Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Global Recession?

Kapan resesi ekonomi dunia akan berakhir? Prediksi sebagian ahli ekonomi memperkirakan bahwa resesi ekonomi dunia berakhir ketika pertengahan tahun 2010. Itu artinya proses perbaikan semua sektor ekonomi di seluruh belahan dunia memakan waktu sekitar 2 tahun kedepan.

Ooh my god, betapa lamanya waktu yang dibutuhkan untuk pulih. Bayangkan saja belum ada empat bulan bencana ini sudah ada 60 ribu karyawan yang di PHK di Amerika Serikat. Ditambah dengan bangkrutnya perusahaan-perusahaan yang berbasis pada perdagangan eksport ke negara tersebut. Negara-negara dunia ketiga yang masih dalam kategori berkembang bahkan terbelakang (miskin) justru memerlukan waktu yang relatif lebih lama dari dua tahun untuk pulih akibat resesi global.

Akan tetapi jangan khawatir dengan prediksi tersebut, sebab ada kemungkinan pasar domestik di luar perekonomian negara-negara Barat dan benua Eropa justru tetap mampu bertahan dan lebih fleksibel. Resistensinya justru semakin diperkuat dengan meningkatnya kemampuan pasar domestik dan menguatnya pasar dalam negeri.

Berikut ini prediksi mengenai kapankah berakhirnya resesi global, ditinjau dari kilas balik peristiwa serupa di masa lampau:
Something unprecedented will happen in the next year or two that will extend this recession, or possible lead to a depression. The timing is aweful. We have record debt, ZERO savings, bankrupt pension funds across state and private sectors, and two wars. All of the things we spent the last decade's wealth on are zero-return investments, except for maybe some McMansions laying around. Maybe if we can secure oil riches from Iraq, to the tune of Saudi Arabia's current output and send the proceeds back to the U.S., but I don't even think that was the plan. We just don't have the energy and mineral resources that we had two decades ago, let alone five or six decades ago. The government has been lying about the CPI, inflation, etc. And now it is time we realize we have been in a decade-long recession, on that we tried to stave off with the housing bubble.

Lets see- of the 7 past recessions, how many were caused by a collapse of the housing market which precipitated a collapse of the vastly overextended derivative market, which led many of the major financial institutions to collapse or severely shrink? None of them? Sorry if I don't quite buy into the rosy picture these guys are painting.

Well, the 1929 crash was... DNRTFA so I don't know whether that was included. A fine example for looking at over-extended derivatives followed by credit crashes comes to you from Mexico. The 1984 crash is particularly interesting. This is one of the reasons I am not as terrified about the treasury turning the printing presses to full speed at the moment. A drop in the dollar would have significant long-term benefits and is long overdue for what should be by all rights an industrial economy. Of course Mexico couldn't keep it up due to significant governance problems, but that is for a different thread. What makes it a little more difficult is that despite the best efforts of the doom-and-gloomers, the dollar can't seem to help but gain strength because foreigners continue to seek "safety" in T-Bills.

Also, the current 'in-vogue' attitude that we're doomed and it's pointless to have any sort of optimism that has become pervasive across many of the forms of circulated media is not only tiresome but counterproductive. Realism in economics is one thing but pessimism helps no-one except Lou Dobbs and the local gun shop. Any legit equation for calculating growth factors in very significantly expectations for the future so if all of these ratings-whore asshats want to scare viewers into watching them, they're doing their part to lower expectations and by extension lower the possibility of growth.

Don't advocate by any means any sort of institutionally-imposed "optimism" but the outright partisan fear-mongering and sabotage is pathetic, tiresome, unhelpful and dare I say it, unpatriotic? Crying and screaming about a hypothetical panic only serves to create more panic. As they say, the truth is scary enough, it does not need to be embellished.

According to the New York Fed, "Research beginning in the late 1980s documents the empirical regularity that the slope of the yield curve is a reliable predictor of future real economic activity."

Monday, the New York Fed released its latest "Probability of U.S. Recession Predicted by Treasury Spread," with data through January 2009 and its recession probability forecast through 2010 (see chart above, click to enlarge). The NY Fed's model uses the difference between 10-year and 3-month Treasury rates to calculate the probability of a recession in the United States twelve months ahead (see chart below of the Treasury spread).

The Fed's data show that the recession probability peaked during the October 2007 to April 2008 period at around 35-40%, and has been declining since then to less than 10% for December 2008 and January 2009. Looking forward through 2009, the Fed's model shows a recession probability of only about 1% on average through the next 12 months, and below 1% by the end of the year (.82% by January 2010). The Treasury spread has been above 2% for the last 11 months, a pattern consistent with the economic recoveries after the 1990-1991 and 2001 recessions. As the data and graph suggest, there is almost no possibility that the economy will be in recession by the middle of this year according to the Fed's model, which has accurately predicted the last 7 recessions, back to 1960.

Sekali lagi perlu kami ingatkan, semua informasi tersebut hanya merupakan sekilas pengetahuan dari keseluruhan kejadian yang mungkin baru sebagian terjadi. Setidaknya kita punya data baru untuk lebih optimis sekaligus waspada bahwa apapun yang akan terjadi percayalah harapan itu selalu ada.

"Never Give Up, Never Give Up, and Never Give Up". Berdo'a sembari kita semua berusaha.

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