When it comes to foreigners visiting the US, while the general reaction is overall favorable, it appears that one city tends to draw a reaction of sheer shock if not disgust: San Francisco….San Francisco has always been one of favourite US cities, but the degree of homelessness, mental illness and drug abuse we saw on this trip was truly shocking. Walking round SF on a Sunday Morning and we saw sights we couldn’t believe. This must be one of the richest cities in the world – home to 4 of the 10 richest people on the planet according to Wiki. I asked friends about it, and they shrugged it off.. “The City has always attracted the homeless because of the mild weather,”.. “It’s a drug thing”.. “its too difficult”… “you get used to it..” Well, I didn’t."
In his latest note to client, "Stoned on free money", SocGen's Albert Edwards picks up where Blain left off, and writes that he too "was really quite shocked by my visit last year to San Francisco by the sheer quantities of men (yes it is virtually 100% men) who were clearly off their heads on drugs (and drink) and putting both themselves and other road users at risk." Edwards continues his lurid recollection of his trip to this liberal utopia overrun by homeless people and junkies:
"I was shocked to see the latest data showing US pedestrian fatalities have soared some 25% since 2012! Very few stats surprise me, but this is one of them
It appears the US is gripped by an epidemic of stoned pedestrians stepping into traffic. The same might be said for investors befuddled by QE, for the risk is they are about to step off the sidewalk in front of a rapidly deteriorating economic cycle.
The surprised Edwards then goes on to add that he also found the report "quite shocking" most especially "because of the very clear evidence that the surge in fatalities is primarily due to the legalisation of marijuana in some states."