Trouble Abrewing; This Time It Is Different
We’ve seen a lot of extraordinary extremes and divergences in the past fifteen years, but nothing quite like this.
Courtesy of longtime correspondent B.C., here is a chart of the Chicago Fed’s National Financial Conditions Index, the Fed Funds Rate, and the 1-Year Treasury Yield, and a measure of corporate bonds and the 10-year Treasury yield.
When the National Financial Conditions Index rises above the zero line, bad things tend to happen to the stock market and the economy. This index spiked before the recessions in 1977, 1981, 2000 and 2008, and rose before the stock market nosedived in 1987.
Meanwhile, the Fed Funds Rate and the 1-Year Treasury Yield have been bouncing along the zero boundary since late 2008. In the past 40 years, we’ve never seen the Fed Funds Rate and the 1-Year Treasury Yield effectively at zero for such an extended time, and the National Financial Conditions Index moving decisively higher.
This time it is different, but not in the way that the cheerleaders intended.
P.S. Ever since my first summer job decades ago, I’ve been chasing financial security. Not win-the-lottery, Bill Gates riches (although it would be nice!), but simply a feeling of financial control. I want my financial worries to if not disappear at least be manageable and comprehensible.
And like most of you, the way I’ve moved toward my goal has always hinged not just on having a job but a career.
You don’t have to be a financial blogger to know that “having a job” and “having a career” do not mean the same thing today as they did when I first started swinging a hammer for a paycheck.
Even the basic concept “getting a job” has changed so radically that jobs–getting and keeping them, and the perceived lack of them–is the number one financial topic among friends, family and for that matter, complete strangers.
So I sat down and wrote this book: Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.
It details everything I’ve verified about employment and the economy, and lays out an action plan to get you employed.
I am proud of this book. It is the culmination of both my practical work experiences and my financial analysis, and it is a useful, practical, and clarifying read.