Recently, JPMorgan’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, indicated concern that loan volume continues to be dramatically lower than before. The state-run media, analysts, and even many CEOs remain loyal to a promising narrative of recovery. Yet if you pay attention to their actions instead of their words, you will hear another message.
There is continual talk about a return to our pre-pandemic economy. Is recovery on the horizon? Yes. Is a revisit to pre-pandemic numbers plausible? Maybe. Is a sustainable return to it imminent? Absolutely not.
It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in economics to recognize all indicators pointing the other way. One example of this is business loan sentiment. Rates are low and money is plentiful. Interest rates are extremely low for a big business. So why are healthy, strong, solid businesses not choosing to borrow cheap money that they could use for expansion? This is atypical and likely a signal of what many CEOs are actually thinking. If they are passing on taking advantage of this “great economic recovery,” how much faith do they really have in it? Maybe they understand that if we were to annualize the last 5 CPI numbers, inflation would be 10.2%. Maybe they also realize that this 10.2% is far more than the Fed’s claims of “moderately over 2%” and that much of this is not temporary.
During a time when the lending window is wide open, no one is expressing concern over this steep decline in demand. To do so would be treasonous to the narrative of booming economic growth. Instead, CEOs continue to praise the Biden administration in spite of its anti-economic-growth agenda. But if you follow their money instead of their platitudes, you will find them hunkering down and playing it safe rather than exuding confidence.
I believe that the CEOs and CFOs of these major corporations understand that there will not be a return to the pre-pandemic economy lasting more than three quarters because we are not returning to pre-pandemic ideologies and principles. We are dealing with two very different administrations. Opposites in many ways.
The Trump economy, which kept us on much firmer ground than any other country in the world during the pandemic, cannot be reproduced by an administration defined by higher taxes, irrational spending, and globalist ideals — to say nothing of a potential energy crisis being exacerbated with the Obama-era mentality of “keep it in the ground” in order to satisfy the ‘intellectuals’ of Hollywood. We need to remember that the stability of our economy was built on a very different foundation.
Biden is laying a framework that is not conducive to economic success for America. With $7.5 trillion added to our national debt in just over 7 months (assuming the recent 3.5 trillion spending bill is passed), every effort is being made to undo the foundation Trump laid in our economy and in our global relations. Due to a position of government growth rather than economic growth, a return to a thriving, stable economy is obviously not on the agenda. Most logical CEOs know that.
The analysts who are suggesting a return to a 2019 economy act as if we have the same administration in the White House. As if we still have a pro-growth, pro-lower-tax, anti-regulatory-burden, pro-American-corporations, pro-American-manufacturing, pro-American-worker president. They don’t recognize that, of all the detriments to our economy in 2020, losing our “America First” administration was the greatest one.
Dan Celia is president and CEO of Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries, Inc., and host of the nationally syndicated radio and television program “Financial Issues,” heard daily on more than 660 stations across the country, reaching millions of households on several TV networks, including FISM-TV. Visit www.financialissues.org.
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