The world is over indebted, with a total debt at 380% of global GDP. It is three times it was before the crisis. This debt is both private and public. However, there is no data available on the extent to which this debt has been financed by stock market speculation. We can only infer, from the excessive levels of these indices, that a major part is acting in this activity.
Articles by Miguel Navascués
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On the tenth anniversary of the fall of Lehman Brothers, multiple analyses and opinions can be read on the origins of the crisis. Two have caught my attention: that of Ben Bernanke, who headed the team which avoided the crisis turning into a new 1929, and the opposing view of Paul Krugman, who says that he does not see the connection, and believes that it was a crisis provoked by the collapse of the housing market.
Miguel Navascués | Emerging markets continue seething and carry with them ever less confidence. The latest sign is that the flight of capital has sought refuge in US bonds (and in Wall Street, a new record), among other destinations, and has reduced the yield curve to a minimum of many years of 0.23%.
Global GDP could contract given that reduced production translates into reduced demand for non commercial goods – for example US services which are not exported – which impacts in a contraction of demand. Idem in the other countries. In other words, the decline will be in global demand, not just in comercial but all.
Miguel Navascués | The high retail interest rates in Spain, over 8% compared to at least 4% in France and other Eurozone countries, without doubt indicates usurious behavior, of the banks’ abuse of power at the expense of the customer, who on the other hand ought to inform and educate himself and refuse to pay these rates. I would say that, in fact, there is an oligopolistic factor in Spanish banking which stamps its slant on the interest rates it charges.
From 2019 it is possible that Spain will have difficulties financing its public debt, which is definitely not only the official figure of 98.3% of GDP. Rajoy’s increase of this debt by €649 billion has been financed at very low interest rates, thanks to the ECB’s quantitative easing. On the other hand, Pedro Sánchez has announced substantial spending increases, which will inevitably increase debt in 2019.
Miguel Navascués | For some months we have been looking with concern at the spread of interest rates of US 10 minus 2 year bonds as an indicator of an ever closer recession. Indeed, this indicator has been moving towards zero, and if it goes negative – which seems to be the trend- it would signal the threshold of a recession. But I don’t think it is such a precise indicator.
President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, has not taken long to see the writing on the wall: he has officially asked for help from the IMF. On Monday, the peso/$ devalued 5%, which is a savage drop. Domestic and foreign equity have completely lost confidence in the economic governance and have fled terrified, with huge losses, given the peso’s accumulated depreciation.
Miguel Navascués | When the signs of an incipient slowdown in the European economy begin to multiply – the matching indicators suggest that industrial production slowed in 2018 – the case for reaching an agreement on Brexit and refocusing attention on unifying the capital markets becomes increasingly more powerful and urgent.
The biggest economic threat today is not the interest rate, nor the exchange rates, nor the possible trade war fuelled by Trump: it’s the debt accumulated by countries across the world. This has increased 12% of GDP since the crisis, totalling 225% of global GDP. Starting with China, followed by Europe and ending up with the US, the threat from the current and future debt is terrifying.