A study of 45 countries shows those who have contained the virus also tend to have less severe economic impacts than those that haven’t. Saving the economy does not mean sacrificing lives, writes Michael Smithson. Containing Covid versus saving the economy is a false dichotomy.Covid-19: sacrificing lives does not mean saving the economy – Michael West
ECONOMISTS WORLDWIDE are watching the extraordinary collapse of what was until recently a seemingly indestructible economy. The United States still has the world’s largest economy measured by gross domestic product (GDP). But among developed nations, it is now at or close to the bottom on most rankings of economic health.#9 TOP STORY OF 2020: World’s largest economy in free fall
The three key economic messages from the Morrison Government are quite false, but the media keeps promoting them anyway. Alan Austin reports.No, Australia’s economy is not rebounding strongly. Who told you that?
The Victorian Premier has become the biggest challenger to Morrison’s agenda in a national debate over the pandemic. While Andrews puts a priority on shutdowns in the name of saving lives, Morrison puts a premium on opening up the economy.Daniel Andrews is now Scott Morrison’s biggest threat
Take a look at the ships being scrapped in the photo gallery above.Cruise ships and COVID-19: Incredible photos show giant cruise ships being scrapped
Australia will suffer its first reversal in net migration in more than seven decades in a hit to growth to be revealed in next week’s federal budget, as the pandemic also cuts the nation’s birth rate. With thousands of people leaving the country and fewer returning, the net result will be negative for the first time since 1946 and the country is at risk of a population slump not seen since the Great Depression.Budget 2020 to reveal first negative migration since 1946
Despite the slagging off at Labor by the Coalition, simply because of debts accrued to maintain the economy through an unexpected crisis – namely the GFC – the Coalition now finds itself in the same situation through COVID-19, and has to go down a similar path. Have they done as well as Labor did? NO! Why not?We need truth and facts – not lies and spin – » The Australian Independent Media Network
The process of shifting wealth and income from the poor and middle to the rich continues apace. Alan Austin examines the latest national accounts. FOR THE FIRST TIME since 1959, when Australia first published detailed national accounts, the share of all income going to corporations has risen above 30%. Simultaneously, the share for employees has fallen below 50% for the first time ever.Coalition plans on track — corporate slice of the nation’s pie hits all-time high
a familiar talking point for Trump, who returns often to the theme of how much he juiced “the greatest economy that we’ve had in our history, the best.” Donald Trump’s economic record is not as stellar as he would have you believe. Donald Trump’s economic record is not as stellar as he would have you believe.Credit:AP None of those historical claims are true. In his first three years, he wrought slightly less employment growth than his predecessor did, the same gross domestic product growth, slightly better stockmarket growth and the same wage growth. Before the pandemic, Trump’s economic record was unremarkable for a 21st-century president, even though he was able to enact a large amount of the agenda he ran on in 2016, and even though he enjoyed what by one measure was more supportive policy from Congress and the Federal Reserve than any president in a generation.Turning a blind eye: Trump missed the chance to make the economy great
Jonah is at home on the SS Florida the Whale is waitng in antcipation (ODT)
Florida accounts for 10 percent of the country’s COVID-19 cases, with almost half a million cases and already 7,021 deaths. Fifty-one hospitals have run out of ICU beds as the state still is adding another 9,725 new cases on average a day. The hurricane has only contributed more chaos to the equation. State-run coronavirus testing sites have closed on Florida’s eastern coast in anticipation of the storm (originally, the state considered consider closing all of its testing sites before Isaias changed tracks). And hospitals also must plan for the worst. Florida Governor Ron De Santis said he doesn’t “anticipate hospitals needing to evacuate patients.” But one small hospital in Brevard County, which is in the anticipated path of the storm, already has moved its COVID-19 patients. The state has had to stockpile supplies in preparation, including 20 million masks, 22 million gloves, 10 million gowns, 1.6 million face shields, 270,000 coveralls and 20,000 thermometers, while ensuring there are generators for nursing facilities should the power go out.
Trump declares this a historic rebound by the best President ever and he’s your’s America. (ODT)
American Economy is in Intensive Care (ODT)
But with rates now at zero, money printing — or quantitative easing as it is called in polite circles — is all they have left.
It’s cash that’s being created out of thin air.
And a huge portion of it is being poured straight into stock markets regardless of what is happening out there in the real world.
The graph above tells the story. In the past few months, America’s central bank has bought more than $US3 trillion ($4.37 trillion) worth of “assets”.
These include US government debt, mortgage debt and other debt securities, using cash it has generated out of thin air, simultaneously driving interest rates down and flooding the economy with cash.
It has spent more than double the amount outlaid at the height of the global financial crisis. And, it appears, we’ve only just begun.
The biggest side effect, however, is that wealth becomes more concentrated among the already wealthy.
If you own a house or stocks or bonds, you’ve become rich without even trying.
Others tauting the “open” Swedish model ignore that according to the Swedish Riksbank de facto the Swedish economy is closed. Sweden has experienced a sharper drop in first quarter GDP than the US, with the Swedish economy down 11%. The Riksbank’s estimates are a 70 percent decline in restaurants and cafes, a 90% decline in cinema, sports, and other crowd events. a 40% decline in car sales, a 23% fall in exports, a 30% decline in shoes and clothes purchases, a 75% drop in Swedish recreational travel.
The “open” Swedish model is a bet on herd immunity which at our present state of knowledge is merely an assumption.
President Trump and the neoconservatives are determined to blame China for manufacturing the virus in the Wuhan laboratory despite the fact that the US knew about the research and contributed to its financing, which was approved by Dr. Fauci himself. So when Trump and the warmonger neocons point at China the finger also points at the US.
Democratic Socialism practices trust in Individuals (ODT)
What the Swedish experiment demonstrates, is that there’s a way to navigate these unprecedented public health challenges without recklessly imposing police state policies and without doing irreparable harm to the economy. And, yes, the results of this experiment are not yet known, but what we do know is that most nations cannot simply print-up trillions of dollars to counter the knock-on effects of bringing the economy to a screeching halt. These countries must dip into their reserves or take out loans from the IMF in order to recover from the lack of production and activity. That means they’re going to face years of slow growth and high unemployment to dig out from the mess their leaders created for them.
Before the coronavirus, property market pundits were tipping their usual, regulation, 10% rise in house prices. They have been quiet in recent days. Callum Foote reports on the impact of the virus on an already weak economy, racking up the present crisis against the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Australians are unprepared. The ratio of household debt to household disposable income is now at an all-time high, suggesting the risk to property is also at an all time high.
Since 2002, Quinn showed, the most productive Australian firms (the top 5 per cent) had not kept pace with the most productive firms globally. In fact, Australia’s ‘productivity frontier’ has slipped back by about one-third. The best of ‘Made in Australia’ hasn’t kept pace with the best of ‘Made in Germany’, ‘Made in the Netherlands’ or even ‘Made in America’.”
And then there’s the other 95 per cent. In the past two decades, their output per hour worked has barely risen. So 19 out of 20 Australian firms don’t produce much more per hour than they did when Sydney hosted the Olympics.
A Productivity Commission study has found that half the slowdown in productivity improvement in the market economy in recent years is accounted for by manufacturing. A separate survey of management practices in manufacturing firms found that Australia’s managers rank below those in Canada, Sweden, Japan, Germany and the US.
The drop we’ve experienced is “not the fault of employees: there are simply fewer good opportunities available. According to Treasury’s analysis, much of the drop in job-switching is because workers are less likely to transition from mature firms to young firms. With fewer start-up firms, it stands to reason that there are fewer start-up jobs.”
SGS Economics and Planning found that during 2018-19, the Melbourne economy alone accounted for 40 per cent of Australia’s total growth. Melbourne gross domestic product reached $369 billion compared with regional Victoria’s $76 billion.
Australian GDP expanded by 1.9 per cent but Melbourne’s own GDP lifted by 4 per cent. Sydney GDP at $461 billion grew by 2.6 per cent, its lowest rate since 2012-13, to account for a third of national growth.
The ultimate American Trumplican “Sales Pitch”(ODT)
Survey shows 56% of respondents would rather see the government fend off a downturn than deliver a surplus
the Turkish military doesn’t function without the U.S. weapons industry—and the approval of the U.S. government. Absent all the hardware bearing Made in America stickers sitting in Turkish military bases, we would probably not be fretting about what Turkey’s government was doing to the Syrian Democratic Forces.
placing American military personnel in harm’s way apparently carries less political risk than endangering the profits of munitions manufacturers, or the careers of foreign policy experts.
When he isn’t raving about how the deep state is conspiring against him, Donald Trump loves to boast about the economy, claiming to have achieved unprecedented things. As it happens, none of his claims are true. While both GDP and employment have registered solid growth, the Trump economy simply seems to have continued a long expansion that began under former president Barack Obama. In fact, someone who looked only at the past 10 years of data would never guess that an election had taken place.
Australians are carrying the 2nd most personal debt burden in the world will they now be paid to increase it? Wages are and have been stagnant for years production is up so who has profited from growth if personal debt has increased so much? Not the average Australian. Immense effort is being made to force fixed savings into the market. The banks dont lose by the way they continue to charge for their services. Debt is a good way to keep a nation’s work force obedient and compliant while income and wealth gaps grow. It’s what appears to be a respectable form of human bondage under the surface but human bondage nevertheless. (ODT)
Denmark’s third largest lender, Jyske Bank, is in effect paying home owners to borrow at the moment, with a standard mortgage of -0.5 per cent; now that’s value.
Jyske can do this by borrowing money from institutional investors at a negative rate — and there’s plenty of negative interest rate paper floating around at the moment, somewhere north of $US15 trillion ($22.37 trillion) in value — and passing it on to their customers, who then can pay back less than they borrow.
The bank clips the ticket with the usual fees and charges, but leaves the customer gruntled and still makes a tidy profit on the loan.
Despite a record three years of surging exports, Australia’s economy is the stand-out failure in the developed world. Alan Austin reports.
How to rip off peoples savings 101. What the government wants you to see a boom for you to follow in a world of debt. They want your money and you to spend spend spend until you can’t anymore.
- Cut interest rates to record low margins and drive people with savings into the stock market spend and watch it boom.
- Wait for the correction and then watch people suffer.Fake booms real busts losers and winners neither the realm of the elderly whose money is managed by others and only want to reach end of days without worry.
- Self Managed Savings advice it’s safer under the bed than with sharks. (ODT)
Australian shares are near record highs while interest rates are near record lows
Analysts say the disconnect between the two usually means that one market will be “spectacularly wrong”
However, analysts also the Australian share market is not heavily overvalued
It is inconceivable that they would choose now to pay down debt when they could borrow money at such low rates and really kick start the economy through government spending on productivity enhancing investments.
It’s not only the surplus fetish that is a problem as former head of the RBA, Bernie Fraser, points out. The government’s self-imposed cap on tax-to-GDP would also act as a restraint on the economy.
“What this dopey cap does is that it acts as a cap, not just on tax but also on expenditure, so if you have to do something you’ve created a problem for yourself,” he said.
With borrowing costs so low, an exchange rate at the bottom end of its range in recent times, surging iron ore prices boosting our terms of trade, and a nominally low level of unemployment, things should be going a lot better than they are.
But the reality is that social security payments are too low and many people are living in poverty, wages have stagnated, underemployment is rising and job security is falling.
Yet all this government can talk about is tax cuts for the wealthy and delivering a surplus.