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June 1, 2023 | Dead Man Walking?

Robert Campbell

Robert Campbell is a real estate analyst and economist. He's been publishing The Campbell Real Estate Timing Letter since 2002. His book (Timing the Real Estate Market) presents a clearly defined method for predicting the peaks and valleys of real estate cycles.


[Taken from May 2023 Timing Letter]

Is the U.S. economy a dead man walking?

As illustrated in my May 2023 Timing Letter, U.S. money supply (M2) is falling at its fastest year-over-year rate since the 1930s, and is sending a highly negative signal for the economy, stocks, and real estate.

Historically reliable recession indicators have been going off for the last 15 months, but I found this one particularly alarming.

Here’s Why:

Growth in the M2 money supply has only gone negative on a year-over-year basis five times in the last 153 years.


  • During the 1870s Depression, YOY M2 growth fell by 2% and the unemployment rose to 14%;


  • During the Panic of 1893, YOY M2 growth fell by 3% and unemployment rose to 18%;


  • During the 1921 Depression, YOY M2 growth fell by 2% and unemployment rose to 11%


  • During the 1930s Depression, YOY M2 growth fell by 12% and unemployment rose to 25%.


The Art of Economic Survival


Like the art of war, the art of economic survival teaches us not to rely on the unlikeliness of a coming threat, but to be ready for it if it comes.

My suggestions?

Tighten your belt, ratchet down your spending – especially on things you don’t need with money you don’t have –  increase your cash balances, deleverage, and be extra vigilant to where your money is invested.


It’s not called “panicking” if you’re one of the first people out the door.

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One Comment

  • Avery Roberts says:

    That graph shows money supply GROWTH. The money supply was hugely expanded during the pandemic. It’s only right that it be reduced to pre-pandemic levels. A more informative and appropriate chart would be one that shows money supply instead of money supply growth.

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