Signs Of Trouble As We Make The Turn Toward The Fall?

Over the past several months we have been witnessing one of the most gloriously irrational stock market rallies in U.S. history.  Even CNN is admitting that this is “the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes”, but stock prices have just kept going higher and higher until this week.  Several months ago the Federal Reserve decided to do whatever it took to rescue the financial markets, and their exceedingly reckless behavior fueled a speculative boom that is unlike anything that we have ever seen before.  But now it appears that the boom may be ending.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 807 points on Thursday, and it appears that Friday could be another very challenging day for Wall Street.  It is well documented that many of the greatest stock market crashes in history have happened in the fall, and many investors may be trying to bail out before this latest bubble bursts in spectacular fashion.

Tech stocks have led the way up during this latest rally, and now they could potentially start leading the market back in the other direction.  On Thursday, the biggest names in the tech world got hit particularly hard

Apple shares fell 8% for their biggest one-day decline since March 16. Amazon and Netflix were both down more than 4% and Facebook slid 3.8%. Microsoft slipped 6.2%. Alphabet pulled back by 5.1%.

And Tesla has been absolutely monkey-hammered over the past several days.  If you can believe it, the stock is now 18 percent lower than it was on Monday

Tesla shares slid 9% on Thursday, building on the stock’s recent losses after the company’s largest outside shareholder reduced its position, and after the automaker said it would raise up to $5 billion in a new share offering.

With Thursday’s decline, the stock is more than 18% below Monday’s close, a day when the name surged following its stock split.

But I wouldn’t be crying too much for those holding Tesla stock just yet.  The stock is still way, way up so far in 2020, and it is still massively overvalued.

In fact, if Tesla’s stock price fell 90 percent I would still think that it was overvalued.

Needless to say, the entire market is tremendously overvalued at this point.  It is absolutely absurd that the Dow is sitting above 28,000 at the moment.  Investors decided to divorce economic reality long ago, and even with the losses that we have seen this week they are still sitting really pretty.

But could that soon change?

According to one expert that was just interviewed by CNBC, the market could be heading into a “Minsky moment”…

Asset prices could be on the cusp of a sharp collapse known as a “Minsky moment,” and may retest lows last seen in March, according to Ron William, market strategist and founder of RW Advisory.

So exactly what is a “Minsky moment”?

The following is how CNBC defines it…

A “Minsky moment,” named after economist Hyman Minsky, refers to a sudden market collapse following an unsustainable bull run, which in this case could be fueled by the “easy credit” environment created as a result of unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus measures.

I think that may be a perfect description of what we are facing.  Since the second half of March, the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are all up more than 50 percent even though the U.S. economy as a whole has been falling apart all around us.

If we were ever due for a “Minsky moment”, it is now.

And it is interesting to note that the stock market also peaked in early September in 1929.  The following quote from Sven Henrich was just posted by Zero Hedge

“September 3rd marked the top in 1929 following a furious rally fueled by wild optimism, excessive retail speculative behavior and markets disconnecting far above the fundamentals of the economy.”

It has been said that history doesn’t always repeat, but it often rhymes.

Meanwhile, we just learned that a huge number of Americans filed for unemployment benefits once again last week.

As I discussed a week ago, the Labor Department decided to change the way that it calculates seasonal adjustments for initial unemployment claims, and this week was going to be the first week when that change was going to show up.  So it wasn’t a surprise that the “official number” was lower than last week, but when you look at the unadjusted numbers the story is completely different.

In fact, those figures tell us that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits was about 7,000 higher than the week before.

That is very troubling, because if we were going to have any sort of an “economic recovery” before the next wave of economic pain, it should be happening now.

And according to Wolf Richter, the number of continuing unemployment claims under all state and federal programs was way up over the previous week…

Powered by a nasty jump in continued unemployment claims under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program for contract workers, established under the CARES Act, total continued claims under all state and federal programs jumped by 2.2 million, “not seasonally adjusted,” to 29.2 million people on unemployment rolls, the highest since August 1, according to the Department of Labor this morning.

In our entire history, we have never seen a spike in unemployment claims like we have in 2020.

But up until now, investors on Wall Street have been able to ignore what has been going on in the rest of the country.

In some ways it is easy to be in awe of their single-minded focus on speculative greed, and the mainstream media has been proudly touting how much richer some of the wealthiest investors have been getting.

Of course the truth is that you only make money in the stock market if you get out in time.  Nothing goes up forever, and this ridiculously absurd bubble will end the same way that so many others have.

Meanwhile, the real economy will continue to deteriorate as we plunge even deeper into the “perfect storm” that we are now dealing with.

In addition to everything else, a hotly contested presidential election is looming, and the fact that we are not likely to have a winner until some time well after November 3rd is just going to make matters even worse.

We truly live in historic times, and I have a feeling that they are about to get a whole lot more “interesting”.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  By purchasing the book you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

As The Stock Market Soars, The Numbers Say That The Real Economy Is In The Midst Of A Historic Crash

Have you been watching the madness that has been unfolding on Wall Street?  Even though we are in the middle of the worst global pandemic in 100 years, and even though rioters and looters have been turning our major cities into war zones, stock prices have been going up day after day.  In fact, the Nasdaq closed at an all-time record high on Monday.  Sometimes people ask me to explain this rationally, and I can’t, because the Federal Reserve has transformed our “financial markets” into a total mockery at this point.  The real economy is literally collapsing all around us, but thanks to Fed intervention stock investors are doing just fine.  It has been absolutely disgusting to watch, and if Adam Smith could see what was happening he would be rolling over in his grave.  Unfortunately, thanks to our rapidly declining system of education most Americans don’t even know who Adam Smith is anymore.

I can’t recall another time in modern U.S. history when stock prices skyrocketed as the U.S. economy plunged into a recession.  What we have been witnessing has truly been extremely bizarre, and it will be fascinating to see how long it can last.

Meanwhile, the real economy is a giant mess.  On Monday, the National Bureau of Economic Research finally got around to letting us know that a recession has officially begun

It’s official: The United States is in a recession.

The National Bureau of Economic Research said Monday the U.S. economy peaked in February, ending the longest expansion in U.S. history at 128 months, or about 10½ years.

In truth, the announcement codifies the painfully obvious. States began shutting down nonessential businesses in mid-March to contain the spread of the coronavirus, halting about 30% of economic activity and putting tens of millions of Americans out of work.

And in other news, the sky is blue and the moon is not made out of cheese.

Anyone with half a brain can see that the economy is falling apart.  For example, we just learned that U.S. factory orders were down 22.3 percent in April compared to a year earlier…

Having collapsed by a record 10.4% MoM in March, April factory orders were expected to accelerate even lower and it did. However, the 13.0% plunge in April was modestly better than the 13.4% MoM drop expected… but is still the worst in American history.

Year-over-year, factory orders collapsed 22.3% – the worst since the peak of the financial crisis.

Of course it is not that difficult to find a number that is even worse than that.

Just look at heavy truck sales.  Last month they were down a whopping 37 percent from the same month in 2019…

The last three months have been catastrophic for segments of the trucking business, after an already tough period that started in late 2018. In May, orders for Class 8 trucks – the heavy trucks that haul much of the goods-based economy across the US – plunged 37% from the  low levels in May a year earlier, and by 81% from May two years ago, to 6,600 orders, according to estimates by FTR Transportation Intelligence today.

Not to be outdone, the number of corporate bankruptcies shot up 48 percent last month compared to the same period a year ago…

Corporate bankruptcies spiked during May as the coronavirus pandemic slammed the U.S. economy, pushing the number of filings to levels recorded in the wake of the 2007-09 recession.

U.S. courts recorded 722 businesses nationwide filing for chapter 11 protection last month, a yearly increase of 48%, according to figures from legal-services firm Epiq Global.

But every time we get another horrific economic figure, the stock market goes even higher.

The worse the news gets, the more investors seem to like it.  Week after week, we have seen unprecedented numbers of Americans file for unemployment benefits, and at this point a grand total of more than 42 million Americans have lost a job since this pandemic began.

And yet investors keep taking these job losses as signs that they should buy even more stocks.

Perhaps someone should spread a rumor that a planet-killing asteroid is about to hit us, because that would probably really get investors salivating.

Of course most ordinary Americans don’t get to live in a Fed-fueled fantasy world, and this new economic downturn is hitting most of them extremely hard.

In fact, it is being reported that approximately a third of all Americans “are now showing signs of clinical anxiety and depression”…

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crash, which triggered depression-like unemployment with 40 million initial claims filed in ten weeks, a third of Americans are now showing signs of clinical anxiety and depression, according to new data collected by the Census Bureau. This, by far, is the most comprehensive and troubling sign yet of the psychological toll inflicted on Americans due to months of lockdowns.

The Census Bureau contacted one million households between May 7 and 12, and about 42,000 responded, said The Washington Post. The survey was about 20 minutes long and buried deep within, several questions asked respondents about depression and anxiety. Those who answered provided a laggard but clearest snapshot into people’s mental state at the tail end of the lockdown, where many folks were subjected to isolationism, virus fears, and widespread unemployment.

That is the most alarming number that I have shared with you so far in this article, but I am about to share with you some numbers that are even more alarming.

In recent days, we have watched rioters destroy large sections of our major cities all across America.  But when asked about “violent protests”, a surprising percentage of Americans actually support them…

A broad majority of Americans say the peaceful protests happening all across the country after police violence against African Americans are justified (84% say so), and roughly a quarter (27%) say violent protests in response to police harming or killing African Americans are justified. Both figures are higher than they were when similar protests rose in the fall of 2016. Then, 67% saw peaceful protests as justified while 14% felt violent protests were.

There isn’t much of a racial or partisan difference over whether peaceful protests are justified now, but the gaps are larger over violent protests. Among Democrats, 42% consider violent protests justified in response to police violence against African Americans, while just 9% of Republicans agree.

Yes, you read that last sentence correctly.

42 percent.

Unfortunately, a lot more economic pain is on the way, and that is just going to fuel even more rioting, looting and violence.

These are definitely not “the best of times” no matter what stock market investors seem to think.

We have entered a deeply disturbing new chapter in American history, and life in this country will never be the same again.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

Hope For A U.S.-China Trade Deal Is Completely Dead, And Wall Street Is Starting To Panic

The reality of what we are now facing is starting to sink in for Wall Street investors, and they are starting to panic. Hope that the U.S. and China would be able to agree to a trade deal had fueled a tremendous stock market rally over the last couple of months, but of course it just turned out to be a cruel mirage. There isn’t going to be a trade deal prior to the 2020 presidential election, and at this point even President Trump is telling us not to expect one before November 2020. Just check out what he told the press on Tuesday

“In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal, but they want to make a deal now and we will see whether or not the deal is going to be right,” Trump told reporters earlier on Tuesday.

When asked if he had a deal deadline, he added: “I have no deadline, no … In some ways, I think it is better to wait until after the election if you want to know the truth.”

President Trump is attempting to spin things to make it sound like it is his decision to hold off on a trade deal, and that may be a politically savvy thing to do.

But the truth is that the Chinese never wanted to do a comprehensive trade deal with Trump. They have been stringing him along all this time, because they wanted to delay Trump’s tariffs for as long as possible. But their original intention was to wait until a Democrat was in the White House to cut a deal.

Of course at this point the Chinese have soured on the Democrats as well. The Chinese government views the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong the way that we view ISIS and al-Qaeda, and from the very beginning they have accused the United States of starting those protests. And now that President Trump has signed the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019” after it was overwhelmingly passed by both the House and the Senate, the Chinese are beyond angry. At this point our relationship with China has been completely destroyed, and from now on we are going to have a deeply adversarial relationship with them no matter who is in the White House.

President Trump has threatened to go ahead with more tariffs on China on December 15th, and since there is zero chance of a trade deal by then, that is exactly what we should expect.

And if that happens, Wharton Business School Professor of Finance Jeremy Siegel is warning that chaos could be unleashed on Wall Street

If Trump doesn’t reach a trade deal with China and “the tariffs get put on on Dec. 15 … I don’t know if I want to be around equities then,” Siegel said on CNBC’s Closing Bell on Tuesday.

Unfortunately, Siegel is precisely correct. In fact, stock prices have already fallen for three days in a row, and the downturn really started to accelerate on Tuesday

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 280.23 points, or 1% to 27,502.81. The 30-stock average was led lower by trade-vulnerable Apple, Caterpillar and Boeing. The S&P 500 slid 0.7% to 3,093.20 amid losses in chip stocks like Nvidia, Micron and Advanced Micro Devices. The Nasdaq Composite lost about 0.6% to end the day at 8,520.64.

At its lows of the day, the Dow was down 457.91 points, or 1.7%. The S&P 500 dropped as much as 1.7% while the Nasdaq traded lower by as much as 1.6%.

Hopefully things will settle down for the rest of this week, but if December 15th comes and the tariffs are fully implemented, many analysts are warning that there could be panic. Here is one example

And while the US may (or may not) end up victorious in such a showdown, it will give Wall Street strategists – who have all flipped a U-turn and reversed from extremely optimistic to suddenly pessimistic – copious opportunities to impress their clients with superlatives such as this one from Manulife managing director Sue Trinh, who said that “if tariffs scheduled for Dec. 15 are implemented it would be a huge shock to the market consensus,” adding that “Trump would be the Grinch that stole Christmas” if the December 15 tariffs go through.

Even though there isn’t going to be any sort of an agreement with China, it would be helpful for the U.S. economy if Trump decided to delay the December 15th tariffs.

I don’t think that is going to happen though.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration is also looking at raising tariffs on goods from France, Brazil and Argentina

Heightened trade fears come a day after Trump threatened new tariffs on several more countries. On Monday, the president said he would raise tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Brazil and Argentina. He also proposed slapping tariffs on France’s exports.

As I recently discussed, global trade has now fallen for four months in a row, and it certainly appears that things could get even worse in the months ahead.

And that means that it is more likely than ever that the U.S. economy as a whole will plunge into a deep recession. In fact, Legg Mason is warning their clients that “the probability of a recession over the next 12 months is 50%”

Legg Mason, a diversified global asset management firm, said the probability of a recession over the next 12 months is 50%.

According to the variables the firm looks at to determine the health of the economy, recession risk is rising, said Jeff Schulze, the investment strategist for ClearBridge Investments, at Legg Mason’s market outlook for 2020 last Monday in New York.

Of course in the long-term what we are facing is going to be far worse than just another recession.

The “bubble to end all bubbles” is starting to look exceedingly vulnerable, and it isn’t going to take very much at all to push us into a new financial crisis.

Investing is all about hope. People put their money into stocks and bonds because they anticipate a positive future in which the value of their investments goes up.

If you take that hope away, the entire foundation crumbles. And now that the relationship between the United States and China has been destroyed, the future is looking a whole lot more bleak for investors than it was just a few weeks ago.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

The U.S. National Debt Just Hit The 23 Trillion Dollar Mark As We Continue To Steamroll Toward Financial Oblivion

This week, the U.S. national debt reached the 23 trillion dollar mark for the first time ever. There was no fanfare, there were no politicians giving speeches about fiscal responsibility, and there has been very little national outrage. We have simply come to accept that it is “normal” for our national debt to grow at an exponential rate, but the truth is that we are literally committing national suicide. Given enough time, there is no doubt that this colossal mountain of debt will kill our Republic, and yet fiscal responsibility is not even a major national issue any longer. Everyone seems to be okay with the fact that we are stealing more than 100 million dollars every single hour of every single day from future generations of Americans and destroying the bright future that they were supposed to have. What we are doing to our children and our grandchildren is beyond criminal, and yet very few of us seem to care.

At this point things are so bad that even Fed Chair Jerome Powell is warning Congress that the national debt is a major problem

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned lawmakers Wednesday that the ballooning federal debt could hamper Congress’ ability to support the economy in a downturn, urging them to put the budget “on a sustainable path.”

Powell suggested such fiscal aid could be vital after the Fed has cut its benchmark interest rate three times this year, leaving the central bank less room to lower rates further in case of a recession.

When a major downturn hits the U.S. economy, the federal government is not going to be able to do much because we are already spending money at emergency levels.

Of course Powell shouldn’t exactly be criticizing Congress, because the Fed has already been using up all of their ammunition too.

So when the next recession officially arrives, the amount of intervention that will be possible will be very limited.

Since Barack Obama’s inauguration, we have been adding an average of more than a trillion dollars to the national debt every year. That is utter insanity, but it has helped the economy in the short-term.

When the federal government borrows money that it does not have and spends it into the economy, that boosts economic activity. But at the same time it makes our long-term financial problems even worse.

If we were to go back and remove from the economy the 12.4 trillion dollars that the federal government added to our national debt since Obama’s inauguration, we would be in the deepest economic depression in American history right now.

So all of that reckless spending has kept us from economic disaster, but it has set the stage for something even worse when this bubble finally bursts.

In October, the federal government’s budget deficit for the month was $134.5 billion. That was 34 percent higher than for the same month a year earlier.

I can’t even begin to describe how foolish this is. The extreme negligence being committed by our politicians in Washington is mind blowing.

And this is just the beginning of our problems. As our population ages, Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement programs are going to become rapidly more oppressive

This is only going to get worse. According to Census Bureau projections, by 2030 each 100 working-age Americans will be supporting 35 retirees, and this could rise to 42 by 2060. Another way to think of this is to calculate the number of retirees each worker must support. In 1946, the burden of one retiree was shared between 42 workers. Today, according to the SSA, roughly three workers cover each retiree’s Social Security and Medicare benefits. By 2030, however, there will be only two workers supporting each retiree.

So where are we going to get the money that we need to support those programs?

Of course we aren’t actually going to make it to 2060. Our entire system will implode long before then.

Consumers have also been on a tremendous debt binge in recent years, and we just learned that total U.S. household debt is about to cross the 14 trillion dollar mark

Americans increased their borrowing for the 21st straight quarter as more households took out loans to buy homes or refinance existing mortgages, according to a report released today from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Total U.S. household debt rose $92 billion, or 0.7%, to $13.95 trillion in the third quarter, the New York Fed’s quarterly household credit and debt report showed.

We are in the final stages of the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world, and most of us realize that this chapter in our history is going to end very badly.

So why do we just keep making things worse?

Of course it isn’t just the United States that is drowning in debt. According to the IMF, total global debt has now reached the 188 trillion dollar mark…

The global debt crisis has reached epic and historical proportions. It’s now $188 trillion, which is more than double the entire economic output of the entire planet.

The global debt load has surged to a new record of around 230% of the world’s output, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said according to a report by the Daily Mail. The entire globe’s economic stability is hanging by a thread, and this news makes that thread appear just a little thinner.

Most people don’t understand that the global financial system has literally been designed to create as much debt as possible. But once you grasp this, it shouldn’t actually be a surprise that we are now 188 trillion dollars in debt. The system is simply doing what it was intended to do. For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “Global Debt Is Up To $188,000,000,000,000 – This Is Officially The Biggest Debt Bubble The World Has Ever Seen”.

For decades, we have been ignoring the future consequences of running up so much debt, but at some point time is going to run out.

In a recent article, Ron Paul put it this way

Even though the federal deficit is already over one trillion dollars (and growing), President Trump and Congress have no interest in cutting spending, especially in an election year. Should he win reelection, President Trump is unlikely to reverse course and champion fiscal restraint. Instead, he will likely take his victory as a sign that the people support big federal budgets and huge deficits. None of the leading Democratic candidates are even pretending to care about the deficit. Instead they are proposing increasing spending by trillions on new government programs.

Joseph Zidle, a strategist with the Blackstone investment firm, has called the government — or “sovereign” — debt bubble the “mother of all bubbles.” When the sovereign debt bubble inevitably busts, it will cause a meltdown bigger than the 2008 crash.

As usual, Ron Paul is right on the mark.

And actually “a meltdown bigger than the 2008 crash” would be a best case scenario.

Ultimately, it is extremely doubtful that we are going to be able to survive what is going to happen to us once this bubble completely bursts.

The Republic that previous generations of Americans sacrificed so much to build is being systematically destroyed, and it is our own greed that is doing it.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

Guess Who Is Preparing For A Major Stock Market Crash?

Pessimism is spreading like wildfire on Wall Street, and this is particularly true among one very important group of investors. And considering how much money they have, it may be wise to listen to what they are telling us. According to a very alarming survey that was recently conducted by UBS Wealth Management, most wealthy investors now believe that there will be a “significant” stock market decline before the end of next year. The following comes from Yahoo Finance

Wealthy people around the globe are hunkering down for a potentially turbulent 2020, according to UBS Global Wealth Management.

A majority of rich investors expect a significant drop in markets before the end of next year, and 25% of their average assets are currently in cash, according to a survey of more than 3,400 global respondents. The U.S.-China trade conflict is their top geopolitical concern, while the upcoming American presidential election is seen as another significant threat to portfolios.

Of course this could ultimately become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy if enough wealthy investors pull their money out of stocks and start increasing their cash reserves instead. Nobody wants to be the last one out of the barn, and it isn’t going to take too much of a spark to set off a full-blown panic. Perhaps the most troubling number from the entire survey is the fact that almost 80 percent of the wealthy investors that UBS surveyed believe that “volatility is likely to increase”

Nearly four-fifths of respondents say volatility is likely to increase, and 55% think there will be a significant market sell-off before the end of 2020, according to the report which was conducted between August and October and polled those with at least $1 million in investable assets. Sixty percent are considering increasing their cash levels further, while 62% plan to increase diversification across asset classes.

During volatile times for the market, stocks tend to go down.

And during extremely volatile times, stocks tend to go down very rapidly.

Could it be possible that many of these wealthy investors have gotten wind of some things that the general public doesn’t know about yet?

Of course the truth is that anyone with half a brain can see that stock valuations are ridiculously bloated right now and that a crash is inevitable at some point.

And as I noted yesterday, corporate insiders are currently selling off stocks at the fastest pace in about two decades.

But why is there suddenly so much concern about 2020?

A different survey of business executives that was recently conducted found that 62 percent of them believe that “a recession will happen within the next 18 months”

A majority of respondents – 62% – believe a recession will happen within the next 18 months. Private companies are particularly worried that a recession lurks in the near term, with 39% anticipating a recession in the next 12 months. This compares with 33% of public company respondents who felt the same way. About one-quarter – 23% – of respondents do not expect a recession within the next two years.

62 percent is a very solid majority, and without a doubt we are starting to see businesses pull back on investment in a major way.

In fact, according to Axios business investment in the United States has now dropped for six months in a row…

  • Business investment has fallen for six months straight and declined by 3% in the third quarter, the largest drop since 2015.
  • The retrenchment by businesses helped turn Wednesday’s U.S. workforce productivity report — a key economic metric that compares goods-and-services output to the number of labor hours worked — negative for the first time in four years.

I know that I bombard my readers with numbers like this on an almost daily basis, but I cannot stress enough how ominous the economic outlook is at this point.

And it isn’t just the U.S. that we need to be concerned about. Two other surveys that measure the business outlook for the entire globe just fell to their lowest levels in a decade

The IHS Markit global business outlook—which surveys 12,000 companies three times a year—fell to the worst level since 2009, when data was first collected.

The Ifo world economic outlook, which surveys 1,230 people in 117 countries, fell in the fourth quarter to the worst level since the second quarter of 2009.

Markit’s poll found optimism for activity, employment and profits in the year ahead were all at the lowest level since the financial crisis. Markit also reported a decline in planned investment spending, with inflation expectations at a three-year low.

It is really happening.

The global economy really is heading into a major downturn.

And once this crisis really gets rolling, it is going to be exceedingly painful.

All across America, big companies are already starting to go under at a pace that is absolutely frightening. For instance, on Tuesday one of the biggest dairy companies in the entire country filed for bankruptcy

Dairy giant Dean Foods filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as declining milk sales take a toll on the industry.

Dean Foods – whose more than 50 brands include Dean’s, Land O’ Lakes and Country Fresh – said it intends to continue operating.

The company said it “is engaged in advanced discussions” for a sale to Dairy Farmers of America, a national milk cooperative representing farmers, producers and brands such as Borden cheese and Kemps Dairy.

I have quite a few relatives in Minnesota, and I have always had a soft spot for Land O’Lakes butter. So it definitely saddened me to hear that this was happening.

But a lot more major casualties are coming.

Of course the economic optimists will continue to insist that we are just experiencing a few bumps on a path that leads to a wonderful new era of American prosperity. They will continue to tell us of a great “financial harvest” that is about to happen even when things are falling apart all around us.

You can believe them if you want, but most wealthy investors and most business owners believe that hard times are dead ahead.

I have never seen so much pessimism about a coming year as I am seeing about 2020 right now.

There is a growing national consensus that it is going to be a very chaotic year, and I would recommend using what little time you have left to get prepared for it.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

We Haven’t Seen A Manufacturing Slowdown Like This Since The Last Financial Crisis

This isn’t what was supposed to happen. According to the economic optimists, there was going to be a great “manufacturing renaissance” as America entered a wonderful new golden age of boundless prosperity. But of course that is not what has happened. Manufacturing activity has been declining for the past three months, and all across the country we are seeing economic conditions rapidly deteriorate. Over and over, we are seeing economic numbers that are worse than anything we have seen since the last recession, but the economic optimists keep assuring us that these are just temporary blips on the way to America’s glorious economic renewal. Well, they can keep believing in a mirage of future prosperity if they want, but the hard numbers keep telling us another story. For example, the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index has now fallen to a level that was “last sustained during the financial crisis”

Manufacturing activity across the country has contracted for three months, according to closely watched ISM data. In the Midwest, the slowdown has been more severe. The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index shows backlogs dropping to a level touched briefly four years ago but last sustained during the financial crisis.

In the middle of the country, it already feels like a manufacturing recession for many business owners. Manufacturing facilities are being closed down, machines are being idled and thousands of workers are being let go. The following comes from a CNBC article about our current manufacturing slowdown

At Ameri-Source Metals’ machine shop outside Pittsburgh, stacks of graphite stubs have begun to pile up in a quiet corner.

Founder Ajay Goel said the customer who typically buys the stubs – a multinational chemicals company – now only needs one-fourth of the amount he used to produce. As a result, the machines have been idled and the workers who serviced them, laid off.

That sure doesn’t sound like a “booming economy” to me.

So far this year, thousands upon thousands of manufacturing workers have been laid off in the Upper Midwest. By now, we were supposed to be adding large numbers of these good paying jobs, but instead we are losing them at a frightening pace.

In fact, it is being reported that more than 8,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in the key state of Pennsylvania alone…

From January to September, the states bordering the Great Lakes have lost more than 25,000 manufacturing jobs: Pennsylvania lost 8,100; Ohio lost 6,000; Michigan lost 6,500; and Wisconsin lost 4,700.

Of course it isn’t just the manufacturing industry where employment is cooling off. At this point, the number of job openings in the U.S. has fallen to an 18 month low, and it is expected to fall ever further in the months ahead.

Things have already gotten so bad that the mainstream media is running articles about how ordinary Americans can prepare for the coming recession. For instance, the following comes from a CNN article entitled “What can you do now to financially prepare for a layoff later?”

Sometimes, there are warning signs that you are in danger of being laid off — a buyout of your company, a merger or a strategic change in direction. Other times, the cuts come without warning. But while being laid off is not in your control, being financially prepared for such an event is.

“Companies evolve, change and fail and employees, and even business owners, need to be prepared for the unexpected,” said Mike Silane, a chartered financial analyst with 21 West Wealth Management.

And remember, all of this is happening even though the federal government is running trillion dollar deficits and the Federal Reserve is using up all the ammunition that they should be saving for the depths of the next recession.

In essence, the authorities are already implementing emergency measures in a desperate attempt to support the faltering U.S. economy, but it isn’t working.

This week, we learned that orders for Class-8 trucks in the month of October were down 51 percent from a year ago.

Can anyone explain to me how that is consistent with the “booming economy” narrative that the economic optimists are endlessly pushing?

Unfortunately, the truth is that we can see signs of a major slowdown all around us. U.S. business hiring has fallen to a 7 year low, the Cass Freight Index has declined for 10 months in a row, and manufacturing is now the smallest share of the United States economy that it has been in 72 years.

But despite all of the evidence that is staring them right in the face, the economic optimists continue to insist that everything is probably going to be okay. In fact, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon is telling us that “the chance of a U.S. recession between now and the election is small”

“I’ve said that I still think the chance of a U.S. recession between now and the election is small — in the distributions of outcomes, it’s a smaller outcome — I said roughly 25%,” Solomon told Bloomberg Television in Berlin on Tuesday. “Nine months ago I probably would have told you it was very small, kind of 15%,” he said. “So I do think the uncertainty has increased a little bit some of the risk,” but economic data and earnings momentum have held up well and American consumers are “still very healthy,” he said.

Of course the truth is that American consumers are actually not “very healthy” at this moment. Consumer confidence has fallen for 3 months in a row, and 44 percent of all Americans currently do not make enough money to cover their monthly expenses.

That is one of the reasons why consumers are piling up staggering amounts of debt, and that consumer debt bubble is starting to burst.

Unfortunately, the economic optimists will continue to push their false narrative up until the very end, and lots of people will believe them.

You can believe them too if you want, but it won’t change what is about to happen.

The crisis that so many have been anticipating is starting to play out, and our problems are likely to greatly accelerate in the months ahead.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

The Deutsche Bank Death Watch Has Taken A Very Interesting Turn

The biggest bank in Europe is in the process of imploding, and there are persistent rumors that the final collapse could happen sooner rather than later. Those that follow my work on a regular basis already know that this is a story that I have been following for years. Deutsche Bank is rapidly bleeding cash, they have been laying off thousands of workers, and the vultures have been circling as company executives desperately try to implement a turnaround plan. Unfortunately for Deutsche Bank, it may already be too late. And if Deutsche Bank goes down, it will be even more catastrophic for the global financial system than the collapse of Lehman Brothers was in 2008. Germany is the glue that is holding the EU together, and so if the bank that is right at the heart of Germany’s financial system collapses, the dominoes will likely start falling very rapidly.

There has been a tremendous amount of speculation about Deutsche Bank over the past several days, and so let’s start with what we know.

We know that Deutsche Bank has been losing money at a pace that is absolutely staggering

Deutsche Bank reported a net loss that missed market expectations on Wednesday as a major restructuring plan continues to weigh on the German lender.

It reported a net loss of 832 million euros ($924 million) for the third quarter of 2019. Analysts were expecting a loss of 778 million euros, according to data from Refinitiv. It had reported a net profit of 229 million euros in the third quarter of 2018, but a loss of 3.15 billion euros in the second quarter of this year.

If you add the losses for the second and third quarter of 2019 together, you get a grand total of nearly 4 billion euros.

How in the world is it possible to lose that much money in just 6 months?

If all they had their employees doing was flushing dollar bills down the toilet for 6 months, it still shouldn’t be possible to lose that kind of money.

When investors learned of Deutsche Bank’s third quarter results last week, shares of the bank went down about 8 percent in a single day.

Overall, the stock price has lost over a quarter of its value over the past year.

Unless you enjoy financial pain, I have no idea why anyone would want to be holding Deutsche Bank stock at this point. As I have previously warned, it is eventually going to zero, and the only question remaining is how quickly it will get there.

We also know that Deutsche Bank has been laying off thousands of workers all over the world

On July 8, 2019, thousands of Deutsche Bank employees across the globe arrived at their offices, unaware that they would be leaving again, jobless, just a few hours later. In Tokyo, entire teams of equity traders were dismissed on the spot, while some London staff were reportedly told they had until 11am to leave the bank’s Great Winchester Street offices before their access cards stopped working.

The job cuts, which totalled 18,000, or around 20 percent of Deutsche Bank’s workforce, were the flagship element of a restructuring plan designed to save the ailing German lender.

The day before those layoffs happened, most of those employees would have probably told you that Deutsche Bank is in good shape and has a very bright future ahead.

Just like we witnessed with Lehman Brothers, there is always an effort to maintain the charade until the very last minute.

But the truth is that anyone with half a brain can see that Deutsche Bank is dying. There have been so many bad decisions, so many aggressive bets have gone bad, and there has been one scandal after another

In April 2015, the bank paid a combined $2.5bn in fines to US and UK regulators for its role in the LIBOR-fixing scandal. Just six months later, it was forced to pay an additional $258m to regulators in New York after it was caught trading with Myanmar, Libya, Sudan, Iran and Syria, all of which were subject to US sanctions at the time. These two fines, combined with challenging market conditions, led the bank to post a €6.7bn ($7.39bn) net loss for 2015. Two years later, it paid a further $425m to the New York regulator to settle claims that it had laundered $10bn in Russian funds.

At this point, it is just a zombie bank that is stumbling along until someone finally puts it out of its misery.

Money is so tight at Deutsche Bank that they have even cancelled the Christmas reception for retired employees

Times change. Once upon a time (2001, in fact), Deutsche Bank was able to book stars like Robbie Williams for its staff Christmas party, with a Spice Girl turning up too just because it was such a great party. Now, according to the FT, Christian Sewing has even cancelled the daytime coffee-and-cake Christmas reception for retired employees.

Of course saving a few bucks on coffee and cake is not going to make a difference for a bank with tens of trillions of dollars of exposure to derivatives.

Deutsche Bank is the largest domino in Europe’s very shaky financial system. When it fully collapses, it will set off a chain reaction that nobody is going to be able to stop. David Wilkerson once warned that the financial collapse of Europe would begin in Germany, and Jim Rogers has warned that the implosion of Deutsche Bank would cause the entire EU to “disintegrate”

Then the EU would disintegrate, because Germany would no longer be able to support it, would not want to support it. A lot of other people would start bailing out; many banks in Europe have problems. And if Deutsche Bank has to fail – that is the end of it. In 1931, when one of the largest banks in Europe failed, it led to the Great Depression and eventually the WWII. Be worried!

Sadly, most Americans can’t even spell “Deutsche Bank”, and they certainly don’t know that it is the most important bank in all of Europe.

But those that understand the times we are living in are watching Deutsche Bank very carefully, because if it implodes global financial chaos will certainly follow.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

More Bad Economic Numbers Put A Huge Dent In The Case Of The Economic Optimists

For a long time, people have been trying to tell me that the U.S. economy is headed for a new golden era. They insist that the U.S. will be more powerful and more respected than ever before, and that we will see unprecedented prosperity in this nation. But despite extremely wild spending by the U.S. government and exceedingly irresponsible intervention by the Federal Reserve, the U.S. economy has not even had a “good” year in ages. As I have pointed out numerous times, we have not had a year when U.S. GDP grew by at least 3 percent since the middle of the Bush administration, and that makes this the longest stretch of low growth in all of U.S. history by a very wide margin. Many believe that brighter days may still be ahead, but all of the economic numbers that we have been getting in recent months make it abundantly clear that a new economic slowdown has begun. I shared 14 of those numbers earlier this week, and I will share some brand new ones with you today.

Let’s start by taking a look at how U.S. consumers are faring. U.S. consumer confidence has now fallen for 3 months in a row, and this week we learned that the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index has just fallen at the fastest pace in more than 8 years

U.S. consumer comfort suffered its biggest weekly decline in more than eight years on a pullback in Americans’ assessments of the economy, personal finances and the buying climate, possibly signaling more moderate household spending approaching the holiday-shopping season.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell 2.4 points, the most since March 2011, to 61 in the week ended Oct. 27.

How in the world can anyone possibly claim that we have a “booming economy” after reading that?

We also just got another depressingly bad manufacturing number. Experts were expecting a reading of 48.3 for the Chicago Purchasing Management Index, but instead it came in at just 43.2

The Chicago Purchasing Management Index sank to 43.2 in October from 47.1 in the prior month. This is the lowest level since December 2015. Economists has expected a reading of 48.3, according to Econoday.

Any reading below 50 indicates deteriorating conditions.

We were promised a “manufacturing renaissance”, but instead manufacturing is now the smallest share of the U.S. economy that it has been in 72 years.

That is terrible.

Manufacturing traditionally provides good paying jobs, and as I pointed out the other day, U.S. business hiring has now declined to the lowest level in 7 years.

But at least we have plenty of government jobs, eh?

In the private sector, things are getting really tough, and we are starting to see lots of big companies lay off workers.

For example, Molson Coors just announced that they will be laying off up to 500 workers as they desperately search for a way to survive in this difficult economic environment…

To further drive efficiency and enable growth, Molson Coors is consolidating and reorganizing office locations. The Denver office will be closed and Chicago will be designated as the North American operational headquarters. Functional support roles currently housed in several offices around the country will now be based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

As a result, we expect to reduce employment levels by approximately 400 to 500 employees as part of this restructuring, primarily in our existing United States, Canada and International reporting segments, as well as Corporate.

You know that things are getting tough when even beer companies start laying people off.

Of course the “retail apocalypse” continues to escalate, and we just learned that Forever 21 will be closing most of their stores and laying off most of their employees

More than 100 Forever 21 stores are slated to close as part of the fashion retailer’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection case, according to court documents filed this week.

The family-owned company, which has about 32,800 employees, said it would close “most” of its stores in Asia and Europe and up to 178 stores in the U.S. when it filed for protection Sept. 29.

A similar scenario is playing out for Dressbarn. According to USA Today, all of their 544 stores “will close no later than Dec. 26″…

Liquidation sales at the remaining Dressbarn stores will start Friday, the struggling retailer announced Wednesday.

While the 544 stores will close no later than Dec. 26, the women’s clothing website is expected to relaunch in 2020 with a new owner, the company said in a news release.

It has been hoped that a limited trade agreement with China might bolster the economy at least temporarily, but now we are learning that Chinese officials expect “phase one” of the deal to “soon fall apart”. According to CNN, the Chinese are pessimistic that our two countries will ever be able to “reach a full trade deal”…

Chinese officials have expressed doubts about whether the world’s two largest economies can reach a full trade deal, Bloomberg reported. That is casting a long shadow over the “phase one” agreement that the countries reached earlier in October.

This is consistent with my warnings from previous articles. The Chinese wanted the Trump administration to stop the implementation of any more tariffs, and they were able to achieve that with “phase one”. But in order to move forward with “phase two”, the Chinese are going to insist on the removal of all tariffs

According to BBG’s sources, this is the bare minimum that Beijing would accept to move ahead with Phase 1: a commitment from the Americans to removing tariffs in Phase 2, and agreeing to cancel the next round of tariffs, set to take effect in December.

This is something that the Trump administration will never agree to, and so that puts us back where we originally started.

The Chinese will continue to “negotiate”, but only for stalling purposes.

There is only about a year left until the 2020 elections, and the Chinese are hoping to run out the clock on the Trump administration with as little disruption to their own economy as possible.

Unfortunately for the Chinese, Trump could possibly win another term, and if either Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders win they could potentially be even tougher on trade with China.

In any event, we should not expect a comprehensive trade deal with China any time soon, and that is really bad news for the economic optimists.

Of course the truth is that everything that I have just shared is bad news for all of us. The U.S. economy is seriously deteriorating, and things are only going to get worse in the months ahead.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I can only allow this to happen if this “About the Author” section is included with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

The Boom Turns Into A Bust – Here are 14 Signs That The U.S. Economy Is Steadily Weakening

There should no longer be any doubt that the U.S. economy is slowing down, but most Americans still don’t realize what is happening because the major news networks are completely focused on the endless impeachment drama that is currently playing out in Washington. And without a doubt that is important, because it threatens to literally rip our entire nation in two. But meanwhile, economic activity has taken a very ominous turn. Hiring is slowing, consumer confidence is plunging, defaults on auto loans are rapidly escalating, the “transportation recession” continues to get deeper and it appears that the housing bubble is popping. Everywhere we turn, there are signs of economic trouble, and many are deeply concerned about what this will mean for us as we head into a pivotal election year in 2020.

Not since the last recession have we seen numbers this bad. The “mini-boom” that we witnessed for several years has now turned into a “bust”, and very tough times are ahead.

The following are 14 signs that the U.S. economy is steadily weakening…

#1 U.S. business hiring has fallen to a 7 year low.

#2 Consumer confidence in the United States has now declined for 3 months in a row.

#3 Defaults on “subprime” auto loans are happening at the fastest pace that we have seen since 2008.

#4 The percentage of “subprime” auto loans that are at least 60 days delinquent is now higher than it was at any point during the last recession.

#5 Vacancies at U.S. shopping malls have hit the highest level since the last recession.

#6 Destination Maternity has announced that they will be closing 183 stores as the worst year for store closings in U.S. history just continues to get worse.

#7 The Cass Freight Index has now fallen for 10 months in a row.

#8 U.S. rail carload volumes have plunged to the lowest level in 3 years.

#9 In September, orders for class 8 heavy duty trucks were down 71 percent.

#10 Tesla’s U.S. sales were down a whopping 39 percent during the third quarter of 2019.

#11 The bad news just keeps rolling in for the real estate industry. Last month, existing home sales in the United States declined by another 2.2 percent.

#12 New home prices have fallen to the lowest level in almost 3 years.

#13 According to one recent report, 44 percent of all Americans don’t make enough money to cover their monthly expenses.

#14 A recent survey found that more than two-thirds of all U.S. households “are preparing for a possible recession”.

All over the country, economic activity is slowing down, and this is hitting many small businesses particularly hard.

In Wisconsin, one aluminum firm “has seen bookings plunge by 40 percent” and was forced to lay off workers as a result…

Sachin Shivaram, the chief executive of Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry, started to worry this summer when orders for his brake housings and conveyor belt motors first grew scarce. Within weeks, what began as mild concern snowballed into a business drought that has seen bookings plunge by 40 percent.

In August, Shivaram, 38, reluctantly laid off two dozen workers, hoping to recall them when the outlook improved. It hasn’t.

“Things are not good. We didn’t anticipate this level of deterioration,” he said. “Orders are down across the board.”

Of course there are hundreds of other examples just like this one.

As times get tougher, many U.S. consumers are increasingly turning to debt to help make ends meet.

For those at the low end of the economic food chain, getting approved for credit cards and other conventional forms of debt can be quite difficult. This has opened up a door for online financial predators, and they are making a killing by making loans to people that really can’t afford them.

In fact, it is being reported that online lending has become a $50 billion industry, and sometimes these “loans” carry annual interest rates of more than 100 percent

It’s called the online installment loan, a form of debt with much longer maturities but often the same sort of crippling, triple-digit interest rates. If the payday loan’s target audience is the nation’s poor, then the installment loan is geared to all those working-class Americans who have seen their wages stagnate and unpaid bills pile up in the years since the Great Recession.

In just a span of five years, online installment loans have gone from being a relatively niche offering to a red-hot industry. Non-prime borrowers now collectively owe about $50 billion on installment products, according to credit reporting firm TransUnion. In the process, they’re helping transform the way that a large swathe of the country accesses debt. And they have done so without attracting the kind of public and regulatory backlash that hounded the payday loan.

Just like the “payday loan” industry flourished during the last recession, now predatory lending is flourishing during this present era.

Unfortunately, as “the everything bubble” bursts, times are going to be very tough for all of us during the years ahead.

I think that Michael Pento of Pento Portfolio Strategies summed things up very well when he made the following statement during a recent interview…

‘When this thing implodes, we are all screwed. On a global scale, we have never before created such a magnificent bubble. These central bankers are clueless, and they have proven that beyond a doubt. All they can do is to try to keep the bubble going.’

We should give the central bankers credit for keeping the bubble going for as long as it has. It should have never lasted this long, but thanks to unprecedented intervention they have been able to keep it alive.

But no financial bubble lasts forever, and now things have started to shift in a major way.

2020 is rapidly approaching, and the time of “the perfect storm” is now upon us.

I encourage you to do what you need to do to weather the coming economic storm, because it is not going to be pleasant.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I can only allow this to happen if this “About the Author” section is included with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

They Are Telling Us That The Next Recession “Won’t Be As Bad As 2008”. They Are Wrong.

Are we really supposed to believe them? As the next recession rapidly approaches, the mainstream media is assuring us that there isn’t really that much to be concerned about. In fact, as you will see below, CNN is assuring us that “the next one won’t be as bad as 2008”. But how do they know? After all, we didn’t have a president that was in danger of being impeached in 2008. As this impeachment process moves forward, the mood of this nation is going to become increasingly sour. Over in Europe, they are dealing with endless Brexit drama, and over in China the Hong Kong protests have created instability unlike anything we have seen in the modern history of that country. Meanwhile, the Middle East has become an endless source of “wars and rumors of wars”. At some point missiles will start flying back and forth and a major war will erupt over there, and that will immediately throw the entire global economy into chaos. On top of everything else, our planet is shaking like a leaf, global weather patterns are becoming increasingly unstable and crops are failing all over the world. The truth is that the environment that the global economy operates within is far more unstable today than it was back in 2008, and it wouldn’t take much at all to push us into a complete and utter economic nightmare.

But if you listen to the mainstream media, you would be tempted to assume that everything is going to be just fine.

In fact, CNN just published an article entitled “Not all recessions are a crisis, and the next one won’t be as bad as 2008”

Recession fears are on the rise in the United States. Memories of the last downturn are exacerbating these worries: The last time America faced a recession was in 2008, as the financial crisis was unfolding. Millions of people lost their jobs, GDP growth plummeted and businesses shut down.

But not all recessions are like that. Sometimes the economy can grow all the way through a recession. In fact, some economists believe the world is in a recession now and most people don’t even realize it.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could go all the way through the next recession without even realizing it?

I would love that.

Perhaps they should invent a way for us to eat Brussels sprouts without realizing it as well.

According to CNN, it is likely that we are headed for a “growth recession” rather than a recession in which we would have “millions of lost jobs like the last recession”…

For the United States, a global growth recession will probably mean sluggish growth, rather than millions of lost jobs like the last recession 10 years ago did. A growth recession would be nothing like 2008, when America entered a so-called technical recession: at least two consecutive quarters of a shrinking economy. The US economy is far away from that.

They can be optimistic if they want, but the thing about sticking your head in the sand is that your rear end is still exposed.

Look, I am not opposed to wishful thinking, but at some point you have to deal with reality. Personally, I would like to be able to dunk a basketball like Michael Jordan does, but it just isn’t going to happen.

And our reality is telling us that we are far more vulnerable economically today than we were back in 2008. Even though we have never had a full year of 3 percent economic growth since the last recession, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is nearly twice as high as it was at the peak of the bubble that burst during the last financial crisis.

In other words, stock prices are absurdly overinflated, and at some point there is going to be a dramatic implosion.

Much of the growth in stock prices has been driven by companies that are supposedly worth billions of dollars but that don’t actually make any profits.

WeWork is an example of the type of company that I am talking about. It is constantly hemorrhaging money, but back in January it was supposedly worth 47 billion dollars.

Of course that number was always completely and utterly ridiculous, and after all the trouble that the company has had in recent months the valuation of the company has changed dramatically.

In fact, at this point it is being reported that WeWork is only worth about 8 billion dollars

As WeWork runs out of money, SoftBank Group is orchestrating the company’s “rescue financing plan” that could value it below $8 billion, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: $8 billion is a slim fraction of the $47 billion valuation WeWork gleaned in January from SoftBank. The rescue plan also comes after the office-sharing business slammed the brakes on its IPO, causing company bonds to tumble.

So how does a company lose 39 billion dollars in value in less than a year?

Well, it was never actually worth 47 billion dollars in the first place, and the truth is that WeWork is eventually going to zero.

But similar things could be said about company after company. Wall Street has become a theater for the absurd, and eventually this whole freak show is going to implode in spectacular fashion.

And so what happens if a historic stock market crash is one of the triggers that plunges us into an extended economic depression like we experienced in the 1930s?

Our society is not equipped to handle something like that. We are soft, lazy, self-obsessed and completely dependent on the system. If we had to suddenly become a lot more self-sufficient, most of us would fall flat on our faces.

Earlier today, I came across a Time Magazine article which explained that 71 percent of all 17-to-24-year-olds in the United States do not even meet the most basic qualifications for military service…

Approximately 71% of the 34 million 17-to-24-year-olds in the U.S. would not qualify for military service because of reasons related to health, physical appearance and educational background, according to the Pentagon.

The ineligible typically includes those who are obese, those who lack a high school diploma or a GED, convicted felons, those taking prescription drugs for ADHD and those with certain tattoos and ear gauges, the Wall Street Journal reports, though some requirements can be waived.

Only 1% of young people are both “eligible and inclined to have conversation with” the military about possible service, according to the Defense Department.

This is just one example of how badly our society has declined.

There are thousands more, and I write about them all the time.

So we better hope that things don’t get really, really bad in this country, because it would be a colossal mess unlike anything the world has ever seen before.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles in written form on their own websites, but only if this “About the Author” section is included. In order to comply with government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. You can follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of this website.

69 Percent Of U.S. Households “Are Preparing For A Possible Recession”

Do you believe that a recession is coming? If so, you certainly have a lot of company. It turns out that more than two-thirds of all U.S. households “are preparing for a possible recession” right now. There is a growing national consensus that that U.S. economy is heading for big trouble, and this is causing a lot of people to cut back on spending. In fact, we just witnessed the first drop in retail sales in seven months. If this slowdown in retail spending extends into the holiday season, that could potentially be absolutely disastrous for the entire retail industry. We are already in the midst of the worst “retail apocalypse” in U.S. history, and we are learning of more store closings with each passing day. But of course it isn’t just the retail industry that is in very serious trouble, and I have some brand new numbers from a couple of other sectors that I will share with you below.

But first let’s talk about this new survey that just came out that says that 69 percent of all U.S. households “are preparing for a possible recession”

More than two-thirds of U.S. households say they are preparing for a possible recession.

Some 69% of participants in a recent poll said they were taking steps to shore up their finances ahead of a possible downturn, including 44% who said they were spending less money. Some 10%, including 13% of college graduates, are looking for a better or more stable job.

Considering what I do, it makes perfect sense to me that more than two-thirds of the country would be preparing for a recession.

But it would be very interesting to see this number broken down by political affiliation. In general, Democrats tend to be far more pessimistic about the economy than Republicans are right now, and that is just because Donald Trump is in the White House.

I would suspect that the percentage of Trump supporters that are “preparing for a possible recession” would be well under 50 percent, but that is just a guess on my part.

In any event, the truth is that 100 percent of Americans should be preparing for a recession, because the warning signs are all around us.

And on Wednesday another economic red flag emerged. For months, the economic optimists have been touting “the strength of the consumer” as one of the bright spots for the economy, but last month retail sales dropped for the first time in seven months

U.S. retail sales fell for the first time in seven months in September, raising fears that a slowdown in the American manufacturing sector could be starting to bleed into the consumer side of the economy.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that retail sales dropped 0.3% last month as households slashed spending on building materials, online purchases and especially automobiles.

That is certainly not the end of the world, but it does indicate that consumers are starting to scale back their spending.

Of course that is the last thing that retailers want to see happen. We are already on pace to absolutely shatter the all-time record for store closings in a single year, and we just learned that Sears and Kmart will soon be closing more stores

Sears and Kmart store closings are expected to continue into early 2020.

While more than 100 Sears and Kmart stores will shutter in the coming months, additional closures will stretch into January.

Company officials did not release an official list of the locations that will close. But news outlets across the nation, as well as documents filed with state governments, show some of the closings will happen in January 2020.

Sears has essentially been in the process of liquidating for a very long time, and we can only hope that eventually this incredibly painful liquidation will mercifully come to an end.

For many other retailers, this holiday season will be a “make or break moment”, and we should probably expect another huge wave of store closing announcements early in 2020.

And as I noted above, it isn’t just the retail industry that is really struggling. We are already in a “transportation recession”, and we just learned that the Cass Freight Index has now declined for ten months in a row. The following comes from Wolf Richter

Freight shipments by all modes of transportation – truck, rail, air, and barge – within the US fell 3.4% in September 2019, compared to September last year, according to the Cass Freight Index for Shipments. For the index – which tracks shipment volume of consumer and industrial goods but not of bulk commodities – it was the 10th month in a row of relentless year-over-year declines

Another sector that is facing very tough times is the auto industry, and according to Reuters over 7 million Americans are seriously delinquent on their auto loans…

More than 7 million Americans are already 90 or more days behind on their car loans, according to the New York Federal Reserve, and serious delinquency rates among borrowers with the lowest credit scores have by far seen the fastest acceleration.

If all these numbers remind you of the last recession, that would make perfect sense, because we haven’t seen anything like this in more than a decade.

And all of this is happening even though the federal government is adding a trillion dollars to the national debt each year and the Federal Reserve has begun flooding the financial system with fresh cash.

In terms of “economic stimulus”, our leaders are already pushing the accelerator all the way to the floor, and it is simply not working.

This truly is the beginning of the end (#ad) for the U.S. economy, and most Americans can now see that very tough times are ahead.

But what most Americans don’t understand is that what we will be facing won’t be anything like 2008.

Instead, it will be much, much worse.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep.  I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters.  (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing those books you help to support my work.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles in written form on their own websites as long as this “About the Author” section is included.  In order to comply with government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished.  This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate.  You can follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of this website.

 

The Shocking Truth About Trump’s “Trade Deal” With China

We have a trade deal with China! Well, except that nothing has actually been written down, nothing has actually been signed, the potential deal won’t really require any major concessions from China, but it did allow the Chinese to achieve a couple of key goals that they really wanted. But other than that, the good news is that the Trump administration now has a “trade deal with China” to tout as a “major accomplishment” to voters. And without a doubt, in the short-term this will calm the financial markets and ease some of the pressures on the global economy. Certainly it appears that there should be no further escalations in our trade war with China over the next few months, and that is definitely a bit of good news worth celebrating. Following the announcement of this potential deal, stock prices started surging, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day up more than 300 points. We haven’t seen this much optimism on Wall Street in some time, and things certainly seem brighter for investors in the short-term.

But let there be no doubt – this is not even remotely in the neighborhood of being the sort of “comprehensive trade deal” that the Trump administration originally wanted.

Instead, it is a very, very limited potential deal that is still being worked on

President Donald Trump announced a trade deal, in principle, on Friday afternoon with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He the U.S. says will be rolled out in two or three parts.

The agreement postpones a tariff increase scheduled for Oct. 15 and could halt additional penalties scheduled to go into effect just before Christmas.

‘We’ve come to a deal, pretty much. Subject to getting it written,’ said Trump in the Oval Office of what he described as phase one.

Oh, it isn’t actually “written” yet.

Apparently, phase one of this “trade deal” will be written over the next three weeks.

But most Americans don’t pay attention to the details, and all they will hear is that we have a “trade deal with China”, and that will certainly help Donald Trump politically.

So when phase one is eventually put down on paper, what will it actually do?

Well, the truth is that it won’t actually do very much

The initial deal, which Mr. Trump said had been reached “in principle” would involve China buying $40 billion to $50 billion worth of American agricultural products, along with agreeing to guidelines on how it manages its currency. The agreement also includes some provisions on intellectual property, including forced technology transfer and would give American financial services firms more access to China’s market, the president said.

In exchange, the United States will not go ahead with plans to raise tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods to 30 percent next week.

We’ll see what the “provisions on intellectual property” ultimately look like, and I have to say that I am skeptical, but if China agreed to some substantial changes in this area that could potentially be a positive thing for U.S. companies.

But other than that, this “deal” seems very tilted toward the Chinese.

For China, one of the main goals in these negotiations was to get the Trump administration to roll back the tariffs that were about to be implemented and to get the Trump administration to agree not to impose any additional tariffs. These tariffs are very damaging for the Chinese economy and are the primary instrument of leverage that the Trump administration possesses in this trade war.

So for China to be able to essentially get a freeze on tariffs was a big win for them.

Without the threat of more tariffs, the Chinese can continue to run out the clock on the Trump administration and wait for a Democrat to be elected in 2020. The Chinese will continue to do a lot of “talking” and “negotiating”, but they won’t agree to any sort of a comprehensive trade agreement until they can get someone that they consider to be more “reasonable” in the White House.

Oh, but we really stuck it to them by forcing them to purchase “$40 billion to $50 billion worth of American agricultural products”, didn’t we?

Well, no, we didn’t.

Let me tell you a secret.

The Chinese actually want to buy our agricultural products. In fact, since millions upon millions of their pigs have been dying from African Swine Fever, the truth is that they desperately need U.S. pork products.

So this is essentially a case of throwing the Chinese into “the briar patch”. The Chinese knew that our farmers desperately need to sell our agricultural products to them, and so they quit buying them temporarily in order to get leverage on the Trump administration. But this is something that the Chinese were always going to compromise on, because they have a great need for what our farmers are producing.

In the short-term, this is a big win for the Chinese, it is a win for U.S. farmers, and it is a win for the Trump administration because they now have their “trade deal with China” and the stock market is soaring once again

Stocks ended higher Friday after President Donald Trump said China and the U.S. reached the first phase of a substantial trade deal that delays tariff hikes that were set to kick in next week.

The Dow closed 319 points higher, while the S&P 500 rose 1.1% and the Nasdaq gained 1.3%. The gains helped the Dow and S&P 500 snap a three-week losing streak. The Dow and S&P 500 gained 0.9% and 0.6%, respectively, for the week. The Nasdaq ended the week up 0.9%.

But it appears that this trade deal doesn’t really do much of anything to address our long-term problems with China, and we are being told that “expectations for a major breakthrough” are “still low”

Beijing’s vice premier is in Washington leading the 13th round of negotiations with Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Expectations for a major breakthrough in the 15-month standoff are still low.

The two sides are deadlocked primarily over the Trump administration’s assertions that China steals technology and pressures foreign companies to hand over trade secrets as part of a sharp-elbowed drive to become the global leader in robotics, self-driving cars and other advanced technology.

In the end, this very limited “deal” gives the Chinese what they want in the short-term and it allows them to continue to delay any sort of resolution on the most important trade issues.

The Chinese got just what they wanted, but here in the United States it will be spun as a big win for Trump by the White House.

And Trump certainly needs some good news right now, and so it is hard to blame him for grabbing this deal.

But let’s not lose sight of what is really going on here. The coming tariffs have been put on hold, and meanwhile no “agreement” has even been drafted yet. I think that the current state of affairs was summarized very well by Sven Henrich

We have no agreement.
We have nothing in writing.
We have agreed to discuss a process on how to consult during which we will discuss what to agree upon.

Now get ready for phase 2 and meeting #14.

Trade wars are easy, didn’t I tell you?

And nothing that happened this week has changed the long-term outlook (#ad) even one bit.

The global economy is still slowing down, and our financial system is still the most vulnerable that it has been since the crisis of 2008.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep.  I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters.  (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing those books you help to support my work.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles in written form on their own websites as long as this “About the Author” section is included.  In order to comply with government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished.  This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate.  You can follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of this website.

 

America’s Financial Suicide: The Budget Deficit Rises 26% In 1 Year As Federal Spending Spirals Wildly Out Of Control

We are in the process of committing national financial suicide, and most Americans don’t seem to care. As you will see below, the federal budget deficit for the fiscal year that ended on September 30th was the largest in 7 years. In fact, it was actually 26 percent larger than last year. Federal spending is wildly out of control, and “non-discretionary spending” is projected to go through the roof in the years ahead. Under our current system, it is literally going to be impossible to turn things around. As the Baby Boomers continue to retire, the amount of resources demanded by Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement programs is going to continue to escalate dramatically. Meanwhile, the biggest bureaucracy in the history of the world just continues to get even larger with each passing year, and neither political party seems interested in trying to do anything about it. Our national debt will shortly hit 23 trillion dollars, but we will never actually pay it off. Instead, we will just keep piling on more debt until this entire charade comes crashing down like a house of cards.

At this point, we shouldn’t expect the Democrats to show any concern for our skyrocketing national debt. During the Obama years the national debt increased by an average of more than a trillion dollars a year, and this unprecedented spending helped to stabilize the U.S. economy following the Great Recession.

However, if we could go back and remove the 9.3 trillion dollars that was added to the national debt during Obama’s time in office, those eight years would have been the worst eight years economically in the history of our nation. We borrowed mountains of money from the future in order to make the present more pleasant, but in the process we literally destroyed the bright future our children and our grandchildren were supposed to have.

Of course most Americans don’t understand any of this, and many people look back on “Obama’s economy” with great fondness.

But isn’t Trump essentially doing the same thing?

Of course he is.

Just like Obama, Trump doesn’t want to preside over “a second Great Depression”, and so he is perfectly fine with taking our national debt into the stratosphere. If we tried to live within our means and only spent the money that we actually brought in, the U.S. economy would immediately collapse. And if the U.S. economy fell to pieces, Trump would have no chance of winning again in 2020, and we all know that Trump desperately wants to win the next election.

In the old days there were at least some Republicans that actually seemed to care about our financial future. The Republican Party was supposedly “the party of fiscal responsibility”, and a big driver of the Tea Party movement was concern about the size of our national debt.

But these days very, very few Republican leaders are making a peep about our rapidly growing mountain of debt. Instead, most of them seem absolutely fine with the fact that we are literally destroying ourselves financially.

This is yet another example that shows that there really is not that much of a difference between the two political parties at this point. One may want to take us down the tubes a little faster than the other one, but the final destination is still the same.

I would love to hear any Republican voter make a rational defense for what we are witnessing right now. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the federal budget deficit was 984 billion dollars during the fiscal year which just ended on September 30th…

The federal budget deficit for 2019 is estimated at $984 billion, a hefty 4.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and the highest since 2012, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said on Monday.

The deficit was 205 billion dollars bigger than the previous fiscal year, and overall that represented an increase of 26 percent in just one year.

Of course the official “budget deficit” is a bit misleading, because it actually understates the amount by which our national debt increases.

According to official U.S. Treasury numbers, our national debt actually increased by 1.113 trillion dollars during the fiscal year that just ended.

Adding more than a trillion dollars to the national debt in a single year is certainly not “conservative”.

Can anybody out there possibly defend such recklessness?

If you think you can, please feel free to give it a shot. Sadly, the truth is that all of our politicians that have supported such irresponsible spending should be completely and utterly ashamed of themselves. What they are doing to future generations of Americans is beyond criminal, and if future generations of Americans get the chance they will look back and curse us for what we have done to them.

As our founders understood very well, government debt is a way for one generation to literally steal money from future generations. And as Jason Pye has noted, our “unsustainable situation is only going to get worse”

“Democrats and Republicans must be held responsible for the outrageous deficit reported today by the CBO,” said Jason Pye, vice president of legislative affairs at the conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks.

“This unsustainable situation is only going to get worse,” he added.

Unfortunately, there really isn’t anything to be done at this point. Now that fiscal irresponsibility has become the official position of both major political parties, all that we can really hope for is that the coming financial implosion (#ad) will be put off for as long as possible.

In the short-term, the Federal Reserve will undoubtedly attempt to stabilize things. In recent days they have begun to start wildly printing money once again. They aren’t calling it “quantitative easing”, but that is essentially what is going on. The Fed balance sheet is beginning to rise at an exponential pace, and this “emergency intervention” that they are conducting is starting to look more permanent with each passing day.

Sadly, it is just another indication that our financial sins are starting to catch up with us. Previous generations handed us the keys to the most powerful economy in the history of the planet, but that wasn’t good enough for us. We always had to have more, and in our endless greed we have created the largest debt bubble in the history of the world.

Now we stand on the brink of oblivion, and yet our addiction to debt is so strong that we just can’t help ourselves.

There is no way that this story is going to end well, but even at this late hour most Americans still don’t realize what is coming.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep.  I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters.  (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing those books you help to support my work.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles in written form on their own websites as long as this “About the Author” section is included.  In order to comply with government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished.  This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate.  You can follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of this website.

 

China Takes A Comprehensive Trade Deal Off The Table, And That Is Disastrous News For The U.S. Economy

The Chinese never intended to make a deal, and now they are publicly admitting it. For months, I have been warning readers of The Economic Collapse Blog that a comprehensive trade deal with China will not happen before the 2020 presidential election, and the reason why this is the case is actually very simple. The Chinese have concluded that President Trump will never give them the kind of deal that they are looking for, and so their entire goal has been to run out the clock on the Trump administration so that they can finally get to a Democrat that will be much more “reasonable” to deal with. Of course if Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders wins the election, they won’t be very “reasonable” either, and so the best case scenario for the Chinese is for either Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton to emerge victorious in November 2020. In any event, the Chinese are now being very clear about the fact that they are never, ever going to agree to Trump’s core demands. The following comes from CNBC

Chinese officials are growing hesitant to pursue a broad trade deal with the U.S. in negotiations set to begin this Thursday, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News.

Vice Premier Liu He, who will lead negotiations for China, told dignitaries that his offer to the U.S. will not include commitments on reforming Chinese industrial policy or government subsidies, according to to Bloomberg. These are among the Trump administration’s main demands in the trade talks.

In essence, the Chinese have completely taken a comprehensive trade deal off the table, and they probably believe that Trump’s looming impeachment may make him more agreeable to a more limited deal that would be more favorable to the Chinese.

But Trump is holding his ground, and he continues to insist that his negotiating stance has not changed

Trump has said repeatedly he would entertain only an all-encompassing deal with China. People close to him say he remains firm in that view.

“We’ve had good moments with China. We’ve had bad moments with China. Right now, we’re in a very important stage in terms of possibly making a deal,” Trump told reporters on Friday. “But what we’re doing is we’re negotiating a very tough deal. If the deal is not going to be 100% for us, then we’re not going to make it.”

So what all of this means is that we should not expect any sort of a trade deal any time soon.

Unfortunately, the longer this trade war stretches on, the more painful it will become for our economy. Big companies are laying off workers all across America, and there are some industries that are being absolutely devastated by this trade conflict.

For example, just check out what has been happening to the lumber industry

  • China used to account for about half of all U.S. hardwood lumber exports, about $2 billion annually. The Trump administration’s 25% tariff cut that demand.
  • In the 12 months since tariffs on U.S. hardwood were announced in July of last year, lumber exports to China were down by $615 million compared with the previous year, according to the American Hardwood Export Council.
  • In June of this year alone, when the full tariff rate went into effect, trade volume to China was half what it was a year ago.

Of course the lumber industry is far from alone. All over the country the impact of the trade war can be clearly seen, and we just learned that September was the worst month for U.S. manufacturers in more than a decade.

As the U.S. economy slows down, the mainstream media will gleefully blame Trump for our troubles. Just check out the following excerpt from Paul Krugman’s most recent article entitled “Here Comes The Trump Slump”

Now the U.S. economy is going through another partial slump. Once again, manufacturing is contracting. Agriculture is also taking a severe hit, as is shipping. Overall output and employment are still growing, but around a fifth of the economy is effectively in recession.

But unlike previous presidents, who were just unlucky to preside over slumps, Trump has done this to himself, largely by choosing to wage a trade war he insisted would be “good, and easy to win.”

Even though we are way overdue for a recession, and even though the Federal Reserve has more control over our economy than anyone else does, the mainstream media is going to relentlessly push the narrative that Trump’s trade war has created a giant mess for the U.S. economy. And without a doubt, this trade war is causing economic pain, but placing 100 percent of the blame on Trump is not intellectually honest.

Unfortunately, the mainstream media is just going to keep telling us that everything would be just fine if it wasn’t for this trade war. The following is an excerpt from a recent CNN article entitled “America’s economy is slowing. Ending the trade war could fix that”

The Federal Reserve doesn’t have a magic wand to revive the slowing American economy. But President Donald Trump might.

New evidence emerged last week showing how tariffs and the vast uncertainty surrounding the US-China trade war are hurting the economy.

The manufacturing sector suffered its worst month since June 2009. Services, the larger portion of the modern economy, grew at its weakest pace in three years.

If a trade agreement could be reached, that would undoubtedly be a substantial short-term economic boost, but it wouldn’t really do anything to address our much larger problems.

Today, our entire financial system has become a giant Ponzi scheme. We are living in the terminal phase of the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world, and the only way to keep the Ponzi scheme going is to keep expanding the bubble with even more debt.

At some point the entire sorry system is going to implode in spectacular fashion, and that is going to happen whether there is a trade deal with China or not.

But our trade war with China is certainly not helping matters, and if there is not a resolution soon it could certainly be one of the factors that helps to trigger our demise.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep.  I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters.  (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing those books you help to support my work.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles in written form on their own websites as long as this “About the Author” section is included.  In order to comply with government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished.  This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate.  You can follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of this website.

This Is What A Recession Looks Like – Here Are 12 Big Companies That Are Conducting Major Layoffs

Do you remember what it was like in 2008 when it literally felt like no job was truly safe? It was a terrible time, and many fear that we could soon be facing a similar scenario. In recent days, big companies all across America have been laying off workers at a frightening pace. As economic activity has slowed down, a lot of firms are feeling compelled to slash their payrolls, and if a deep recession is ahead of us then what we have seen so far could be just the tip of the iceberg. In 2008 and 2009, millions of Americans lost their jobs very rapidly, and it could very easily happen again.

As I have been conducting research over the past few days, I have been struck by the stunning number of layoff announcements that are suddenly popping up in the news. Here are 12 of the most prominent examples…

#1 HP Inc: “U.S. personal computer maker HP Inc said on Thursday it will cut up to 16% of its workforce as part of a restructuring plan aimed at cutting costs. The company will cut about 7,000 to 9,000 jobs through a combination of employee exits and voluntary early retirement, it said in a statement.”

#2 WeWork: “WeWork, the co-working business once valued at $47 billion, is expected to announce significant layoffs this month, Bloomberg reports. This follows reports the company was looking to slash as many as 5,000 roles, or one-third of its workforce.”

#3 Kroger: “Kroger is laying off hundreds of employees across the family of grocery stores it owns, a person familiar with the situation tells CNBC.”

#4 Sports Illustrated: “The revered 65-year-old Sports Illustrated magazine is in a state of bedlam. In meetings Thursday afternoon, managers told staff members that about half the newsroom would be laid off, according to two people present at the meetings.”

#5 Uber: “The 435 employees cut from Uber include members from its product team and engineering team.”

#6 John Deere: “John Deere is set to layoff more than 150 workers at two of its plants in the Quad-Cities.”

#7 Bayou Steel Group: “According to Market Realist, Bayou Steel Group filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday and the company laid off 376 workers. U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal also curtailed some of their facilities. U.S. Steel idled two of its US blast furnaces earlier this year and the company expects those blast furnaces to be idle until at least the end of the year.”

#8 Elanco: “Elanco Animal Health Inc. which went public a year ago, on Monday said it plans to lay off 250 workers to save $12 million in 2020.”

#9 Lazard Asset Management: “Lazard Ltd. is cutting up to 7% of its employees in its asset-management division and closing some investment funds by year’s end, people familiar with the matter said, amid a tougher climate for money managers.”

#10 Advance Engineering Corporation: “Advance Engineering Corporation, Elgin, permanent closing due to relocation affecting 114 employees. First layoff date is Nov. 4, with layoffs to be completed by Dec. 31.”

#11 Daimler Trucks North America: “The company is laying off 450 workers at its Mount Holly plant and about the same number at its plant in Cleveland.”

#12 Genesis Healthcare: “Genesis Healthcare, in a statement to McKnight’s on Wednesday said it has reorganized its therapy gyms in response to PDPM and other industry changes. The company laid off 585 out of about 10,000 Genesis Rehab employees.”

This isn’t what a “booming economy” looks like.

In fact, this is precisely what we would expect to see as the U.S. economy plunges into a major economic downturn.

Of course a lot of people out there don’t want to believe that this is actually happening. There are many that have absolutely convinced themselves that the good times will keep rolling indefinitely, even though all of the evidence is pointing to the contrary.

On Wall Street, investors are trying to make sense of all the negative data that we have been receiving lately, and many of them are starting to become quite nervous

Lagging or leading, macro or micro, global or domestic. For investors, all that matters to keep the bull market intact is whether this week’s torrent of data is flashing a recession ahead or just a few local shocks.

In a market so divided on the outlook, every piece of data holds the prospect of vindication or rebuttal — and numbers on Thursday just handed fresh ammo to the bears. A U.S. services gauge dropped to a three-year low in September and jobless claims rose more than expected, shortly after a euro-zone report showing a factory slump has spread to services.

Needless to say, all of the chaos in Washington is certainly not going to help matters. The federal government will be paralyzed while this impeachment inquiry plays out, and Democrats are hoping to have articles of impeachment ready for a vote around Thanksgiving.

And I know that a lot of people don’t want to hear this, but Nancy Pelosi believes that she already has the votes that she needs.

That means that President Trump could be headed for impeachment, and a Senate trial would unleash chaos all over America. We are already a deeply, deeply divided nation, and their entire saga is going to make things much worse.

You see, the truth is that our economic problems are not just happening in a vacuum. There are many different elements to the emerging “perfect storm”, and they are all going to feed into one another.

So buckle your seat belts and get prepared for rougher times, because this drama is only in the very early chapters.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time. Of course the most important thing that we can share with people is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and if you would like to learn more about how you can become a Christian I would encourage you to read this article.

Stock Prices Are Plunging, And Many Fear This Could Be Another “Black October” For The Stock Market

The stock market hasn’t started a quarter this badly in about a decade, and if stock prices continue to plummet it could set off a wave of panic selling unlike anything that we have seen in a very long time. Of course it wouldn’t be the first time that we have seen a major stock market crash during the month of October. If I mention “October 1929”, you immediately know what I am referring to, and the same thing is true for October 1987 and October 2008. Today, we are facing a global economic slowdown, an impeachment crisis in Washington and a rapidly escalating trade war simultaneously, and it seems like almost everyone on Wall Street is suddenly talking about “the coming recession”. In such an environment, any piece of bad news is going to push stocks lower, and that is certainly what happened on Wednesday

Stocks fell sharply on Wednesday, adding to Wall Street’s poor start to the final quarter of 2019 as investors grapple with fears of an economic recession.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by 494.42 points, or 1.9% to close at 26,078.68. The Dow also broke below its 50-day and 100-day moving averages, two technical levels watched by traders. The S&P 500 lost 1.8% to 2,887.61 to fall below its 100-day moving average as the tech sector dropped 2%. All 11 S&P 500 sectors were down, with 10 of them sliding at least 1.2%.

Overall, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 800 points over the first two days of this month, and that makes this the worst start to a quarter for the stock market since 2009.

As I have repeatedly warned my readers, the stock market is more primed for a crash than it has ever been before in all of U.S. history, and investors are becoming increasingly concerned that the party is finally over.

And without a doubt, those in the financial community are very well aware of what has happened during previous Octobers, and that is making everyone just a little bit extra jittery right now

The market is turning into a “sell first and ask question later market,” said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist for LPL Financial.

“October is known for being one of the most volatile months and after two days, it is living up to that reputation,” Detrick added.

If a way to resolve our trade war with China could be found, that would greatly calm the markets.

Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen. Instead, the Trump administration just decided to escalate our trade war with Europe. The following comes from Zero Hedge

In the aftermath of today’s surprising WTO decision, in which the global trade mediator sided with the US in finding some $7.5BN in European Airbus subsidies illegal, moments ago the US Trade Rep confirmed that the US will waste no time in retaliating to what – for years – were illegal trade practices.

According to the USTR office, the US will impose a total of $7.5 billion in retaliatory tariffs on EU imports starting October 18, with 10% tariffs on large commercial aircraft, and 25% on agricultural and other industrial goods.

Needless to say, the Europeans are going to retaliate, and global trade will take another big hit.

Most Americans still seem to think that everything is going to work out just fine somehow, but the truth is that this economic downturn is starting to become really painful.

Nearly every day we are getting more bad economic numbers, and that was definitely true on Wednesday. The following comes from Bloomberg

U.S. auto sales took a big step back in September, setting the stage for hefty incentive spending by carmakers struggling to clear old models from dealers’ inventory.

Results were disastrous for leading Asian automakers Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., which both suffered double-digit declines that were worse than analysts anticipated. While a fuller picture will emerge Wednesday when General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. are due to report, the poor performance suggests that overall deliveries of cars and light trucks could come in worse than the 12% drop anticipated by analysts, based on six estimates.

Even worse than a 12 percent decline?

If the U.S. economy really was in “good shape”, this would not be happening. In fact, this is the kind of number that we would expect to see in the middle of a very deep recession.

Meanwhile, we also just got some really bad economic news from New York City

Just in case you thought the ISM number was a flukey ‘transitory’ one-off, the New York City ISM just plunged, with the outlook collapsing to its lowest since Feb 2009.

And ahead of Friday’s payroll print, NYC ISM’s employment index plunged to 52.5 from 69.0.

At one time, New York City was on the leading edge of “the economic recovery”, but now things have completely reversed. Economic conditions are rapidly deteriorating, and property values in the city are absolutely plunging

The Manhattan real estate market stumbled in the third quarter of 2019, new reports show, as prices plunged and fewer buyers were willing to purchase higher-priced properties in the wake of two recent tax increases.

The median sales price for properties fell 17 percent from the same quarter last year, to $999,950, according to new data from CORE. The average sales price dropped 12 percent, to $1.64 million.

Wall Street is starting to figure out that these horrible economic numbers are not going away, and investors are starting to get very nervous.

Many of them are still having a hard time believing that the bull market is completely dead, but at this point it definitely is not going to take much to set off an epic rush for the exits.

Whether it happens this month or not, everyone knows how this ridiculous stock market bubble will end.

Throughout U.S. history, whenever stock valuations have been stretched to such an extreme, a stock market crash has always followed.

This time around, it isn’t just an economic crisis that we are facing, and the drama in Washington is going to have a major impact on stock prices in the months ahead.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time. Of course the most important thing that we can share with people is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and if you would like to learn more about how you can become a Christian I would encourage you to read this article.

A U.S. Economic Slowdown Has Been Confirmed, And We Are Being Warned That “More Damage” Is Ahead

We just witnessed the worst month for U.S. manufacturers in more than 10 years, and nobody seems optimistic that things are going to get much better any time soon. In fact, one expert is warning that “more damage” is coming if the trade war is not resolved, and unfortunately it does not appear that a resolution will be possible for the foreseeable future. As I have been detailing for months, the entire global economy has been steadily slowing down, but some shocking new numbers that we just got indicate that our economic problems are really starting to accelerate. So hold on to your hats, because it looks like things are about to get really crazy. According to CNBC, September was the worst month for U.S. factories in more than a decade

The U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers’ index from the Institute for Supply Management came in at 47.8% in September, the lowest since June 2009, marking the second consecutive month of contraction. Any figure below 50% signals a contraction.

The new export orders index was only 41%, the lowest level since March 2009, down from the August reading of 43.3%, ISM data showed.

Those numbers are absolutely abysmal, and they were far worse than analysts were expecting.

Since December 2009, I have published more than 2,000 articles on The Economic Collapse Blog, and in all that time we have never seen manufacturing numbers this bad.

According to Peter Boockvar, the chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group, we have “now tariffed our way into a manufacturing recession in the U.S. and globally”. So those that have been waiting for a “manufacturing recession” to arrive can now stop waiting. It is here, and it is going to be very painful.

All over America factories are starting to close down at an alarming pace. This week, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards blamed the “sudden shutdown” of a steel plant in his state on the ongoing trade war

In Louisiana, meanwhile, Gov. John Bel Edwards on Tuesday blamed the sudden shutdown of a steel plant on tariffs. “While Bayou Steel has not given any specific reason for the closure, we know that this company, which uses recycled scrap metal that is largely imported, is particularly vulnerable to tariffs,” he said.

The closure of LaPlace, Louisiana-based of Bayou Steel will cost 376 employees their jobs.

All over the globe, manufacturing numbers are plunging at an alarming pace thanks to the trade war. For a long time I warned my readers that the level of economic pain that this trade war would inflict upon all of us would steadily rise as long as this trade war persisted, and now the experts being quoted by the mainstream media are saying the exact same thing. Here is just one example

“The manufacturing side is telling us something. It’s a combination of global growth and we’ve got a trade war that’s been going on for a year and a half,” said Christian Fromhertz, CEO of The Tribeca Trade Group. “That’s been freezing things up. The longer this trade war keeps going, the more damage it does.

Of course it isn’t just the U.S. that is being hit extremely hard.

Overall, we haven’t seen a slowdown in global trade like this since the last recession, and at this point container shipping rates are down a whopping 34 percent since the beginning of 2019…

Container shipping rates continue to move lower into the fourth quarter of 2019, according to FreightWaves. The drop in price comes as a result of the most recent round of tariffs discouraging U.S. importers from front loading orders. As a result, ocean carriers are looking to cut even more shipping capacity in hopes of meeting tepid demand into the back end of the year.

Spot rates on the Freightos Baltic Daily Index for China-North America West Coast were down 8% from last week, falling to $1,327 per forty-foot equivalent unit. Container rates are down 34% since the beginning of the year, despite the industry now being in peak season.

For months, I have been sharing numbers that indicate that the entire global economy is heading into a recession. But now the numbers are absolutely screaming that major trouble is imminent.

Winter is coming, and it will not be pleasant.

After the horrifying U.S. manufacturing numbers were released on Tuesday, U.S. stock prices immediately began falling, and the Dow ended the day down more than 340 points

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 343.79 points lower, or 1.3% at 26,573.04 after rallying more than 100 points earlier in the day. The S&P 500 slid 1.2% close at 2,940.25. The Nasdaq Composite was down 1.1% at 7,908.68.

Tuesday marked the worst one-day performance for the Dow and S&P 500 since Aug. 23.

Meanwhile, as is usually the case when economic doom erupts, the price of gold is soaring once again

Gloom for the economy is a boom for safe havens. A 10-year-low in a reading of U.S. manufacturing activity sent investors flocking back to the safety of gold on Tuesday, just after they let the yellow metal flounder to two-month lows.

U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled up $16.10, or 1%, at $1,489 per ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The threat of impeachment looms over Washington, and it could potentially unleash political chaos like we haven’t seen in the United States in decades.

And at the same time, the global economy is deteriorating to a degree that we have not seen since the last recession, and many believe that what is coming will be even worse than what we experienced a decade ago.

Dark storm clouds have gathered over America, and we stand on the precipice of one of the most critical moments in the history of our nation.

Unfortunately, most Americans are still dead asleep, and many of them have absolutely no idea what is about to happen.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time. Of course the most important thing that we can share with people is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and if you would like to learn more about how you can become a Christian I would encourage you to read this article.

If Donald Trump Is Impeached, You Should Expect The Mother Of All Stock Market Crashes To Happen

News that an impeachment inquiry is being initiated instantly sent stock prices tumbling on Tuesday, but that small jolt is nothing compared to what we will experience if Donald Trump is actually impeached. Over the past couple of years we have seen a tremendous boom in stock prices, and one of the big reasons for that boom is the fact that the folks on Wall Street know that Trump is always going to be looking out for their best interests. Trump understands that his chances of winning again in 2020 will be greatly enhanced if stock prices are rising and most Americans believe that we have a “booming economy”, and so he wants to do everything in his power to try to make those things happen. That means that Trump’s short-term interests are perfectly aligned with Wall Street’s short-term interests, but things will shift dramatically if someone like Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders ends up in the White House. Wall Street knows that they have a friend in Donald Trump, and losing that friend would potentially be absolutely devastating.

Needless to say, a lot of investors were unnerved on Tuesday when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that a formal impeachment inquiry is being initiated. The following is an excerpt from Pelosi’s official remarks…

For the past several months, we have been investigating in our Committees and litigating in the courts, so the House can gather ‘all the relevant facts and consider whether to exercise its full Article I powers, including a constitutional power of the utmost gravity — approval of articles of impeachment.’

And this week, the President has admitted to asking the President of Ukraine to take actions which would benefit him politically. The action of – the actions of the Trump Presidency revealed the dishonorable fact of the President’s betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security, and betrayal of the integrity of our elections.

Therefore, today, I am announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. I am directing our six Committees to proceed with their investigations under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry.

The President must be held accountable. No one is above the law.

In the aftermath of that announcement, liberal celebrities all across America erupted in celebration.

But can Nancy Pelosi unilaterally declare the commencement of a formal impeachment inquiry without any sort of a vote? According to Representative Doug Collins, she actually does not have that power…

In reaction to the Speaker’s announcement, Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) tweeted, “Speaker Pelosi’s decree changes absolutely nothing. As I have been telling Chairman Nadler for weeks, merely claiming the House is conducting an impeachment inquiry doesn’t make it so. Until the full House votes to authorize an inquiry, nobody is conducting a formal inquiry.”

In any event, the Democrats are going to push ahead with their investigations, and they seem determined to dig up anything that they possibly can.

In response to Pelosi’s announcement, the White House issued a statement which accused congressional Democrats of being “in dereliction of their Constitutional duty”

‘In a far departure from all of the work and results of this President, House Democrats have destroyed any chances of legislative progress for the people of this country by continuing to focus all their energy on partisan political attacks. Their attacks on the President and his agenda are not only partisan and pathetic, they are in dereliction of their Constitutional duty,’ said White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham in a statement.

We shall see how everything plays out over the next few months, but at this point it seems fairly certain that we will see an impeachment vote on the floor of the House, and it also seems fairly certain that the vote will be split largely along party lines.

Because in this day and age the truth really doesn’t matter. Even if there isn’t any evidence against Trump at all, most Democrats will vote to impeach because that is what they are expected to do. And even if Trump is 100 percent guilty most Republicans will vote against impeachment because they would be afraid of being voted out of office by angry voters back home.

So in the end it will probably come down to what the Senate decides to do, and right now the Republicans are holding 53 seats.

Unfortunately for Trump, some of those 53 seats are held by very “moderate” Republicans that are not fans of Trump at all.

Sadly, the fate of the Trump presidency is likely to end up in the hands of a small group of deeply corrupt politicians that I wouldn’t trust to properly mop the floors in my local Dairy Queen.

With that in mind, I think that Trump fans definitely have reason for some pessimism.

Democrats are licking their chops at the prospect of impeaching Trump and then getting either Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren into the White House following the next election.

Joe Biden would try to get along with Wall Street, but a Warren administration would be an absolute disaster for investors and right now she is surging in the polls.

Elizabeth Warren originally made a name for herself by attacking Wall Street. Virtually all of her economic proposals would be bad news for the top 1 percent, and the fact that she is doing so well right now is just one of the factors that are currently unsettling the markets

For one, this time around it appears Democrats in the House have momentum toward beginning impeachment proceedings. Second, a formerly robust economic backdrop has given way to jitters about global growth and fears that the U.S. economy is nearing the end of a lengthy expansion. Less confident investors could be more jittery in the face of political headlines than was previously the case.

Also, impeachment proceedings could take center stage in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, potentially damaging Trump’s re-election bid. Fears of a less business-friendly Democratic administration — amplified by the recent strength of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has moved ahead of Biden in some polls — could also be part of the mix, analysts said.

Of course the short-term health of Wall Street is not what we should really be concerned about.

At this moment, the entire global economy is plunging into a substantial downturn, and whoever wins in 2020 is going to have to face that reality.

And beyond that, we are facing long-term crisis after long-term crisis that none of our politicians really want to deal with, and in the end we are going to pay a great price for our short-term thinking.

But for the foreseeable future, the mainstream media is going to be obsessed with the political drama being played out in Washington.

And I know that most Republicans don’t want to hear this, but there is a very real chance that Donald Trump could be impeached by the House.

Then it will all come down to the Senate, and Trump’s fate will be in the hands of moderate Republicans such as Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time. Of course the most important thing that we can share with people is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and if you would like to learn more about how you can become a Christian I would encourage you to read this article.

The Latest Numbers Tell Us That The Global Economic Slowdown Is Accelerating Dramatically

Economists are already predicting “the world’s lowest growth in a decade”, but it is beginning to look like what we will be facing will be much worse than that. In recent days, numbers have been coming in from all over the planet that are absolutely abysmal. The “global economic slowdown” is rapidly transitioning into a new global economic crisis, and central banks seem powerless to stop what is happening. They have already pushed interest rates to the floor (actually below the floor in many cases), and over the past decade they have absolutely flooded the global economy with new money. But despite all of this unprecedented intervention, economic conditions are deteriorating at a pace that is breathtaking.

Let’s start by taking a look at what is happening in India. According to CNN, vehicle sales in India fell a whopping 31 percent in July…

Just two years ago, India’s huge car market was booming and global players were rushing to invest. Now it’s been slammed into reverse.

Sales of passenger vehicles plunged 31% in July, according to figures released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Tuesday. It’s the ninth straight month of declines and the sharpest one-month drop in more than 18 years, SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur told CNN Business.

Those are numbers you would expect to see if we were in the middle of a full-blown economic depression, and it is being projected that this downturn “could result in a million people being laid off”

The slump has prompted companies to slash over 330,000 jobs through the closing of car dealerships and cutbacks at component manufacturers, Mathur said, citing data from industry associations that govern those two sectors.

The Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India warned in a statement last month that its “crisis-like situation” could result in a million people being laid off.

A million jobs is very serious.

And we are talking about just one industry in one country.

How many jobs will ultimately be lost all over the world in the months ahead?

Over in China, the auto industry is also deeply struggling

China’s Geely (GELYF) revealed this week that its net profit probably plunged by 40% in the first half of the year as the world’s second largest economy slowed. In June alone, its car sales fell 29%.

That isn’t supposed to happen in China.

For decades, China has been one of the primary engines of global economic growth, but now things have changed dramatically.

Perhaps you can blame the trade war for what is happening in China, but the auto industry is also in big trouble in Europe. In fact, some of the biggest automakers in the world are closing European factories and ruthlessly slashing jobs

Ford is cutting 12,000 jobs and closing six plants in Europe, including an engine factory in the United Kingdom. Jaguar Land Rover, which is owned by India’s Tata Motors (TTM), is slashing 4,500 jobs. Honda is also closing a plant in the United Kingdom.

If those companies expected the European economy to bounce back in the foreseeable future, they would not be making such moves.

But just like you and I, they can see what is happening to Europe’s economy, and on Monday we just received some more deeply troubling news. The following comes from Zero Hedge

Weakness in euro-area manufacturing hit a climax this morning as German private sector activity plunged to a seven-year low. The Germany Manufacturing PMI slumped in September, dropping to 41.4, down from 44.7 in August, printing below the lowest sellside estimate (consensus of 44.4); worse, the German manufacturing recession is now spreading to the services sector, where the formerly resilient services PMI also slumped from 54.8 to 52.5, also missing the lowest analyst estimate, and collectively, resulting in the first composite PMI print below 50, or 49.1 to be precise, since April 2013. The rate of decline was one of the sharpest in seven years.

It appears that the German economy has already entered recession territory, and these new numbers are not causing anyone to be optimistic.

In fact, “abysmal” is hardly strong enough to describe these absolutely horrible figures

  • Flash Germany PMI Composite Output Index (1) at 49.1 (Aug: 51.7). 83-month low.
  • Flash Germany Services PMI Activity Index(2) at 52.5 (Aug: 54.8). 9-month low.
  • Flash Germany Manufacturing PMI(3) at 41.4 (Aug: 43.5). 123-month low.
  • Flash Germany Manufacturing Output Index(4) at 42.7 (Aug: 45.8). 86-month low.

Of course the U.S. economy has been slowing down for quite some time now, and if you doubt this, I encourage you to read this list of 28 alarming facts about our economy that I posted earlier this month.

We haven’t seen economic conditions like this in the United States since the depths of the Great Recession, and many believe that what is coming will be far worse than the last time around.

And we may be deep into the coming crisis far sooner than many were expecting. In fact, David Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff is adamant that there is “a recession coming in the next 12 months”

David Rosenberg, the Gluskin Sheff chief economist and strategist, is warning that a recession is coming. Rosenberg says economic growth in the United States will turn negative sooner than most investors anticipate and the Federal Reserve is powerless.

Even if the central bank lowers interest rates to zero, a recession will still grip the U.S. within 12 months, Rosenberg predicts. “There’s a recession coming in the next 12 months,” he stated with fact last Thursday on CNBC’s “Futures Now. The Fed just lowered its benchmark interest rate last Wednesday by a quarter-point and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell signaled rates would only be cut again if there’s new evidence the economy is softening.

If things really start to deteriorate in the months ahead, we could be in the midst of a horrible economic downturn by the time the U.S. presidential election rolls around.

Let us hope that is not the case, but right now things certainly do not look good for the U.S. economy or for the global economy as a whole.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time. Of course the most important thing that we can share with people is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and if you would like to learn more about how you can become a Christian I would encourage you to read this article.

Goldman Sachs Has Just Issued An Ominous Warning About Stock Market Chaos In October

Are we about to see U.S. financial markets go crazy? That is what Goldman Sachs seems to think, and it certainly wouldn’t be the first time that great financial chaos has been unleashed during the month of October. When the stock market crashed in October 1929, it started the worst economic depression that we have ever witnessed. In October 1987, the largest single day percentage decline in U.S. stock market history rocked the entire planet. And the nightmarish events of October 2008 set the stage for a “Great Recession” that we still haven’t fully recovered from. So could it be possible that something similar may happen in October 2019? According to CNBC, Goldman Sachs is warning that the stock market could soon “go crazy again”…

For investors taking a breather from the chaos in August, buckle up as the market is about to go crazy again, Goldman Sachs warned.

Wall Street is now inches away from reclaiming its record highs, but a rockier ride could be around the corner as stock volatility has been 25% higher in October on average since 1928, according to Goldman. Big price swings have been seen in each major stock benchmark and sector in October over the past 30 years, with technology and health care being the most volatile groups, Goldman said.

Goldman derivatives strategist John Marshall is the man behind this new warning, and he believes that there are some fundamental reasons why the month of October is often so volatile…

“We believe high October volatility is more than just a coincidence,” John Marshall, equity derivatives strategist at Goldman, said in a note Friday. “We believe it is a critical period for many investors and companies that manage performance to calendar year-end.”

And even though October hasn’t arrived yet, we are already starting to see some things that we haven’t witnessed since the last financial crisis.

For example, the Federal Reserve had not intervened in the repo market since 2008, but this week the liquidity crunch was so bad that the Fed felt forced to conduct emergency overnight repurchase agreement operations on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

And then on Friday the Fed announced that it will continue to conduct emergency interventions “on a daily basis for the next three weeks”

The New York Federal Reserve Bank said Friday it will inject billions into the US financial plumbing on a daily basis for the next three weeks in an effort to prevent a spike in short-term interest rates.

The Fed will offer up to $75 billion a day in repurchase agreements — exchanging secure assets for cash for very short periods — through October 10, it said in a statement.

In addition, it will offer three 14-day “repo” operations of at least $30 billion each.

In essence, the “plumbing” of our financial system has gotten all jammed up, and calling out Roto-Rooter is simply not going to get the job done.

Of course Fed officials are trying to assure us that this is no big deal and that they have everything under control.

But if all this is no big deal, why haven’t they had to conduct such emergency interventions for the last 11 years?

And this comes at a time when the deterioration of the U.S. economy appears to be accelerating. In fact, on Friday St. Louis Fed President James Bullard publicly admitted that the U.S. manufacturing industry appears to already be in a recession

The US manufacturing sector “already appears in recession” and overall economic growth is expected to slow “in the near horizon,” St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank president James Bullard said on Friday, explaining why he dissented at a recent Fed meeting and wanted a deeper, half-percentage-point rate cut.

That is a stunning admission, because normally Fed officials try very hard to maintain the narrative that everything is wonderful because they are doing such a great job of manipulating the economy.

The American people as a whole are becoming increasingly pessimistic about the economy as well, and Gallup just released some very alarming numbers

Americans’ confidence in the economy has become less rosy this month as Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index fell to +17 from August’s +24 reading, marking the lowest level since the government shutdown ended in January.

At the same time, the public is evenly divided over the likelihood of a recession in the next year. The current expectation of a recession is nine points higher than it was in October 2007, just two months before the Great Recession began but slightly below a February 2001 reading, one month before that eight-month-long recession.

Every economic indicator that we have is telling us that big trouble is heading our way, but most Americans are partying instead of preparing.

U.S. financial markets have never been more primed for a crash than they are at this moment, and so many of the exact same patterns that we witnessed just prior to the last recession are happening again right now.

Over the past few months, my wife and I have felt a sense of urgency unlike anything that we have ever felt before. You may have noticed a difference in our tone and in the types of stories that we have been sharing. Everything that we have been doing has been leading up to this. The time of “the perfect storm” is here, and most Americans won’t understand what is happening.

The storm clouds are looming and disaster could strike at any time. This is one of the most critical times in the history of our nation, and most Americans are completely unprepared for what is going to happen next.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

28 Signs Of Economic Doom As The Pivotal Month Of September Begins

Since the end of the last recession, the outlook for the U.S. economy has never been as dire as it is right now. Everywhere you look, economic red flags are popping up, and the mainstream media is suddenly full of stories about “the coming recession”. After several years of relative economic stability, things appear to be changing dramatically for the U.S. economy and the global economy as a whole. Over and over again, we are seeing things happen that we have not witnessed since the last recession, and many analysts expect our troubles to accelerate as we head into the final months of 2019.

We should certainly hope that things will soon turn around, but at this point that does not appear likely. The following are 28 signs of economic doom as the pivotal month of September begins…

#1 The U.S. and China just slapped painful new tariffs on one another, thus escalating the trade war to an entirely new level.

#2 JPMorgan Chase is projecting that the trade war will cost “the average U.S. household” $1,000 per year.

#3 Yield curve inversions have preceded every single U.S. recession since the 1950s, and the fact that it has happened again is one of the big reasons why Wall Street is freaking out so much lately.

#4 We just witnessed the largest decline in U.S. consumer sentiment in 7 years.

#5 Mortgage defaults are rising at the fastest pace that we have seen since the last financial crisis.

#6 Sales of luxury homes valued at $1.5 million or higher were down five percent during the second quarter of 2019.

#7 The U.S. manufacturing sector has contracted for the very first time since September 2009.

#8 The Cass Freight Index has been falling for a number of months. According to CNBC, it fell “5.9% in July, following a 5.3% decline in June and a 6% drop in May.”

#9 Gross private domestic investment in the United States was down 5.5 percent during the second quarter of 2019.

#10 Crude oil processing at U.S. refiners has fallen by the most that we have seen since the last recession.

#11 The price of copper often gives us a clear indication of where the economy is heading, and it is now down 13 percent over the last six months.

#12 When it looks like an economic crisis is coming, investors often flock to precious metals. So it is very interesting to note that the price of gold is up more than 20 percent since May.

#13 Women’s clothing retailer Forever 21 “is reportedly close to filing for bankruptcy protection”.

#14 We just learned that Sears and Kmart will close “nearly 100 additional stores” by the end of this year.

#15 Domestic shipments of RVs have fallen an astounding 20 percent so far in 2019.

#16 The Labor Department has admitted that the U.S. economy actually has 501,000 less jobs than they previously thought.

#17 S&P 500 earnings per share estimates have been steadily falling all year long.

#18 Morgan Stanley says that the possibility that we will see a global recession “is high and rising”.

#19 Global trade fell 1.4 percent in June from a year earlier, and that was the biggest drop that we have seen since the last recession.

#20 The German economy contracted during the second quarter, and the German central bank “is predicting the third quarter will also post a decline”.

#21 According to CNBC, the S&P 500 “just sent a screaming sell signal” to U.S. investors.

#22 Masanari Takada is warning that we could soon see a “Lehman-like” plunge in the stock market.

#23 Corporate insiders are dumping stocks at a pace that we haven’t seen in more than a decade.

#24 Apple CEO Tim Cook has been dumping millions of dollars worth of Apple stock.

#25 Instead of pumping his company’s funds into the stock market, Warren Buffett has decided to hoard 122 billion dollars in cash. This appears to be a clear indication that he believes that a crisis is coming.

#26 Investors are selling their shares in emerging markets funds at a pace that we have never seen before.

#27 The Economic Policy Uncertainty Index hit the highest level that we have ever seen in the month of June.

#28 Americans are searching Google for the term “recession” more frequently than we have seen at any time since 2009.

The signs are very clear, but unfortunately we live at a time when “normalcy bias” is rampant in our society.

If you are not familiar with “normalcy bias”, the following is how Wikipedia defines it…

The normalcy bias, or normality bias, is a belief people hold when considering the possibility of a disaster. It causes people to underestimate both the likelihood of a disaster and its possible effects, because people believe that things will always function the way things normally have functioned. This may result in situations where people fail to adequately prepare themselves for disasters, and on a larger scale, the failure of governments to include the populace in its disaster preparations. About 70% of people reportedly display normalcy bias in disasters.[1]

For most Americans, the crisis of 2008 and 2009 is now a distant memory, and the vast majority of the population seems confident that brighter days are ahead even if we must weather a short-term economic recession first. As a result, most people are not preparing for a major economic crisis, and that makes us extremely vulnerable.

In 2008 and 2009, the horrible financial crisis and the bitter recession that followed took most Americans completely by surprise.

It will be the same this time around, even though the warning signs are there for all to see.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Guess What Warren Buffett Is Doing With His Money Right Now?

Does Warren Buffett believe that a major financial crisis is coming? In life, what people do is far more important than what they say, and what Warren Buffett is doing with his money right now speaks volumes. During the second half of 2019, a lot of the “experts” are warning about the possibility of a market crash, and corporate insiders have been selling stocks at a rate that we haven’t seen since the last financial crisis. There appears to be a widespread belief that the market is about to take a really negative turn, and we haven’t seen this sort of a “race for the exits” in a very long time. But when there is a lot of fear on Wall Street, that can sometimes be an opportunity to make a lot of money. Warren Buffett certainly hasn’t been afraid to “zig” when others are “zagging” over the years, and if he believed that there were great opportunities in the marketplace right now he would not hesitate to strike. But as you will see below, he’s not doing that.

Warren Buffett is the most famous investor in America today, but if you are not familiar with him, the following is a pretty good introduction from Wikipedia

Warren Edward Buffett (/ˈbʌfɪt/; born August 30, 1930)[2] is an American business magnate, investor, speaker and philanthropist who serves as the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He is considered one of the most successful investors in the world[3][4] and has a net worth of US$82 billion as of July 18, 2019, making him the third-wealthiest person in the world.[5]

Buffett was born in Omaha, Nebraska. He developed an interest in business and investing in his youth, eventually entering the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1947 before transferring and graduating from the University of Nebraska at the age of 19. He went on to graduate from Columbia Business School, where he molded his investment philosophy around the concept of value investing that was pioneered by Benjamin Graham. He attended New York Institute of Finance to focus his economics background and soon after began various business partnerships, including one with Graham. He created Buffett Partnership, Ltd in 1956 and his firm eventually acquired a textile manufacturing firm called Berkshire Hathaway, assuming its name to create a diversified holding company. In 1978, Charlie Munger joined Buffett and became vice chairman of the company.[6][7]

Buffett became one of the wealthiest people in the entire country by aggressively investing his money. His keen instincts have enabled him to make the right move far more often than not, and that is why what he is doing with his money right now has so many people concerned.

Instead of pumping his company’s cash into the stock market, Buffett has decided to hoard it. In fact, Berkshire Hathaway currently has 122 billion dollars that is just sitting there and doing nothing at all…

Warren Buffett, known for being one of the world’s most prescient investors, has kept quiet on whether U.S. equities are too expensive at a time when the global economy is slowing, Bloomberg reports. But he’s reportedly hoarding a record $122 billion in cash at Berkshire Hathaway Inc., leading to some speculation that he sees a recession on the horizon, or at least is sending some sort of warning. The cash pile is more than half the value of Berkshire’s $208 billion portfolio of public companies, and the only time that percentage has reportedly been higher since 1987 was in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis.

Yet again, we are talking about something that hasn’t happened since the last financial crisis.

Red flags are popping up all around us, and yet most people are choosing not to pay attention.

If Buffett believed that an “economic boom” was coming and that stock prices were going to go higher, sitting on a giant mountain of cash wouldn’t make any sense at all.

But if he believed that the market was about to crash and that stock prices would soon be far cheaper than they are now, having a mammoth cash hoard would make all of the sense in the world.

Of course Buffett is not the only one that can see what is coming. Earlier today, a CNBC article lamented the fact that there has been a “sudden pullback” in spending among wealthy individuals all over America…

From real estate and retail stores to classic cars and art, the weakest segment of the American economy right now is the very top. While the middle class and broader consumer sections continue to spend, economists say the sudden pullback among the wealthy could cascade down to the rest of the economy and create a further drag on growth.

Luxury real estate is having its worst year since the financial crisis, with pricey markets like Manhattan seeing six straight quarters of sales declines. According to Redfin, sales of homes priced at $1.5 million or more fell 5% in the U.S. in the second quarter. Unsold mansions and penthouses are piling up across the country, especially in ritzy resort towns, with a nearly three-year supply of luxury listings in Aspen, Colorado, and the Hamptons in New York.

When an economic crisis is ahead, the correct thing to do is to reduce spending, and obviously that is precisely what many at the top of the economic pyramid have decided to do.

Meanwhile, millions of other Americans do not understand what is happening, and they just assume that everything is going to be just fine somehow.

A lot of people out there seem to believe that the problems that caused the last financial crisis were “fixed” and that the good times will just keep on rolling for many years to come.

Perhaps the blind optimists will be proven right and Warren Buffett will be proven wrong this time.

It is theoretically possible that this could happen, but I certainly wouldn’t bet on it.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

$1,400,000,000,000 Gone In Less Than A Week – Stock Market In Turmoil As The Trade War Dramatically Escalates

Our trade war with China has begun to spiral out of control, and as a result global financial markets have been thrown into a state of turmoil. On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 767 points, and that represented the sixth-largest single day stock market decline in all of U.S. history. To put that into perspective, the biggest single day decline during the financial crisis of 2008 was just 777 points. So what we witnessed on Monday was definitely very serious. And the Nasdaq just got absolutely monkey-hammered as well. On a percentage basis, it was down even more than the Dow was, and it has now fallen for six days in a row. We have not seen a losing streak that long for the Nasdaq since President Trump was elected, and some analysts are convinced that even more chaos is on the way.

Overall, 1.4 trillion dollars in stock market wealth has been completely wiped out in less than a week

It took just four brutal trading days for a $1.4 trillion wipeout in the S&P 500 stock value. From the Federal Reserve’s disappointing comments on the future of interest rates to President Donald Trump’s surprise tariffs to China’s weaponizing of the yuan, the record-long bull market took a big hit in a relatively short time.

European stocks have been getting clobbered as well. In fact, they just experienced their largest two day decline in three years.

After Trump imposed another wave of tariffs on China at the end of last week, we knew that the Chinese would retaliate. But we expected that the retaliation would be at least somewhat proportional.

Instead, they decided to bring down the hammer.

When Chris Krueger was asked about China’s retaliation, he said that “on a scale of 1-10, it’s an 11”. The Chinese have announced that they are going to completely stop buying U.S. agricultural products, and they shocked global financial markets when they allowed the yuan to drop like a rock early on Monday. In response, the U.S. Treasury Department formally designated China as a “currency manipulator”, and it appears that any hopes for a trade deal between the United States and China before the 2020 presidential election are completely and utterly dead. For an extended analysis of these events, please see the article that I just posted entitled “China Just Went Nuclear In The Trade War, And There Is No Turning Back Now”.

All along, most investors seemed to believe that all of the angry talk would eventually fade and that the U.S. and China would be able to work things out.

But that didn’t happen, and now we have crossed the point of no return. Financial markets are finally starting to realize that this trade war is going to have very, very serious implications for major U.S. corporations, and this will especially be true for our largest tech companies.

Over the past two trading days, the big five tech companies have combined to lose 228 billion dollars in market value…

Tech’s big five companies lost $66 billion in market value on Friday, and Monday’s plunge brought the two-day drop to $228 billion. Apple had the biggest percentage decline, falling 5.2%. Apple told U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in June that the latest proposed tariffs would hit “all of Apple’s major products.” Some analysts are projecting a significant impact.

Meanwhile, by the way, the price of gold has been soaring.

As I have repeatedly argued, something definitely needed to be done about China, but trying to bully them into making a deal was never, ever going to work.

They are a very proud people, and once we started repeatedly pushing them extremely hard, it was just a matter of time before they started pushing back

“Your back is put against the wall and you’re constantly being attacked. Pride starts to kick in, and it’s not surprising China has started to assert some of its force,” said Greg Peters, head of multi sector and strategy at PGIM Fixed Income. “I’m not sure what that means in real terms. It’s not different than any other life situations. You push someone hard enough and they start pushing back. … I never thought it was a good idea to act like it’s a scorched earth policy – I win, you lose. I continue to think that was never viable for the Chinese.”

Being aggressive can be an effective negotiating tool, but if you push too hard and too fast you run the risk of completely alienating the other party.

That appears to be what has happened in this case, and now all hopes for a trade deal are completely dead. As Bonnie Glaser has noted, the “potential for compromise has past”…

“The timing couldn’t be worse,” said Bonnie Glaser, director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “The potential for compromise has past. Both sides are digging in and both leaders are first and foremost concerned about their domestic audiences. Politics is in the lead.”

Hopefully the markets will bounce back on Tuesday. After being down quite a bit earlier, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are trading slightly higher as I write this article.

However, the truth is that this crisis isn’t going away. There isn’t going to be a trade deal with China, and that is going to mean a tremendous amount of pain for the global economy.

When a financial bubble pops, usually there is some sort of trigger that causes it to happen. In 2008, it was the subprime mortgage meltdown. This time around, it looks like the trigger could be our trade war with China.

As I noted a few days ago, our financial markets are more primed for a crash than they have ever been before. And we are moving into the season when big crashes tend to happen.

Things have not looked this ominous since 2008, and a lot of investors are starting to get very nervous.

We shall see how the rest of this year plays out, but right now events certainly seem to be moving in a very alarming direction.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

“The Stock Market Started To Fall In July…”

Will we look back on the month of July as a critical turning point for the stock market? During the first half of 2019, stock prices soared to record high after record high even though we just kept getting one number after another that indicated that a new economic slowdown was starting. Because of the disappointing performance of the U.S. economy, it was believed that we would see a rate cut from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, and that is precisely what happened. But instead of rejoicing, investors started to panic a bit, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day down 333 points. We will get into why that happened in just a little bit. But without a doubt it seems quite odd that the Fed’s very first rate cut since December 2008 actually caused stocks to go down. On a historical basis, interest rates are already very low right now, and so this greatly limits what the Fed will be able to do once the next recession officially begins. Of course most investors are not concerned with such considerations. What they really want is for interest rates to be pushed all the way to the floor as quickly as possible, and so they were quite disappointed with what they heard from Fed Chairman Jay Powell on Wednesday.

But considering the fact that we haven’t seen a rate cut in more than a decade, the truth is that investors should have been thrilled by what happened. When interest rates go down, that tends to promote more economic activity

As expected, the Fed lowered its federal funds rate by a quarter-percentage point to a range of 2% to 2.25%. The move is likely to ripple through the economy and financial system, nudging down rates for credit cards, home equity lines and auto loans and theoretically sparking more economic activity. While the rate cut should aid borrowers, it will frustrate savers who were just starting to benefit from higher bank account yields.

And more economic activity usually results in higher corporate profits, and higher corporate profits usually result in higher stock prices.

So why isn’t Wall Street rejoicing?

Well, it is because Fed Chairman Jay Powell told the press that this rate cut was just “a mid-cycle adjustment to policy” and that he didn’t anticipate that this was “the beginning of a lengthy cutting cycle”.

Many on Wall Street had been anticipating that the Federal Reserve would keep on cutting rates after this rate cut, but as I detailed the other day, the only way that would make sense is if we were plunging into a recession.

And while the Fed is definitely willing to admit that there are some trouble signs, they are not willing to completely throw in the towel on the “booming economy” narrative just yet. The following comes from CNBC

In approving the cut, the FOMC cited “implications of global developments for the economic outlook as well as muted inflation pressures.” The committee called the current state of growth “moderate” and the labor market “strong,” but decided to loosen policy anyway.

Needless to say, President Trump was not thrilled by what happened on Wednesday. He was hoping that this would be the beginning of a series of rate cuts, because the lower interest rates go the better chance he has of being re-elected.

In a two part tweet on Wednesday, Trump once again ripped into Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve

What the Market wanted to hear from Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve was that this was the beginning of a lengthy and aggressive rate-cutting cycle which would keep pace with China, The European Union and other countries around the world….

….As usual, Powell let us down, but at least he is ending quantitative tightening, which shouldn’t have started in the first place – no inflation. We are winning anyway, but I am certainly not getting much help from the Federal Reserve!

And it will be very interesting to see if investors on Wall Street continue to vent their frustrations for the rest of the week.

At other times when Wall Street has been disappointed by the Fed, we have seen violent moves toward the downside, and it is entirely possible that such a scenario could play out once again.

In fact, one Morgan Stanley analyst had already been warning that the coming reversal “is likely to be sharper and deeper than one might expect”

Echoing Guggenheim’s fears that US equities are in for a dramatic collapse, Morgan Stanley’s Mike Wilson warns that “…if equity markets fail one more time at our key resistance point, we believe the reversal is likely to be sharper and deeper than one might expect, even if the earnings recession is more benign than we expect.

And Egon von Greyerz is even more pessimistic about what is right around the corner…

The messages from the ECB and the Fed couldn’t be clearer. They are seeing major problems in the financial system and in the world economy and they will do whatever it takes to save the system. But they will fail.

The autumn of 2019 will see a major shift in sentiment as markets turn from a secular bull to a secular bear. We are likely to see major crashes in many global stock markets. Virtually no one is prepared for this so there will be both panic and despair.

Of course the truth is that we have never been more perfectly primed for a stock market crash than we are right now, and things are lining up ideally for the sort of nightmare scenario that I have been warning about.

It is just a matter of time before all of our economic and financial bubbles burst, and when they do the pain is going to be off the charts. I think that the CEO of Overstock.com recently made this point very well

Patrick Byrne, the CEO of online retailer Overstock.com, sounded an ominous note for the several years ahead as well. “I think it will be bad,” he said. “To be honest, I think that ’08 was the hors d’oeuvres course,” he said according to Fortune. Byrne, a longtime cryptocurrency enthusiast, compared what he anticipates will happen to the economy to what might happen to a bridge overloaded with too many vehicles. “It’s a little bit like asking me there’s a bridge that was designed to hold 20 cars passing over it at a time and there’s now 100 going over it,” Byrne said. “When’s it going to break? When’s it going to collapse? That’s really your answer.”

“I’m kind of shocked it’s gone on this long,” Byrne continued. “I think that we have deep, deep, structural, architectonic level problems in our economy that will surface.”

As Byrne aptly pointed out, the big surprise is that it has taken this long for everything to collapse.

We had far, far more time than we deserved to try to get things turned around, but we never actually fixed any of our long-term economic and financial problems.

Now the next crisis is at our door, and I believe that the remainder of this year will turn out to be quite “interesting” indeed.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

It’s Over: The Democrats And The Republicans Are Both Conspiring To Bankrupt America And Destroy Our Future

Both major political parties are working together to destroy America’s financial future, and most Americans don’t seem to care. Once upon a time, the Republicans were considered to be “the party of fiscal responsibility”, but now they are just as bad as the “free spending” Democrats. As you will see below, a “compromise” budget deal was just reached which will dramatically increase federal spending and will suspend the federal debt limit until after the next election. In other words, both sides are conspiring to make our debt problem much, much worse over the next year and a half, and this should be causing howls of outrage all across America. But instead most Americans seem content to go along with the free spending ways of our political leaders, and only a handful of voices are sounding the alarm as we steamroll toward financial oblivion.

When Barack Obama was inaugurated on January 20th, 2009, the U.S. national debt was sitting at a grand total of $10,626,877,048,913.08.

Of course we proceeded to go on the greatest debt binge in the history of our nation, and when Obama’s two terms ended the U.S. national debt had risen to $19,947,304,555,212.49.

Then Donald Trump took office, and we have continued to rack up debt at a staggering pace. In fact, at this moment the U.S. national debt is $22,023,119,533,123.43.

So over the last 10 and a half years, we have added just under 11.4 trillion dollars to our mountain of debt. And when you break that down, that means that our politicians have been stealing more than 100 million dollars every single hour of every single day from future generations of Americans during the Trump/Obama era.

Unfortunately, things are about to get a lot worse. It is being projected that “non-discretionary spending” will dramatically rise as Baby Boomers retire in unprecedented numbers this decade, and as a result our national debt will hit 30 trillion dollars not too long from now. The following comes from a recent Forbes article

By the end of 2020, it will be approaching $25 trillion. And that doesn’t include state and local debt of $3 trillion plus their $6-trillion unfunded pension liabilities.

Note that all that is without a recession.

The unified deficit will easily hit $2 trillion and approach $2.5 trillion in the next recession. Within 2 to 3 years later, the total US debt will be at least $30 trillion.

This debt is an existential threat to our republic, and even without all of our other very serious problems it would be enough to bring us down all by itself.

But instead of trying to do something about it, our politicians just reached a “compromise” agreement that will dramatically increase spending

US President Donald Trump said Monday that a “compromise” bipartisan budget agreement has been reached that will boost federal spending by $320 billion and suspend the debt limit beyond the next presidential election.

The deal, should it pass Congress as expected, would allow the federal government to borrow more money and avoid a disastrous default in the coming months, while significantly raising budget caps on defense and domestic outlays.

I don’t know if I even have the words to describe how disgusted I am by all of this.

Of course swamp creatures such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are simply thrilled about what just went down

“I am very encouraged that the administration and Speaker Pelosi have reached a two-year funding agreement that secures the resources we need to keep rebuilding our armed forces,” McConnell, R-Ky., said. “This was our top objective: Continuing to restore the readiness of our armed forces and modernize our military to deter and defend against growing threats to our national security. That includes investing in our facilities here at home, like Ft. Knox, Ft. Campbell, and the Blue Grass Army Depot, which my state of Kentucky is proud to host.”

He doesn’t seem the least bit ashamed of what he is doing to America.

There is no way that we are going to come back from a 30 trillion dollar debt. It is the largest debt that any government has ever accumulated in the history of the world, and it threatens to destroy the bright future that our children and our grandchildren were supposed to have.

Thankfully, there are a few voices that are still brave enough to speak up. One of them is Maya MacGuineas

“This agreement is a total abdication of fiscal responsibility by Congress and the president,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a Washington advocacy group. “It may end up being the worst budget agreement in our nation’s history, proposed at a time when our fiscal conditions are already precarious.”

And after news of this budget deal broke, U.S. Representative Mark Walker posted an image of the Joker burning a huge pile of money

In response, North Carolina GOP Rep. Mark Walker tweeted out a picture of the Joker lighting a pile of money on fire, from the 2008 “Batman” film “The Dark Knight.” (“All you care about is money,” the Joker laments to a hardened career criminal as the money burns. “This town deserves a better class of criminal. And I’m going to give it to them.”)

I really wish that we could be optimistic that things will change in the future, but if the Republicans and the Democrats both don’t care about our exploding national debt there truly is no hope, because we don’t have any other viable political options. I made the national debt one of my core issues when I ran for Congress, but unfortunately the big Washington PACs came in with a ton of outside money and made sure that one of my opponents won.

Sadly, it isn’t just the U.S. that is drowning in debt. According to the latest numbers, the total amount of debt in the world has hit a grand total of 246 trillion dollars

According to the latest IIF Global Debt Monitor released today, debt around the globe hit $246 trillion in Q1 2019, rising by $3 trillion in the quarter, and outpacing the rate of growth of the global economy as total debt/GDP rose to 320%

All of that debt can never be paid off under our current system.

In the end, the only thing that can be done is to keep increasing the size of the bubble until it inevitably bursts and the entire global economic system goes down in flames.

The borrower is the servant of the lender, and debt is being used to literally enslave the entire planet.

Humanity desperately needs to wake up, but right now there are not nearly enough people that are educating people about these matters.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Dow 27,000? I Think That We Have FINALLY Reached Peak Stock Market Absurdity

Even though everything else seems to be going wrong, the stock market just continues to soar to new record highs. In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 27,000 for the first time ever on Thursday. Investors continue to relentlessly believe that bright days are ahead even though we are on the brink of a war with Iran, we are in the middle of a trade war with China, California has been hit by more than 10,000 earthquakes over the past week, and all of the economic numbers are screaming that a recession is dead ahead. There has certainly been a lot of craziness on Wall Street in recent years, but the truth is that stock prices have never been as absurd as they are right now. It is inevitable that a very painful reality check is coming, but for the moment investors are celebrating another historic landmark

The 30-stock average broke above 27,000 for the first time in its history, rising 227.88 points, or 0.9% to 27,088.08. The Dow first closed above 26,000 in January of 2018, so it’s been a little more than a year-and-half trek between 1,000 point moves. The gains were largely driven by expectations the Fed will cut rates, insulating the market from a slowing economy and a trade battle with China.

But if things are so good, then why is the Federal Reserve talking about cutting interest rates?

Sadly, the truth is that the Federal Reserve is considering rate cuts because the economic numbers have been disastrous lately. Global trade has fallen to the lowest levels that we have seen since the last recession, and manufacturing activity just continues to plummet. Here in the United States, manufacturing activity just hit the “lowest level in nearly three years”

US manufacturing activity last month fell to its lowest level in nearly three years — well below the pace when President Donald Trump took office — another warning sign for the world’s largest economy as it marks the longest expansion on record.

The manufacturing slowdown was driven by weakening demand for US-made goods, with factories reluctant to produce stock they may not be able to sell, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s monthly survey.

Meanwhile, JPMorgan’s Global Manufacturing PMI just plunged to the lowest level in nearly seven years

It’s a bloodbath. No matter where you look, global manufacturing surveys are signaling growth is over (and in most cases, outright contraction is upon us).

JPMorgan’s Global Manufacturing PMI fell to its lowest level for over six-and-a-half years and posted back-to-back sub-50.0 readings for the first time since the second half of 2012.

But in the bizarro environment that we find ourselves in, investors see those absolutely horrible numbers as evidence that the Fed will soon cut interest rates, and that means it must be a good time to buy stocks.

Every bad economic number just seems to fuel the feeding frenzy, and there certainly have been a lot of bad numbers in recent days.

For example, we just learned that small business employment has been falling at a rate that we haven’t seen “in over 9 years”

The small business sector leads the cycle and employment here has plunged 61k in the past two months. Haven’t seen this in over 9 years; same decline we saw in Feb-March of 2008 when the consensus was busy calling for a soft landing.

That is terrible news, but for many investors that is a prime buying signal.

Everywhere we look we see signs of economic trouble. The auto industry is mired in the worst slump in a decade, home sales have slowed dramatically all over the nation, and we are pace to absolutely shatter the record for most retail stores closed in a single year. In fact, on Thursday we learned that another major retailer is completely liquidating

Fashion accessory retailer Charming Charlie will close all its stores after going bankrupt for the second time in less than two years. More than 3,000 full- and part-time employees could lose their jobs.

Charming Charlie Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 11 protection in Delaware with plans for going-out-of-business sales at about 261 stores, according to court documents. The chain expects the liquidation to take about two months.

But in an environment where “bad news is good news”, that is just another indication that this is a perfect time for investors to gobble up stocks like there is no tomorrow.

For months, I have been documenting the numbers that indicate that a new economic downturn has already begun. And one of the sectors where we can see this most clearly is in the trucking industry

Freight rates have dipped year-over-year for six months straight while loads on the spot market, in which retailers and manufacturers buy trucking capacity as they need it, rather than through a contract, fell by 50.3% in June year-over-year. Truckers have also continued to warn of a “bloodbath” as they slash their profit expectations and companies file for bankruptcy.

Yet no matter how bad things get for the real economy, the euphoria on Wall Street never seems to end.

Investors just continue to relentlessly pour more money into stocks when everything is telling them to stop.

In fact, even the bond market is flashing warning sign after warning sign. The following example comes from CNN

Something happened in the bond market last week that has occurred before five of the past six major market meltdowns.

The yield on the benchmark 30-year US Treasury bond — the lesser-known but still important fixed income cousin to the 10-year — briefly dipped below 2.5%. In other words, the 30-year was yielding less than the Federal Reserve’s short-term federal funds rate.

But until the next market meltdown actually happens, the irrational optimists on Wall Street are just going to continue to mock those of us that are warning that the party cannot continue indefinitely. Sadly, when the party on Wall Street finally ends it is likely to happen very suddenly, and the pain will be off the charts.

Let me say this one more time. You only make money in the stock market if you get out in time. If you are still holding on to your stocks after the big crash happens, it is not going to matter that the Dow once hit 27,000, because you will never see any of the money that you could have made if you had gotten out at the top of the market.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Trump Just Poked The Dragon In The Eye, And U.S.-China Relations Just Took An Ominous Turn For The Worse

After what President Trump just did, the odds of the U.S. and China being able to reach a trade agreement this year officially just went from slim to none. For China, there is no issue more sensitive than the status of Taiwan. For the Chinese, it is unthinkable for anyone to even suggest that Taiwan is not a part of China, and the Chinese are prepared to defend their “one China” policy to the death if necessary. On the other hand, most Americans are entirely clueless about Taiwan. In fact, if you gave them a blank map of the world the vast majority of Americans wouldn’t even be able to find Taiwan thanks to our exceedingly poor system of public education. So for most Americans, a news story about how President Trump plans to sell 2 billion dollars worth of arms to Taiwan is completely and utterly meaningless. But for the Chinese, such news is a deep national insult

The United States is pursuing the sale of more than $2 billion worth of tanks and weapons to Taiwan, four people familiar with the negotiations said, in a move likely to anger China as a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies escalates.

An informal notification of the proposed sale has been sent to the U.S. Congress, the four sources said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the possible deal.

This arms sale barely made a blip in the U.S. news cycle, but over in China they are officially freaking out about this. According to one report, this deal would send “over 100 tanks and almost 2,000 missiles” to Taiwan…

The US, which is the main weapons dealer to Taiwan, would send over 100 tanks and almost 2,000 missiles to the island. There was outrage in China, who said they were seriously concerned after Taiwan’s defence ministry confirmed the sale. The move is believed to further heighten tensions between Beijing and Washington.

It comes days after Chinese defence minister Wei Fenghe said: “If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese military has no choice but to fight at all costs.”

You can do quite a bit of damage with 2,000 missiles.

Most Americans may not realize this, but the truth is that U.S.-China relations just took a really ominous turn for the worse.

And in addition to announcing this arms sale to Taiwan, President Trump also just threatened China with even more tariffs

DONALD Trump threatened to hit China with tariffs on “at least” another $300bn worth of goods today – as a Beijing propaganda campaign painted the US as evil bullies.

Tensions between the world’s two largest economies have soared sharply since talks aimed at ending a festering trade war broke down in early May.

But trust me, the announcement of the arms sale to Taiwan was far, far more insulting to China than the tariff threat was.

On the Chinese side, they have decided to hit the U.S. right in the farm belt by “putting purchases of U.S. soybeans on hold”

China is reportedly putting purchases of U.S. soybeans on hold amid the growing trade war with the U.S., according to a report from Bloomberg News. As the world’s largest soybean buyer, China’s move could ramp up the economic pressure on American farmers.

This has already been the worst year for U.S. farmers in decades, and this move by the Chinese is going to make things even worse. For much more on this, please see an article that I posted earlier today entitled “U.S. Farms Are Facing Their Worst Crisis In A Generation – And Now Here Comes Another Monster Storm”.

Also, anti-American rhetoric in China has now reached a fever pitch. According to CNN, the Chinese just issued an official alert warning Chinese travelers of “shooting, robbery and theft” in major U.S. cities…

On Tuesday, China’s Culture and Tourism Ministry warned its citizens of the risks of traveling to the US in an alert, citing frequent recent cases of “shooting, robbery and theft.”

On the same day, the country’s Foreign Ministry — along with China’s embassy and consulates in the US — issued a security alert for Chinese citizens, alleging “repeated harassment” of Chinese nationals in the US by local law enforcement officials.

Of course the Chinese are correct when they warn about the violence in our cities. For example, more than 50 people were shot in the city of Chicago last weekend alone.

In addition to the travel warnings, Chinese state media is doing all that it can to put the U.S. in a bad light. In fact, one major Chinese paper just called the United States the “enemy of the world”

The new travel advice did not come in isolation.

China’s ruling Communist Party has launched a trade war propaganda campaign, with recent efforts — delivered via state media — focusing on US “trade bullying” and “hegemony.” In one noteworthy article, published Tuesday in party mouthpiece the People’s Daily, the US was labeled the “enemy of the world.”

Does it sound to you like the Chinese are ready to surrender and head back to the negotiating table?

No, the truth is that they are just getting angrier with every week that goes by. Most Americans don’t even know that we fought against the Chinese during the latter stages of the Korean War, but right now over in China those old battles against “the evil American invaders” are being publicly celebrated

President Xi Jinping’s state media has even begun to refer to a very bloody battle between America and Chinese forces during the Korean War.

The 1952 battle of Triangle Hill – or Shangganling in Chinese – has been glorified in China for decades as a turning point in the war.

School children are told how the sacrifice of Chinese soldiers eventually led to the “defeat of the evil American invaders”.

At this point, most Americans may be vaguely aware that some sort of a trade war is going on, but over in China they are taking this deadly seriously. And without a doubt, the stage is being set for a full-fledged global showdown between the two superpowers.

This is not a game, and if things go badly we could potentially be facing apocalyptic consequences.

So hopefully Trump knows what he is doing, because right now things appear to be starting to spiral out of control very rapidly.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Economic Chaos Erupts! – Global Manufacturing Plunges, The Trade War Expands And The Nasdaq Enters Correction Territory

The global economic slowdown is really starting to accelerate. Just within the past few days, we have gotten more really awful global manufacturing numbers, the trade war has expanded to more nations, and the Nasdaq has officially entered correction territory. We have not witnessed this sort of global economic environment since the Great Recession, and if the economic chaos continues to escalate it won’t take too much to spark a brand new financial crisis. Of course the global financial system is far more vulnerable than it was back in 2008, and so if we stay on the path that we are currently on we could be facing a nightmare scenario very rapidly.

Let’s talk about the manufacturing numbers first. The numbers coming out of Germany are already at a crisis level, and manufacturing is also now contracting in Japan, South Korea and China as well.

Overall, global manufacturing as a whole has now fallen into contraction territory for the first time in seven years

Global manufacturing was the weakest since 2012 last month, a victim of mounting trade tensions and further reason to worry that the world economy is weakening.

With softness in Germany, Japan, the U.K. — as well as the lowest U.S. result in a decade — IHS Markit’s global Purchasing Managers Index fell to 49.8 in May, below the 50 level that divides expansion from contraction.

The reports underscore the growing threat posed by the escalating U.S.-China trade war, and they coincided with a fresh warning from Wall Street about recession risks.

The reason why so many people are freaking out about these numbers is because this is exactly what we would expect to see if we were entering a global recession.

Meanwhile, global financial markets are looking increasingly shaky. On Monday, the Nasdaq fell another 120 points and it has now officially entered correction territory

Stocks ended mostly lower Monday, June’s first day of trading, amid reports that the U.S. government is planning to target a host of big tech companies with antitrust and business practice probes. Shares of Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook and Apple all weighed on the market during Monday’s session.

The Nasdaq dropped 1.6% to enter correction territory, closing more than 10% below its record high set in late April.

The term “correction territory” might not mean a lot to many of you, so let me put what is happening in terms you may understand.

On Monday alone, America’s most prominent tech stocks lost approximately 150 billion dollars in value. It looks like the Trump administration is getting ready to go to war with the big tech companies, and that is really, really bad news for tech investors. The following comes from Breitbart

The Masters of the Universe got hit hard by investors on Monday. Like $150 billion hard.

Shares of the top tech giants fell sharply on Monday after reports that U.S. antitrust regulators had divided up oversight of the sector, with the Department of Justice assuming responsibility for Alphabet and Apple and the Federal Trade Commission taking on Facebook and Amazon. This triggered fears that the government could mount challenges to the business models of the companies.

Shares of Alphabet dived 6.1 percent on Monday after the Wall Street Journal reported that the Justice Department is in the early stage of preparing an antitrust probe of the company. Reuters reported that the Department of Justice is also looking into Apple’s business for possible antitrust violations.

Speaking of war, our trade conflict with China continues to escalate. The mainstream media hasn’t been talking much about it, but apparently the Chinese have decided to put purchases of U.S. soybeans “on hold” until a trade agreement is reached…

China, the world’s largest soybean buyer, has put purchases of American supplies on hold after the trade war between Washington and Beijing escalated, according to people familiar with the matter.

State-grain buyers haven’t received any further orders to continue with the so-called goodwill buying and don’t expect that to happen given the lack of agreement in trade negotiations, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information is private.

U.S. soybean farmers have been sitting on unprecedented amounts of soybeans in hopes that an end to the trade war would raise prices.

But instead, demand for U.S. soybeans is going to go through the floor, and this could potentially force thousands of soybean farmers into bankruptcy.

And in addition to our trade war with China, the Trump administration has apparently decided that now is a good time to start a trade war with Mexico

From produce to cars, a wide variety of Mexican goods could become more expensive if Trump follows through on his threat to hit Mexican imports with tariffs that soon could climb to 25%. Trump wants to pressure Mexico into doing more to halt the flow of Central American migrants to the U.S. via the Mexican border.

The tariffs, set to begin June 10, would gradually climb to 25% on Oct. 1 if Mexico doesn’t take steps “to dramatically reduce or eliminate” the number of migrants, Trump said Thursday. Such a strategy would hurt American shoppers, the economy and stocks, experts say, just as U.S. growth is slowing and the threat of more tariffs on Chinese imports looms larger.

At least in this case the U.S. and Mexico are still talking, and so perhaps some kind of resolution can be reached.

On top of everything else, the Trump administration has also just decided to add India to the trade war as well

Mr. Trump on Friday said India would be removed from the U.S.’s privileged-trading program called the Generalized System of Preferences on Wednesday. Under the decadeslong program meant for some developing economies, the U.S. had allowed India to avoid tariffs on certain exports to the U.S. in the interest of promoting tighter trade ties and development.

India, the U.S.’s ninth-largest trading partner, is a top beneficiary of the GSP program. Mr. Trump’s move will add tariffs of as much as 7% on Indian exports of goods like chemicals, auto parts and tableware to the U.S., which in 2018 accounted for more than 11%, or $6.3 billion, of India’s total exports of goods valued at $54.4 billion, according to the Congressional Research Service, a research agency for the U.S. Congress.

A global trade war is going to be incredibly painful for everyone, and this is all happening at a time when the global economy was already starting to slow down substantially.

Here in the United States, a lot of businesses are really starting to notice a big decline in economic activity. Here is just one example that was published on Zero Hedge earlier today…

Down here, in Texas, I am seeing a big drop in economic activity over the last 6 months. Our healthcare businesses’ volume over this period is at 629, down from 770, year-on-year, almost a 20% decline, and the worst six month decline in our 15 year history. We have been pulling out all of the stops for business development, cutting overhead, and running all the QC traps to determine if it is something within our business, within our local market, within our industry, or having to do with the economy in general.

In this period, we have seen seven competitors go out of business in our city. We have recently confirmed similar experiences with colleagues in Kentucky, Colorado, and elsewhere in Texas. One of them asked me, “If this is not temporary, what would the strategy be?” My response was, “Hunker in the bunker and wait for everyone else to die.”

This is what we have all been preparing for, and things are going to get progressively tougher in the months ahead.

Unfortunately, most Americans are completely and totally clueless about what is ahead. Today, 59 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and the truth is that the vast majority of us are entirely unprepared to go through another recession.

And of course many believe that what we are facing is going to be much worse than just a “recession”. A perfect storm is rapidly coming together, and the chaos that we have seen so far is nothing compared to what is rapidly approaching.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

All Of The Economic Momentum Is Moving In Just One Direction Now

Earlier today, I was greeted by this jarring headline when I visited the Drudge Report: “BONDS FLASH RECESSION WARNING”. These days, it seems like the “R word” is being thrown around constantly, but at this time last year everyone was celebrating how well the economy was doing. Unfortunately, we have witnessed a dramatic shift in recent months, and we just got some more really bad economic numbers. Thanks to those bad numbers and an increasing amount of anxiety about the trade war, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell another 237 points on Monday. That means that we are on pace to potentially see the Dow fall for a sixth week in a row, and that is something that hasn’t happened since the last recession.

But right now investors are far more spooked about what is going on in the bond market. According to Mish Shedlock, we haven’t seen this many yield curve inversions “since the start of the Great Recession”…

On Friday, US Treasury yields plunged at the mid to long end of the curve providing the most inversions since the start of the Great Recession. This is the biggest recession warning since 2007.

In so many ways, what we are witnessing at this moment is very reminiscent of the conditions that prevailed just prior to the last financial crisis.

Back then, the economic numbers were definitely starting to slide, but most Americans didn’t think that we were heading toward big trouble. But those that understood what was happening were sounding the alarm, and the same thing is happening today. For example, the following comes from a CNBC article entitled “Morgan Stanley says economy is on ‘recession watch’ as bond market flashes warning”

“Recent data points suggest US earnings and economic risk is greater than most investors may think,” wrote Michael Wilson, the firm’s chief U.S. equity strategist.

Specifically, the stock strategist highlighted a recent survey from financial data firm IHS Markit that showed manufacturing activity fell to a nine-year low in May. That report also revealed a “notable slowdown” in the U.S. services sector, a key area for an American economy characterized by huge job gains in health care and business services.

In addition to disappointing manufacturing numbers, we also just learned that orders for capital goods were down significantly during the month of April…

The Commerce Department said on Friday orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, dropped 0.9% last month as demand weakened almost across the board. Data for March was revised down to show these so-called core capital goods orders rising 0.3% instead of increasing 1.0% as previously reported.

Also, we just found out that U.S. home price gains have now fallen for 12 months in a row.

When you add those numbers to all of the other depressing economic numbers that have been rolling in lately, a very clear picture emerges.

The U.S. economy is heading in the wrong direction, and things are steadily getting worse.

A resolution to our trade war with China would be a huge economic boost in the short-term, but that is not likely to happen for the foreseeable future. In fact, on Monday President Trump stated that he is “not ready” to make a deal with China

Bank shares fell broadly amid the lower interest rates. Goldman Sachs dropped 1.8% while Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase fell 0.9% and 1.1%, respectively. Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo also slipped.

The drop in bank shares and rates come after President Donald Trump said on Monday the U.S. was “not ready” to make a deal with China, before adding he expected one in the future. Trump also said tariffs on Chinese imports could go up “substantially.”

And the Chinese are clearly digging in as well. The chief editor of the Global Times, Hu Xijin, has a very close relationship with top Chinese officials, and he just warned that China “is seriously considering restricting rare earth exports” to the United States…

While the official at China’s national planning body did not directly answer whether Beijing would restrict rare earth exports to the United States, Global Times Editor-in-chief Hu Xijin wrote on Twitter: ‘Based on what I know, China is seriously considering restricting rare earth exports to the U.S. China may also take other countermeasures in the future.’

Although the tabloid Global Times is not one of China’s official media, it is widely read and is published by the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Party newspaper.

Just a few days ago I published an entire article about the impact that such a move would have on the U.S. economy, and I won’t reproduce all of that information here.

But the bottom line is this – the U.S. economy would be in a massive amount of trouble if that happened.

A deteriorating relationship with China is part of the scenario that we have been anticipating, and events are definitely starting to accelerate now.

For most Americans, however, there is no reason to be concerned. Most of us simply trust that our leaders in Washington have things under control and that everything will work out just fine somehow.

But if we do plunge into another deep economic crisis, many Americans will be in enormous trouble right away. According to one recent survey, 45 percent of us rate our financial situations as either “fair” or “poor”

Nearly 30% of respondents rate their financial situation as “only fair” and 15% say it’s “poor.” Meanwhile, 25% worry “all” or “most” of the time that their household income won’t be enough to cover their expenses.

Their biggest concerns: Saving enough for retirement and unplanned medical costs, with 54% and 51%, respectively, saying they’re “very” or “moderately” worried about each prospect.

In addition, another recent survey discovered that 59 percent of all Americans are currently living paycheck to paycheck.

Just like last time around, most Americans are living on the edge financially.

And just like last time around, millions of Americans will be completely blind-sided by an economic train wreck that they didn’t see coming.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

U.S. Stocks Have Now Fallen For 5 Weeks In A Row – That Is The Worst Stock Market Streak In Almost 8 Years

We haven’t seen stock prices slide like this in a long time, and if this keeps up we could soon be looking at an avalanche. Our rapidly escalating trade war with China and more bad U.S. economic numbers pushed stocks down once again this week, and at this point the Dow Industrial Average has now fallen for five weeks in a row. We haven’t seen a losing streak this long since June 2011, and it is yet another indication that we have reached a major turning point. Some positive comments about China from President Trump on Friday helped to lift stocks a little, but it wasn’t enough to put stocks into the green for the week. Of course the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are both working on losing streaks as well. According to CNBC, both of them have now declined for three weeks in a row…

But Friday’s gains were not enough to offset this week’s losses. The Dow dropped 0.7% this week to post its fifth consecutive weekly decline, its longest streak since 2011. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell a third straight week of losses, their longest slide since December 2018. The weekly losses come at a time when investors are growing more convinced that the trade war will take longer than expected to conclude and could hurt the economy.

Unfortunately, things are not likely to turn around any time soon. As I discussed yesterday, there is not much optimism that a trade deal with China will happen any time in the foreseeable future, and that is going to continually weigh on the economy.

Meanwhile, we continue to get more numbers that indicate that the U.S. economy is starting to slow down significantly. On Friday, a key survey of U.S. manufacturing activity plunged to the lowest level in more than 9 years

An IHS Markit “flash” survey of U.S. manufacturers fell to a nine-and-a-half-year low of 50.6 this month from 52.6 in April. Manufacturing conditions have been soft for months.

Even more ominous, was the firm’s survey of U.S. service-oriented companies such as banks and retailers. These slipped to a 39-month low of 50.8 from 52.7.

Lately you have heard me talk about a lot of things that haven’t happened in “8 years” or “9 years”. In so many areas, we are seeing numbers that we have not seen since the last recession, and many believe that the worst is yet to come.

And actually things are even worse for the retail industry than they were at any point during the last recession. We are already on pace to absolutely shatter the all-time record for store closings in a single year, and on Friday we learned that yet another retail chain is shutting down all of their stores

In another sign of traditional retailers’ struggles, Topshop plans to close all 11 of its US stores as its parent company seeks to restructure after filing for bankruptcy protection.

Arcadia Group, the London-based owner of fast-fashion chain Topshop Topman, said it was facing “unprecedented” market conditions in the retail sector.

Day after day we just continue to get more numbers that tell us that the U.S. economy is heading in the wrong direction.

And we received more confirmation of that fact when J.P. Morgan economists dramatically slashed their U.S. GDP forecast for the second quarter of this year…

J.P. Morgan economists said they now see much slower second-quarter growth of just 1%, down from their prior forecast of 2.25% and way off the 3.2% reported in the first quarter.

“The April durable goods report was bad, particularly the details relating to capital goods orders and shipments. Coming on the heels of last week’s crummy April retail sales report, it suggests second quarter activity growth is sharply downshifting from the first quarter pace, ” the economists wrote.

Meanwhile, more troubling economic news continues to come in from all over the globe. We just learned that Mexico’s economy is officially shrinking, and the Chinese government was just forced to take over an insolvent bank for the first time ever

China’s financial regulators said on Friday the country’s banking and insurance regulator and the central bank, will take control of the small, troubled inner Mongolia-based Baoshang Bank due to the serious credit risks it poses. The regulator’s control of Baoshang will last for a year starting on Friday, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) said on their websites.

The stage is being set for the sort of global economic meltdown that we have been anticipating. Of course if the U.S. and China were able to pull off a miracle and agree to a trade deal, that would be a tremendous boost to both the financial markets and the entire global economy. But the only way that is going to happen is if one side or the other totally caves in. The Chinese government has made a really big deal about the fact that they are not going to move from their current positions, and so the only way that a deal will happen at this point is if Donald Trump decides to wave a white flag and completely surrender to the Chinese.

What do you think the odds are of that happening?

But as the U.S. economy continues to deteriorate, the pressure on Trump to “do something” is going to be immense.

So we shall see what happens. For now global financial markets are slowly sliding downhill, but eventually patience is going to run out and at that point we could see a mad dash for the exits.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

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