By Jack Kelly
I think the real reason why we hate old curmudgeons is that deep down we know they’re right even if we don’t want to admit it. Gary Shilling is an old-school investor—the type who has no fucks to give any longer. He’s the ornery, cantankerous uncle who says that the Thanksgiving Day turkey tastes like shit and spits the food out of his mouth. You’re secretly elated because you felt the same way, but didn’t dare say anything to your mom.
Shilling is calling shenanigans on the current stock market. Not only does he think that it’s too damn high, Shilling says we’re heading toward an armageddon, like the Great Depression. By the way, do you notice that everything lately is compared to the Great Depression? How’s that even possible? We have iPhones, Netflix, Amazon and live in color. Back-in-the-day, they didn’t have video games or anything cool. Everything was in black and white and everything sucked. So, how would they even know it was a depression?
“I think we’ve got a second leg down and that’s very much reminiscent of what happened in the 1930s where people appreciate the depth of this recession and the disruption and how long it’s going to take to recover,” said Shilling in an interview with CNBC. Allow me to translate: people nowadays are too stupid to recognize that the stock market has gone up too high too fast, while the real economy is in shambles. This disconnect will eventually gain notice.
It’ll be like when Wile E. Coyote chases the Road Runner and he runs over a cliff in pursuit of his prey. Wile E. Coyote continues running in mid air thousands of feet about the ground below. Everything’s cool up until the Road Runner says, “Beep, Beep.” Then, Mr. Coyote looks down, realizes he’s in the air and crashes down to the ground. Stars start circling his head as he lies squished on the ground.
Shilling contends that there won’t be a V-shaped recovery, but more of an “L.” Again, permit me to translate: Instead of stocks crashing down, then bolting upward to take us right back to where we were pre-pandemic, the economy will linger down for a long time and become stagnant. Stocks, he predicts, will see a big bubble burst and they’ll crater by 40%.
About 20 million American renters could get kicked out of their homes and face eviction by the end of September, according to the hoity-toity Aspen Institute.
In light of the big mess we’re in, the federal government temporarily prohibited evictions for people who fell into a certain designation. That ends this month.
The problem is that over 47 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits since the beginning of the pandemic. Studies indicate that the vast majority of people don’t have an emergency fund to last them three months. The supplemental $600 dollars offered to ease the pain of unemployment will soon end. The job market continues to look dour with no end in sight. There’s constant layoffs without much hiring.
As renters and homeowners held off paying their rent and mortgages, they’ll soon owe one big balloon payment. If they didn’t have money to pay the last four months, it’s not reasonable to believe that they’ll have sufficient funds to come up with all of the past-due payments, plus the current month’s obligation.
Banks won’t be able to allow people to keep living in their homes indefinitely without paying back their mortgages; otherwise, they’d go bust. Similarly, landlords, of which a lot of them are small-time and heavily rely upon the rent to pay their mortgage on the rental property, can’t afford to have people live in their houses without payment, as they’d to go broke. Unless someone comes up with a smart solution, there’s going to be a lot of evictions or landlords and banks will take a financial beating.
The Organization for Economic and Cooperation and Development said Tuesday that unemployment rates in the world’s advanced economies will be at Great Depression levels by the end of the year. It won’t return to their pre-pandemic levels until at least 2022. It could be worse, according to the OECD report, if the U.S. doesn’t continue with the stimulus programs designed to help the unemployed and small businesses. Our nation must come up with new plans to avert and economic and job-loss disaster.