I am back in London - and to my own surprise things does not look one Iota better than when I came here every second week.
Last night when driving to my apartment the taxi-driver told me he could not get a 250 GBP overdraft despite having been with his bank for twenty years!
Now he has to raise the money from his family to make his small business of running a Black Cab work - He saw less passengers, worked longer hours and felt depressed. Tell me about it!
Then after doing a guest host job with CNBC this morning - I took the liberty of checking the local shopping mall ! Wow - this rather upscale mall Whitley, had one in five shops closed, and of the shops still being open one in four was on CLOSING SALES!
Keep producing China - there is plenty of consumption coming your way. The world has become one big competition of EXPORTING. Let someone deal with your problems.
I hope the balance of the week in London will give more hope for the consumer as I am now getting seriously concerned about the markets.
We are at the phase where the stimulus is peaking - which can be seen in the much improved economic data (although the biggest amount of cash ever floaded to the market place still have left everyone short of trend growth).....what comes in its place?
Will private investment come through -not - will business investment re-emerge ? Hardly.........will rates stay low? Absolutely - so more of the artificial help....swapping future consumption for present.......
The marginal benefit of extra stimulus is waning. In 2006 one percentage point of extra growth came at a price of 1.5 USD, now the price is 7 USD. Japan have taught us what you get when you create the third bridge across the same river!
Well enough from me - its expensive to be a grumpy bear, but in closing here is a sound-bite from my guest hosting this morning: http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=1332366598&play=1
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