Earlier today, we posted an excerpt from IceCap Asset Management’s latest letter to investors focusing on the farce that is the Greek bailout #3, which can be summarized simply by the following table…
… and Keith Dicker’s assessment which was that “for Greece, it’s mathematically impossible to repay its debt” and that the Greek “economy continues to plummet to deeper depths and is now -33% less than where it was in 2008.”
But the truth is that for all the endless drama, Dicker continues, “the Greek debt crisis isn’t THE crisis. Rather it is simply a symptom of a much larger global debt crisis.”
The problem is that the “larger global debt crisis” is finally metastasizing and spreading to more places, all of which are large enough that they can not be simply swept under the rug, like Greece.
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IceCap’s Keith Dicker continues:
We’ve written before that governments all around the world have borrowed too much money and the weight of these debts are choking economic growth.
And to make matters worse – these very same governments and their central banks have implemented various plans that have only made matters worse.
Our view has not changed – the global debt crisis has escalated to a point where the government bond bubble has inflated itself to become the mother of all bubbles. It’s going to burst, and when it does it wont be pretty.
Further evidence to support our view is as follows:
Canada – the collapse in oil and commodity markets has pushed the country into recession and the Canadian Dollar to decline to levels lower than that reached during the 2008 crisis.
Oil dependent provinces Alberta and Newfoundland remain in deep denial. Since everyone in these provinces have only ever experienced a booming oil market, many naively believe things will bounce back – and quickly.
Meanwhile, both Toronto and Vancouver housing markets also remain in denial as they continue to go gangbusters. Buyers today are likely buying at all-time highs.
And as we predicted last year, the Bank of Canada has cut (not raised) interest rates twice in the last 6 months.
We fully expect the Bank of Canada to eventually cut interest rates to 0% and start a money printing program as well. And for the stunner – NEGATIVE interest rates will not be that far behind.
Australia – Over the last 20 years, China has been viewed as the growth engine of the world, and justifiably so. With annual growth rates between 8% to 15%, China’s economy was literally eating every rock, stalk and barrel of practically every commodity in the world.
And naturally, any country or company that produced these commodities made a tonne of money – including Australia.
Today, China’s growth rate has slowed to about 3% which is a dramatic slow down compared to what it achieved in the past. This slowdown and China’s effort to even maintain these rates, will have significant repercussions around the world.
And the first up to bear the brunt of this slowdown is its closest supplier of raw materials – Australia.
With dark clouds on the economic horizon, the Australian government and central bank is doing everything possible to prevent the unpreventable recession.
Interest rates have been reduced to all-time historical lows, meanwhile the Australian Dollar has plummeted -25% over the last year. Yet – the negative outlook has not improved.
Brazil – Like Australia, Brazil has benefitted immensely from China’s growth. And now, also like Australia, it too is feeling the affects of the dramatic Chinese slowdown.
The economy has now declined for 12 consecutive months making it both the longest and deepest recession in 25 years.
But wait – it gets worse. Despite declining growth, inflation continues to soar higher causing interest rates to rise as well.
And if that wasn’t bad, also know that the Brazilian currency has fell off the cliff at -53%.
Sweden – Unlike Australia and Brazil, Sweden relies very little on China as a buyer of last resort. Yet, the Swedish economy is also not very hot these days.
In fact, instead of spectacular and dramatic declines in anything, it is doing the exact opposite – it just isn’t moving.
While Sweden isn’t in the Eurozone, it is smack dab next to it and that in itself is reason enough for the lack of growth. We’ve written before how the debt crisis in the Eurozone is acting like a giant, slow moving tornado that is sucking the life out of the economy and everything near by. And unfortunately for Sweden, it is very near by.
While economic growth in the Nordic state hasn’t declined, it hasn’t accelerated either – and this is what has many worried.
So worried, that the central bank shocked everyone not once but twice, by first announcing that they would begin to print money, and then when they announced that interest rates would be NEGATIVE.
These actions are so severe, that we need to repeat them:
1) MONEY PRINTING
2) NEGATIVE INTEREST RATES
It is hoped that these actions will cause people and companies to loosen their wallets and start spending again. Yet, what the government and the central bank doesn’t understand is that these actions will actually make the problem worse.
As the global economy continues to move as we expect, there is nothing Sweden can do to change what is coming – a global recession and a significantly weaker Krona.
China, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Sweden – it is beyond us how anyone can declare the crisis isn’t spreading. Be prepared – there are going to be lots of opportunities to both make and lose money.
But first, you have to recognize what is happening.
IceCap’s full letter below