Author Topic: Citi: The Global Economy Is Trapped in a ‘Death Spiral’  (Read 1570 times)

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Citi: The Global Economy Is Trapped in a ‘Death Spiral’
« on: February 11, 2016, 04:53:14 AM »

Weeks after the Royal Bank of Scotland advised its investors to “sell everything,” Citi has decided to provide its own clients with fodder for a panic attack. In a report released Thursday, the bank warned that the global economy appears to be “trapped” in a “death spiral.”

Here’s a thumbnail sketch of the deathly cycle that Citi forecasts: Weak global growth spurs demand for the U.S. dollar; a stronger U.S. dollar drives down the global price of commodities; and low commodity prices hurt developing economies dependent on exporting raw materials, thereby weakening global growth, which spurs demand for the U.S dollar, ad infinitum. This process repeats until we arrive at “Oilmageddon," an economic apocalypse defined by perpetually low oil prices and "a 'significant and synchronized' global recession and a proper modern-day equity bear market," writes Citi strategist Jonathan Stubbs.

Crude-oil prices have collapsed by 70 percent since mid-2014, while the U.S. dollar has risen by 20 percent against foreign currencies, according to CNBC.

In recent days, some have speculated that the Federal Reserve might consider experimenting with negative interest rates — effectively charging people money for the privilege of storing their wealth in banks — as Sweden's central bank has done. But considering that the Fed just raised interest rates despite low inflation in order to preserve the lower bound as a policy tool, it seems doubtful Janet Yellen would follow Sweden's radical example.

Of course, in Citi’s view, slow growth will be the least of our worries if the world's political and economic leaders don’t take action to combat “Oilmageddon.”

"The stakes are high,” Stubbs writes. “Perhaps higher than they have ever been in the post-World War II era.”

My religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me....That is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave."
— Stonewall Jackson