mercredi 26 octobre 2011

L'importance du "deleveraging"

Alors que nous attendons les résultats du sommet de la zone Euro, il est utile de continuer à prêter attention aux autres données macro-économiques.

Je crois que le concept qu'il faut à tout prix garder à l'esprit c'est le "deleveraging".
Quelque soient les décisions prises lors du sommet, les effets de cette tendance lourde commencent tout juste à se faire sentir.

Les entreprises, les consommateurs, et maintenant les Etats sont tous engagés dans ce processus.
Après avoir pendant des années fonctionné sur le crédit et plus généralement l'effet de levier ("leveraging"), tous ces acteurs économiques ont commencé à renverser cette tendance. C'est cela le "deleveraging".

Et quoiqu'on pense du bien-fondé de cette tendance, (personnellement je pense que cela devait bien finir par arriver) ce n'est pas une force qui va faciliter la croissance économique à court-terme, et donc la poursuite de nouveaux records sur le prix des actifs.

Voici un article pour aller plus loin :

From Maurice Pomery of Strategic Alpha

Whilst we all await the outcome of the EU summit I want to draw your
attention elsewhere:

Whilst the US equity markets closed down 2% last night, it is clear
that there is little appetite to put on new trades in front of this summit
meeting as evidenced by the lack of interest in Asia. Equities and FX markets
were extremely quiet except for when the Aussie CPI came in weaker than expected
sparking a fall in the AUD and a complete 25bp cut being priced in for next
week’s meeting
. To me the AUD looks very exposed to a steep fall as
global growth is in trouble. The fall on Wall St was, in my opinion, more on the
back of further weak data from the housing market in the US and consumer
confidence which is collapsing fast, as the Case Schiller disappointed yet
again. Is operation twist going to help? If the answer is no then Bernanke will
have to try something else and this view is building as the fall in equities was
accompanied by a fall in the Dollar and a steep rise in precious metals, all
signs that fears of further QE are building.

There are some issues away from the EU crisis that I think need
attention and one of them is deleveraging and a drying up of demand. The cash
price of iron ore for immediate delivery to China, a benchmark for Asia, dropped
the most in more than two years as demand from steelmaker’s wanes
. Last
week, Chinese steel prices plunged the most since the 2008 global economic
crisis, signalling mills may further curb output. China seemingly has enough
stockpiled to last some time and the likes of Australia and other exporting
nations are likely to feel this as demand globally drops led by steep declines
of demand from the developed world.

I have been warning you all of this and the impact on global growth
but this steep fall in Iron ore is very concerning. Copper prices had been in a
steep decline before speculation on further QE from the Fed put a spark back in
demand but physical demand is still low and is the best leading indicator for
global growth prospects.
Additionally and another point I have tried to
highlight is that the consumer in the developed world is starting to deleverage
as evidenced by the rise in savings ratios in the UK and less money being spent
on credit cards. Across the developed world the consumer is considering the
impact of rising unemployment and rising essential costs and the household debt
burden is still enormous. Demand side dynamics do matter; third-quarter profits
at 3M, one of the US’s biggest industrial conglomerates, missed Wall Street
expectations and the company slashed its outlook for full-year earnings, as
sales of consumer electronics dropped, reflecting what the company said was
“generally slowing economic growth in the developed world”. Cummins, one of the
world’s biggest engine-makers, also cut its full-year outlook, citing a sharp
drop-off in demand in emerging markets. Expect a lot more of this.

Interestingly or rather strangely, the extremely low levels of
consumer confidence has yet to hit retail sales in both the US and UK but
looking at the numbers I would suggest they are very likely to soon or the data
is being manipulated
! Consumers are closer now to getting maxed out on
credit and they won’t get or want any more. Yes the very wealthy have been
spending on the likes of Louis Vuiton but the majority are beginning to save and
shed debt. This MATTERS. Even in Canada growth is being scythed lower as the
finance minister cuts growth from 2.8 to 2.1%! Europe is as good as in a
recession as I mentioned yesterday and this will impact whether they come up
with a deal or not tonight and in my opinion too many analysts are missing what
is going on with the economics out there.

US consumer confidence is collapsing and there is no other word for
it. The Conference Board's index of consumer confidence posted yet another
decline in October, falling to 39.8 (previous: 46.4) - the weakest reading since
the end of the recession
! Looking at the detail there is a rather
worrying issue here as the decrease reflects declines in both the present
situation and expectations components, whereas the previous, more recent major
moves down in the index were driven primarily by the expectations component.
This means the concerns are NOW. Spending will now surely take a hit and some
shocks in retail sales are on the way in the US and in the UK as deleveraging is
forced upon the masses. I cannot highlight or stress how important this issue is
to growth everywhere. As prices increase and wages stagnate, things are going to
get tougher into the winter and I note with interest the component in the US
data highlighting concerns over future earnings. In the past low confidence has
not always hit sales but in my mind things are different as the debt burden is
almost unbearable and many have little credit left, adjustments will have to be

When these adjustments come through, in my mind very soon, the Fed
and other central banks may see a steep move towards deflation as growth
stumbles and economies go back into recession, probably led by the EU then the
UK and finally the US
. The world cannot fill that massive customer
void. The timing of this could be dreadful as just at a time when the world
needs China and the other Asian exporters to pull us through, the hard landings
will hit. Global growth expectations are far too optimistic and policy shifts
will be swift where possible. What the world does not need right now is a
falling Dollar as that complicates matters worse but it is of little concern to
Bernanke and Geithner as they are concerned about America and rightly so.

Again I reiterate that a world where we have deleveraging from
Sovereigns (which demands draconian austerity measures), banks (lack of credit
supply to small businesses, the essential for growth) and the consumer, is not a
world that is going to grow.
In fact the speed of the fall could
surprise. Data suggests to me that the EU issue is not the main concern, it is
deleveraging and this will dominate long after the EU idiots come up with some
compromise to delay things further.

2 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit…


Je reste convaincu que nous vivons le début d'une période déflationniste (vous semblez me rejoindre sur ce point.).
Seulement voilà, tout le monde parle de stagflation....Autant l'Hyper inflation je vois comment cela peut arriver, autant la stagflation je sèche!

S'il y a de l'austérité pour les populations (stagnation ou pression à la baisse des salaires+augmentation des impôts+baisse des prestations sociales), comment peut on avoir de l'inflation à LT?
La monétisation (et dévaluation de la monnaie) entrainent une augmentation du cout des importations, donc une baisse de pouvoir d'achat, donc moins de consommation, et donc une baisse des prix des produits (importés ou non) si le producteur veut vendre...
C'est ce qui s'est passé dans la mondialisation de l'économie (Le chinois fait des produits pas chers qui nous ont permis de maintenir notre pouvoir d'achat pendant des années à revenus presque constants).

J'ai du louper quelque chose en route sur la stagflation. Si vous pouviez m'éclairer?


Alex Kerala a dit…

Merci de ce commentaire, et désolé du délai pour y répondre.

Il s'agit d'un débat sans fin entre les économistes.

C'est ce qu'il y a de fascinant avec la science économique. Les mêmes données présentées à deux économistes différents peuvent produire une opinion diamétralement opposée.

Quant à moi, je suis un peu comme Saint-Thomas sur ce sujet : je ne crois que ce que je vois.

Il DEVRAIT y avoir une déflation pour corriger les excès du cycle de crédit précédent, mais les autorités font tout pour le contrecarrer. Résultat : toutes les injections monétaires finissent dans la spéculation et les matières premières et servent à maintenir des banques parasites qui auraient dû déjà mourir de leur belle mort.

Par cet interventionnisme, on ne fait que prolonger le cycle déflationniste, ce qui est mauvais pour l'économie : le "Stagnation" de Stagflation est bien là en tout cas.
Pour ce qui est de l'inflation, c'est plus discutable, puisque toutes les poussées inflationnistes en diminuant le pouvoir d'achat, entrainent ensuite un nouvel épisode déflationniste.
Le prochain épisode en France c'est la baisse de l'immobilier.(qui sera un événement déflationniste).
De même, la politique d'austérité est déflationniste.

Pour qu'il y ait une véritable inflation, il faudrait assister à une spirale de négociation à la hausse des salaires et des prestations sociales, mais on en est très loin.