Are we manifesting a recession?
I think with your vibesession term, you're definitely onto something. At age 61, I am naturally more cynical now. Here's what I think happened, is happening, and will happen next;
Covid upset the plans of large monopolies of Big Oil, Big Food. Many other companies chickened out and lost faith in the possibility of recovery and cancelled supplies. Post Covid and seeing the fast recovery, and the money people had saved up, they scrambled to recoup their losses. So they raised prices and placed huge catch-up supply orders.
The shortages they had self inflicted were ironically useful in raising prices. They blamed it on a mysterious "Supply Chain". And of course China and gthe always at the ready excuse of "the loss of American manufacturing".
Big Oil, gambling no one could do anything about it, hyped the word "inflation" and jacked up gasoline prices. Even though Russian oil was barely a ceremonial drop, and the US was the largest oil producer, and the global oil supply was choked full in a glut, they slyly blamed the war in Ukraine for the (price) war in the US.
This is not inflation. Inflation is when the US dollar drops causing everything made or sold for US dollars to lose money. Everything. That includes US made gasoline and US made food.
Further proof this wasn't inflation was the behemoth profits bragged at shareholder meetings by Big Oil and Big Farm. And then Wall Street began selling off the profits causing the market to fall. That's not inflation.
The successful dumbing down of the American consumer by serial dumb social media, rogue disinformative dumb politicians like Trump, and the total collapse of good competent media (present company excluded), left the American populace grasping at the word they were ever told to blame. Inflation.
This is not inflation. And Biden knows it. That's why there was very little attempt to do anything about it. Biden had to let Big Oil and Big Farm feed now, in order to keep the lobbying campaigning funds coming in. He hoped it would end. But when it didn't and the fake inflation began to nip at his own heels, causing his approval to drop below Trump's, he needed a show of effort to curb that which didn't need curbing.
So he unwisely raised the interest rate. Which legitimized the fake inflation. Which his enemies have now pounced on predicting an equally fake recession is on the horizon.
Weak CEO helmed companies now are knee jerk pre-announcing the possibility of layoffs without any slightest reason other than the rumor of the hyped coming recession.
But I keep going back to it's not and never was inflation. Which means the raise in the interest rate will have no effect on cash rich company borrowing. Which will not require cash rich record profit filled companies to cut costs by laying off workers, which will not result in loss of wages, and will not create a real recession.
This kind of incompetent gamesmanship might very well cost Biden his own reelection. And that could result in the restoration of Trump. And a repeat of that kind of real total incompetent gamesmanship will certainly cause a very real recession.
Great article. Made me think.
i used to wonder, economics is more about how humans behave, feel, than data. this piece vindicates that thesis strongly, even if things are sunny (which they are, relatively speaking), they might to appear bad (really bad, which also they are). thus, vibes matter. a lot. As of yet, vibes are suppressed & they compound sooner than later which gives a murky, blurry picture of how things are.
in the end, Kyla & i know what we don't know...
really amazing writing, Godspeed.
Such a great breakdown of this! Thank you!
I like the vibe analysis. You note money is not a moral compass. In my world people seeing the USA lose its moral compass (in God we trust) is a large element producing a negative vibe.
Many (myself included) are convinced we are seeing an intentional destruction of the industrial economy led by leftists determined to take it down in order to “build back better” so we can have a Marxist dream where “you will own nothing and you will like it”.
Not a pleasant vibe. The numbers feeling this are not small.
When people in China are not able to take out more than 1,000 RMB, I'd argue the vibe is a lot worse in China. Supply-chain disruption from China is one of the main drivers of inflation imho. The Fed's QE was over-kill and we might have a multi-year period, including a B.A. 5 resurgence in the Fall problem.
Geopolitical factors are significant. Are most your readers U.S. based? The narrative that the U.S. is somehow in a league of its own with low unemployment just feels very skewed. The recession is already global.
Superrrrr interesting read! Thanks Kyla!
I feel like there is some kind disconnect between the labour market and the unemployment rate right now. The vibes are off because from my reality there are so many jobs open right now. Some are BS do nothing jobs and others are productive jobs. The do-nothing jobs are the higher paying Jobs for some reason? I feel like there is something wrong with the Labour market in western countries. Are government regulations making it impossible for small businesses to compete in the labour market? If you can provide some insight that would be greatly appreciated.
I found your perspective very intriguing. I liked how you came from the aspect of energy and vibes to a lot of the society challenged. Heck it even had me think of where I was, what I was doing abs thinking back in 2008. So truth be told, this perspective allowed me to have more hope through all the noise that’s being put out there despite some of it is real. Thanks!
It's a vibe-fest, which is both blessing and curse. To paraphrase Colonel Kurtz at the end of Apocalypse Now, "The complexity ..." We need a larger-than-life story to lift all boats in this fetid pond, and I believe we'll get one. We are inveterate storytellers, we humans.
Thank you, Kyla! You are hitting the nail squarely. Thanks for the Charles Bukowski ref.
Well said. It's funny how a stock market decline can change the narrative in a hurry. Inflation wasn't an emergency last year when markets were stable.
“ My words are powerful tools for good. They are the building blocks for the good I want to establish in my life and see in the lives of others. As I give love and light to my words, they become the foundation for my experience of wholeness, peace, and prosperity..”
A quote i like (and try to enact) that seems to fit. Great post and you nailed it - fundamentallly we need to solve energy
It’s about the money supply and bad policy. I am dumber for having read this.