Monday, November 24, 2014
5

Une reprise en trompe-l'œil

RIO DE JANEIRO – Depuis l'année dernière, une série d'évènements a redonné confiance aux investisseurs et suscité un rebond marqué dans le secteur des actifs à risque, notamment en ce qui concerne la Bourse et les matières premières. Les indicateurs macroéconomiques des USA se sont redressés, les grandes entreprises des pays avancés sont restées fortement bénéficiaires, le ralentissement de la Chine et des pays émergents a été limité et le risque d'un défaut et/ou d'une sortie d'un pays de la zone euro a diminué.

Depuis l'arrivée de Mario Draghi à sa tête, la Banque centrale européenne semble disposée à faire tout ce qu'il faut pour diminuer les taux d'intérêt et réduire le stress financier qui pèse sur le système bancaire et les Etats de la zone euro. Les banques centrales des pays avancés et des pays émergents ont injecté massivement des liquidités. La volatilité diminue, la confiance revient et pour l'instant l'aversion à l'égard du risque est bien moindre.

Néanmoins quatre éléments vont probablement miner la croissance mondiale cette année, avec pour conséquence une moindre confiance des investisseurs et une baisse de la valeur des actifs à risque :

1) La zone euro traverse une grave récession. Elle frappe avant tout sa périphérie, mais elle s'étend maintenant à son cœur - car les derniers chiffres montrent une contraction de la production en Allemagne et en France. Le resserrement du crédit dans le système bancaire s'accentue, alors que les banques diminuent leur endettement en vendant leurs actifs et en rationnant le crédit, ce qui accentue le ralentissement.

L'austérité pousse vers le précipice les pays de la périphérie de la zone euro qui ne pourront retrouver leur compétitivité, car la diminution du risque de défaut au sein de la zone renforce la valeur de la monnaie commune européenne. Pour qu'ils retrouvent compétitivité et croissance, il faudrait que l'euro baisse jusqu'à atteindre la parité avec le dollar. Et si le risque d'un effondrement de la Grèce diminue pour le moment, il va augmenter à nouveau cette année. L'instabilité politique, les désordres sociaux et une austérité accrue vont transformer la récession grecque en une dépression.

2) On note depuis peu un affaiblissement de la Chine et du reste de l'Asie. En Chine, le ralentissement économique est manifeste, avec un fléchissement des exportations, carrément à la baisse vis-à-vis des pays de la périphérie de la zone euro. La croissance des importations (un signe de l'évolution des exportations) marque aussi un fléchissement.

De la même manière, l'immobilier marque le pas en Chine, et les prix commencent à baisser. Les investissements en matière d'infrastructure sont aussi à la baisse. De nombreux projets de lignes de train à grande vitesse sont suspendus, les autorités locales et les structures dédiées se bagarrent pour obtenir des financements dans un contexte de resserrement du crédit et de baisse des revenus tirés des ventes foncières.

Ailleurs en Asie l'économie marque le pas. A Singapour, l'économie s'est contractée pour la deuxième fois en neuf mois à la fin de 2011. Le gouvernement indien prévoit une croissance de 6,9% du PIB en 2012, le taux le plus faible depuis 2009. A Taiwan l'économie est tombée en récession technique lors du quatrième trimestre 2011. En Corée du Sud la croissance n'a été que de 0,4% durant la même période - le taux le plus bas depuis deux ans. Au Japon le PIB est tombé à 2,3%, un taux supérieur à ce qui était attendu, étant donné la hausse du yen qui a freiné les exportations.

3) Le rebond des USA paraît atteindre un pic, bien que les chiffres de l'économie américaine soient étonnamment encourageants. Le resserrement budgétaire qui va s'accroître en 2012 et 2013 et la fin des allégements fiscaux qui ont dopé les dépenses d'investissement vont contribuer à un ralentissement. Compte tenu des turbulences qui affectent les marchés du crédit et de l'immobilier, la consommation des ménages va rester à un niveau bas. Deux points de pourcentage du taux de croissance de 2,8% du dernier trimestre 2011 résultaient d'une augmentation des stocks plutôt que d'une hausse des ventes aux consommateurs. Quant à la demande extérieure, un dollar généralement fort associé au ralentissement mondial et à l'affaiblissement de la zone euro va freiner les exportations américaines. Et le prix élevé du pétrole va augmenter la facture énergétique, un obstacle supplémentaire à la croissance.

4) Les risques géopolitiques au Moyen-Orient augmentent en raison de la possibilité d'une réponse militaire israélienne aux ambitions nucléaires iraniennes. Si le risque de guerre reste faible, la guerre des mots ainsi que les actions clandestines d'Israël et des USA contre l'Iran s'intensifient. L'Iran réplique maintenant par des attentats contre les diplomates israéliens. Dos au mur du fait du renforcement des sanctions, la République islamique pourrait aussi réagir en coulant quelques navires pour bloquer le détroit d'Ormuz ou en faisant intervenir ses alliés dans la région - qu'il s'agisse des éléments chiites pro-iraniens en Irak, à Bahreïn, au Koweït ou en Arabie saoudite, du Hezbollah au Liban ou du Hamas à Gaza.

Il faut aussi compter avec les autres tensions géopolitiques de la région, potentiellement déstabilisatrices. Le Printemps arabe a abouti à un résultat relativement positif en Tunisie, là où il a pris naissance, mais la situation en Egypte, en Libye et au Yémen reste très incertaine, tandis que la Syrie est au bord de la guerre civile. La stabilité politique pourrait être menacée à Bahreïn et dans l'est de l'Arabie saoudite riche en pétrole, et l'on peut même se poser des questions quant au Koweït et à la Jordanie - des zones qui comportent des chiites ou une population prête à se révolter.

Au-delà des pays affectés par le Printemps arabe, les tensions croissantes entre factions chiites, kurdes et sunnites en Irak depuis le retrait américain ne présagent rien de bon pour la production pétrolière. Et n'oublions pas le conflit sans fin entre Israéliens et Palestiniens, ainsi que les tensions entre Israël et la Turquie.

De nombreux facteurs sont donc susceptibles de déstabiliser le Moyen-Orient et semer la panique sur les marchés, conduisant à un envol du prix du pétrole. Malgré la faible croissance dans les pays avancés et un ralentissement dans de nombreux pays émergents, le prix du pétrole avoisine déjà 100 dollars le baril. Si la crainte saisit les marchés, il pourrait encore monter - avec des effets ravageurs sur l'économie mondiale.

Avec autant de facteurs de risque extrême disséminés, s'ils se matérialisent, les investisseurs vont donner la priorité aux liquidités et se détourner des actifs fixes les plus exposés. C'est une raison supplémentaire de penser que l'économie mondiale n'est pas sur la voie d'une reprise durable et équilibrée.

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    1. CommentedJonathan Lam

      Gamesmsith94134: Free-Trade Blinders
      Njweatherdon,

      “The experiment is based on somewhat of a false premise, because it speaks to an American audience where the lower class is currently the one facing the most challenges from free trade.”

      Since I do not have the figures to knick around, and I would explain Dani Rodrik’s experiment for its natural scientific reasoning like ones I wrote above my paradigm on the wealth circuitry in economical and social growth that supports and balances both accumulated wealth and consumable wealth; and it created a “Z” shaped financial development running both on the diminishing demand and diminishing return; which is based on the assumption, the route above the standard of living equal in length with the one below the standard of living is in agreement of its living standard to sustain a viable growth; and Societal changes due to the democracy on globalization. In assimilation, the shift of wealth circuitry make the redistribution of wealth from the developed nations, like US, EU, to the emerging market nations like China, India or Brazil. It would show how the wealth circuitry globally settling the living standard inequality to balance itself through the diminishing return as in welfare states or communistic position, and the diminishing demand as in capitalistic position when each maximized it top or bottom setting to its extreme. Since the ladder of growth with those defined the value and price expanded and extended its living standards in either ways, it develops a newer term of demand or supply to shift the advancement of living standard after inflation or deflation.

      Perhaps, it is observable that American turned welfare state that its economy turn anemic with some 1% loaded with wealth and 99% struggle to strive above the living standard that held itself to a diminishing demand. In reverse, the diminishing return states like communistic China benefits its labors after the globalization; their living standard rose after 20% increased salary and so is the demands of goods internally and externally. Now, Asian purchased 50% of the luxury good EU produced. Then, it is how the Capitalist turns communist, and communist turns capitalist; as much of the inequality of the living standard of the two combined to merge, the expansion of the global economy may reverse itself that a cycle of accumulated wealth circuitry is completed and the standard of living is moving with the strength of the frequency of the flow of wealth that is kept in it wealth accumulated circuitry in a long run. Perhaps, it is not “The question of who wins and who loses is always important, but it's not always the educated and wealthy who win in free trade and it's not always the poor who lose in free trade. All those manufacturing jobs going overseas?” as you said when these inequality living standard make the world goes around with globalization and free trade.

      In conclusion, there are deficiencies of both capitalism and communism in handling the accumulated wealth because of the agency and structure in societal developments due to a fact of the productivity model that each bounded to a death end for either a diminishing return or diminishing demand. We may always laugh at the communists for it insufficient supply; but if we understand better of our recession to depression for its lack of demand too. It is not the dogma that kept its economy stood still, but the accumulated wealth makes the world goes around.

      Perhaps, democracy and free trade is the motion of the cash flows in politics for its populace and they do affect nations of wealth globally. To-day, topsy-turvy is the diminishing return and diminishing demand are marginally reversing themselves when the all living standard merging themselves in creating the globalization and democracy setting in motion to make fee trade in balancing the outcome. When I ask why should US dominate the higher profitable in trading the high tech if it aborts its blue collars workers, or did it turn itself into welfare state by giving the rich ones another break? If US is not attempt to make its appropriate living standard for its people in lesser welfare state, the globalization and democracy will downgrade its status as developed nation to underdeveloped whether it will sustain its free trade environment or not. God bless America.

      “But democracies owe themselves a proper debate, so that they make such choices consciously and deliberately. Fetishizing globalization simply because it expands the economic pie is the surest way to delegitimize it in the long run.” Said Dani Rodrik.

      And, may the Buddha bless you too?

    2. CommentedJonathan Lam

      Gamesmith94134: Dr. Doom Warns Wall Street and Washington---- Heed Karl Marx's Warning!
      Mr. Gert van Vugt,

      You make the best description on the theory on the economical growth Paradigm that the economic change seems like Malthusian’s diminishing return, and I agree. However, Mr. Roubini makes his point on the social disruption reverse itself through the diminishing demand. If we can put away the elements like the Ponzi scheme and benefactors in social caused deficiency or defects to growth. Corruption by capitalism and the dependency by socialism among societies both caused failure in the economical and societal development.

      Perhaps, we focus on the circuitry on the accumulation of wealth and consumable wealth that runs the economy. It seems both the capitalism and socialism ran short and proven wrong in the economical model or social model that became self-destructive; eventually, the economy runs from diminishing demand to diminishing return, or vice versa. So, if we use the living standard as the equilibrium position to the supply line of the circuitry of wealth balanced by both of the diminishing return and diminishing demand.

      How about I call my paradigm on the wealth circuitry in economical and social growth that supports and balances both accumulated wealth and consumable wealth; and it created a “Z” shaped development running both on the diminishing demand and diminishing return; which is based on the assumption, the route above the standard of living equal in length with the one below the standard of living is in agreement of its living standard to sustain a viable growth, which contains;

      • The base line as the diminishing return where the societies kept peace with its populace that consumable wealth that cause economical displacement like with its negative growth or no growth; it provides entitlement or social programs with non-productive individual citizens for example, 27% of its population on welfare with add-on with subsidies to sustain a standard of living.

      • The top line as the diminishing demand that ended with accumulated wealth favors of concentrated wealth owned by individuals that ended with profitless, 1% holds 27% of the global or national wealth, plus those with extra wealth is not in production yields to no growth.

      • And the diagonal line that connected to both ends is the support of the price and value in the middle is the standard of living which contains the most of the productive individuals who is moving up and down the ladder of growth.

      If more of the wealth accumulated than the wealth consumed, then it causes saturation of the wealth. The diminishing demand under the standard of living agreement made the demand idle because of the shortage of consumption. In the process, the standard of living will go down to meet its demand after the deflationary measure to make it consumable. In reverse, the wealth consumed is over the wealth accumulated, as it is less profitable. Then, it triggers the inflationary measures to aggregate demand to accumulate more wealth in its diminishing return mode; eventually it will balance itself again with the agreement of the standard living with a viable growth.

      It is not the supply and demand. It is rather the circuitry of wealth under the spells of the lower living standard that diminishing demand is being part of the deflationary measure. If the accumulated wealth became saturated, then it means the lower living standard that made the demand finite like lesser demand in loan of dollars in ECB.
      I am certain I am not being introspective; I may twist the theory a little; but the proof of the lower living standard in Europe made it plausible.

      May the Buddha bless you?

    3. CommentedLuis A. Guerra

      I am not so sure about the growth anymore and further, I have become sceptic about any official data. In turn people like Mr. Biderman here make sense. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_lsEAsETdoo

    4. CommentedPaul A. Myers

      Roubini has provided an excellent tour de horizon of the many risks facing the world economy. Against this we should state a contrary case to understand the investment potential available to investors. Above all world markets increasingly prize stability. If the world economy has reasonable stability over the next couple of years, investment returns could imaginably be above trend.

      First, problems in the Middle East. There are many but it is quite possible that since there are so many problems crowded into this space that there is a self-canceling dimension to this mare's nest of problems. If there is an oil price spike, buy on the correction? If oil goes up gradually, it moves the world economy towards more efficiency, probably a better thing. Vindicates everyone's alternative energy strategies. Last point for this region, except for the export of oil, the economies of these countries are of almost no statistical significance to the world economy (which is what a lot of the anger is all about).

      Europe is muddling, but one suspects as the year goes on there will be some real action on putting some money into the periphery to get growth going again. The austerity arguments, like a long staying mother-in-law, are wearing out their welcome (and politicians are going to start losing elections because of this; so where reason fails, elections will start to tell).

      The US economy is very strongly grounded in private sector job creation. So like the the tortoise, it may be slow but it will be quite sure at delivering real results. Housing will be a bluebird to the upside--eventually! Obama's reelection is looking like a dead certainty--and this man radiates stability, the tonic needed.

      China and Asia? A valuation problem, I think. Just how large and significant are the nonperforming loans and unproductive investments? No idea. But a 40 percent savings rate buries a lot of mistakes. If the worldwide emerging market countries are going to carry a bigger load for making prosperity happen, then possibly those economies are going to have to gear down and put more horsepower into each percentage point of real growth. So as an investor, are we overpaying today to get into these investments or are we paying a fair price? Don't know. Time to dollar-average-in over the next 24 months, methinks.

      How about those seas of liquidity? Yes, a real problem if eventually the money stays on the table and inflation rises. In that case I think the place to be is as the owner of a worldwide portfolio of productive assets, not a holder of depreciating short-term obligations.

      The productive economies almost everywhere are going to be more powerful than the paper-based governments.

    5. CommentedLuke Ho-Hyung Lee

      I have different views and analysis on the global economy.

      Geometrically progressive market changes have already been made by the rapid growth of synergy software applications over the last 20 to 30 years. Yet, the market results made through the market paradigm (or process) that comprised existing functional market systems could only have produced arithmetical changes.

      As market changes could only be satisfied through the existing functional market paradigm, “a structural gap” has existed in the market. As I show in detail elsewhere [ http://savingtheworldeconomy.blogspot.com/ ], this is the real cause of the economic and social malaise which currently afflicts us.

      I believe the only viable remedy for this structural gap will be by intentionally inducing synergistic (or geometrically progressive) market results in the market paradigm (or process).

      Until then, there will be no balanced and sustainable recovery.

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