The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Chinese Water Torture

05/09/2020

This type of torture is a slow drip of cold water on the face for an extended period, creating such a state of anticipation for the next drop, that the victim eventually becomes insane.

That is the experience of most economists during this Great Collapse, anticipating the next piece of bad news.  Almost all economic datapoints have been relentlessly negative.  Usually, there are good datapoints and bad datapoints.  Not recently!

Just consider what we’ve heard in the last few weeks:
*  More jobs were lost in April than any month  in history
*  Continuing unemployment claims cannot keep up with Initial Unemployment Claims because of computers.
* 30.3 million workers filed for unemployment in only six weeks – a record drop.
*  Personal Spending fell by 7.5% in March -another record drop.
*  Productivity dropped a historic 2.5% in Q1, because output fell faster than hours worked.
*  New non-manufacturing orders dropped to a record low ISM report of 32.9
*  The ISM production component fell to 27.5, which is another record low .
*  In March, imports fell 6.2%, while exports dropped a record 9.6%, exploding the trade deficit.
*  Real GDP for America dropped 4.8% in Q1.
*  Estimate for GDP drop in Q2 range from 20% to 40% – both record drops!
*  The previous record drop in Consumer Confidence (Present Situation) was 39.7 points in February of 1970.  It dropped a stunning 90.0 points last month.

So, if your neighborhood economist seems slightly less sane, now you know why!

Thank you, President Xi!

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