Monday, April 19, 2010

Macroeconomic directions

As someone approaching 50, the following two things that have been talked about by economists but have not been adequately fleshed out in terms of projections and forecasts are the following:

1. Slow growth and rising debt: What does it mean for my portfolio? Okay, what does slowing consumption and rising household debt imply about GDP for the next 10 or 15 years. What does it imply for stock returns? With households cutting back on consumption (assuming that they do), what does it imply about goods and services produced in the U.S. - how exportable are they? If the goods that we used to import now go elsewhere, what does it mean for companies who list on the stock markets here? Will they continue to be as profitable?

2. This unsustainable thing called the global imbalances: Same questions apply - what does it mean for GDP and stock returns? If it doesn't matter for these two variables then why should we be worried or is this just some thing economists conjure up just so that they can generate a demand for grants to research?

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