Steve Ricchiuto is Managing Director of Mizuho Securities USA, the local arm of the Mizuho Financial Group in Japan. With assets of over $2 trillion (!), Mizuho is not exactly a small player on the international financial markets; and it's not the sort of corporation to install a dummy as the head of its US operation. This man knows what he's talking about.
Here he is on the air with Simon Hobbs and Sara Eisen of CNBC. The meat of his remarks begins at 1m. 27s. into the clip, but watch the whole thing anyway.
In case you missed it:
"There is no acceleration in underlying economic activity. There’s this wrong concept that I keep on hearing about in the financial press about the acceleration in economic growth. It isn’t happening. We had a horrible retail sales number, we had a horrible durable goods number, we’re likely to have a very disappointing retail sales number coming forward, this month we have a strong payroll number we say everything’s great – it’s not great. It’s been the same thing for the last five years, there’s no improvement in the economy. After a string of dismal data on durable goods, retail spending, and inventories, we get a good jobs number and everyone saying the economy’s good. It’s not good."
Those who have ears to hear, let them hear. Those who want warm fuzzy pious platitudes instead . . . let them listen to the Administration, the Fed and the mainstream media. That's all we ever hear from them.
The other day, fellow blogger The Silicon Graybeard pointed out:
The earliest prices I can recall for a gallon of gas were around 20 cents a gallon: "19 and 9" because Florida prices always ended in that 9/10 of a cent. Today's silver price of $17.05 says one of today's greenbacks is worth about 8.11 cents of 1964 silver. In other words, one of today's dollars isn't worth a 1964 dime. Today's gas price of about $2.15/gallon would cost 17 1/2 cents back in 1964. Maybe the prices I remember weren't from 1964; but gas is basically the same price it was in 1964, measured against a standard. Higher gas prices aren't from "peak oil", they're from worthless dollars.
There's more at the link.
That puts Mr. Ricchiuto's remarks into a different, but no less scary context. All the so-called 'growth' we're seeing in the economy isn't really growth at all: it's the effects of inflation, multiplied by the exponential growth in debt (about which we've also spoken recently).