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  • If I had to pick up a date for the next recession, it would be

  • sometime in 2020.

  • So you can certainly make the case that there's a lot of areas where

  • things look a bit unsettled.

  • The fact of the matter is people are looking and saying, I don't feel

  • like it's any easier to pay my bills this year than it was last year.

  • The so-called Great Recession ended more than 10 years ago.

  • Since then, the United States has been in its longest economic

  • expansion in history. But good times don't last forever.

  • We're basically in an industrial recession, a global one.

  • And it does remind me to 2016 to even '98 where the US was OK,

  • the rest of the world was not.

  • Understanding how the economy tends to evolve, we would put the

  • number around maybe 25 to 30 percent chance of a recession over, say,

  • the next four-quarter horizon.

  • We have to recognize there's a difference between a slowdown and

  • recession. We're still not in a recession camp.

  • Short run economic forecasting is a is a black art.

  • Nobody does it very well.

  • For what it's worth,

  • people who are tracking are feeling moderately depressed right now.

  • They're seeing slow growth right now.

  • And the markets, the bond market is acting as if there's a pretty

  • good chance of a recession sometime in the next year or so.

  • But who knows?

  • There are all kinds of things that could be going wrong.

  • China is clearly struggling.

  • Europe may very well actually already be in recession.

  • We probably are suffering the deflation of the tech bubble.

  • Corporate debt has gotten, it, I've been saying there's no one thing

  • this is if we're going to have a recession, it's going gonna be a

  • smorgasbord recessions, it's going to be no one thing, but just a

  • bunch of different things. Why all the doom and gloom?

  • Mainly, it's because the bond market recently flashed warning signs

  • that a recession could be on the horizon.

  • Other economic indicators, like U.S.

  • manufacturing activity, were also lower than analysts expected.

  • So when could a recession hit?

  • And how will we know?

  • It's been now quite some time since the 2008 recession, so the US

  • economy has been growing for 10, 11 years is a very long expansion.

  • We've seen recently, if you just look at the popular press, a bubble,

  • I would say in discussion about recessions.

  • Everyone wants to talk about it. Is there one just around the corner?

  • The fact that the expansion has lasted so long has no predictive

  • power whatsoever for whether a recession will start tomorrow.

  • If I had to pick a date for the next recession it would be sometime

  • in 2020. We're in a self-reinforcing, virtuous cycle.

  • Lots of jobs, low unemployment, wage growth is accelerating, that's

  • supporting more consumer spending, which is causing businesses to

  • hire, which is pushing unemployment down.

  • So we're in a very virtuous cycle.

  • That's pretty hard to break, but it can get broken.

  • And in my view, that probably would occur in 2020.

  • So the policies, the economic policies that the administration is

  • pursuing is doing damage to the economy.

  • And that's going to become increasingly more obvious as we move

  • through 2019 and 2020.

  • And that's why I think 2020 is the day of reckoningif there is a

  • day of reckoning, that's when the economic expansion will end and a

  • recession will ensue. So let's define a recession.

  • The official designation of a recession comes from a place called the

  • National Bureau of Economic Research.

  • It defines a recession as the period between a peak and a trough of

  • economic activity. The organization doesn't give a set definition of

  • economic activity, but looks to indicators like domestic production,

  • employment and retail sales.

  • We do have business cycles.

  • God hasn't conquered the business cycle.

  • President Trump hasn't conquered the business cycle.

  • And it's hard for the Fed to conquer a business cycle, but they can

  • at least try to smooth it out as they go through time.

  • There are some other things outside of the country that could come to

  • infect us. I'm especially worried about Europe.

  • I think the European Central Bank has conducted a policy that has

  • hidden some really bad credits, not just in Italy, but elsewhere.

  • If I come to you and say I'm going to lend you money and by the way,

  • I'm going to pay you to take it, you're going to make mistakes.

  • You're going to stretch out on your risk spectrum and you're going to

  • make some bad decisions. That's human nature.

  • It's not quantifiable.

  • It's just human nature. Another commonly accepted definition of a

  • recession is two consecutive quarters or six months of negative GDP

  • growth. But not everyone agrees that's the best measure.

  • And it's not the official marker of a recession.

  • There are many good reasons to care about GDP, but there's a lot of

  • other things that real human beings, not just economists, also care

  • about. The first is think about inequality.

  • GDP tells us how big the size of the pie is.

  • It doesn't tell us whether people are getting fair slices.

  • So we should care about the distribution of income, not just how much

  • of it there is. GDP only tells us how much of it there is.

  • GDP tells us about the value of all goods and services bought and

  • sold in markets.

  • But a lot of really important stuff doesn't happen in markets.

  • We could double GDP tomorrow, it wouldn't be that hard.

  • What we do is we'd force everyone to stay at work twice as long.

  • Force everyone to work twice as many hours, we'll probably get

  • roughly, maybe a little bit less, but nearly twice as much stuff.

  • GDP would nearly double, but I reckon people would be miserable.

  • The Bureau doesn't give a time requirement in its definition.

  • Instead, it says a recession can last from a few months to more than

  • a year. In 2018 we had nearly 3 percent growth.

  • That's not sustainable, nor is it normal for this business cycle.

  • A normal pace of growth for this business cycle is a low 2 percent

  • handle. And that's what we think we're going to see this year.

  • But a growth moderation does not necessarily equal a growth

  • contraction or a recession.

  • And what's worse than a recession?

  • A depressio.

  • That's defined as severe economic decline the lasts several years.

  • All this means we can only confirm we're in a recession once it's

  • already started. The challenge with identifying risk is that it's

  • very hard to know in real time which factor is going to end up being

  • what shocks the economy.

  • So we can attempt to look at the potential areas of concern, and

  • China would be certainly one of them.

  • And it's not just China, it's how that spills over to Europe, the

  • data in Europe has weakened so there's lots of connection there as

  • well. So you could certainly make the case that there's a lot of

  • areas where things look a bit unsettled.

  • In the 2008 recession, economic output hit a peak in December 2007.

  • But the contraction wasn't formally announced until December 2008.

  • In July 2019, the U.S.

  • officially entered its longest expansion in history.

  • That month marked the 121st month of economic growth following the

  • Great Recession. Well you know, we have, we're having the longest

  • economic expansion since the Civil War 1991 to March 2001.

  • My period there, we had monetary policy all by itself but now you

  • have a big boost from fiscal policy and also a new regulatory regime

  • that came in with, which is more pro-business, that came in with

  • President Trump and also with the Republican Senate.

  • So I would expect this to be prolonged perhaps all the way through

  • next year. We'll see.

  • While this boom has been the longest, it's also been the weakest in

  • several areas. GDP growth and job growth have been lower than in

  • previous booms. The absence of faster wage growth, despite low

  • unemployment is something of a mystery.

  • But, you know, the economy is always changing.

  • The way we measured the unemployment rate is always the same.

  • But what it means in terms of how are tight labor markets, how much

  • bargaining power workers have.

  • That can change a lot depending on what the economy is like and it

  • looks as if we have an economy right now where between weakness of

  • unions, concentration of market power among employers and maybe other

  • factors, we just don't understand what looks like this historically

  • low unemployment rate isn't actually translating into the kind of

  • bargaining power that workers used to have.

  • Manufacturing is not going to come back to the United States to the

  • we're not going to recreate the golden era of capitalism, the 1950s

  • or 60s. Even if China didn't export as much manufactured goods to

  • us, we're not going to make mostly apparel in the United States.

  • We're gonna be importing it from Vietnam or from Bangladesh.

  • To the extent that manufacturing goes back to United States, a

  • process which is called onshoring, is going to be robots.

  • It's not going to be jobs in the Midwest, jobs in South Carolina.

  • So in the end, for all the rhetoric, Trump is not delivering.

  • And for the foreseeable future

  • our biggest problem is going to be a lack of labor, right?

  • The baby boom generation, my generation, is retiring en masse.

  • Every single year for the next 15 to 20 years the labor force

  • participation rate is going to fall by a quarter point per annum

  • because we are retiring.

  • You know, the global slowdown is a real thing.

  • It's just that, for right now, the U.S.

  • continues to look pretty strong to me.

  • And so, you know, there things could always happen.

  • But I'm not looking for a slowdown in the US anytime soon.

  • People don't live on GDP.

  • People live on their paychecks.

  • And paychecks have not at best kept slightly ahead of

  • inflation. Whatever people may say about the growth number, the fact

  • of the matter is people are looking and saying I don't feel like it's

  • any easier to pay my bills this year than it was last year.

  • Is a recession on the horizon?

  • Most likely we won't know until it's already started.

If I had to pick up a date for the next recession, it would be

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B1 中級 美國腔

衰退不可避免嗎? (Is A Recession Inevitable?)

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    洪子雯 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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