When I use the phrase Stupor Bowl, I refer not to the upcoming Super Bowl or the crazy mid-winter bicycle free-for-all in Minneapolis, but to the economic game of watching the Bear’s Recession Offense crush the Unicorn-believing Bulls.
Let’s follow the score here in the opening minutes of the Recession 2016 contest:
1. Sales have only one way to go: down. Touchdown Bears.
2. Profits have only one way to go: down. Touchdown Bears.
3. Stock buybacks have only one way to go: down. Touchdown Bears.
4. Global “growth” has only one way to go: down. Touchdown Bears.
5. Risk premiums have only one way to go: up. Touchdown Bears.
6. The efficacy of central bank “easing” only one way to go: down. Touchdown Bears.
This is getting stupefyingly repetitive, and the game has barely started: the Bears have racked up 42 points while the Unicorn-believing Bulls are scoreless.
The Unicorn-believing Bulls are going to need not just one Immaculate Reception, but a half-dozen miracle scores just to stay in the game. But the Bears have barely dented their playbook:
7. Government deficits have only one way to go: up.
8. The growth rate of private-sector debt has only one way to go: down.
9. The number of nations with crashing currencies has only one way to go: up.
10. The number of nations defaulting on sovereign debt has only one way to go: up.
11. The number of IPOs that quickly fall below their initial price has only one way to go: up–way up.
12. The number of margin calls to be issued to overleveraged “investors” has only one way to go: up–way up.
13. The number of junk bonds that will default has only one way to go: up–way up.
14. The number of Greater Fools willing to pay outlandishly absurd prices for homes in hot markets is plummeting; as a result, the market value of real estate globally has only one way to go: down–way down.
The Bears can fumble a few plays and still score another 42 points with ease.
The Unicorn-believing Bulls will need the financial equivalent of The Catch just to avoid being skunked:
But even that won’t change the outcome–a recession that will leave all the Unicorn believers, Keynesian Cargo Cultists and the rest of the delusional mob of Bulls stupefied by their crushing defeat.