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Stockman: Fed Would Be ‘Totally Nuts’ to Cut Rates

Stockman: Fed Would Be ‘Totally Nuts’ to Cut Rates

The Federal Reserve is finishing up a two-day meeting today and we will have a better idea what the central bank’s plans are moving forward, including whether or not we can expect a rate cut this summer.

News of an impending rate cut would likely send stocks soaring, and it would certainly make President Donald Trump happy.

Trump has been screaming for a rate cut for months now, also saying he wants the Fed to begin quantitative easing again, a formerly unconventional, recession-era stimulus policy that helped dig the U.S. economy out of the throes of the Great Recession, essentially by printing new money.

Eternal doomsayer economist David Stockman says we should expect the U.S.-China trade war to continue to escalate to the point it will spark a severe global crisis much like we saw in 2008, if not worse.

And, according to Stockman, the Fed won’t have the necessary ammo to deal with the fallout due to years of easy money.

“I am a bear on policy. I am a bear on what the Fed has been doing the past 10 years. It has not really created a strong recovery. In fact, it’s 119 months, the weakest real GDP gain in history over the longest expansion,” Ronald Reagan’s former budget director said on CNBC’s “Futures Now.” “It has reflated massive bubbles on Wall Street, stock prices are way beyond sustainable levels and that’s the problem. The issue is, what is the catalyst that’s finally going to trigger the huge correction that’s implicit in what the Fed’s doing? I think it’s the trade war.

“I think Donald Trump is an unhinged protectionist, a nationalist advocate for trade policies that will eventually disrupt the entire global economy, bring on the recession that’s around the corner, and then markets always collapse when the recession actually arrives.”

When challenged by the host on the inevitable recession he has “been talking about … for so long,” but hasn’t yet happened while the market has continued to climb back to record highs, Stockman said it’s “helped asset prices but that isn’t real.”

“It hasn’t helped the real economy. Real GDP growth on average over the last 11 years is 1.5%, the lowest in history,” Stockman said. “It used to be 3% peak to peak. Recessions haven’t been outlawed and the longer the expansion lasts, the more crud you’re building up in the system, the more bad credit that is being created and the more dangerous it gets. So who knows when the recession incepts, who knows whether it’s month 120 or month 130.

“The only thing I know is by the historical calendar, we’re at the 11th hour in terms of this cycle. We haven’t deleveraged at all — there’s $72 trillion in debt on the economy in public and private (debt) compared to $51 trillion on the peak of the last crisis … . We’re just rolling the dice and the idea that the Fed is going to cut rates after 10 years on the zero-bound … is totally nuts. It won’t stop a recession because we’re at peak debt.”

Editor’s note: Stockman has been calling for a recession for some time now, and he’s not the only one predicting one is coming in the next year or so. With of the recent warning signs, do you think he’s finally going to be right this time? Share your thoughts below.