived as labor costs were low. Now corporate profits are at risk as labor costs are rising.

One way to predict the likelihood of a recession today is to look back at the past few downturns and evaluate whether the U.S. economy is in danger of repeating history. more>

Is The Monetary System Facing The Risk Of Recession?

By Francesc Raventós – The International Monetary Fund, other economic institutions, politicians, experts, and a good number of indicators predict a new economic downturn. The causes will be diverse but the significant one is that debt worldwide has grown at an exaggerated rate.

According to the report of the International Finance Institute, IIF, global debt is $247-plus trillion, 318% of GDP.

In the 2000s or noughties an expansive fiscal and monetary policy with low interest rates generated significant public deficits, a strong increase in borrowing and created a stock market and real estate bubble that erupted in 2007, forcing central banks to push for a huge monetary expansion – Quantitative Easing – to get out of the crisis eventually.

With a lot of financial liquidity in the market at a cost close to zero, the economy has regained growth and, for now, inflation is under control. But the economic cycle cannot be considered closed until central banks’ debt and interest rates return to normal. Trust in the International Monetary System, and the main currencies remains, but if some day trust in one important currency is lost, the situation would be very delicate.

Now the economic recovery has been achieved, it is time to gradually restore debt and interest rates to reasonable levels (aka tapering). The US Federal Reserve (Fed) has already increased its interest rate and announced that it will continue to do so.

The consequences have been immediate, with the withdrawal of investments from emerging countries, such as Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, India or Turkey, to invest in American bonds. The European Central Bank (ECB) has also announced that by the end of 2018 it will stop buying debt and that interest rates will rise as the economy improves (but not before the summer of 2019).

What will be the consequences of tapering?

Will it destabilize the economy?

What are the risks of entering a new recession?

Will the current monetary system resist?

How will the governments that are highly indebted deal with recession? more>

Market tailspin hastens the economic shock it fears

By Mike Dolan – History suggests governments and central banks would do well to sit up and take notice, but with policy coordination at its lowest ebb in decades, a coherent response is unlikely.

With almost $6 trillion wiped off the value of global stock markets since the start of the year and another 25 percent off already low oil prices, there is a real risk investor anxiety itself will be the catalyst for a world recession.

“When two players sit down at the board, they are unlikely to have a satisfactory game if one of them thinks they are playing checkers and the other thinks they are playing chess,” Jeffrey Frenkel [2] wrote.

By any measure, we are in historic territory. more> http://goo.gl/fnenki

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What Causes Recessions?

By Noah Smith – “So, what really causes recessions?”

We really just don’t know the answer.

Some people — the types who think the market is self-adjusting and wonderful and doesn’t need any government help — believe that recessions are a natural, even healthy process. Maybe recessions are responses to changes in the rate of technological progress, or to news of future progress, or even bursts of creative destruction.

Others — the people who tend to think the market needs a little helping hand — believe that there’s something blocking the market from adjusting to the shocks that buffet it. more> http://tinyurl.com/p4yl25k

Euro zone factory slump deepens but Asia perks up

By Jonathan Cable and Kim Coghill – Euro zone factories sank deeper into recession in December as new orders tumbled, business surveys showed on Wednesday (Jan 2), a sharp contrast to continuing signs of revival in China.

“It’s pretty grim really,” said Jonathan Loynes at Capital Economics. “These surveys are pointing to a pretty deep recession. If the German industrial sector is contracting quite sharply it is pretty hard to see where growth across the euro zone as a whole is going to come from.”

Germany, Europe‘s largest economy, saw its crucial manufacturing sector shrink for the 10th straight month and at a faster pace, while French data showed a decline in all but one of the past 17 months. The slump in Spain deepened, while Italy’s index, although improved, remained below 50 for the 17th month. more> http://tinyurl.com/bkoxzz8

Eurozone Recession Likely Returned As Even Germany Is Hit By Debt Crisis

Reuters – The euro zone is likely to have slipped back into recession in the current quarter, according to a survey published on Wednesday (Sep 5) that showed a seventh month of contraction for the bloc’s private sector as new orders dwindled.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), published by Markit, showed the economic rot that began in smaller periphery members of the 17-nation bloc is now taking hold even in Germany, the region’s largest and strongest economy. more> http://tinyurl.com/8mjw3mf

No simple answer to EU growth vs austerity conundrum

By Paul Taylor – Fierce debate is growing in Europe over whether austerity or growth offers the best strategy to overcome the continent’s sovereign debt crisis. As if it were that simple.

The growth camp argues that synchronized austerity across Europe will only aggravate economic contraction, swell the ranks of the unemployed and make it harder for debt-laden countries to reduce their deficits and restore market confidence. more> http://tinyurl.com/7w2h8z6