Claims/Eur Gwth Surprise?


Karim writes:
Initial claims fell 11k to 448k, lowest level in 1mth.
Anecdotes supporting further declines ahead:

  • VIACOM CEO SAYS ECONOMY IS GROWING STRONGER EACH DAY
  • Caterpillar CEO: “We enjoy hiring people and growing our business, and we’re delighted to see that opportunity coming back”

EU Sentiment and Manufacturing surveys for April out today and quite strong (except for Greece)

  • Of note is stock of inventories at all-time low while new orders and production are rising
  • Wouldn’t be surprised to see 5-6% GDP growth in Q2 for Europe; of course may not be sustainable due to fiscal issues,etc, but should still be a surprise

Yes, if the ECB, for example, simply guaranteed the national govt debt it would work reasonably well. The automatic stabilizers would get the deficits to as high as needed to restore growth and employment.

But that would introduce the moral hazard issue, as whoever ran the largest deficit would be the winner in real terms, in an inflationary race to the bottom.

So they don’t want to remove the ‘market discipline’ aspect even though a nation can become insolvent before the deficit has a chance to get high enough to turn things around.

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