This was originally posted at 8:15 a.m. EST on RealMoney. Vincent Farrell Jr. and a whole cadre of contributors post every day on RealMoney. Click here for a free trial.
Let me give you a list of reasons why we won't have a recession. Lots of these ideas came from Ed Hyman at ISI, some are from Jason Trennert at Strategas, and some I figured out myself.
Oh, before I start, my granddaughter Lola Jane, Uncle Dougie Kass' honorary niece, has noticed I have not mentioned her for a few emails. Even at 17 months of age, she is not to be messed with, so Lola Jane, this one is for you. (And it is true that I read Doug's missives to her, but only when she won't sleep.)
. The four-week moving average of unemployment claims, which come out later today, have been bumping around 350,000. At 400,000, we will probably be at 0% growth, so claims are still showing sluggish economic growth. The monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report is still showing job growth, and the last recession saw more than 200,000 job losses per month.
. There is usually massive inventory liquidation going into a recession, and we haven't seen evidence of that yet. It could be that the system is much better in inventory management, but we haven't seen the customary sell-down in inventories.
. Interest rates are historically low worldwide, and after Ben's testimony yesterday, it is obvious that U.S. rates are going lower. The
has been pumping massive amounts of money into the system, as shown by the rapid growth in M2. My bet is the European Central Bank will also capitulate and lower rates before long. The fed funds rate equivalent in the eurozone is 4%, and while I think it needs to be reduced to spur growth, 4% isn't a killer. There is a lot of noise about a stagflation environment developing. The last bout of stagflation in the 1970s saw interest rates/inflation at almost 14% and near double-digit unemployment, so I think the hysteria is a touch premature.
. Corporate cash is at a record $1.6 trillion and is at 11% of market capitalization. There are apparently more than two bids for the
building in New York City at better than $3 billion. There is a lot of cash around, a glut of investable funds. Banks have to overcome their trauma and start to lend, but even if they don't, the mountain of cash will find a home, which will spur growth.
. The weak dollar is starting to spur export growth; the best guess is that GDP will be bumped by 1% per quarter because of this.
. Developing economies are growing at better than 5%. During the last U.S. recession, the growth for this sector rate fell to 2%. The growth rate still could decline, but it hasn't yet. Developing nations account for 30% of world GDP, 2 percentage points more than the U.S. -- a big switch from just a few years ago -- and they should provide a good market for our exports.
. Fourth-quarter GDP will be revised up from the originally reported +0.6% to +0.8%, maybe more. The second quarter is soft, but by all accounts is still positive. The massive Fed rate cuts take a while to kick in, but it seems that time has been bought. I don't think that much of the heralded tax rebates will be spent (most will be saved or used to reduce debt), but some will, which would aid the third quarter, and then the impact of the Fed cuts should be felt.
. The overwhelming consensus is that if we are not in recession now, we soon will be. Here's hoping the consensus is wrong.
Vincent Farrell Jr. is a principal of Scotsman Capital Management. Prior to joining Scotsman in April 2005, Farrell was chairman of Victory Capital Management of Cleveland and chairman of Victory SBSF Capital Management in New York. He was a founding partner of Spears Benzak Salomon & Farrell, which was acquired by KeyCorp in 1995. Vince held a variety of positions in his 23 years at SBSF, including chief investment officer, and he served as the portfolio manager on a number of the firm's largest client relationships. He is a regular guest on CNBC as well as other national print and broadcast media.
Prior to joining SBSF, Vince spent nine years at Smith Barney as a vice president, sales.
Vince graduated from Princeton University in 1969 and received his MBA from the Iona College Graduate School of Business in 1972.