The Economy / Market Look “Healthy” Until They Have a Seizure and Collapse, by Charles Hugh Smith

There’s not a cloud in sight at the top of markets, everything is just peachy. From Charles Hugh Smith at

So one index or asset or another hits a new high, wow, more proof everything is so robust and healthy, we never had it so good–right up to the seizure and collapse.

Some readers occasionally make the point that I’ve been predicting a market crash for ten years and been dead-wrong for ten years. I’m all for mocking presumptuous pundits of either the tin-foil hat or mainstream variety, but that’s not quite what I’ve been saying for 13 long, tedious years.

What I’ve been saying is that living on junk food and sugar-cocaine speedballs isn’t “health” just because a handful of pills has dropped cholesterol readings to “healthy” levels. If we define “health” by a metric that is easily manipulated, then the illusion of “health” can be maintained right up until the supposedly “healthy” individual has a seizure and drops dead.

Since the 2008-2009 financial-coronary and emergency-intervention that revealed the abjectly poor health of the global financial system, central banks and states have jacked up stocks and other assets as the metric of a “healthy” economy. Just as banging down cholesterol doesn’t actually make a chronically ill person subsisting on junk food, sugar and cocaine healthy, jacking stocks to new highs doesn’t make the economy or financial system healthy. All it does is mask the decay of real health and amplify the eventual reckoning.

There are three dynamics at work in the artifice that ever-greater monetary and fiscal stimulus and jacked-up stock markets will restore the health of a decaying, sickly economy. One is that sugar-cocaine speedballs generate miraculous results at first: the manic rush of energy and the delusional confidence in god-like powers looks like robust health if viewed through a distorted lens that filters out all the hidden trade-offs and costs to depending on speedballs to function.

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