Danielle DiMartino Booth, CLEARDANGER.sm

CLEAR & PRESENT DANGER

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Will Autos Crash the U.S. Economy?

After ten years, is the time finally upon us? We will soon enough know. Today marks the first Minutes release that carries the promise of cleanliness. As I’ve written to on multiple occasions, in disapproval mind you, in 2008, Janet Yellen suggested that the FOMC Meeting Minutes be manipulated to massage the intended message the FOMC should have conveyed.

If investors had misread the statement, or if the world had changed in the three weeks since the statement was released, well then just change the verbiage of the Minutes to reflect the Fed’s new and improved outlook. How convenient.

But Yellen will not have been in the house when today’s Minutes were set to be released. That means they might, just might, reflect what really was said around that mammoth table in the Eccles Building.

If we do read of a raging inflation debate, you can bet your bottom dollar we’re getting clean goods. If the verbiage is nice and soft, well then, that will reflect poorly on Jerome Powell’s leadership abilities. It will be an admission that the Fed should have soothed frayed nerves the intraday minute the Dow was down 1,600, not even waiting for the close.

I do so hope it’s the former of the two, that Powell takes this second step to restoring decency, decorum and dignity to the institution. The first step towards becoming a truly apolitical and independent institution will thus stand – the Powell being mum to stock market gyrations part.

If stocks are rattled now, just wait until the storm building in the auto sector comes onshore. Several weeks back, I was taken to task for even suggestion that such a fate awaited the U.S. economy. What do they say about making lemonade with lemons?

This week I’ve taken the opportunity of being called out to make some calls to the best and the brightest covering the auto sector. The analysis and data they provided from multiple sources provided plenty of back-up to support my initial assessment. If anything, I fear forecasts calling for new car sales to decline to a 16.7-million annual rate are overly optimistic.

On a personal note, as a mother of four school-aged children, I am truly distressed to witness the acceleration of school violence. The incident made me recall yet another beautiful Peggy Noonan column. As she wrote:

“It’s hard to know another person’s motives,” a friend once said. “But then it’s almost impossible to know your own.” We are often mysteries to ourselves. The area between your true self and the mystery—that’s where trouble happens.

That passage reminds me of a great book once recommended to me to read. I can only pray our nation’s leaders have the wisdom, upon reflecting on the sad state of violence in our schools, to stand up for our nation’s children. It’s well past time to conduct background checks that prevent weapons that have one place and one place only – that is, the battlefield – from falling into the hands of those inclined to make tragic trouble that sacrifices our babies and those who nobly endeavor to teach them.

With that, I do hope you enjoy this week’s installment, Clear & Present Danger: Will Autos Crash the U.S. Economy?

To all of our nation’s students, safekeeping, and as always, wishing you well,

Danielle

 

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