Bearings and the Trade Wars

Posted by Jeff 27/03/2018 0 Comment(s) The Bearing Market,

As a guy who sells a lot of imported bearings, I am more or less against tarriffs.


However, for decades now, the U.S. has been importing one heck of a lot more than it has been exporting. This has allowed the U.S. to be approximately 6% of the world's population while consuming 25% of most of the world's resources. And to a large extent, this buying spree has been financed by the sellers in the form of massive purchases of U.S. treasuries.


There was an economist named Triffin whose work every American should be aware of. He posited that, if there is a single state issuing the world's reserve currency, that state will have to run huge trade deficits in order to provide enough liquidity (in this case, dollars) for the world's economy to function. This will eventually, he said, result in the issuing country's bankruptcy.


With the U.S. government debt currently clocking in at 110% of GDP, one could argue that that day has arrived. If you add to that figure consumer debt and debt owed by companies, unfunded pension liabilities, unfunded social security and medicare liabilities...this is a gigantic house of cards that has to come crashing down at some point.


So, while I do not approve of trade wars, I don't have anything against Trump. If money borrowed is money owed, then this whole situation is untenable. His bluster about tarrifs seems to be his opening move in a bid to finally tackle these trade imbalances—something none of his predecessors bothered to attempt.


The fact of the matter is, no matter what solution is found, it is going to lead to pain for the U.S. consumer. Tarriffs will lead to higher prices. A weaker dollar will lead to higher prices. And if nothing is done, we need only look to Venezuela to see our future, because eventually the debts will become so huge all confidence in the dollar will be lost.


Bottom line: if you want your bearings on the cheap, buy them now. Prices are rising.


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