Monday, December 03, 2012

IT EXPLAINS ALOT: The Confidence Fairy

Zero Hedge commenter TruthInSunshine has a perspective worth sharing. He explains why no one in a position of power will speak the truth about the financial wall -- not cliff -- that the economy is headed for:

No government agency or business association spokesperson is ever going to speak of the truth of how bad things are in the present, unless they have no choice because incontrovertible proof has already been released to the masses that would otherwise and obviously demonstrate their insincerity.

As long as "official datum" as published by the various governmental and quasi-governmental agencies/bodies allow governmental and business association spokespeople to understate the severity of our real economic crisis, they will, whether Democrats, Republicans or the chief economist for The National Association of Realtors.

No governmental employee (and especially no politician) will voluntarily relay how dire things may be (again, given a backdrop of "official" statistical datum that is inaccurate and relatively misleading they can fall back on) because they wouldn't want to upset the apple cart, cause further distress or even panic amongst the populace or within the "markets," and no business association spokesperson, whose very jobs entail, at least in significant part, a public confidence-building role, will do anything to further dampen the confidence that ... hope remains amongst potential consumers of their products (e.g. would a spokesperson for the NAR really come out and say that existing homes are selling quickly because inventory is being artificially constrained by GSEs and federal reserve policy and also due to federal reserve monetary policy that has a huge % of listed homes being purchased by investors for cash in an attempt to produce yields in a yield-starved economy - BECAUSE of federal reserve monetary policy? What impact would that have on the confidence of conventional, prospective existing home purchasers, who might then realize there is no true present price discovery and that another leg down is more than possible?).

In other words, they lie because our economy is dependent, in quite a large degree, on an illusion that is often referred to as the "confidence fairy."

If those people who still have the means to purchase a particular service or good feel confident about the security of their own jobs and the current & likely future state of the economy, they're more apt to go ahead and dig themselves into more debt or pay cash to purchase that service or good, regardless of the accuracy (and realism) of their "confidence level."

Conversely, if they don't feel confident about the security of their own employment situation and/or the current and likely future state of the economy, they're more apt to refrain from purchasing that good or service, and save instead, in preparation for what may lay ahead.

And this is why, without exception, throughout history, the masses do not understand there is a crisis until well after it has already begun, and they've already committed to many purchases, indebtedness and other forms of dis-saving, that they wouldn't have committed to had they known accurate information sooner.

Hence, the "confidence fairy," which governmental employees, politicians and business spokespeople all actively perpetuate in their own methods and by various tactices, is a serial and mass killer of efficient markets and rational economic behavior (as it severely distorts essential economic information that is relied upon by economic and market participants)

As Monty Pelerin so succinctly puts it, "21st Century politics sees no need for truth."

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