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Welcome to the Square Root Shaped Recovery

Welcome to the “square root” shaped recovery. That is the likely shape of the recovery curve we can expect over the coming years. If you back out what I call the “2000’s fluff” of excess car production, liar loans, using the home ATM for serial, annual refinancings, excess consumption, unneeded home construction to account for the new frugality, US GDP growth drops by 1%. Chop off another 1% for deleveraging in all its forms, including lower leverage ratios, the end of the collaterized debt markets and credit default swaps, ultra high junk yields, bond ratings for sale, and the new conservatism of CFO’s and auditors. That leaves you with the 1% growth rate that Japan has seen for the last 20 years. That means falling standard of livings, an unemployment rate permanently stuck at German style double digits, endemic deflation, a collapsing dollar, a comatose real estate market, and moribund stock markets. Where are the 37 million jobs going to come from that American needs over the next decade? If your kid is going to graduate from college soon, or cash out from the army, he better start learning Mandarin.

3% Average US GDP growth rate 2002-2007
-1% Bank deleveraging
-1% 2000’s fluff-liar loans, excess home construction, excess car production
-1% real GDP growth 2010-2020