Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Why Trump’s Plans Won’t Save Us

From Porter Stansberry, founder, Stansberry Research
***Trump won...
Some people are happy. Some people are acting like someone shot their dog. But nobody likes my answer about what Trump means for the markets. So what do I (Porter) believe will happen now?
Well, my answer flies in the face of virtually every modern economist and pundits on CNBC. Virtually everyone believes that government spending and/or tax cuts will have a powerfully positive effect on our economy.
The Republicans believe tax cuts and military spending are the basic formula for economic prosperity. The people cheering today believe that Trump's wall (his announced infrastructure spending), his tax cuts, and his estimated $6 trillion budget deficit over four years will create winners in the stock market and wealth for our nation.
In some limited ways, that will prove to be true. The Pentagon, for example, is the world's largest consumer. It buys more oil than any other entity. And if Trump builds a wall across our southern border, he's going to buy a lot of steel. But in other, far more important ways, the idea that government spending and government debt is a positive force in the economy is completely wrong. Fatally wrong.
 I believe we're approaching an important new credit default cycle, which will create the largest legal exchange of wealth in history. Investors in highly leveraged equities will be wiped out. Investors who can anticipate this massive wave of coming corporate default will make a fortune. And that's my goal – to help you understand why this cycle is inevitable so you can position yourself to profit from these events.
***As if on cue, we saw the car rental companies "blow up" yesterday because of distress in subprime car loans...
It was a superb example of the far-reaching and poorly understood influence of the credit markets.
Today, given Trump's unexpected victory, I'd like to focus on the role government is likely to play in the coming debt crisis.
I want to make sure you understand... no matter who is president, no matter which party is in power... the only thing our government can do about a credit default cycle is make it worse.
You only need to understand two economic ideas to see through the media news and know what's really going to happen next. The economic forces I describe below are far more powerful than any particular candidate or political party.
The first economic concept is easy: It's the declining marginal utility of debt.
 This won't surprise any subscriber who has ever owned a business or used a credit card. At first, small amounts of debt create large percentage changes in spending and investment. But, as debts add assets and matching liabilities to your balance sheet, additional debts make a smaller and smaller percentage change in growth.
Say you're a college student. Your income may be $10,000 a year, working a part-time job. If you take out a $5,000 loan, you can increase your spending dramatically – a 50% increase. But after your fourth year of college, you will have compiled $20,000 in loans on your balance sheet. This plus your income for the year means an additional $5,000 in debt will only increase your asset base by 16%. And as your debts grow, the marginal increase in utility provided by each additional dollar in debt will decrease.
As your debts (like our government's) tally toward $20 trillion (or more than 100% of GDP), the marginal utility of additional debt can actually become negative. (Click here to read the rest of Porter's essay.)

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