Mark Lundeen provided a very detailed analysis of the consumption of U.S. electricity in a recent commentary. It shows U.S. electrical consumption peaking in approximately 2006, and then beginning a distinct decline starting in 2007. Yes, power demand has “bounced back” somewhat from the worst of the collapse – but at levels still more than 3% lower than in 2007. Put another way, the supposed “U.S. economic recovery” has only resulted in roughly half of that lost demand being restored.
This minimal boost in electrical demand reflects nothing more than pent-up demand from the increase in population which has taken place since 2007, and in no way is suggestive of any economic growth. And we must keep in mind that this is taking place in a climate of ultra-insane monetary policy: interest rates permanently frozen at 0%. Even with this maximum stimulus, the dying U.S. economy is unable to come close to maintaining its level of demand for electricity.
We must also never forget that all of this decline in energy and electricity consumption comes after the largest/most reckless fiscal stimulus as well. The U.S., with by far the world’s largest national deficit (even using the absurd, official number), has not yet begun the fiscal tightening being attempted in most other Western nations (with the notable exception of Canada).
What happens when this dying economy actually turns off the taps with all of this “easy money” from the government (which the U.S. government obviously cannot afford)? If the most insane/extreme fiscal and monetary stimulus in the history of the global economy has produced nothing but further economic decay, what happens when this unsustainable stimulus ceases to be sustained?
The obvious answer to that question is a Soviet Union-like economic implosion, assuming that reckless money-printing doesn’t produce the nightmare of hyperinflation first.
How sick is the U.S. economy? Bloomberg was recently trumpeting the news that construction of “multi-family units” in the U.S. housing market (the low end of the market) was rising to the same level as in 2008. Yes, and everyone can remember what a wonderful year that 2008 was for U.S. housing. And this is the good news?
Actually it is. Construction of single-family units remain at all-time lows since they first began gathering such data on the U.S. housing market. Thus we are to believe that the U.S. economy is growing and producing new, net jobs each month with plummeting energy consumption, declining usage of electricity, and with the propagandists cheering the housing market because things are now only as bad as they were in 2008.
Again, what happens when the unsustainable stimulus can no longer be sustained?
This is a dying economy in the midst of a Greater Depression. Even with B.S. Bernanke’s permanent 0% interest rates (something which would have been totally unthinkable just four years earlier), this monetary defibrillator cannot continue to feign “life” in this economic corpse. The moment that fiscal tightening inevitably begins, the full brunt of the U.S.’s Greater Depression will bludgeon the American people – and hopefully (finally) awaken then from their terminal apathy.
Any further pretensions of economic growth and job-creation can now only be regarded as absurd and transparent fiction. The world’s great energy glutton is claiming a robust “economic recovery” without using any energy. The statistical charlatans at work for the U.S. government can pretend there is positive GDP growth. They can pretend there is positive jobs growth. But they cannot pretend to consume energy.
There was never any “economic reckoning” for the U.S. economy following the economic collapse which began (in earnest) in 2007. Reckless money-printing (the most reckless in history); reckless fiscal spending (the most reckless in history); and absurd statistical lies (the largest in history) have merely provided a coat of whitewash over top of this economic train-wreck…and now the paint is beginning to peel.