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Economic Thoughts, July 2015

A few quick economic thoughts for July 2015:

(1) China's crashing stock market is the least surprising thing in the world. However, the idea that it will impact the US economy significantly is inaccurate IMO. The collapse of the Japanese Asset Bubble in the early 90s had very little impact on the US economy and this is analogous to that.

(2) Greece's problems are no surprise either. Once again, don't expect it to have much impact globally. The bigger story IMO is that the Italian government is being propped up by the European Central Bank and that will result in declining long-term growth in Europe.

(3) The biggest threat to the American economy right now: Donald Trump. No exaggeration. Trumps wants to start a trade war with Mexico and China that will likely be a total disaster. Trump's policies are very similar to those that led to the Great Depression. The scary thing is that he's surging in the polls.

(4) In spite of all the negatives globally, I'm starting to find some very attractive investments again --- mostly in the energy sector. Not that dissimilar from 1999 when a lot of energy and mining related stocks were dirt cheap in spite of the overall market being grossly inflated.

(5) The perception of risk in the US financial sector is greatly exaggerated. If anything, US housing prices are still subdued right now as a result of Dodd-Frank. Moreover, almost all the major US banks are significanlty better capitalized in 2015 than in 2007. I view the US financial sector as one of the safer areas to hide right now; the exact opposite scenario as the one we saw before the last crash.