This chart is straightforward: It’s outstanding credit as a percentage of GDP. Broadly speaking, this is a measure of how leveraged the US economy is. It was in a sedate 130%–170% range as the economy industrialized in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It popped higher in the 1920s and 1930s before settling down again. Then came the 1980s. Credit jumped above 200% of GDP and has never looked back. It climbed steadily until 2009 and now hovers over 350%.
In 2018, a lot of chickens are going to come home to roost in Washington, D.C., on Wall Street, and in the media centers of New York City and Los Angeles. Icons will be blasted into dust as the tides of cheap money, cronyism, complicity, and stupidity recede. Beware entities with too much debt, too much secrecy, too much hype. Beware false idols. Every bubble destroys its idols, and so shall this one.
At the risk of repeating myself, I think it is borderline dysfunctional for the Fed to be raising interest rates and at the same time experimenting with reducing its balance sheet. Where’s the fire? Seriously, we waited for four years, deep into the recovery, before the Fed found enough intestinal fortitude to begin to timidly raise rates. And now they think they have to proceed at warp speed? I just don’t see this ending well.
Source: The Bonfire Burns On