By Gregg Houlden
Every Investment Banking professional including myself look upon Lew's nomination with little less than despair. Not really for our personal wealth, as we can as easily operate from London and Singapore as NY or LA, but for the average working American. Already the effects of Obama's amateur and ideology led economic management is beginning to bite. (4th Quarter GDP Estimate Reduced to .8% from 1.5%).
What does the Lew appointment mean to the average American? In my professional opinion, two major problems. An almost certain further downgrade by S&P and Moody's probably in Q1 13 will deliver higher interest rates. That means every Credit Card, Mortgage or Loan will become more expensive. The second point is more direct and will hit the middle class with a double whammy, the long term effects on manufacturing and large scale employers of Obama Care and increased payroll tax will be felt. I expect certain initial indicators to flag deeper problems. Already, Amex has decided to shed 5,500 jobs. I expect other Finance Houses to follow suit as they outsource to London or other destinations with more corporate friendly administrations. Manufacturing already burdened by the Unions and Obama's leftist led FMCS will once again to look to globalization to reduce costs. Don't blame the company as will the Democrats and Obama, blame academic theory meeting objective reality.
Basic concept; If company A with US Costs can make and sell a widget for $3.30 and company B (in India or China) without Obamacare and unionized costs makes and sells the same widget for $0.50 even the most patriotic organization will go with B.
In November, Obama lied, cheated and enabled by a barely competent MSM deceived the electorate. I will only make the 2% pay more. Well we had already globalized our portfolios Mr President. Now we see the first hike on the middle class, a payroll tax increase of around $100-200 per pay check. As Obama ramps up his spending as he only sees ideological value rather than fiscal. Basic economics say, the revenue to fulfil his grand schemes cannot come from the 2% even at 100% tax. It has to come from the 47% of working Americans. Now with a sycophant like Lew as Treasury Secretary, Obama's stupidity, lack of empathy and downright narcissism will have no voice of reason. Spend, Spend, Spend will lead to a tank in the dollar. S&P analysts will have conniption fits over the worsening debt ratio and economic indicators. I project by Q1 2014, if Obama is not stopped by the GOP House, our S&P rating will be A+. (Good is AAA BTW, as we used to be) Our bonds and debt (TBonds) will have to yield anything up to the Spain and Portugalesque 6% which will knock on to a 6 -11% jump in your personal interest payments.
What really becomes a problem at that point is what economists call “Confidence”. When confidence fails in an economy buying ceases, investment halts and people don't trust anything. Banks fail, corporations saddled with debt and increasing labor costs close or relocate and USA Inc goes bankrupt.
Obama is a rank amateur that's too stupid and too arrogant to know his own limitations and seek competent help to mitigate the deficiency. We need our GOP leadership to change and replace Speaker Boehner with a competent and strong leader who will resist and slow the Obama disaster. In effect save America from Obama and his foolish and childlike policies.