Tag: deleveraging

Trends and prospects for private-sector deleveraging in advanced economies

Trends and prospects for private-sector deleveraging in advanced economies

Major advanced economies have made mixed progress in repairing the private sector’s balance sheets. This column explores private sector deleveraging trends and calls for a set of policies that will return debt to safer levels. Monetary policies should support private sector deleveraging and policymakers should not ignore the positive impact of debt restructuring and write-offs on non-performing loans.

Deleveraging, What Deleveraging? The 16th Geneva Report on the World Economy

Deleveraging, What Deleveraging? The 16th Geneva Report on the World Economy

The world has not yet begun to deleverage its crisis-linked borrowing. Global debt-to-GDP is breaking new highs in ways that hinder recovery in mature economies and threaten new crisis in emerging nations – especially China. This column introduces the latest Geneva Report on the World Economy. It argues that the policy path to less volatile debt dynamics is a narrow one, and it is already clear that developed economies must expect prolonged low growth or another crisis along the way.

Rising global debt levels will trigger the next crisis

Rising global debt levels will trigger the next crisis

The conclusion of the recently released Geneva report is that debt is the Achilles heel of this cyclical recovery. The Geneva economists warn that, despite the widespread belief that a general deleveraging has occurred due to the Great Financial crisis, in reality debt levels are higher today on a global basis than they were when the crisis began. They, rightly, worry that this debt will precipitate another global economic crisis. Some thoughts below

Household debt versus wage growth in the United States

Household debt versus wage growth in the United States

The economic and business paradigm in place in the United States is predicated on a secular increase in household debt that I believe will not last through another cyclical downturn without serious deleveraging. The reason we saw deleveraging during this past downturn was because we are now at a point where the secular increase in household debt has become unsustainable. Some thoughts below

The perils of private sector deleveraging in the Eurozone

The perils of private sector deleveraging in the Eurozone

Private and public debt in the Eurozone increased since the 2000s, and especially so in certain countries. This column presents evidence that high levels of private and public debt, together with deleveraging of all sectors, are especially harmful for economic growth. Private sector debt is more detrimental to growth than public sector debt. Therefore, policies aimed at reducing the private debt could yield important benefits.

How the United States gets deflation and becomes the next Japan

How the United States gets deflation and becomes the next Japan

I spoke at a Euromoney conference on inflation-linked products last year. My thesis at the time that deflation is the real problem and that inflation isn’t going to be a concern – which has largely proved right – was out of step with most people at the conference. I still believe this is the case. And as I prepare to attend this year’s conference on the same topics, I have begun to think again about the deflation and inflation issues. This post on how the US becomes the next Japan is an outgrowth of that thinking.

Japan: Some quick thoughts on Abenomics

Japan: Some quick thoughts on Abenomics

This is just a quick follow-up to the last post on debt deflationary dynamics in Europe and the contrast to policy in Japan. I think Yanis Varoufakis has it right that Europe is on the same path as Japan but just not as far along the path. And I would say the same is largely true of the United States.

Canadian households may face more deleveraging

Canadian households may face more deleveraging

Some recent data out of Canada points to a slowdown in growth of consumer indebtedness. According to RBC, the non-mortgage consumer debt has grown at the slowest rate in 20 years. This is clearly a positive development, but when taking mortgage debt into account, Canadians still represent some of the most indebted households in the developed world.

The Need for Wholesale Change

The Need for Wholesale Change

In the short term, though, a continuation of the currently lax monetary policy is likely to lead to higher assets prices. The investor mindset is very much in risk-on mode at the moment, as documented by the surprisingly calm reaction to the crisis in Cyprus. Mind you, none of this incorporates the risk of an outright war between the two Koreas or an escalation of hostilities between Israel and Iran, just to mention two wild cards. Barring a Black Swan event, though, we are on relatively firm ground for now, but the seeds of the next crisis have already been sown.