David Rosenberg: Greek Bailouts are Meaningless without Acceptance of Draconian Budget Cuts

David Rosenberg always has some food for thought. While everyone is cheering the EU’s immediate liquidity injection, David astutely notes that unless the Greeks slash budgets and reign in spending, the European Central Bank just gave a few more hits of heroin to a junkie.

Here are the highlights from David’s interview with Fox Business to the left:

On the unemployment report signaling wage deflation:

“Firstly, it’s a whole report with lots of very important data. And there were some bright spots in it, but if you are going to ask me what was the most important number is, it’s was all the different measures of unemployment show that even with the number of jobs increasing the amount of slack in the labor market actually rose. What really caught my eye was that despite the fact that we created almost 300,000 jobs, wages were basically flat and they’ve been flat almost since the beginning of the year. So, this excess capacity in the labor market is now showing through in wage disinflation. We’re really on the throws now for the first time in my professional life of actually seeing wage deflation. So that I think was the story beneath the veneer of the unemployment report today.”

On there being a employ demand mismatch in the labor market:

“It’s still a very tough labor market environment for people that are unemployed or coming back into the labor force. We just have this ongoing situation where there is still this employ demand mismatch…We’re just not generating enough jobs.”

On there being downward pressure on wages:

“One of the underlying statistics that were disturbing was that the level of the unemployment, the ranks of the joblessness actually rose 255,000. We’re creating jobs, that’s good, but we’re not creating enough to absorb all this widespread excess capacity in the labor markets and that’s what’s putting downward pressure on wages right now.”

On the situation in Greece:

“No matter what happens in Greece in terms of its financing agreements or the loans it’s going to get, the problem is whether or not if Greece is going to live up to its commitment to undergo what’s going to be draconian budget cuts. What the doubts are, are whether or not the Greek population is going to accept the budgetary cuts that’s going to come along with these financing arrangements.”

On Greece leaving the ENU:

“I’ve never seen a debt restructuring of a sovereign country take place without there being a dramatic currency devaluation to help grease the skids and reflate their economy…That’s why at some point they will be leaving the ENU”

On the need to be cautious in the market right now:

“I wouldn’t say you don’t invest at all…I think right now for the time being is that the best way to make money is not to lose it…Take risk off the table. Be more defensive. It doesn’t mean you have to put money in the mattress. But I think right now, is a strategy of being more conservative. Wait for the better buying opportunities that will be coming down the pike.”

On being overdue for a correction:

“We were overdue for a correction. This will provide a nice buying opportunity if we get down to more appropriate levels. What was weird was that we went 66 days without seeing a decline. What was weird was that we went 66 days without seeing a three day decline.”

“What we’re learning is what we didn’t learn the last 13 months. We’re learning that equities and risk assets can move in both directions. And that’s an important lesson to keep in mind after a 13-month, 80 percent rally.”

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