Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The only thing standing between...

...Hillary Clinton and the White House in 2016 is a recession. Of that I am confident.

And her most likely opponent at this time? Mitt Romney. Surprised? Think about it: With Chris Christie and Scott Walker discredited and Jeb Bush just plain lacking in "fire in the belly," Mitt may be the only establishment candidate left. (And, besides, he looks like he wants to run again.)

But the lead article on the front page of the New York Times this morning should give us all pause, "From Stocks to Farmland, All's Booming, or Bubbling: Prices for Nearly All Assets Around World Are High, Bringing Economic Risks" (my emphasis):

Welcome to the Everything Boom — and, quite possibly, the Everything Bubble. Around the world, nearly every asset class is expensive by historical standards. Stocks and bonds; emerging markets and advanced economies; urban office towers and Iowa farmland; you name it, and it is trading at prices that are high by historical standards relative to fundamentals.

Good news, right? Maybe; maybe not.

The Everything Boom brings obvious economic risks. In the most pleasant outcome, global economic growth would pick up, causing today’s expensive assets to begin looking more reasonably priced. But other outcomes are also possible, including busts in one or more markets that could create a new wave of economic ripples in a world economy still not fully recovered from the last crisis.

So what happens if we go back into recession between now and 2016? We could end up with an extreme right-wing candidate from the tea party:

Or worse:

God help us.

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