Jim Chanos: U.S. Economy is Worse Than You Think

Head over to the Institute for New Economic Thinking for a conversation with Jim Chanos (Kynikos Associates) on the state of the US economy.

Jim Chanos: U.S. Economy is Worse Than You Think

Some nuggets:

We’re seeing weak consumer spending numbers in both auto and housing, which are big drivers of the economy. With unemployment so low and the expansion where it is, these figures should be better than they are.

People have bought their cars and remodeled their houses and done a lot of things that one does in an economic recovery. I think incremental spending is going to be harder and harder to come by as time goes on.

Americans are getting unexpectedly higher copay and deductible expenses. They’re shouldering more and more of the health care obligation themselves, and that’s something a lot of families haven’t budgeted for. 

Winter is coming for the U.S. health care industry. [...] Just as the shale revolution has changed the energy business, I think the advent of the consumer paying more out of pocket is changing the politics of U.S. health care. 

The big 3 drivers are still housing, autos, and health care. They disproportionately count for a huge amount of activity. What we see is that housing has stalled, autos have turned down, and health care is possibly about to turn down. Retail is also turning down. Nike is laying off 2 percent of its workforce. I can’t remember the last time Nike said it was laying off people.