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A Template for Understanding How the Economic Machine Works (2011) [pdf] (economist.com)
106 points by yarapavan 7 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 10 comments



The "Business Cycle" section on page 17 is basically a blueprint for money and finance in decade-sized chunks.

1. Early Cycle. Low interest rates and lots of credit increase sales of big-ticket items.

2. Mid-Cycle. Slowing economy, low inflation and interest rates, consumption falls.

3. Late-Cycle. Capacity constraints surface and interest rates rise. "The stock market stages its last advance."

4. Tightening Phase. Central bank raises interest rates in anticipation of rising inflation.

5. Early recession. GDP, inflation, stocks, and hedge assets fall as central bank keeps money tight.

6. Late recession. Central bank lowers rates, stocks rise. Cycle complete.

According to this roadmap, step (4) began about one year ago. In addition to increasing interest rates the Fed has committed to unwinding its QE assets from the 2009 aftermath.

The take-home message is that the Fed causes recessions according to a very predicable pattern. This came as quite a shock when I first read about it in the book "Secrets of the Temple."

Also, there are a lot of gems tucked away into various corners of this essay, including this one:

... a big part of the deleveraging process is people discovering that much of what they thought was their wealth isn’t really there.


... a big part of the deleveraging process is people discovering that much of what they thought was their wealth isn’t really there.

This is going to be explosively true when the cohort coming up to 401k realization walk into the room of declining net worth and stagflation.

If hillbilly elegy was the result of hollowing out working class male jobs, What will eventuate from the nouveau riche with pensions learning their own spending and savings patterns is part of a cycle in time, but nobody has a time-machine to avoid it?


> The take-home message is that the Fed causes recessions according to a very predicable pattern.

Causes is probably too strong word. If Fed would not act, the recession would come later and deeper. Fed does not act unless the economy is already overheating.

Here is nice graph to check from time to time: GDP minus potential GDP: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=laCQ (both are inflation adjusted)

CBO’s estimate is just an estimate, but the general pattern is clear


If your above assertion is correct, what should Joe 401k do to best weather the pending storm?

Presumably buy and hold still rings true as A Random Walk Down Wallstreet shows us that ultimately, it's just best to ride it out without selling.


...it's just best to ride it out without selling.

Maybe, but psychology will work against you. Would you be comfortable sitting on a 70% loss of your life savings with no end in sight?

If so, buy and hold might work. It doesn't for most people.


It's not a loss until you sell.


Ray Dalio's LinkedIn post, with context and summary of the new book (available as a free PDF) - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/understanding-big-debt-crises...

Direct link:https://principles.us13.list-manage.com/track/click?u=f81713...


I find this very useful, every now and then i make it a point to watch his video to remind myself of the macro view on things https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PHe0bXAIuk0


The title made me thing of the MONIAC: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/MONIAC


Without a peer review, if I were to base financial decisions on this, it could be dangerous, especially the finer points.




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