Why Is The Mainstream Media Signaling That A Much Larger Stock Market Decline Is Coming?

Why would the mainstream media want all of us to believe that stock prices are about to fall dramatically?  Just like we witnessed earlier this year at the beginning of the pandemic, the corporate media is full of reports that seem to imply that it is a virtual certainty that stock prices are going to go even lower.  Of course it would make perfect sense for stock prices to go down because they are incredibly overvalued right now, but normally the mainstream media does not try to tell us where stock prices are going next.  And the fact that so many news outlets are repeating the same mantra right now is particularly troublesome.

Without a doubt, the momentum of stock prices is taking us in a downward direction at the moment.  All of the major stock indexes have posted declines for three weeks in a row, and it looks like this week could make it four.

As I write this article, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 4.5 percent for the month, the S&P 500 is down over 6 percent, and the Nasdaq has fallen about 8.5 percent.  Overall, the market is on pace for the worst September in 18 years, but the corporate-controlled media seems convinced that things are going to get even worse.  For example, the following comes from a CNBC article entitled “Stock sell-off accelerates and is expected to get worse before it gets better”

Stock investors focused on new worries about the coronavirus and economy, selling into a market Monday that was already technically shaken and set for further declines.

I looked for evidence that would back up the assertion that the market is “set for further declines” in the remainder of that article, but I didn’t see any.

Without a doubt, I definitely agree that stock prices have a long, long way to fall, but there is no reason why they couldn’t bounce back for the rest of this week.

So it seems odd that CNBC would be so dogmatic.

And USA Today just posted an article that suggested that we are facing “a looming global financial crisis”…

“Massive fiscal and monetary policy stimulus” that came together to prop up the economy has caused debt to balloon and stocks to become potentially overvalued, posing “the serious risk of a looming global financial crisis as central banks begin to shift away from easy (monetary) policy at some point in the years to come.”

Once again, I definitely agree that a global financial crisis could erupt at any time.

But normally we don’t see the mainstream media using such language.

At this point, we are less than a month and a half away from the election, and many have suggested that uncertainty about the outcome could weigh heavily on the market.  In fact, CNN is telling us that we should anticipate “that volatility will be high” during the period surrounding election day…

Market experts have warned that volatility will be high toward the end of the year and around the election, especially because many expect the winner won’t be known immediately.

Could it be possible that there will be an attempt to disrupt the market in an attempt to make one of the candidates look bad?

I know that would sound absurd during normal times, but these are definitely not normal times.

And ultra-wealthy insiders definitely seem to believe that something is coming, because they have been selling stocks like crazy recently.  According to Zero Hedge, “during the week ended September 11, insiders sold $473 million in shares while only buying $9.5 million.”

I don’t know about you, but those numbers definitely got my attention.

Of course stock prices should have never, ever gotten so high in the first place.  The unprecedented market rally that we have witnessed in 2020 has occurred during a time when we have actually plunged into a new economic depression.  Almost every day I share more horrific economic numbers with my readers, and here are some more from the New York Post

Nearly 90 percent of New York City bar and restaurant owners couldn’t pay their rent in August, heightening the continued crush the coronavirus shutdown has inflicted on Gotham’s economy.

Eighty-seven percent of bars, restaurants, nightclubs and event spaces in the five boroughs could not pay their full August rent, according to data from 457 businesses surveyed between Aug. 25 and Sept. 11, in a new study released Monday by the nonprofit NYC Hospitality Alliance.

How in the world can anyone possibly use the phrase “economic recovery” when we are seeing numbers like that?

We have never seen an economic downturn of this magnitude in all of modern American history, and many believe that what we have experienced so far is just the beginning.

With each passing day, we see more societal turmoil in the headlines, and the upcoming election threatens to bring our societal tensions to a thundering crescendo.

In such an environment, a huge stock market crash would not be surprising at all, and some are suggesting that the shove that pushes us over the edge could actually happen on purpose.  In his most recent video, Greg Mannarino warned that the upcoming financial crash “is going to be epic”, and he told his audience that our largest financial institutions could collapse the market any time that they want

“They can crush the global economy or the market. The global economy, which is the middle class, is already crushed, ok. They can destroy the stock market like this [snaps fingers.] And you can see it playing out right now. So all to of this is more than likely going to get brushed under the rug as it always does,” Mannarino says of the banks controlling the world.

It is not unusual for pundits such as Mannarino to make such bold predictions, but what alarms me is that the mainstream media is also strongly suggesting that a market crash is coming.

Even if the mainstream media is not attempting to do it on purpose, their words can become a self-fulfilling prophecy as countless investors spooked by their reports pull money out of the marketplace.

Sadly, this is one instance in which the mainstream media will ultimately be proven correct.  Whether it happens in the immediate future or not, the truth is that we are heading for a financial meltdown that will be absolutely horrifying.

In recent months, the Federal Reserve was able to reinflate our financial bubbles one more time, and hordes of investors eagerly jumped aboard the rally train.

But now that train is in danger of being derailed, and those that do not hop off in time could find themselves plunging into a nightmarish financial abyss.

***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.

A September Stock Market Crash?

Many of us have been waiting to see what surprises the month of September would bring, and it appears that a stock market crash may be one of them.  Even the most ardent market optimists were admitting that the absurd bubble that had developed over the course of the summer was completely unsustainable, and the only real debate was over when it would finally burst.  So is this it?  Stock prices have certainly plunged quite dramatically over the last several trading sessions, but it is always possible that things could stabilize for a little while.  But whether it happens in September, October, November, December or next year, the truth is that everyone knows that a crash is coming.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell another 632 points, but that wasn’t the real story.  Far more noteworthy was the fact that the Nasdaq was down another 4.1 percent, and that means that it has now dropped a total of more than 10 percent since it hit a brand new record high last week.

Only two times since 2001 has the Nasdaq fallen more rapidly over three trading sessions.  The index is now officially in correction territory, and the losses have been staggering.  In particular, the six largest tech stocks have collectively lost more than a trillion dollars in value during this three day stretch…

The six biggest tech stocks have lost more than $1 trillion over the last three days alone, but it’s really just a dent coming off a huge rally that peaked last week.

Apple, which hit a $2 trillion market cap on Aug. 19, is down about $325 billion in that time period. Microsoft’s down $219 billion, Amazon fell $191 billion, Alphabet cratered by $135 billion, and Tesla, which fell 21% on Tuesday to mark its worst single-day loss in its history, is down $109 billion in the last three days. Finally, Facebook is off by $89 billion.

A trillion dollars is a serious amount of money.

If you had started spending a million dollars every single day when Jesus was born, you still wouldn’t have spent a trillion dollars by now.  So we are talking about a giant pile of money that is almost unimaginable.

Apple has the largest market cap of any of the tech giants, and over the past three trading days it is down a total of more than 14 percent.  That is the worst three day stretch for Apple since October 2008.

But if you want to see a real disaster, just look at what has been happening to Tesla’s stock price.  Do you remember a few days ago when I said that it would still be overvalued if it went down 90 percent?  Well, after Tuesday we only have 69 percent more to go before that actually happens

Tesla shares closed down 21.06%, making it the worst one-day loss on record. Tuesday’s drop brought the company’s market valuation to $307.7 billion. The stock has been on a tear this year, having risen around 300%, and the company is now worth more than some of the world’s largest automakers, including Toyota and Volkswagen.

It was widely assumed that Tesla would be added to the S&P 500 on Friday, and when that didn’t happen it was “a big disappointment for investors”

But while S&P Indexes announced late Friday that it was adding Etsy, an online marketplace for crafters; Teradyne (TER), a company specializing in industrial automation and robotics; and Catalent (CTLT), which develops pharmaceuticals, to the index, the absence of Tesla was a big disappointment for investors, prompting the sell-off.

But the bigger disappointment for Tesla investors will come when the general public finally realizes that a company that sold less than 100,000 vehicles and actually lost 862 million dollars last year is simply not worth 307 billion dollars.

I understand that people like to make money flipping Tesla stock, but to me the entire company is a giant mirage that will eventually collapse in spectacular fashion.

As for the market as a whole, I am not too excited about this current downturn just yet.  When CNBC asked Kristina Hooper about what we are seeing, she simply labeled it “a healthy period of consolidation after a dramatic run-up”

“Some are suggesting this is the start of another dramatic sell-off, similar to the spring of 2000 when the ‘tech bubble’ burst. I highly doubt that,” Kristina Hooper, Invesco Chief Global Market Strategist, said in an email to CNBC. “I think of this rout not so much as a correction, but as a digestion given that the NASDAQ Composite rose more than 60% from its March bottom in the course of less than six months. All In all, I think this is a healthy period of consolidation after a dramatic run-up.”

Yes, it is still entirely possible that this could turn into the big crash that everyone has been waiting for.

But I think that I will wait until the Dow falls below 25,000 before I start hyperventilating.

Of course I am among those that are entirely convinced that a stock market crash is definitely coming at some point.  At this moment in history, stock prices are absurdly overvalued.  Back in 1990, the total value of all U.S. stocks was sitting at a level that was approximately 60 percent of U.S. GDP, and these days that number has been hovering around 200 percent

In his 2007 memoir, former Federal Reserve chair Alan Greenspan wrote, referring to late 1996, that “America was turning into a shareholders’ nation”. He noted that the total value of US stock holdings had risen from 60 per cent of gross domestic product in 1990 to 120 per cent of GDP by 1996 — “a ratio topped only by Japan at the height of its 1980s bubble”.

In Japan, that ratio had jumped to 140 per cent by the end of 1989, according to the World Bank. The ratio of market capitalisation-to-GDP in the US in 2000, to the amazement of Mr Greenspan, would go on to reach that same level. Today, the market capitalisation-to-GDP ratio in the US is just shy of 200 per cent. The S&P 500 companies alone are worth about $30tn, or 150 per cent of GDP.

So that would seem to imply that stock prices could ultimately fall by more than two-thirds, although I believe in the long-term they will go a whole lot lower than that.

In the short-term, we will see what happens.  10 of the 20 worst single day percentage declines in stock market history have happened during the months of September and October, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see some huge waves of volatility during the weeks ahead.

But it is probably going to take some sort of a “trigger event” for the really big crash to happen.

That “trigger event” could happen tomorrow, or it may not happen for quite some time.  But without a doubt the market is perfectly primed for a major disaster, and it certainly won’t take too much to push it over the edge.

***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.

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.

We Have Never Seen An Economic Collapse Quite Like This, And It Is Largely A Self-Inflicted Wound

The rate at which the U.S. economy is unraveling is absolutely breathtaking.  On Thursday, we learned that another 4.4 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, and that means that a grand total of more than 26 million Americans have lost their jobs during this pandemic so far.  To get an idea of just how dramatically this record-setting unemployment spike dwarfs what we witnessed during the last recession, check out these charts.  Prior to this year, the record for new unemployment claims in a single week was just 695,800, and now each of the last five weeks has been at least four times larger than that old record.  And as I discussed in an article earlier today, millions of those workers have absolutely no incentive to go back to work any time soon, because thanks to Congress they are bringing home more money now than when they were actually working.  So even if efforts are made to return the economy “to normal”, millions of workers will want to stay home until the $600 per week “unemployment bonus” finally expires.  The sad thing is that this new economic crisis is largely a self-inflicted wound, and I will explain why that is true later in this article.

But first let’s talk about where things currently stand.  Based on the unemployment claim numbers that we have been seeing, experts are now projecting that the current rate of unemployment in the U.S. “is about 16 percent”

With a labor force that totals about 162 million people, the claims figures suggest the unemployment rate is about 16 percent, or roughly one in six Americans — significantly higher than the 10 percent peak seen during the 2008 financial crisis. The previous one-week high for jobless claims was 695,800 in 1982.

For a long time I have been warning that the next crisis would make the last recession look like a Sunday picnic, and now that has actually happened.

In addition to an unprecedented number of initial claims for unemployment benefits, we have also absolutely smashed the all-time record for the number of “continuing claims”

A person who has filed an “initial claim” for Unemployment Insurance (UI) and still doesn’t have a job a week later is added to “insured unemployment.” The number of the “insured unemployed” – often called “continued claims” – skyrocketed to 15.98 million, by far the highest in the history of the data series. The high before this Covid-19 era was 6.63 million in May of 2009.

And now that Congress has given workers a tremendous financial incentive to stay unemployed, the number of “continuing claims” is likely to keep going higher with each passing week.

Of course this isn’t just happening in the United States.  Over in Europe, business activity is falling at the fastest pace ever recorded

“The eurozone economy suffered the steepest falls in business activity and employment ever recorded during April as a result of measures taken to contain the coronavirus outbreak,” it said.

The company’s purchasing manager’s index (PMI) dived to a record low of 13.5 in April, from the previous all-time low of 29.7 in March, confirming private sector gloom that is savaging the 19-nation eurozone.

To put those numbers in perspective, any reading below 50 indicates a contraction.

Needless to say, these absolutely horrific statistics are the result of the coronavirus lockdowns, but were these lockdowns actually necessary in the first place?

As I discussed yesterday, the only reason why any sort of a lockdown should be implemented is if the hospitals in a particular area are being overwhelmed, because if people are unable to get medical treatment that could definitely push the ultimate death toll from the pandemic higher than it otherwise would have been.

But in most parts of the U.S. and Europe right now, hospitals are not being even close to overwhelmed.

Keeping everyone at home is not going to defeat this virus or end this pandemic.  When you are dealing with a virus that spreads from person to person this easily, there is no way that you are going to contain it.  In fact, the U.S. just had 31,900 newly confirmed cases in the 24 hour period that just ended even though most of the nation has already been locked down for weeks.

Yes, these lockdowns have temporarily slowed down the spread of the virus, but the lockdowns have also extended the duration of this pandemic.  Ultimately, this pandemic is never going to be over until it sweeps through the population and “herd immunity” is achieved.  And as I discussed yesterday, 70 to 90 percent of the population is going to have to develop antibodies in order to get to that point.

And if you are waiting for a “vaccine” to get us out of this mess, you are going to be waiting for a very, very long time.  There has never been a successful vaccine for any coronavirus in all of human history, and the task of trying to develop one for COVID-19 has become exceedingly more difficult now that scientists have discovered that there are 30 different strains of the virus.

So the truth is that this outbreak is going to rip through our population, and nothing that our politicians can do will be able to stop that from happening.

But the good news is that new numbers from New York seem to indicate that we are closer to “herd immunity” than we previously thought…

Preliminary results from New York’s first coronavirus antibody study show nearly 14 percent tested positive, meaning they had the virus at some point and recovered, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday. That equates to 2.7 million infections statewide — more than 10 times the state’s confirmed cases.

The study, part of Cuomo’s “aggressive” antibody testing launched earlier this week, is based on 3,000 random samples from 40 locations in 19 counties. While the preliminary data suggests much more widespread infection, it means New York’s mortality rate is much lower than previously thought.

However, another study that was conducted in L.A. County found that only 4 percent of their residents had developed antibodies, and that is probably more representative of the nation as a whole.

In any event, everyone agrees that the vast majority of the U.S. population has not developed antibodies, and that means that there will be many more cases and many more deaths in the months ahead.

And that is going to happen no matter how our politicians respond to this crisis.

So as long as our hospitals are not being overwhelmed, there isn’t a need for any lockdowns.  The final case total and the final death toll will be roughly the same whether there are lockdowns or not.

But these lockdowns are definitely killing our economy, and tens of millions of American workers now find themselves unemployed.

And if we continue to try to keep the U.S. economy shut down for a few more months, the economic damage will be incalculable.

Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying.  I am not saying that we should sacrifice lives in order to save the economy.  What I am saying is that about the same number of people are eventually going to die whether we have the lockdowns or not.  And if we can’t handle this, how in the world are we going to deal with what else is coming?

If you are elderly, have a compromised immune system or are in some other high risk group, you are going to have to quarantine yourself for the foreseeable future, but that would be true whether there are lockdowns or not.  The mortality rates for high risk groups are much, much higher than for the general population as a whole, and the danger is very real.

But everyone else should be allowed to get back to work, because most of the population is eventually going to catch this virus no matter what we do.  As long as our hospitals can handle it, we should proceed with life as normal.

Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen.  Most of the current lockdowns are going to remain in place for quite some time, and this new economic depression is just going to get deeper and deeper.

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.

The UN Is Now Admitting That This Coronavirus Pandemic Could Spark Famines Of “Biblical Proportions”

What the head of the UN’s World Food Program just said should be making front page headlines all over the globe.  Because if what he is claiming is true, we are about to see global food shortages on a scale that is absolutely unprecedented in modern history.  Even before COVID-19 arrived, armies of locusts the size of major cities were voraciously eating crops all across Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia, and UN officials were loudly warning about what that would mean for global food production.  And now the coronavirus shutdowns that have been implemented all over the planet have brought global trade to a standstill, they are making it more difficult to maintain normal food production operations, and they have forced countless workers to stay home and not earn a living.  All of this adds up to a recipe for a complete and utter nightmare in the months ahead.

David Beasley is the head of the UN’s World Food Program, and on Tuesday he warned that we could actually see famines of “biblical proportions” by the end of this calendar year.  The following comes from ABC News

The coronavirus pandemic could soon double hunger, causing famines of “biblical proportions” around the world by the end of the year, the head of the World Food Programme, David Beasley, told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday.

Beasley warned that analysis from the World Food Programme, the U.N.’s food-assistance branch, shows that because of the coronavirus, “an additional 130 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of 2020. That’s a total of 265 million people.”

He described what we are facing as “a hunger pandemic”, and he insisted that urgent action must be taken in order to avoid a nightmare scenario.

But in some parts of the globe a nightmare scenario is already unfolding.  For example, close to half the population of South Sudan is currently facing starvation, and for many of them the only food that is available is what gets dropped from the sky

The villagers hear the distant roar of jet engines before a cargo plane makes a deafening pass over Mogok, dropping sacks of grain from its hold to the marooned dust bowl below.

There is no other way to get food to this starving hamlet in South Sudan. There are no roads, and the snaking Nile is miles away.

Over in South Africa, the “chronic food shortages” have already become so severe that they are starting to spark rioting, looting and civil unrest…

UNREST broke out in parts of South Africa amid chronic food shortages sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

Looters raided shops, attacked each other, the army and police after breaching one of the strictest lockdowns in the world.

Police fired rubber bullets and teargas to disperse the mobs but local community leaders fear more outbreaks of violence are imminent.

Here in the western world we don’t have to worry about such things yet, but without a doubt the number of needy people is rapidly rising.

This past Saturday, vehicles literally began lining up at 2 AM in the morning for a food distribution event at the San Antonio Food Bank

The San Antonio Food Bank teamed up with Atascosa County to feed meals and hope to hundreds of people Saturday morning. Vehicles began to line up around 2 AM Saturday outside the county courthouse, winding through neighborhoods at least two miles away.

I have never heard of people lining up so early before.

I have heard of vehicles lining up at the crack of dawn around the country in recent days, but 2 AM is absolutely nuts.

But these people realize that when the food is gone there will be no more handouts that day, and there are many that are absolutely desperate to get something to feed their families.

As this coronavirus pandemic has created an enormous amount of fear all over the country, empty shelves have been reported in frozen food sections all over the nation, and the fact that an increasing number of meat processing plants are being temporarily closed down is certainly not helping things.  According to CBS News, at least 17 meat processing plants in the United States have been shut down so far…

Coronavirus infections in at least 17 meat processing plants across nine states are contributing to a spike in confirmed cases in the Midwest. Although 13 plants are already closed temporarily or operating at reduced capacity, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says shutting down plants would hurt farmers and the national food supply.

In a desperate attempt to keep as many facilities in her state open as possible, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has enlisted the help of the National Guard

Hundreds of National Guard personnel are being activated in Iowa as coronavirus sweeps through meat-processing plants in a state that accounts for about a third of U.S. pork supply.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said 250 National Guard members have been moved to full-time federal duty status and could help with testing and contact tracing for workers at plants operated by Tyson Foods Inc. and National Beef Packing Co.

The good news is that authorities are telling us that any product shortages should just be temporary and that all of these processing plants will eventually be brought back on line.

But for the planet as a whole, life is not going to be getting back to “normal” any time soon.

In fact, Takeshi Kasai of the World Health Organization is warning that we need to accept “a new way of living” until a vaccine finally arrives

“At least until a vaccine, or a very effective treatment, is found, this process will need to become our new normal,” he said.

“Individuals and society need to be ready for a new way of living.”

But now that scientists have discovered approximately 30 different strains of this virus, that is going to greatly complicate matters.

Coming up with a successful vaccine for any coronavirus would be a historic feat, and now scientists also have to hope that they will pick the particular strain of COVID-19 that will become dominant in the future.

And of course many people around the globe will not want to take any vaccine that is developed under any circumstances.

So those that are thinking that there will be an easy way out of this crisis are likely to be deeply disappointed.

Meanwhile, the global economic downturn is getting deeper with each passing day, and global food supplies are getting tighter and tighter.

A global famine is coming, and the UN is sounding the alarm.

Unfortunately, most people in the western world are still not listening.

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.

Killed By The Coronavirus Lockdowns: 1000s Of U.S. Businesses That Were Shut Down Will Be Closed Permanently

This economic downturn is turning out to be far deeper and far more severe than most experts were originally anticipating.  More than 22 million Americans have filed claims for unemployment benefits, and economists are telling us that the U.S. economy is contracting at the fastest rate that we have seen since the Second World War.  We are already starting to see some high profile companies move toward bankruptcy, but the real story is what is happening to thousands upon thousands of small and mid-size businesses because of the lockdowns.  Many of them were barely surviving even before this pandemic, and now these lockdowns have delivered a death blow.

The restaurant industry is a perfect example.  Prior to the pandemic, there were more than a million restaurants in the United States, and about half of them were independent.  Those independent restaurants employed approximately 11 million workers, and now the vast majority of those workers have been laid off.

Once the lockdowns are over, it would be wonderful if all of those independent restaurants would spring back to life, but the results of a recent survey suggest that simply is not going to happen.  In fact, that survey found that 28 percent of all independent restaurants are probably not going to survive if the lockdowns last for another month…

A survey released Thursday by the James Beard Association found independent restaurants laid off 91% of their hourly employees and nearly 70% of salaried employees as of April 13 – double-digit increases in both categories since March. The poll of 1,400 small and independent restaurants found 38% of have closed temporarily or permanently, and 77% have seen their sales drop in half or worse.

Perhaps most troubling: 28% of restaurants said they don’t believe they can survive another month of closure, and only 1 out of 5 are certain they can sustain their businesses until normal operations can resume.

28 percent of 500,000 is 140,000, and so if these lockdowns are not lifted soon we could be facing a scenario is which tens of thousands of independent restaurants are lost forever.

Of course a lot of restaurants that do reopen will face a really tough struggle because fear of the coronavirus is going to keep customers away for the foreseeable future.  So even if all of the lockdowns were lifted tomorrow, the restaurant industry would still not fully recover.

Sadly, the same could be said for the fitness industry.  In fact, we just learned that one of the biggest fitness chains in the nation is getting ready to file for bankruptcy

Gym chain 24 Hour Fitness is working with advisors at investment bank Lazard and law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges to weigh options including a bankruptcy that could come as soon as the next few months, people familiar with the matter tell CNBC.

The chain is grappling with a heavy debt load, deteriorating performance and a coronavirus pandemic that forced it to shut its more than 400 clubs.

Yes, a certain segment of the population is quite eager to resume all of their normal pre-pandemic activities, but even a 20 or 30 percent drop off in revenue will be fatal for many gyms.

And the truth is that a lot of people are simply not going to be in the mood to share exercise equipment with others for a long time to come.

The entertainment, tourism and retail industries have also been hit extremely hard by this pandemic.  The other day I was quite stunned when I learned that Neiman Marcus “is reportedly ready to file bankruptcy”

Neiman Marcus Group, one of the largest retailers in the United States, is reportedly ready to file bankruptcy amid the COVD-19 pandemic after defaulting millions in bond payments last week and furloughing 14,000 employees.

Neiman Marcus would become the first major US department store to crumble amidst the economic set backs from the coronavirus outbreak.

No, things are definitely not going to be returning to “normal” in America, and there will be a lot more big corporate names among the victims in the days to come.

At this point, even some of the most prominent corporations in the entire country are “indefinitely” sidelining their workers

Indefinite furloughs began this weekend for more than 100,000 Disney, Best Buy and CarMax workers as businesses make cuts to survive the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent mandatory closures.

But most Americans are not in any position to handle “indefinite furloughs”.

In fact, one survey discovered that a whopping 50 percent of all Americans will run through their savings “by the end of April”

One of the largest concerns on most homeowners minds right now is how they are going to pay bills — specifically their monthly mortgage payments. 50% of Americans reported their savings will run out by the end of April. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, 30% of homeowners had less than $1,000 in an emergency fund, with 22% reporting they didn’t have enough in savings to cover their mortgage payment for one month.

Just like during the last recession, countless numbers of Americans will go from living a comfortable middle class lifestyle to being desperately needy in just a matter of weeks.

I have been writing a lot about the absolutely massive lines that we have been seeing at food banks all over the nation, and we just witnessed another example in Miami.  In one of the wealthiest areas of the entire city, vehicles were lined up for a mile as people waited patiently to receive handouts from a local food bank…

Talk about a Norman Rockwell painting idea come to life — a parade of cars filled with hungry people in Miami … smack dab in the middle of two of the city’s ritziest hotels.

Check out this surreal scene down in Miami Beach, where a MILE-long line of cars were arranged in a giant U-curve in between the W Hotel and Setai Hotel — two of MB’s most high-end go-to spots for celebrity out-of-towners … like Kim K, Justin Bieber and more.

You can see photos from that event right here, and if you look closely you will see that some of those vehicles are quite nice.

As I have warned so many times over the years, if you don’t have any sort of a financial cushion you can “suddenly” find yourself in a whole lot of trouble when disaster finally strikes.

Unfortunately, we have now entered a time when there will be one crisis after another, and every new crisis will significantly escalate our woes.

For a very long time, there have been very loud warnings that our debt-fueled economic bubble would burst, and now it has happened.

The road ahead is going to be filled with immense pain, and most Americans are not going to be able to handle 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 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.

U.S. Economy Contracting “At Its Sharpest Pace Since World War Two” And “The Worst Is Yet To Come”

Fear of COVID-19 has unleashed economic chaos on a scale that has already surpassed anything that we witnessed during the last recession, and as you will see below, we are now being warned that “the worst is yet to come”.  Many Americans are hoping that things can start to return to normal as the U.S. economy “reopens” in the weeks ahead, but the truth is that we are still in the very early chapters of this crisis.  In fact, it is being estimated that we are only one-tenth of the way through this pandemic, and by “flattening the curve” we have actually extended the economic pain.  You see, the truth is that most Americans are going to end up catching this virus one way or another.  All of the “shelter-in-place” orders have temporarily slowed down the spread of this coronavirus, but once they are lifted it is inevitable that we will see new waves of people becoming infected.  And if you think that a vaccine will be the golden ticket that gets us out of this mess, you might want to reconsider that belief, because there has never been a successful vaccine for any coronavirus.  Of course it is possible that scientists could come up with something this time around, but if the virus mutates significantly that could render any potential vaccine absolutely useless.

In the days ahead, there will be a tremendous amount of debate about the correct way to fight this virus, but meanwhile the U.S. economy will continue to deteriorate.

In fact, Reuters is reporting that economists are now projecting that the U.S. economy is contracting “at its sharpest pace since World War Two”…

The deepening economic slump was also amplified by other data on Thursday showing manufacturing activity in the mid-Atlantic region plunged to levels last seen in 1980 and homebuilding tumbling by the most in 36 years in March.

The reports followed dismal reports on Wednesday of a record drop in retail sales in March and the biggest decline in factory output since 1946. Economists are predicting the economy, which they believe is already in recession, contracted in the first quarter at its sharpest pace since World War Two.

Yesterday, I documented the fact that we are in the midst of the largest tsunami of job losses in U.S. history by a very wide margin.

In fact, we are absolutely obliterating the old records, and that truly puts us in unchartered territory.  And as bad as things have already gotten, one prominent expert told Reuters that “the worst is yet to come”…

Economists are estimating the economy contracted as much as 10.8% in the first quarter, which would be the steepest drop in gross domestic product since 1947. They say the massive fiscal package will likely provide little cushion for the economy.

“The economy is in a downward spiral where job losses beget job losses and the federal government emergency relief checks will not be enough to turn the tide,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York. “The recovery is looking less V-shaped by the day as the deeper we fall, the harder it will be for the nation to climb back out of this deep hole the pandemic has dug for the economy. The worst is yet to come.”

As areas around the country start “reopening for business”, some of the jobs that were lost will come back.

But the truth is that millions of those jobs are gone permanently, and large numbers of the businesses that were closed down will never open again.

For the foreseeable future, a lot of Americans are going to avoid going to restaurants, bars, movie theaters, shopping malls and other businesses that require close human interaction.  One expert that was interviewed by the Los Angeles Times says that for the next few years we need to accept the fact that the world “will be totally different than what we are used to”…

“The world that we are going to live in for at least the next two to three years will be totally different than what we are used to,” said Sung Won Sohn, president of SS Economics and professor at Loyola Marymount University.

“Because of the psychological shock that we have experienced, we are going to be more cautious, and we will probably spend less and save more, and we will have fewer contacts with other individuals,” he said. “We are going to be suspicious about things, [such as] whether people we are meeting have the virus and will the economy fall back down again.”

The fear that this pandemic has created is going to be with us for a very long time, and it is going to cause enormous shifts in economic behavior even after the U.S. starts “reopening”.

In an environment like this, very few people are buying vehicles, the housing market is already imploding all over the nation, and retailers are having a very difficult time envisioning any sort of a positive future for their industry at this point.

But at least we will all be getting big, fat socialist bailout checks from the government, right?

Actually, they won’t be that big, and for most Americans the checks will only get them through about one month.

So once that money is gone, will the federal government send us another round of “universal basic income” checks?

Now that they have gone down this rabbit hole, the federal government is in danger of sparking civil unrest if they don’t keep the checks coming.  In fact, Jim Rickards is entirely convinced that large scale “social disorder” is on the way…

Looting, burglary and violence in the midst of a state of emergency are the shape of things to come.

The veneer of civilization is paper-thin and easily torn. Most people don’t realize how fragile it is. But they’re going to learn that lesson, I’m afraid.

Expect social disorder to get worse long before it gets better.

Unfortunately, Rickards is right on point, and I have also been warning about “great civil unrest” for a very long time.  The delicately balanced debt-fueled prosperity that we had been enjoying for so many years has now been shattered, and things are going to get really ugly in this country.

And this coronavirus pandemic is not going away any time soon.  Over the last 24 hours, the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. has jumped by more than 30,000 and the death toll has risen by more than 2,400 even though most of the nation is currently shut down.

Ending the lockdowns will give a boost to the economy, but it will also cause the virus to start spreading faster, and once that happens we could see another round of lockdowns.

In the end, our battle with COVID-19 will not be over until the virus has swept through most of the population, and we are not going to reach that point for quite a while.

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.

This Is The Worst Employment Collapse In U.S. History By A Very Wide Margin

We have never seen an “employment apocalypse” in the United States like we are witnessing right now, and it is not going to end any time soon.  Over the past several days, “coronavirus shutdowns” have officially been extended all over the nation, and the longer these shutdowns last the more jobs our economy is going to lose.  And because most Americans were living paycheck to paycheck before this pandemic hit us, many unemployed workers are already unable to pay their bills.  Yes, our authorities may be slowing down the spread of the virus, but in the process they have absolutely killed the economy.  On Thursday, I was stunned to learn that another 5.2 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment benefits last week.  That brings the grand total for the last four weekly reports “to a staggering 22 million”

About 5.2 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday.  Jobless claims provide the best measure of layoffs across the country. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had estimated that 5.5 million Americans would file initial applications for unemployment insurance last week.

That brings the total claims over the past four weeks to a staggering 22 million. By comparison, the labor market added 21.5 million jobs since the Great Recession.

Just think about that.

22 million jobs wiped out in one month.

And the true number of jobs lost is actually even higher, because not everyone that loses a job files for unemployment benefits.

Prior to this year, the highest number of initial claims for unemployment benefits during any four week period that we had ever witnessed was 2.7 million during the fall of 1982.

So 22 million in four weeks truly puts us in uncharted territory.  Just look at this chart.

We aren’t just beating the old records, we are absolutely obliterating them.

You know that things are really, really bad when even NBC News sounds just like The Economic Collapse Blog…

“The labor market is obviously very, very important, and has a high correlation with what is going on in the economy,” Jay Bryson, the acting chief economist at Wells Fargo, told NBC News. “It is showing us what I think we all know, that the economy is falling off a cliff at an unprecedented rate.”

In other words, the chief economist at Wells Fargo is saying that the U.S. economy is completely and utterly collapsing.

According to Zero Hedge, “we have lost 710 jobs for every confirmed US death from COVID-19 (30,985).”  Our politicians have prioritized saving lives over saving the economy, and many people out there seem convinced that was the right choice, but the economic devastation has been immense.

The socialist “stimulus payments” and unemployment benefits will help all of these unemployed workers temporarily, but the payments from the federal government are supposedly just a one time deal, and it won’t be too long before many states start running out of unemployment money

Six states — including New York, which has the highest number of cases in the US — can only fund up to 10 weeks of unemployment benefits from their state coffers before money runs out and they have to turn to the federal government for additional funding, according to a recent estimate from the Tax Foundation.

Another 15 state trust funds don’t meet the federal Department of Labor’s recommended minimum solvency standard, which requires being able to pay benefits for a year in an economic downturn similar to the Great Recession.

So what will the federal government do once we get to that point?

I imagine that Congress will eventually want to borrow and spend trillions more dollars that we don’t have, and it is likely that “conservatives” and “liberals” will both be quite eager to vote for another pork-filled bill.

But it is probably going to take some time for Congress to get through the process of passing another crazy spending package, and meanwhile deep economic suffering is erupting all over the nation.

On Thursday, vehicles were lined up for two miles in Miramar, Florida as needy individuals waited for hours to get handouts from a local food bank.  We are starting to see food lines like this all over the country, and if things are this bad already, what will things look like a few months from now?

The chief economist at Grant Thornton in Chicago is calling this “the deepest, fastest, most broad-based recession we’ve ever seen”, and I can’t argue with that assessment one bit.

For a moment, I would like for you to consider just a few of the economic news items that we have seen over the past few days…

-United Airlines has reduced its schedule of flights for May and June “by about 90%” as demand for air travel has absolutely plummeted.

-U.S. retail sales were down 8.7 percent in March.

-J.C. Penney is “considering bankruptcy”.

-Housing starts just collapsed by the most that we have seen in 36 years.

-The mayor of Los Angeles says that large gatherings in his city will likely be banned until 2021.

-Facebook has canceled all large events until June 2021.

-Chinese GDP just experienced the largest drop ever recorded.

Of course nearly every nation will soon report absolutely staggering declines in GDP.  The shutdowns have brought economic activity to a standstill all over the globe, and no region is immune.

The following is how the Daily Mail is describing the current state of global trade…

The coronavirus pandemic is crippling global trade because crews on transport ships have been stranded at sea for months and food processing plants have been forced to close, threatening to bring the world’s supply chain to a grinding halt.

Shipping workers at sea are denied entry into ports, truckers can’t get to work in some countries or are confronted with complications at borders, food plants are closing and farm harvests going to waste in the crisis.

Does that sound like a “perfect storm” to you?

Well, the truth is that it is just getting started.

Eventually this pandemic will subside, but now that all of the economic dominoes are starting to tumble it will be exceedingly difficult to reverse that momentum.

And as I pointed out the other day, most Americans are not likely to resume all of their normal daily activities once the restrictions are finally lifted, and fear of this virus is going to be a dominant economic force for the foreseeable future.

What all of this means is that we are facing incredible economic pain for the short-term, the mid-term and for a long time to come.

At this point, we should no longer speak of “economic collapse” as something that will happen in the future.

It is here.

It is now.

And it is going to get a lot worse.

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.

Will You Resume Normal Daily Activities Once The Coronavirus Restrictions Are Finally Lifted?

COVID-19 has turned all of our lives upside down, and most people are quite eager for a return to normalcy.  But as you will see below, fear of the coronavirus is going to prevent the vast majority of Americans from immediately resuming all of their normal daily activities once the coronavirus restrictions have been lifted.  Every day there are more stories in the news about prominent individuals that have died from the virus, and the chilling testimonies of those that have wrestled with the virus and survived are extremely sobering.  Yes, most people that catch this virus will ultimately recover, but the fact that tens of thousands of Americans are dying is seriously scaring a lot of people.  And even though the “shelter-in-place” orders appear to be slowing the spread of the virus to a certain extent, the official U.S. death toll has actually doubled over the past week

U.S. deaths from the novel coronavirus topped 25,000 on Tuesday, doubling in one week, according to a Reuters tally, as officials debated how to reopen the economy without reigniting the outbreak.

The United States, with the world’s third-largest population, has recorded more fatalities from COVID-19 than any other country. There were a total of nearly 597,000 U.S. cases – three times more than any other country – with nearly 2 million reported cases globally.

And according to Worldometers.info, more than 2,200 Americans have died over the last 24 hours, and that would make this the deadliest day of this pandemic so far.

So it is easy to understand why so many people out there are deeply afraid of this virus.  Most of us don’t want to die, and COVID-19 can kill you.

In recent days, there has been a whole lot of talk about “reopening America”, and many are assuming that life will start to look somewhat normal once that happens.

But Gallup just conducted a survey in which they asked people if they would be “resuming their normal daily activities” once the restrictions are lifted, and these were the results

Americans remain hesitant about resuming their normal daily activities amid the COVID-19 outbreak according to a Gallup question first asked in late March and repeated in early April.

When asked how quickly they will return to their normal activities once the government lifts restrictions and businesses and schools start to reopen, the vast majority of Americans say they would wait and see what happens with the spread of the virus (71%) and another 10% would wait indefinitely. Just 20% say they would return to their normal activities immediately.

In other words, about 80 percent of the country is going to take a hesitant approach, and that has huge implications for our economy moving forward.

Of course all of the coronavirus restrictions are not going to be lifted any time soon anyway, and this is something that I discussed yesterday.

Today, California Governor Gavin Newsom set forth six specific conditions which must be met before the restrictions will be lifted in his state…

  1. The ability to monitor and protect our communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating, and supporting those who are positive or exposed.
  2. The ability to prevent infection in people who are at risk for more severe COVID-19.
  3. The ability of the hospital and health systems to handle surges.
  4. The ability to develop therapeutics to meet the demand.
  5. The ability for businesses, schools, and child care facilities to support physical distancing.
  6. The ability to determine when to reinstitute certain measures, such as the stay-at-home orders, if necessary.

Needless to say, California may continue to be locked down for an extended period of time to come.

But the longer that these shutdowns persist, the more impatient many Americans are going to become.

Already, we are starting to see protests pop up all over the nation.  For example, just check out what is happening in Michigan

At least 15,000 cars and trucks are expected to descend on Michigan’s state capital on Wednesday to protest what they’re calling Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s tyrannical new guidelines to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus in the state.

The so-called “drive-by” demonstration – in order to maintain social distancing — aims to bring traffic to a gridlock in Lansing and protest the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order by Whitmer, a Democrat, mandating what businesses could stay home, what some businesses could sell and ordering people in her state against any gatherings – no matter the size or family ties.

I am seeing a lot of anger out there right now.  Business owners, workers and entrepreneurs are not being allowed to make a living and provide for their families, and I can certainly understand their frustration.

And the longer that things are shut down, the worse this economic downturn is going to become.  At this point, the IMF is projecting the worst performance for the global economy since the Great Depression of the 1930s

The global economy will this year likely suffer the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, as governments worldwide grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Washington-based organization now expects the global economy to contract by 3% in 2020. By contrast, in January it had forecast a global GDP (gross domestic product) expansion of 3.3% for this year.

Actually, I believe that the IMF’s projection is way too optimistic.

If global GDP only declines by 3 percent in 2020, that should be considered a rip-roaring success.

Now that the U.S. has become the epicenter for this pandemic, our nation is being hit particularly hard economically, and we are being warned that more than 2,000 cities “are anticipating major budget shortfalls this year”

More than 2,100 U.S. cities are anticipating major budget shortfalls this year and many are planning to slash programs and cut staff in response, according to a new survey of local officials released Tuesday, illustrating the widespread financial havoc threatened by the coronavirus pandemic.

The bleak outlook — shared by local governments representing roughly 93 million people nationwide — led some top mayors and other leaders to call for greater federal aid to protect cities now forced to choose between balancing their cash-strapped ledgers and sustaining the public services that residents need most.

Of course this is just only the beginning of the end.  All of the economic and financial bubbles are bursting, and this is going to cause severe distress on the national, state, local and community levels.

And as long as COVID-19 is still spreading somewhere, fear of the coronavirus is going to cause a lot of people to greatly alter their normal economic patterns.

So the truth is that we have a very long and very painful road ahead of us, and the months to come are going to make the last recession look like a Sunday picnic.

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.

Now They Are Telling Us That Life In America Will Definitely Not Be Returning To Normal “For The Foreseeable Future”

If you thought that this pandemic would pass quickly and that life in America would soon return to “normal”, I am afraid that you are in for quite a shock.  Some of the restrictions currently in place will eventually be lifted, and efforts will be made to get people back to work, but life is still going to be radically different from what we had become accustomed to before COVID-19 started sweeping across the globe.  Authorities are telling us that there may be “rolling shutdowns” for up to 18 months, that social distancing guidelines will be necessary for a long time to come, and that this crisis will not ultimately be resolved until they can inject everyone with a vaccine.  If all of this greatly alarms you, please be assured that you are not alone.

In recent days there has been a tremendous amount of debate about when to “reopen the U.S. economy”, and organizations all along the political spectrum have drafted plans for how to do that.

Ezra Klein actually read quite a few of those plans, and he discovered that none of them would return our lives to normal “for the foreseeable future”

Over the past few days, I’ve been reading the major plans for what comes after social distancing. You can read them, too. There’s one from the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, the left-leaning Center for American Progress, Harvard University’s Safra Center for Ethics, and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer.

I thought, perhaps naively, that reading them would be a comfort — at least then I’d be able to imagine the path back to normal. But it wasn’t. In different ways, all these plans say the same thing: Even if you can imagine the herculean political, social, and economic changes necessary to manage our way through this crisis effectively, there is no normal for the foreseeable future. Until there’s a vaccine, the United States either needs economically ruinous levels of social distancing, a digital surveillance state of shocking size and scope, or a mass testing apparatus of even more shocking size and intrusiveness.

Over and over again, a “vaccine” is being touted as the golden ticket that will get us out of this mess.

The head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Neel Kashkari, is another prominent voice that is warning that there won’t be a return to normalcy until a vaccine comes along.  And until that time comes, he believes that we are potentially facing “an 18-month strategy of rolling shutdowns”

Kashkari, while acknowledging the downside of what a prolonged shutdown could mean for the economy, said the U.S., “barring some health-care miracle,” is looking at an 18-month strategy of rolling shutdowns based on what has happened in other countries.

“We could have these waves of flare-ups, controls, flare-ups and controls, until we actually get a therapy or a vaccine,” he said. “We need to find ways of getting the people who are healthy, who are at lower risk, back to work and then providing the assistance to those who are most at risk, who are going to need to be quarantined or isolated for the foreseeable future.”

In other words, Kashkari believes that all or part of the nation will be shut down over and over again whenever the number of coronavirus cases starts to spike too high.

Of course the WHO is eagerly looking forward to global vaccination as well, and the head of the WHO just told the media that he believes that this virus is ten times deadlier than the swine flu pandemic of 2009…

Coronavirus is ten times deadlier than the 2009 swine flu pandemic and a vaccine will be needed to halt it, the World Health Organisation has said.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing from Geneva the organisation was constantly learning about the bug sweeping the globe.

Over and over again, officials are telling us that we are facing an 18 month timeframe until a vaccine will be ready.  Just check out what New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said during his press conference earlier today…

On Monday, governor Cuomo was joined on a conference call by the other Northeast governors. The recovery must be careful, incremental and guided by experts rather than politics, Cuomo said, and the pandemic won’t be truly “over” until a vaccine is available, which could take as long as 18 months. Ideally, a plan would also involve widespread testing, he said, to allow those without the virus – and those who have recovered and may now be resistant to it – to return to work first.

By the time 18 months goes by, most of the general population will be so desperate to feel safe from this virus that they will race out to get the vaccine as fast as they possibly can.

And until then, we can expect economic conditions to steadily deteriorate.

Yes, hopefully most businesses in the country will be allowed to reopen in a matter of weeks, but that doesn’t mean that the customers will come back.

Prior to this pandemic, we were already witnessing the worst “retail apocalypse” in U.S. history, and now one research firm is warning that an all-time record 15,000 stores could be permanently shuttered in 2020

Coresight Research predicts that 15,000 U.S. stores will permanently close this year, setting a new record and nearly doubling its earlier forecast of 8,000 store closings.

‘Retail has hung a closed sign on the door literally and metaphorically,’ Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, said.

Pretty soon, our communities are going to be absolutely littered with abandoned buildings, and “space available” signs will start popping up everywhere.

Meanwhile, millions upon millions of U.S. consumers will be falling on very hard times.  We are in the midst of the greatest spike in unemployment in all of American history, and the number of people taking advantage of the federal government’s mortgage forbearance program has gone through the roof

With unemployment claims hitting nearly 17 million over the last three weeks, the number of Americans applying for the government’s mortgage forbearance program under the COVID-19 relief plan spiked 73% for the week ending April 5 vs. the previous week – jumping from 2.73% to 3.74%, according to new data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

For context, the total number of loans in forbearance was just 0.25% for the week of March 2 – an increase of 1,496% in just six weeks, with the number of borrowers in forbearance now topping 2 million according to CNBC.

Realizing that we are on the verge of another massive wave of mortgage defaults, mortgage lenders all over the nation are rapidly tightening standards.  JPMorgan is just one example

Over the weekend our skepticism was confirmed when Reuters reported that JPMorgan, the country’s largest lender by assets and which will kick off earnings season tomorrow, will raise borrowing standards this week for most new home loans as the bank “moves to mitigate lending risk stemming from the novel coronavirus disruption.”

Starting Tuesday, customers applying for a new mortgage will need a credit score of at least 700, and will be required to make a down payment equal to 20% of the home’s value (something which we thought was the norm after the last financial crisis, but apparently lending conditions had eased quite a bit in the past decade).

For a very long time I have been warning that the flow of credit would get really tight when the next crisis hit.

Now we are here, and Americans are going to have a much harder time getting loans to buy homes, vehicles or anything else.

Everything that I have been warning about in my books is beginning to transpire, and a tremendous amount of pain is ahead.

My hope is that all of the pain that is ahead will cause a mass awakening and America will turn in a more positive direction.

But to most people, the immediate future looks really bleak right now, and that is not going to change any time soon.

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.

Deep Economic Suffering Has Erupted All Over America, But Guess Who The Federal Reserve Is Helping?

As millions upon millions of Americans lose their jobs in the greatest wave of unemployment in U.S. history, the Federal Reserve has decided that now is the time to spend trillions of newly created dollars in a desperate attempt to protect financial asset values.  In other words, as much of the country suddenly plunges into poverty, the Federal Reserve is working exceedingly hard to protect the wealth of the elite.  Approximately fifty percent of all stock market wealth is owned by the wealthiest one percent of all Americans, and the amount of stock market wealth owned by the poorest 50 percent of all Americans is so small that it really doesn’t matter.  And those running the Fed certainly understand that their reckless policies will create very painful inflation that will hit average American families extremely hard, but they don’t seem to care.  At this point, they figure that asset values must be protected at all costs, and that is going to continue to expand the absolutely massive gap between the rich and the poor in this country.

Over the past 3 weeks, more than 16 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits.

Prior to this year, the highest number that we had ever seen in any 3 week span in all of American history was about 2 million.

It is a collapse of unprecedented magnitude, and things have already gotten so bad that even “the Happiest Place on Earth” is conducting mass layoffs

Walt Disney World Resort will furlough 43,000 union workers while its theme parks remain closed as authorities restrict large gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Service Trades Council Union.

Because most U.S. workers live paycheck to paycheck, many of the newly unemployed have fallen on hard times very rapidly.  Food banks all over the nation are seeing an alarming surge in demand, and in many cities people are literally lining up before the sun rises in order to ensure that they will get some food

In many cities, lines outside food pantries have become glaring symbols of financial precarity, showing how quickly the pandemic has devastated working people’s finances.

In San Antonio, 10,000 families began arriving before dawn on Thursday at a now-shuttered swap meet hall to receive boxes of food. Normally, 200 to 400 families might show up during a normal food distribution.

For many other similar examples, please see my previous article entitled “America’s ‘Food Lines’ Are Being Measured In Miles As Desperation Sets In All Over The Country”.  Yes, things got bad during the last recession, but they were never as bad as we are witnessing now.  In fact, the CEO of Feeding America says that demand is already at the highest level that she has ever seen

‘I’ve never witnessed a system being more strained,’ Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot said.

‘For the first time probably in our history, we’ve had to turn some people away,’ she said, not that ‘We don’t want to do that, ever.’

Unfortunately, this economic collapse is still in the very early chapters.  If you can believe it, JPMorgan is actually projecting that U.S. GDP “will fall by 40 percent” on an annualized basis during the second quarter

According to CNBC, JPMorgan economists are forecasting that the GDP will fall by 40 percent through the spring months. They also predict unemployment will reach 20 percent in April, with 25 million jobs lost overall.

Such a drop would be, by far, the worst in U.S. history. For context, according to Credit Suisse (via Business Insider), the worst quarterly drop of the 2008 crash was 8.4 percent.

And even once the “shelter-in-place” orders are finally lifted, that will not mean that things will go back to normal.  As Nobel-prize winning economist Robert Shiller has noted, fear of the coronavirus is going to cause many Americans to avoid restaurants, sporting events and other businesses where public interaction is required for a long time to come…

“The shortage of supplies is generating horrible news stories that put us all on edge,” said Shiller. “It may mean people won’t go to restaurants or sporting events in good numbers for years. You know the disease might not well be eradicated for several years from now.”

So the truth is that we are heading into a very deep economic depression, and the economic suffering in this country is going to be off the charts.

As events have begun to spiral out of control, the Federal Reserve has sprung into action on a scale unlike anything that we have ever seen before, and this has pushed the Fed’s balance sheet above 6 trillion dollars

The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet increased to a record $6.13 trillion this week as the central bank used its nearly unlimited buying power to soak up assets and keep markets functioning smoothly, even as efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic cut deeply into employment and economic output.

In the four weeks since the Fed slashed interest rates to zero, restarted bond purchases and rolled out an unprecedented range of programs to limit the economic damage from the outbreak, the central bank’s balance sheet has jumped by about $1.7 trillion.

Let me try to put those numbers in perspective.

During QE3, the Fed’s balance sheet increased by 1.7 trillion dollars over the course of an entire year, and now the Fed has achieved that same feat in just four weeks.

What the Fed is doing is completely and utterly insane, but to a certain extent it is working.

Even though we are in the midst of the most dramatic unemployment spike in American history, last week was the best week for the stock market in decades thanks to the Fed.

Isn’t that nuts?

I know that this also sounds incredibly absurd, but last week’s surge actually pushed P/E values back near record highs.

In other words, stock prices are incredibly overvalued at this moment.

And if everything that we have already witnessed was not enough, on Thursday the Fed announced that it will now be spending trillions of dollars to voraciously buy up bonds of all types

The Federal Reserve is not leaving any corner of the U.S. bond market behind in this crisis.

There’s no other way to interpret the central bank’s sweeping measures announced Thursday, which together provide as much as $2.3 trillion in loans to support the economy. It will wade into the $3.9 trillion U.S. municipal-bond market to an unprecedented degree, can now purchase “fallen angel” bonds from companies that have recently lost their investment-grade ratings, and has expanded its Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility to include top-rated commercial mortgage-backed securities and collateralized loan obligations.

In other words, moving forward we will no longer have a “bond market”.  What we will have is a Fed-manipulated sham in which the Fed picks winners and losers.

Of course many believe that it is only a matter of time before the Fed starts buying stocks as well.

Those that love free markets should be absolutely disgusted by all of this, because the Fed is coming up with lots of new ways to give handouts to the very wealthy.

Meanwhile, the poor are rapidly getting poorer.

But don’t worry too much, because you will soon receive your $1,200 socialist handout from the federal government.

Try not to spend it all in one place.

Needless to say, $1,200 won’t last very long in the hands of most Americans, and one recent survey found that “63% of respondents said they will need another check within the next three months”.

Like I warned from the very beginning, these sorts of direct payments set a very dangerous precedent, and if a Democrat wins the presidency in November they may become permanent.

That may sound really good to you, but what are you going to do when it gets to the point where you have to spend 500 dollars a week just to feed your family?

At that point many of you will also be lining up at the crack of dawn to receive whatever the food banks have available to give you

Outside of Pittsburgh, Danielle Small pulled up 90 minutes early to a food distribution, but found two long rows of cars already ahead of her. Money was getting tight after her boyfriend had to take a pay cut, and she decided to make her first trip to a food bank this week.

She said the line moved efficiently as cars pulled ahead in clusters of 10. After Ms. Small, 32, received a box filled with chicken fajita strips, preserved peaches, fruit, nuts and juice, she mouthed, “Thank you,” to the volunteers and drove away.

Millions of Americans driving nice vehicles and wearing nice clothes are suddenly being forced to spend hours waiting in food lines because fear of the coronavirus has crashed our economy.

A day of reckoning has finally arrived, and a lot more pain is on the way.

Sadly, many Americans will just go along with whatever “solutions” are proposed as long as it looks like they may provide short-term relief.  What remains of our free markets is being obliterated, Congress is openly embracing socialism, and our rights are being stripped away at a staggering rate, but most people don’t seem concerned by any of this.

Most people just want the pain to end and for life to go back to normal, but that is simply not going to happen.

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.

A Massive Surge Of Unemployment Like America Has Never Seen Before

The pace at which Americans are losing their jobs is absolutely breathtaking.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the largest number of new claims for unemployment benefits ever recorded in a single week prior to this year was 695,000 during the week that ended October 2nd, 1982.  So that means that what we are now witnessing is completely unprecedented.  About half the country is currently under some sort of a “shelter-in-place” order, and there has never been a nationwide shutdown of businesses anything like what we are currently experiencing.  Many are hoping that America will be able to “get back to normal” soon, but that all depends on the progression of this pandemic.  The number of newly confirmed cases in the U.S. spiked by more than 11,000 on Wednesday, and the number of new deaths continues to escalate at a very alarming rate.  Until those numbers start to improve, life is definitely not going to “get back to normal”.

In recent days, so many newly unemployed Americans have been trying to file for unemployment benefits that it has been crashing websites all over the country.  For example, a newly unemployed worker in Michigan named Aaron Garza never was able to file for benefits through Michigan’s unemployment website although he kept on trying throughout Monday and Tuesday

When Aaron Garza was dismissed this week from his job as a parts specialist at a Toyota dealership in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he joined a tidal wave of unemployed people swamping systems to help them and straining state finances to the breaking point.

On Monday, Garza went to Michigan’s unemployment website and tried logging on to apply for benefits electronically. After 30 minutes, he was able to sign on, but by the time a verification code was sent to his phone 25 minutes later, he had already given up. As of Tuesday afternoon, he still hadn’t been able to get through.

Last week, 108,000 workers filed for unemployment benefits in the state of Michigan.

That is 20 times more than normal.

Ouch.

In Louisiana, things are even worse.  If you can believe it, the number of people filing for unemployment benefits is more than 40 times higher than usual

In Louisiana alone, 71,000 people filed new unemployment applications last week, compared to the usual 1,400 or 1,500 people per week, said state labor secretary Ava Dejoie.

Louisiana has one of the highest per capita counts of coronavirus cases in the U.S. Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards has ordered nonessential businesses to close, limited restaurants to takeout and delivery, banned gatherings over 10 people and directed residents to remain at home.

And in California, Governor Gavin Newsom says that a million residents of his state have filed for benefits “just since March 13”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday that the state has seen 1 million unemployment claims in less than two weeks as the coronavirus pandemic has led to businesses being shut down across the state.

“We just passed the 1 million mark, in terms of the number of claims, just since March 13,” Newsom said.

On Thursday, we will get the latest weekly total for the nation as a whole.

At this point nobody is quite sure what to expect, but most forecasts are ranging between one million and four million

Economists have issued widely varying estimates of Thursday’s jobless claims total based on anecdotal reports by about 40 states to news outlets for the first few days of last week. Goldman Sachs estimated the national count will be about 2.25 million but said it could be as low as slightly more than 1 million. Morgan Stanley reckons about 3.4 million. Oxford Economics says about 4 million.

If we even hit the lowest edge of that range, it will absolutely shatter the old record that was set back in 1982.

Of course similar things are happening all over the world.  Approximately one-third of the entire population of the globe is currently under some sort of a lockdown order, and that means that hundreds of millions of workers are sitting at home not working.

Here in the United States, so many people are already absolutely sick and tired of being idle at home, but the truth is that it looks like this pandemic is just getting started.

In fact, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio believes that more than half of the residents of his city will eventually get the virus

More than half of New York City’s population can expect to be infected by the coronavirus, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Most will suffer only a “mild experience,” but many will become very sick, and “we are going to lose some people,” he said. April will be tough and May tougher before the virus crisis eases, he said. The city has seen 192 deaths so far, and there are more than 17,000 confirmed cases of the virus.

“The world we knew is gone,” de Blasio said in a social media post. “And it’s not coming back, not for the next few months. That’s the blunt truth.”

If his projection is even close to accurate, that means that we are in for a very, very long battle with COVID-19.

A lot of people out there are still trying to downplay this pandemic, and that is a huge mistake.  The dead bodies are starting to pile up just like we saw in China, Iran and Italy, and already “New York City’s morgues are nearing capacity”

The Department of Homeland Security has been briefed that New York City’s morgues are nearing capacity, according to a department official and a second person familiar with the situation.

Officials were told that morgues in the city are expected to reach capacity next week, per the briefing. A third person familiar with the situation in New York said some of the city’s hospital morgues hit capacity in the past seven days. And a FEMA spokesperson told POLITICO that New York has asked for emergency mortuary assistance. Hawaii and North Carolina have asked for mortuary help as well, and the disaster response agency is currently reviewing the requests, according to the spokesperson.

You may have noticed that I have not said too much about what Congress is doing, and that is because any “stimulus package” is really not going to make that much of a difference.

Congress is not going to be able to make this pandemic go away, and they aren’t going to be able to convince people that are deathly afraid to leave their own homes to go out and spend money normally.

But thanks to Congress there will be a lot more money chasing a rapidly dwindling pool of goods and services in the days ahead, and that will eventually cause very painful inflation.

And if they are going to start handing out giant checks to everyone, they better keep on doing it all throughout this crisis.  Because as Gerald Celente has warned, what we are heading for is “the Greatest Depression”

“People are going to go bankrupt. You are going to see suicide rates increase. You are going to see crime escalate and people OD’ing on drugs because of depression…

Our leaders are totally closing down the economy. Again, this has never been done before. It’s not only Wall Street going down, Main Street went down simultaneously. That is unprecedented. Usually, the markets go down and then the ripple effects start hitting Main Street. This time–boom, they are both down…

It’s going to be worse than the Great Depression. It’s going to be the Greatest Depression.”

Sadly, one element of Celente’s warning is already coming to pass.  It is being reported that calls to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline have risen 300 percent

Isolation and anxiety over the coronavirus pandemic are taking a toll, with calls to a National Suicide Prevention Hotline call center rising 300 percent, KVLY reports.

Other suicide prevention services across the United States also have seen spikes in calls since the COVID-19 virus threw everyday life askew for millions.​​​​​

In this hour, people are going to need hope.

But trying to convince them that this virus does not exist is not giving them hope.

And those that are boldly proclaiming that this virus will magically go away very quickly are only giving people false hope.  When they later realize that they were lied to, that false hope will give way to even deeper depression and despair.

This virus is very real, and we are going to be battling this pandemic for an extended period of time.  But God knew all about this in advance, He is in control, and He will accomplish His purposes.

And God specifically has a plan for you and your family, but you have got to be willing to embrace it.  Your future is likely to look far different than you originally imagined, but with God’s help it can also be far greater than you originally imagined as well.

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.

Experts Warn Of A Complete And Utter Economic Meltdown As The Global Coronavirus Death Toll Explodes

Everyone that tried to tell us that this pandemic would fade away quickly has been proven dead wrong.  Right now, approximately 187 million Americans are under “shelter-in-place” orders as COVID-19 sweeps across the nation like wildfire.  There are now more than 43,000 confirmed cases in the U.S., but by the time many of you read this article that number is likely to be far higher.  But what is even more concerning is what we are seeing with the cases that have come to a final resolution one way or the other.  Of all U.S. cases that have been officially resolved, 553 patients have died and only 295 patients have recovered.  Over time, the number of patients that have officially recovered will eventually surpass the number that have died for a couple of reasons.  For one, some victims are dying in just a few days while it can take weeks for some patients to fully recover.  Secondly, more widespread testing will start to reveal more mild cases, and most of those mild cases will ultimately recover.  But without a doubt it is starting to appear that the U.S. will have a very high death rate like we are seeing in Italy, Spain and other western European nations.  Monday was the very first time that more than 100 Americans died in a single day, and it looks like the days ahead could be much, much worse.

Overall, the global death toll is rising at a pace that is very alarming.  It hit 16,000 on Monday, and that means it only took six days to double from 8,000.

If the death toll keeps doubling like that, we are going to be in very big trouble.

The number of confirmed cases is rising at an exponential rate as well, and on Monday the head of the WHO warned that this pandemic “is accelerating”

The coronavirus “pandemic is accelerating,” World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned Monday.

Almost every country in the world has reported cases, he announced in a Geneva press conference.

“It took 67 days from the first reported case to reach the first 100,000 cases. Eleven days for the second 100,000 and just four days for the third 100,000,” he said.

As I write this article, there are 260,133 open cases around the world and 118,947 closed cases.

Out of the closed cases, 86 percent of the victims have recovered and 14 percent of the victims have died.

To put that into perspective, the Spanish Flu pandemic that stretched from 1918 to 1920 had a death rate of less than 3 percent.

But even after everything that has transpired, there are still lots of Americans that are not taking this pandemic seriously.  I don’t understand this, because all of our medical authorities are warning us that the worst is yet to come.  In fact, Surgeon General Jerome Adams just told us that “it’s going to get bad” …

Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned Monday that the coronavirus outbreak will worsen this week and said people across the country are not taking the threat seriously enough.

“I want America to understand this week, it’s going to get bad,” Adams said in an interview on the “TODAY” show.

And as I have been warning for weeks, this pandemic is going to plunge the United States and the entire globe into a horrifying economic nightmare.

At this point, even CNN is using “the d-word”….

A global recession, once unthinkable in 2020, is now a foregone conclusion and some experts warn that the pandemic could drag the world’s economy into a depression. More bad news: The coronavirus outbreak may just be getting started.

Central banks and governments are now unleashing a tsunami of interest rate cuts, loan guarantees and new spending, tapping emergency powers to reassure investors, cushion the shock to companies and workers and preserve the foundations of a functioning economy for the future.

A month ago, most Americans wouldn’t have imagined that such a thing could be possible.

But now “the everything bubble” has burst and we have just witnessed the fastest 30 percent decline for the S&P 500 in all of U.S. history

Twenty-two days.

That’s all it took for the S&P 500 to fall 30% from its record high, the fastest drop of this magnitude in history.

The second, third and fourth quickest 30% pullbacks all occurred during the Great Depression era in 1934, 1931 and 1929, respectively, according to data from Bank of America Securities.

In the short-term, the good news for investors is that we should see a substantial bounce in stock prices this week, and that could especially be true when Congress finally gets around to passing their “stimulus” package.

But whether the market goes up or down in the short-term, it isn’t going to stop the complete and utter economic meltdown that is now unfolding.

According to billionaire Tom Barrack, the commercial mortgage market is on the precipice of a historic collapse…

Real estate investor Tom Barrack said the U.S. commercial-mortgage market is on the brink of collapse and predicted a “domino effect” of catastrophic economic consequences if banks and government don’t take prompt action to keep borrowers from defaulting.

Barrack, chairman and chief executive officer of Colony Capital Inc., warned in a white paper and in a subsequent interview on Bloomberg Television of a chain reaction of margin calls, mass foreclosures, evictions and, potentially, bank failures due to the coronavirus pandemic and consequent shutdown of much of the U.S. economy.

Sadly, Barrack is 100 percent correct.

All of the dominoes are going to fall, and it is going to be horrifying to watch.

Meanwhile, we could be on the verge of a shutdown “of virtually all passenger flights across the U.S.”

Major U.S. airlines are drafting plans for a potential voluntary shutdown of virtually all passenger flights across the U.S., according to industry and federal officials, as government agencies also consider ordering such a move and the nation’s air-traffic control system continues to be ravaged by the coronavirus contagion.

No final decisions have been made by the carriers or the White House, these officials said. As airlines struggle to keep aircraft flying with minimal passengers, various options are under consideration, these people said.

To me, this is something that is exceedingly difficult to imagine, but we will see things a lot stranger than this in the days ahead.

As America literally shuts down from coast to coast, the job losses are going to be absolutely staggering.  In fact, we are being warned to expect numbers that are unlike anything we have ever seen before

Upcoming weekly jobless claims will shatter the standards set even during the worst points of the financial crisis and the early-1980s recession, with Bank of America forecasting a total of 3 million when the number is released Thursday. Those figures are expected to be so bad, in fact, that the Trump administration, according to several media reports, has asked state officials to delay releasing precise counts.

If this pandemic stretches on for an extended period of time, we will very quickly surpass the unemployment levels that we witnessed during the Great Recession.

Back then, the unemployment rate didn’t exceed 10 percent, but now the head of the St. Louis Fed is warning that we may see a 30 percent unemployment rate in the second quarter

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard predicted the U.S. unemployment rate may hit 30% in the second quarter because of shutdowns to combat the coronavirus, with an unprecedented 50% drop in gross domestic product.

Could things actually deteriorate that rapidly?

I sure hope not, because most American families are just barely scraping by

How long could you sustain your household if you were to stop earning income? If you are like most Americans, the answer is not for long. Only 40 percent of Americans can afford an unexpected $1,000 expense with their savings. In fact, nearly 80 percent of workers are living paycheck to paycheck. It is no surprise that the probability of an economic recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic caused many to worry.

For years, many of us have been begging and pleading with people to get ready.  We warned that when things finally broke loose that events would move very quickly.  I even co-authored an entire book entitled “Get Prepared Now”, but now it is too late to get prepared in advance because a day of reckoning is now upon us.  I really like how Mike Adams of Natural News made this point

Over the last several days, I’ve been called by many people I haven’t heard from in years. Suddenly they’re interested in what I have to say, even though they ignored everything I said for the last decade. And they want to assure me they’re “fully prepared” with 2-3 weeks of food.

These are the same people who probably have four months’ worth of toilet paper, but only a 3-week supply of food.

I’m not even trying to educate them at this point. That day is long gone. Anyone who thinks “2-3 weeks of food” is going to carry them through a national food supply line collapse, a global consumer goods supply line collapse and a systemic, cascading finance and banking collapses is living in a land of sheer delusion.

A lot of the same people that didn’t listen and didn’t get prepared in advance are now trying to convince us that this crisis will soon be gone.

And it would be wonderful if they are right.

But at this moment the global numbers are rising rapidly with each passing hour, and the global economy is literally imploding all around us.

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.

This Is Why People All Over America Are Scared To Death Of Being Tested For The Coronavirus…

How would you feel if you received a bill for more than $34,000 after being tested and treated for the coronavirus?  This pandemic is showing the entire world that the U.S. healthcare system is deeply, deeply broken, and there is no way that we can continue to go on like this.  If coronavirus testing is quick, inexpensive and widely available all over the rest of the globe, why can’t that be the case here too?  Democrats and Republicans have been fighting about fixing our healthcare system all the way back to the 1990s and they haven’t gotten the job done.  Now we have a system that is a complete and utter embarrassment, and it is about to be overwhelmed by the greatest public health crisis that any of us have ever seen.

Even under normal circumstances, most Americans are deathly afraid to go to the hospital because of what it will cost.

I have written about this numerous times before, but not even I would have imagined that getting tested and treated for coronavirus would cost more than $34,000

A woman in the United States says she was billed $34,927.43 after being tested and treated for the coronavirus, Time magazine reports.

When Danni Askini first came down with the symptoms of the virus — shortness of breath, a fever, a cough and migraines — she was told by a doctor to go to the emergency room. There, she was told she had pneumonia and could go home. She visited the emergency room two more times as her symptoms persisted and worsened before she was finally tested for the coronavirus. Three days later her results showed she had COVID-19.

How in the world is it possible for a bill to get that high?

As Danni pointed out, she now owes the hospital more than she paid for both of her college degrees.

Sadly, she is going to be far from alone.  According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, coronavirus victims all over America are going to get hit with extremely high medical bills…

A new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that the average cost of COVID-19 treatment for someone with employer insurance—and without complications—would be about $9,763. Someone whose treatment has complications may see bills about double that: $20,292. (The researchers came up with those numbers by examining average costs of hospital admissions for people with pneumonia.)

What this means is that if even a single member of your family catches the virus it could instantly wipe you out financially, and this is especially true if you do not have health insurance.

Congress has passed a bill which will now cover the cost of coronavirus testing, but the bad news is that “it doesn’t do anything to address the cost of treatment”

Public health experts predict that tens of thousands and possibly millions of people across the United States will likely need to be hospitalized for COVID-19 in the foreseeable future. And Congress has yet to address the problem. On March 18, it passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which covers testing costs going forward, but it doesn’t do anything to address the cost of treatment.

For those that catch the virus, and officials are warning that will eventually be most of us, treatment is going to cost far, far more than testing will.

You may think that you will just tough things out at home, but if this virus hits you hard enough you will either go to the hospital or you will die.

For a moment, I would like for you to consider what a medical worker in Louisiana is saying about the patients that he is treating

“With our coronavirus patients, once they’re on ventilators, most need about the highest settings that we can do. About 90% oxygen, and 16 of PEEP, positive end-expiratory pressure, which keeps the lung inflated. This is nearly as high as I’ve ever seen. The level we’re at means we are running out of options.

“In my experience, this severity of ARDS is usually more typical of someone who has a near drowning experience — they have a bunch of dirty water in their lungs — or people who inhale caustic gas. Especially for it to have such an acute onset like that. I’ve never seen a microorganism or an infectious process cause such acute damage to the lungs so rapidly. That was what really shocked me.”

Many coronavirus victims have described being in a state where they constantly feel like they are drowning.

And this medical worker in Louisiana says that there is a really good reason for that, because the severe cases that he is treating are “essentially drowning in their own blood and fluids because their lungs are so full”

“When someone has an infection, I’m used to seeing the normal colors you’d associate with it: greens and yellows. The coronavirus patients with ARDS have been having a lot of secretions that are actually pink because they’re filled with blood cells that are leaking into their airways. They are essentially drowning in their own blood and fluids because their lungs are so full. So we’re constantly having to suction out the secretions every time we go into their rooms.”

For the moment, there are still enough ventilators in the U.S. for everyone, but we are still in the very early chapters of this pandemic.

Over in Europe, many hospitals are already being completely overwhelmed.  In Italy, one doctor is reporting that patients over the age of 60 are now being refused access to artificial respiratory machines

Peleg said that, from what he sees and hears in the hospital, the instructions are not to offer access to artificial respiratory machines to patients over 60 as such machines are limited in number.

When things get bad enough, doctors are going to have to make choices about who lives and who dies here too.

It is hoped that the measures that are being taken all over the nation will start to slow down the spread of this virus.

But millions of Americans continue to go to work each day, and many of them simply can’t afford not to work.

In fact, it is being reported that many delivery drivers continue reporting for work each day even though they are clearly very sick…

An increasing number of the workers sorting those boxes, loading them into trucks and then transporting and delivering them around the country have fallen sick.

They have coughs, sore throats, aches and fevers — symptoms consistent with the coronavirus. Yet they are still reporting for their shifts in crowded shipping facilities and warehouses and truck depots, fearful of what will happen if they don’t.

So the next time a delivery truck comes to your home, you may want to keep your distance.

We have never seen anything like this before.  The entire western world is shutting down simultaneously, and it is being estimated that nearly a billion people are now under lockdown orders

Close to one billion people worldwide were confined to their homes on Saturday as the global coronavirus death toll shot past 11,000 and US states rolled out lockdown measures already imposed across swathes of Europe.

The pandemic has completely upended lives across the planet, restricting movement, shutting schools and forcing millions to work from home.

Needless to say, this is going to be absolutely devastating for the economy.

If you can believe it, Morgan Stanley is now projecting a 30 percent decline in U.S. GDP on an annualized basis during the second quarter…

We now see 1Q GDP dropping by 2.4% as economic activity has come to a near standstill in March, followed by a record-breaking drop of 30.1% in 2Q. We estimate that March will also mark the first drop in nonfarm payrolls, down 700k. We expect a record-high unemployment rate, averaging 12.8% in 2Q.

We assume sharp declines in areas of consumer discretionary spending like travel, dining out, other services and motor vehicle spending among others. This will leave a large hole in consumer spending in 2Q, when we expect real personal consumption expenditures to contract at a 31% annualized pace.

And the president of the St. Louis Fed is being even more pessimistic

In an interview with Bloomberg, the president of the St. Louis Fed, predicted that U.S. unemployment rate may hit 30% in the second quarter because of shutdowns to combat the coronavirus, coupled with an unprecedented 50% drop in US GDP. That would be an outcome worse not only than every prior war the US has (officially) waged, but more than twice as dire as the worst days of the Great Depression.

It sure didn’t take much to plunge the U.S. into a horrifying economic depression.

Two months ago, everything seemed just fine to most people.

But now financial markets are crashing, workers are losing jobs at an unprecedented rate, and many of the businesses that are now being closed down will never open again.

Fear of the coronavirus has collapsed “the everything bubble”, and what we have experienced so far is just the beginning…

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.

This Was The Worst Week For The Stock Market Since 2008, And “Jobless Filings Are Growing Geometrically”

Just a few weeks ago everything seemed completely normal to most people, but now fear of the coronavirus has caused U.S. stock prices to absolutely implode.  The stock market crash of 2020 will forever be mentioned alongside the crashes of 1929, 1987 and 2008, and by the time it is over it could potentially end up being the largest of them all.  Close to a third of all stock market wealth in the entire country has already been wiped out, and many experts are warning that the worst is yet to come.  Of course the authorities are going to do their very best to try to prop up the market, but despite the most dramatic intervention by the Federal Reserve that we have ever witnessed, U.S. stocks just had their worst week since 2008

The Dow dropped more than 17% for the week, its biggest one-week fall since October 2008, when it slid 18.2%. The S&P 500 lost more than 13% week to date after dropping another 11.5% last week. The Nasdaq fell 12.6%. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq also had their worst weekly performances since the financial crisis in 2008.

And when you look at the numbers for the entire month so far, they are even more depressing

The Dow is down more than 24% for March and is currently on pace for its biggest one-month fall since September 1931. The S&P 500 has dropped 22% month to date and is headed for its worst monthly performance since May 1940.

Overall, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen a whopping 35.2 percent from the all-time record high that we witnessed in February, and the S&P 500 has fallen 32.1 percent from the all-time record high that it set earlier this year.

In all of U.S. history, we have never seen a market crash of such speed and ferocity.

At this point, all of the stock market gains that we have witnessed since Donald Trump became president have been completely wiped out.

Ouch.

I know that many of you may find this difficult to believe, but stock prices are still substantially overvalued.

According to historical norms, stocks valuation ratios are still way too high, and so stocks still have a lot further to fall until they get back to “normal”.

Of course these aren’t “normal” times, and so there is no telling how far prices could eventually fall.

As financial markets continue to go wildly up and down, an increasing number of financial firms are inevitably going to get into very serious trouble.

On Friday, many were absolutely stunned when Ronin Capital completely imploded

Well, no more: according to CNBC’s Scott Wapner, one of the CME’s direct clearing firms was unable to meet its capital requirements on Friday, forcing the exchange to step in and invoke its “emergency protocols” to auction off the firm’s portfolios.

The firm in question: Ronin Capital, which on its website says “seeks the best and brightest people who embrace our Firm’s culture, and can thrive in a dynamic, entrepreneurial trading environment.” Apparently, that also meant being unable to quantify your risk exposure.

Sadly, what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning.

Meanwhile, the greatest corporate debt bubble in history appears as though it is about to burst in a major way.  According to Bloomberg, “the amount of distressed debt in the U.S. alone has doubled” over the past couple of weeks…

In less than two weeks, the amount of distressed debt in the U.S. alone has doubled to a half-trillion dollars as the collapse of oil prices and the fallout from the coronavirus shutters entire industries.

In all, U.S. corporate bonds that yield at least 10 percentage points above Treasuries, as well as loans that trade for less than 80 cents on the dollar, have swelled to $533 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

But most ordinary Americans are not really too concerned about such matters.

What many Americans are worried about these days is whether or not they will actually have jobs next week.

As the U.S. literally shuts down from coast to coast, Americans are losing jobs at a pace that is mind blowing, and we are being told that state jobless claims “are growing geometrically”

State jobless filings are growing geometrically, a signal of how the national numbers will change when we have them. Last Monday, Colorado had 400 people apply for unemployment insurance. This Tuesday: 6,800. California has seen its daily filings jump from 2,000 to 80,000. Oregon went from 800 to 18,000. In Connecticut, nearly 2 percent of the state’s workers declared that they were newly jobless on a single day. Many other states are reporting the same kinds of figures.

When I first read those numbers, they took my breath away.

And since most workers in this country are living paycheck to paycheck, large numbers of them will almost instantly be struggling to pay their basic expenses once they are let go.

Sadly, more layoffs are coming, and we are now being warned to brace ourselves for job loss numbers that once would have been unthinkable

The first real bad U.S. economic data from the coronavirus outbreak was released on Thursday, as initial jobless claims surged 70,000 to 281,000, the highest level in 2.5 years.

But that is not anything compared with what is in store.

David Choi, an economist from Goldman Sachs, says initial claims for the week ending March 21 may jump to a seasonally adjusted 2.25 million.

Please pray for those that are losing their jobs, because most of them will not be able to find work for the foreseeable future.

What we are dealing with is not just another economic downturn.  In her most recent article, Annie Lowrey described this as an economic “shock” that is “more sudden and severe than anyone alive has ever experienced”…

What is happening is a shock to the American economy more sudden and severe than anyone alive has ever experienced. The unemployment rate climbed to its apex of 9.9 percent 23 months after the formal start of the Great Recession. Just a few weeks into the domestic coronavirus pandemic, and just days into the imposition of emergency measures to arrest it, nearly 20 percent of workers report that they have lost hours or lost their job. One payroll and scheduling processor suggests that 22 percent of work hours have evaporated for hourly employees, with three in 10 people who would normally show up for work not going as of Tuesday. Absent a strong governmental response, the unemployment rate seems certain to reach heights not seen since the Great Depression or even the miserable late 1800s.

So how bad could things ultimately get?

Well, Goldman Sachs is now forecasting that on an annualized basis U.S. GDP will plunge 24 percent in the second quarter

Goldman Sachs economists on Friday forecast an unprecedented 24% decline in second quarter gross domestic product, following a 6% decline in the first quarter, based on the economy’s sudden and historic shutdown as the country responds to the coronavirus pandemic.

If that projection is anywhere close to accurate, we are about to see economic suffering that will be off the charts.

Needless to say, cries for help from the federal government will soon become overwhelming.  At this point, even billionaires such as Ray Dalio are pleading for the government to do more

As the coronavirus spread Thursday, Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio said the outbreak will cost U.S. corporations up to $4 trillion, and “a lot of people are going to be broke.”

“What’s happening has not happened in our lifetime before. … What we have is a crisis,” the Bridgewater founder said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “There will also be individuals who have very big losses. … There’s a need for the government to spend more money, a lot more money.”

So a broke government that is already 23.5 trillion dollars in debt is supposed to borrow and spend trillions more to bail everyone out?

Good luck with all that.

We have reached the beginning of the end.

We have reached a time when everyone and everything is going to be shaken, and life is never going to go back to the way it was before.

But as I keep stressing, now is not a time for fear.

With God’s help we can get through this, but God’s plan for your future may end up looking radically different from what your plan for the future would have looked like.

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.

Will This Be “Just A Recession” Or Will It Be “The Next Great Depression”?

As America slowly but surely shuts down from coast to coast, everyone is acknowledging the fact that we are heading into a very serious economic downturn.  Originally, many experts were warning that this coronavirus pandemic could spark a recession, but now some are actually starting to use the “d” word.  Yesterday, I wrote about the government planning document that envisions an 18 month pandemic, multiple “waves” of infections, and “critical shortages” of important supplies.  If that scenario actually plays out, what we will experience will be far, far worse than the “Great Recession” of 2008 and 2009.  So let us hope that a way can be found to slow down the spread of this virus.

At this point, many of our top minds are fearing the worst.  On Thursday, former White House economist Kevin Hassett warned CNN that we could actually see a repeat of the Great Depression…

The widespread shutdown of the American economy because of the coronavirus could spark a repeat of the Great Depression, former Trump economist Kevin Hassett told CNN on Thursday.

The startling warning from a former White House adviser comes as Wall Street banks say the United States faces an historic collapse in GDP and mounting job losses.

Just a few weeks ago, the mainstream media was full of talk about how bright the future looked for the U.S. economy.

But now Hassett is telling us that we could be about to witness the “worst jobs number you ever saw”

Hassett, who left the White House last year and is now a CNN commentator, predicted that when the April jobs report comes out it will be the “worst jobs number you ever saw,” with perhaps two million jobs lost.

That would easily surpass the worst jobs report of the Great Recession, when payrolls plunged by 800,000 during March 2009.

Could you imagine the panic that would cause on Wall Street if we actually do see a job loss of that magnitude?

Of course Hassett is not the only one using such strong language.  A former economic adviser to Barack Obama says that this pandemic “could do more damage to the economy than the financial crisis did”

Jason Furman was a top economic adviser to President Barack Obama, serving as deputy director of the National Economics Council from 2009 to 2013, and as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers from 2013 to 2017. He played a key role in designing the administration’s response to the financial crisis and Great Recession. He’s now a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

I’ve spoken with Furman often over the years, and to put it bluntly, I’ve never heard him as alarmed as on Thursday. He believes the coronavirus could do more damage to the economy than the financial crisis did, and that policymakers aren’t even close to designing a large enough response.

Sadly, he is likely to be entirely correct.

In fact, if this pandemic stretches on for many more months it will make what happened in 2008 look like a Sunday picnic.

For a long time I have been warning that a recession is coming, but I don’t have to warn about that any longer.  On Thursday, Bank of America boldly declared that the next recession is already here

Bank of America warned investors on Thursday that a coronavirus-induced recession is no longer avoidable — it’s already here.

“We are officially declaring that the economy has fallen into a recession … joining the rest of the world, and it is a deep plunge,” Bank of America U.S. economist Michelle Meyer wrote in a note. “Jobs will be lost, wealth will be destroyed and confidence depressed.”

If you can believe it, Bank of America is actually projecting that the U.S. economy will shrink by 12 percent on an annualized basis in the second quarter, and they are warning that more than 3 million jobs will be lost during this crisis…

Bank of America looked at the labor market as a way to understand the “magnitude of the economic shock.” The firm expects the unemployment rate to nearly double, with roughly 1 million jobs lost each month of the second quarter for a total of 3.5 million.

Actually, if we only lose 3.5 million jobs during the course of this pandemic that should be considered to be a rip-roaring success.

Never before in U.S. history have we witnessed such a widespread economic shutdown.  On Thursday, the governor of Pennsylvania actually ordered almost every business in the entire state to close up shop

Governor Tom Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations by 8 p.m. Thursday in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Enforcement actions against businesses that do not close their physical locations will begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, the Wolf administration said in a press release.

That means that almost everyone is going to be staying home and virtually all economic activity in the state is going to come to a grinding halt.

There is a good chance that this will slow down the spread of the virus in Pennsylvania temporarily, but unless every other state does the same thing simultaneously, people from other states are just going to keep bringing the virus back in.

In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott just instituted a whole host of restrictions, but most businesses will continue operating normally

Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order limiting public gatherings to 10 people, shutting schools, prohibiting visitors to nursing homes and retirement communities and limiting bars and restaurants to take-out through April 3 in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. He also recommended that non-essential state employees telework.

In California, about a third of the state is currently locked down, but the COVID-19 has just continued to spread.

In fact, Governor Gavin Newsom just told the press that he expects more than 25 million people to eventually become infected in his state alone

California estimates that more than half of the state — 25.5 million people — will get the new coronavirus over the next eight weeks, according to a letter sent by Gov. Gavin Newsom to U.S. President Donald Trump.

“In the last 24 hours, we had 126 new COVID-19 cases, a 21 percent increase. In some parts of our state, our case rate is doubling every four days,” Newsom wrote in a letter dated Wednesday. Newsom asked Trump to dispatch the USNS Mercy Hospital Ship to the Port of Los Angeles through Sept. 1 to help with the influx of expected cases.

Overall, the number of confirmed cases in the United States has dramatically escalated over the last 48 hours.

As long as the number of confirmed cases continues to explode, the lockdowns will persist and the restrictions on our freedoms will become more severe.

And if this pandemic does end up lasting for 18 months as the government is now projecting, it will paralyze our society to an extent that we have never seen before.

The U.S. economy has fallen off a cliff, and I have a feeling that it has a long, long way to go before it hits bottom.

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.

The U.S. Government Is Preparing For An 18 Month Pandemic And “Critical Shortages”

Are you prepared for the nationwide shutdown that is happening now to last for the next 18 months?  You may not believe that such a thing will happen, but the federal government apparently does.  A 100 page government plan marked “For Official Use Only // Not For Public Distribution or Release” was obtained by the New York Times, and it paints a very bleak picture of what is coming.  If the projections in this document are anywhere close to accurate, large numbers of Americans will die, the U.S. economy will completely implode, and we will see widespread civil unrest.  So let us pray that the assessments in this government plan turn out to be dead wrong.

According to the document, this coronavirus pandemic “will last 18 months or longer”

A federal government plan to combat the coronavirus warned policymakers last week that a pandemic “will last 18 months or longer” and could include “multiple waves,” resulting in widespread shortages that would strain consumers and the nation’s health care system.

The 100-page plan, dated Friday, the same day President Trump declared a national emergency, laid out a grim prognosis for the spread of the virus and outlined a response that would activate agencies across the government and potentially employ special presidential powers to mobilize the private sector.

I can’t even imagine what our country would look like if current conditions stretched into the middle of 2021.

As a nation, I don’t believe that we would be able to handle it.

The document also envisions that there will be “critical shortages”

“Shortages of products may occur, impacting health care, emergency services, and other elements of critical infrastructure,” the plan warned. “This includes potentially critical shortages of diagnostics, medical supplies (including PPE and pharmaceuticals), and staffing in some locations.” P.P.E. refers to personal protective equipment.

Of course there are already shortages of some drugs and of many basic consumer products such as toilet paper.

Sadly, things could soon get much worse.

Meanwhile, the overall economy continues to collapse at a staggering pace.  A former economic adviser to President Trump is now warning us that the U.S. economy could lose up to a million jobs this month alone

Kevin Hassett, who served as a top economic adviser to President Trump until last summer, said Monday that the United States economy could shed as many as one million jobs in March alone because of layoffs and hiring freezes related to the coronavirus.

“If you have normal job disruption, and hiring just stops,” Mr. Hassett said, “you’ll have the worst jobs number ever.”

But if this pandemic continues to escalate, a million jobs lost will just be a drop in the bucket.

In fact, the National Restaurant Association is now projecting that their industry will lose “between five and seven million jobs”

The National Restaurant Association is predicting the unprecedented carnage is only just beginning, on Wednesday writing a letter to the White House and Congress detailing an estimated $225 billion in sales will be wiped out over the next three months, crucially prompting the loss of between five and seven million jobs.

Remember, that is just one industry.

The retail industry is also being completely devastated as well, and we just learned that the largest operator of shopping malls in the United States is shutting them all down

Simon Property Group, the largest owner of shopping malls in the nation, is closing all of its malls and retail properties because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The closings start at 7 p.m. local time Wednesday and the malls are expected to end March 29, the Indianapolis-based company said in a news release.

Of course they won’t actually open back up on March 29th if this pandemic continues to get worse.

So far, COVID-19 has killed less than 200 Americans.

If our society is being this disrupted now, what will things be like if the death toll becomes 1,000 times larger?

For years, I have warned that our economy was extremely vulnerable, and now that is becoming exceedingly obvious to everyone.  It certainly didn’t take too much of a push to burst all the bubbles and send everyone into a severe panic, and now the economy is collapsing at a pace that is absolutely breathtaking.

According to NBC News, state unemployment websites all over the nation are crashing because so many people are suddenly applying for unemployment benefits…

Workers who have suddenly found themselves without a paycheck because of the growing coronavirus pandemic in the United States are now dealing with another frustration — state unemployment websites crashing because of high traffic.

From Oregon to New York and Washington, D.C., officials and Twitter users have highlighted the problem after the mass closing of restaurants, retail stores and other businesses as part of the effort to slow the spread of the virus.

Tomorrow morning most Americans will wake up assuming that their jobs are safe.  But right now an increasing number of people are being let go without any advance warning whatsoever.  Here is one example

Eileen Hanley was wrapping up her weekend and getting ready for the week ahead on Sunday evening when an email popped up in her inbox with the subject line “COVID-19 uncertainty.” It was from her boss at the small Manhattan law firm where she worked part time as a receptionist.

“We hope you are feeling well during this time,” the email began. Then it cut to the chase: The firm was losing revenue because of the outbreak, and it would have to eliminate “a number of positions,” including hers, “effective immediately.”

We have never seen anything like this before.

Things were tough during World War II, but it was actually a time when the country geared up and worked extremely hard to defeat the enemy.

But now economic activity all over America is being brought to a screeching halt.  In fact, we just learned that the three largest automakers have shut down all of their U.S. factories

Detroit’s Big Three automakers plan to temporarily close all U.S. factories as the coronavirus sweeps across the country.

The companies bowed to pressure from union leaders and employees who called for protection from the pandemic that’s spread to more than 212,000 people in nearly every country across the globe.

As a nation, we would survive a 30 day shutdown.

But if life doesn’t get back to normal for “18 months”, we are going to witness a societal meltdown of epic proportions.

This week, investor Bill Ackman told CNBC that “hell is coming”, and he warned that unless the entire country is shut down simultaneously for an extended period of time “America will end as we know it”…

“What’s scaring the American people and corporate America now is the gradual rollout,” Ackman told Scott Wapner on “Halftime Report” on Wednesday. “We need to shut it down now. … This is the only answer.”

“America will end as we know it. I’m sorry to say so, unless we take this option,” he said. Ackman added that if Trump saves the country from the coronavirus, he will get reelected in November.

I believe that he makes an excellent point, but I would take it one step further.

If the entire world shut down for 30 days, this pandemic would quickly be brought under control.  If only the U.S. shuts down, it is inevitable that the virus would keep coming back into the country as the pandemic continues raging elsewhere on the globe.

Of course we aren’t going to get the entire globe to agree to shut down simultaneously for 30 days.

So this outbreak will continue to spread and the case numbers will continue to grow.

For a long time I have been warning that something would come along that would burst all the bubbles and trigger a horrifying economic meltdown.

Now it is upon us, but now is not a time for fear.

With God’s help, we will get through this.

But life is not going to go back to the way it was before.

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. 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 Coronavirus Collapse Is Here: Get Ready For The U.S. Unemployment Rate To Hit 20 Percent (Or Higher)

As communities all over America shut down in order to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, job losses are already starting to rise to extremely alarming levels.  As you will see below, almost one out of every five households in the U.S. has already experienced “a layoff or a reduction in work hours” because of this pandemic.  Unfortunately, many experts are now anticipating that we could see one of the most dramatic spikes in the unemployment rate in American history in the months ahead.  In fact, it is being reported that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin just told members of Congress that this crisis could actually push our unemployment rate up to 20 percent…

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned Republican senators Tuesday that the coronavirus pandemic could drive up US unemployment to 20%, a Republican Senate source told CNN.

Mnuchin’s comments came as he urged Republican senators to act on economic stimulus measures totaling $1 trillion designed to avert that kind of worst case scenario.

If this coronavirus pandemic is over by the end of this calendar year, I think that Mnuchin’s projection may be accurate.

But if if this pandemic stretches into 2021 or beyond, the U.S. unemployment rate will likely go quite a bit higher.

If you doubt this, just look at what has already happened

The coronavirus pandemic has already started to hit American pocketbooks, with nearly 1 in 5 households experiencing a layoff or a reduction in work hours, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

As people stay home, avoid crowds and cancel plans to avoid spreading the disease, it’s rapidly causing a contraction in economic activity that is hurting a wide range of businesses.

To be more precise, the survey found that 18 percent of U.S. households have lost income already because of this pandemic.

But we are still only in the very early chapters of this crisis.  If employment is being hit this hard now, what is going to happen if millions of Americans eventually catch this virus?

And it could happen.  As I have discussed previously, the attending physician of the U.S. Congress believes that up to 150 million Americans will ultimately become infected.

Sadly, lower income Americans have been hit the hardest by this crisis so far

Lower-income workers were the most affected: A quarter of households making less than $50,000 had experienced cut hours or a job loss.

Most lower income Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and are just barely scraping by each month.

So if this pandemic doesn’t end relatively soon, it won’t be very long before millions of them are really, really hurting financially.

Needless to say, we are about to see a colossal spike in the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits.  In fact, so many New Yorkers have been trying to apply that it actually crashed the website

A drastic move by Gov. Cuomo to close all of the state’s restaurants, bars, movie theaters, gyms and casinos by 8 p.m. Monday to contain the outbreak had suddenly jobless workers flooding the Department of Labor with applications for unemployment benefits.

So many people tried to apply that the website crashed several times throughout the day — while the DOL’s hotline was so jammed up that callers seeking aid could not get through to someone who could handle their claim.

And according to U.S. Senator Rob Portman, the number of people in Ohio filing for benefits jumped 592 percent in just one week

Senator Rob Portman, and Ohio Republican, said on Tuesday that he received new data on Ohio’s unemployment claims showing 45,000 claims this week compared to 6,500 last week, according to journalist Liz Skalka.

That’s a one-week increase of 592 percent.

Please let that number sink in for a moment.

592 percent.

We are going to see things that we have never seen before in the weeks and months to come, and the economic suffering is going to be off the charts.

At this point, even Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are acknowledging that a recession has probably already begun, and one economist is now projecting that U.S. GDP will decline at a 10 percent annualized rate during the second quarter

We are only just beginning to see what the economic fallout from coronavirus will be.

And Wall Street economists are now throwing out some brutal forecasts for what economic data in the quarters ahead might hold.

“We now guesstimate that second quarter GDP will drop at a 10% annualized rate, after a 2% fall in Q1,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, in a note to clients on Monday night.

In a desperate attempt to prop up the economy, the Trump administration is proposing a stimulus package that will be somewhere in the neighborhood of a trillion dollars.

The following is how CNBC summarized what may be in that package…

  • $500 billion to $550 billion in direct payments or tax cuts
  • $200 billion to $300 billion in small business assistance
  • $50 billion to $100 billion in airline and industry relief

If Congress ultimately approves this package, apparently quite a bit of the money will be used to make direct payments to U.S. households.

According to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, the American people “need cash now”

Potentially $250 billion of the package could go toward making direct payments to Americans, a White House official told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. Mnuchin said earlier Tuesday that the administration wants to get emergency funds in Americans’ pockets “immediately.”

“Americans need cash now,” Mnuchin said during a White House press briefing on the administration’s latest efforts to combat the disease. “I mean now in the next two weeks.”

Of course this would set an extremely dangerous precedent, and the federal government can’t afford this because it is already drowning in debt, and “helicopter money” is likely to cause significant inflation, but very few policy makers in Washington seem to be alarmed by such concerns.

If the federal government is going to do this during the very early chapters of this crisis, they better keep on doing it month after month, because the suffering is going to greatly escalate the longer this pandemic lasts.  If we get to the point where the payments are eventually cut off, it is likely that we will see a really big national temper tantrum.

And instead of sending out $1,000 to each adult, why not send out $10,000?  Better yet, why not make it $100,000?

I don’t know anyone that couldn’t use an extra $100,000 right now.

Needless to say, once we start going down this road it is just a matter of time before our money is completely and utterly worthless.

Our national economic nightmare has begun, and it is going to be absolutely horrifying.  I really like how Peter Schiff recently made this point…

This is the beginning of the end. This is how it starts. And believe me, when you see how this finishes, this is going to be unlike anything we have experienced.  I think we have passed that point of no return. It’s like we’ve already jumped off the top of the building, off the top of the Empire State Building. There’s no way to change our minds now. We’re going to hit that pavement. I can’t see any way we can avoid that. All we can do is brace for impact ourselves.”

For so long, so many of us have been warning that “the everything bubble” would burst and that the consequences would be extremely severe.

It turns out that fear of the coronavirus is the “black swan event” that finally burst that bubble, and now everything that we have been warning about is starting to unfold.

The coronavirus collapse is here, and the days ahead are going to be exceedingly challenging.  We are about to experience the consequences of decades of exceedingly foolish decisions, and those consequences are going to shake our society to the core.

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. 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.

For The 3rd Time This Month, We Just Witnessed The Largest Single Day Point Crash In Stock Market History

We are literally witnessing history in the making.  For the third time in the last six trading sessions, we have witnessed the largest single day point crash in stock market history.  Let that sink in for a moment.  On March 9th, the Dow set a new record by falling 2,013 points.  Then on March 12th, the Dow set a new record again by falling 2,352 points.  Of course what happened on Monday was the biggest whopper of them all.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2,997 points, and words like “carnage” and “devastation” don’t seem to be strong enough to convey that horror that took place.  To put all of this into perspective, the largest single day point crash during the last financial crisis was just 777 points.  That means that the crash that we witnessed on Monday was nearly four times as large as the worst single day point crash in 2008.

Of course all of this volatility is being driven by fear of the coronavirus.  Even though less than 100 Americans have died so far, investors are completely freaking out.

So what will happen if thousands or even millions of us start dying?

On a percentage basis, the nightmare that we watched unfold on Monday was the worst day for stocks since “Black Monday” in 1987

Stocks fell sharply Monday — with the Dow suffering its worst day since the “Black Monday” market crash in 1987 and its third-worst day ever — even after the Federal Reserve embarked on a massive monetary stimulus campaign to curb slower economic growth amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 2,997.10 points lower, or 12.9%, at 20,188.52. The 30-stock Dow was briefly down more than 3,000 points in the final minutes of trading. The S&P 500 dropped 12% to 2,386.13 — hitting its lowest level since December 2018 — while the Nasdaq Composite closed 12.3% lower at 6,904.59 in its worst day ever.

Overall, the Dow is now down more than 31 percent from the all-time high set earlier this year.

If you can believe it, all of the tremendous stock market gains that we have witnessed over the last three years have been completely wiped out in just 18 trading days.

Ouch.

Banking stocks were hit particularly hard once again on Monday.  Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase were each down more than 14 percent, Morgan Stanley was down more than 15 percent, and Citigroup was down more than 19 percent.

Remember, those are not figures for the entire year.

Those are figures for one day.

Of course the utter carnage was not just limited to stocks.  The following is how Zero Hedge summarized some of the other losses that we witnessed…

  • STOXX EUROPE 600 ENDS DOWN 4.9%, LOWEST CLOSE SINCE MID-2013
  • SOUTH AFRICA’S FTSE/JSE INDEX FALLS AS MUCH AS 12.2%, MOST EVER
  • MUNI BONDS EXTEND WORST ROUT SINCE 1987
  • COPPER SLUMPS AS MUCH AS 5.2% AMID WEAKENING RISK APPETITE
  • BRENT CRUDE OIL PLUNGES BELOW $30 FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2016
  • SILVER PLUNGES TO 2011 LOWS
  • U.S. WHOLESALE GASOLINE PRICES PLUNGE 21%
  • HYG WORST DROP SINCE 2008
  • LQD WORST DROP SINCE 2008

The good news is that there is often a hefty rebound after a historic decline of this magnitude.  It appears that stock prices will likely shoot back up a good bit on Tuesday, and that will temporarily soothe a lot of frazzled nerves.

But this coronavirus pandemic is not going away any time soon.  Over the past couple of days, restaurants and bars have been shut down across the nation, schools have been shuttered for the foreseeable future, and it has been announced that the entire city of San Francisco will be locked down.

As virtually all forms of activity come to a standstill all over America, our economic numbers are going to absolutely collapse.

In fact, on Monday we got a sneak preview of what is coming

The New York Fed’s Empire State business conditions index plunged a record 34.4 points to -21.5 in March, the regional Fed bank said Monday. Economists had expected a reading of 4.8, according to a survey by Econoday. This is the lowest level since the financial crisis in 2009.

As we plunge into a truly horrifying economic downturn, businesses all over the country are already crying out for bailouts.

We are now being told that many airlines could be bankrupt by May, and a 50 billion dollar aid package for the industry has already been requested

US airlines slammed by the coronavirus are requesting an aid package from the federal government that could amount to about $50 billion, according to industry group Airlines for America.

The requested aid would be in the form of loans, grants and tax relief. The airlines are looking for up to $25 billion in grants for passenger air carriers and $4 billion in grants to cargo carriers, and the same amounts in loans or loan guarantees, Airlines for America outlined in a briefing document.

Meanwhile, thousands upon thousands of ordinary U.S. citizens are already losing their jobs.  For example, just check out what is currently transpiring in New York

New York’s unemployment website was overwhelmed Monday as the coronavirus pandemic put tens of thousands of people across the state out of work.

A drastic move by Gov. Cuomo to close all of the state’s restaurants, bars, movie theaters, gyms and casinos by 8 p.m. Monday to contain the outbreak had suddenly jobless workers flooding the Department of Labor with applications for unemployment benefits.

This will soon be happening all over the nation.

So how many jobs could ultimately be lost if this pandemic stretches on for quite a while?

According to Moody’s Analytics, millions of jobs are potentially at risk…

Nearly 80 million jobs in the US economy are at high or moderate risk today, according to analysis in the last week from Moody’s Analytics. That’s more than half of the 153 million jobs in the economy overall.

That doesn’t mean that all those jobs will be lost. But it’s probable that as many as 10 million of those workers could see some impact to their paychecks — either layoffs, furloughs, fewer hours or wage cuts, said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.

Needless to say, there is going to be enormous pressure for the federal government to “do something”, and U.S. Senator Mitt Romney has “joined a growing chorus of liberal and conservative economists” in calling for $1,000 to be given to every adult in America

On Monday, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) joined a growing chorus of liberal and conservative economists are lining up behind a proposal published in the Wall Street Journal by Harvard professor Jason Furman, who chaired the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) under President Obama, that calls for direct government payments of $1,000 to every American adult.

Why not make it $10,000?

We could all use some extra cash.

Of course once this sort of thing starts happening, it won’t be too long before a loaf of bread costs ten dollars and a gallon of milk costs 20 dollars.

Flooding the system with money at a time when economic activity is contracting very sharply will inevitably cause very painful inflation.

Unfortunately, at a moment like this short-term considerations are all that policy makers are really concerned about, and the American people will be demanding “relief”.

So we should fully expect lots of free money to be thrown around.  In fact, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced on Monday that her city will provide “$5 million in grocery vouchers to help families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic”.

But I must once again stress the fact that less than 100 Americans have died during this pandemic so far.

If things are getting this crazy already, what is our society going to look like a few months down the road?

According to the New York Times, nearly 7 million Americans could die in a “worst-case scenario”…

So far, the illness – known as COVID-19 – has sickened more than 4,200 people and killed 74.

But as a graphic from The New York Times shows, things could be much bleaker should overall infection rates and fatality rates rise.

In the worst-case scenario 6.99 million Americans would die from coronavirus – 2.74 million of them being those aged 80 and above.

We are just in the very early chapters of this “perfect storm”, and what we have experienced so far is nothing compared to what is coming.

If we can’t even handle the leading edge of this storm, what are we going to do when it really starts raging?

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. 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.

Did The Federal Reserve Just Purposely Try To Crash The Stock Market?

Unless the Federal Reserve is purposely attempting to spread panic on Wall Street, the decisions that the Fed just made don’t make any sense at all.  Back on March 3rd, the Federal Reserve announced an unscheduled emergency interest rate cut for the very first time since 2008.  Wall Street immediately interpreted that as a “panic move” and the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the session down 785 points.  So Fed officials had to know what was going to happen once they announced an even bigger unscheduled emergency interest rate cut on Sunday.  Predictably, stock futures hit “limit down” very rapidly, and now investors are bracing for a week of tremendous carnage.

But this didn’t have to happen.  Yes, we witnessed three of the worst trading days in U.S. stock market history last week, but on Friday the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1,985 points.  It was an absolutely epic rally, and if the Fed had not caused so much panic there may have been a good chance that the rally could have continued into next week.

In other words, U.S. stocks just had one of their best days ever, and there didn’t appear to be a need for any “emergency intervention” by the Fed.

If the Federal Reserve had just waited a couple of days until their normally monthly meeting, and if the Fed had just cut rates a quarter point, that would have likely been greeted by the markets with warm enthusiasm.

But instead, Fed officials decided to load up their bazooka and go for broke on Sunday.  In addition to using up all of their “interest rate ammunition” in one epic volley, the Fed also officially restarted quantitative easing

The Federal Reserve, saying “the coronavirus outbreak has harmed communities and disrupted economic activity in many countries, including the United States,” cut interest rates to essentially zero on Sunday and launched a massive $700 billion quantitative easing program to shelter the economy from the effects of the virus.

The new fed funds rate, used as a benchmark both for short-term lending for financial institutions and as a peg to many consume rates, will now be targeted at 0%-0.25% down from a target range of 1% to 1.25%.

These moves have “panic” written all over them, and investors immediately responded accordingly

Stock market futures hit “limit down” levels of 5% lower, a move made by the CME futures exchange to reduce panic in markets. No prices can trade below that threshold, only at higher prices than that down 5% limit.

Dow Jones Industrial average futures were off by more than 1,000 points, triggering the limit down level. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were also at their downside limits.

As I mentioned above, Fed officials saw what happened immediately after their March 3rd emergency rate cut, and so this sort of response by the markets should have been foreseeable.

As Wolf Richter has noted, these latest moves by the Fed were “the opposite of being confidence inspiring”…

The whole Sunday afternoon maneuver, on top of the mega shock-and-awe maneuvers Thursday and Friday reek of sheer and outright panic – and they’re the opposite of being confidence inspiring. That stock futures plunged after the Fed had effectively put its biggest tools to work shows how obvious this panic is.

So then why did the Fed pull the trigger if this was going to be the result?

It would seem that there are two obvious conclusions.  Either Fed officials are completely and utterly incompetent, or they were purposely trying to crash the stock market.

And now that the Federal Reserve is completely out of interest rate ammunition to fight any future economic downturn, the only weapon they have left is “helicopter money”.

As economic activity comes to a grinding standstill due to fear of the coronavirus, it appears to be inevitable that we will see tremendous inflation as the Fed floods the system with money.

In other words, there is going to be a whole lot more money chasing a lot fewer goods and services in the months to come.

Meanwhile, we are already starting to see a run on U.S. banks.  On Thursday, so many people were taking money out of a Bank of America branch in midtown Manhattan that it actually ran out of cash

As the stock market was having its worst day in 30 years on Thursday, customers at a Bank of America branch in Midtown Manhattan, the financial heart of New York, were lining up to take cash out of their accounts — sometimes tens of thousands of dollars at a time.

So many people sought huge sums that the bank branch, at 52nd Street and Park Avenue, temporarily ran out of $100 bills to fulfill large withdrawals, according to three people familiar with the branch’s operations. The shortage hit after a rash of requests for as much as $50,000, said two people who witnessed the rush.

And according to Zero Hedge, wealthy individuals in the Hamptons are doing the same thing…

As the ultra rich Snake Plisken out of the soon-to-be quarantined Manhattan – where at least one bank has are already run out of $100 bills – to fortify themselves against the viral zombie peasant hordes in their impregnable castles in the Hamptons, one thing they’re looking to hoard is cash, which has caused some substantial pressure on financial institutions in the area, according to Bloomberg. At least one New Yorker had his $30,000 cash withdrawal request denied at a Chase bank after being told the limit was $10,000. Meanwhile, bank employees said they were waiting on a “shipment of cash” to fulfill other requests that have been made exceeding the $10,000 amount.

Other branches in the area were unable to help in fulfilling the request, with the East Hampton branch reportedly telling the Southampton branch that it had “two massive withdrawal orders” of its own that it was trying to deal with.

Hopefully we won’t see similar scenes all over the country in the weeks ahead.

But without a doubt, panic continues to spread all over the globe.  The following examples come from CNN

A woman at an Australian supermarket allegedly pulls a knife on a man in a confrontation over toilet paper. A Singaporean student of Chinese ethnicity is beaten up on the streets of London and left with a fractured face. Protesters on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion welcome cruise passengers by hurling abuse and rocks at them.

The coronavirus risks bringing out the worst in humanity.

Yes, this virus is definitely bringing out the worst in humanity.

Here in the United States, two “panic shoppers” became so enraged with one another that they began hitting each other with broken wine bottles

A brawl erupted in a Georgia Sam’s Club packed with shoppers during which two feuding men slashed each other with broken wine bottles.

A second incident in a Costco in Brooklyn saw an employee pleading with two women to calm down after a screaming match began when carts collided in the mobbed store.

This is why it was so important to get prepared in advance.

For years I have been mocked for telling my readers to “get prepared”, but now those that did are going to be very thankful for the things that they have stored up.

If you are not prepared, you can go brave the giant crowds storming the stores if you wish, but at this point the big stores are going to be one of the very best places in the entire country to catch the virus.

I don’t know about you, but I am not eager to experience the “blinding pain” that survivors of COVID-19 have told us about.  So I would highly recommend avoiding big stores and other major public gathering places as much as possible.

We need to accept that life has changed for the foreseeable future.  According to Newt Gingrich, it is time for us to adopt a wartime mindset…

We should be planning for a worst-case pandemic and using the kind of intensity of implementation which served us so well in World War II. Getting enough ventilators, masks, intensive care units, treatment medications and aggressive community-wide testing are the minimum steps to saving lives and stopping the pandemic.

The Pence-led Coronavirus Task Force has begun to pull things together, but it should have a planning group that creates a worst-case projection and then devises the steps necessary to smother the pandemic and minimize its impact.

And this is also a time for prayer.  In fact, President Trump designated Sunday as a “National Day of Prayer”

President Donald Trump on Saturday declared Sunday, March 15, a “National Day of Prayer for All Americans Affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic and for our National Response Efforts.”

“I urge Americans of all faiths and religious traditions and backgrounds to offer prayers for all those affected, including people who have suffered harm or lost loved ones,” Trump said in his statement announcing the day of prayer.

Let us all hope that this pandemic passes as quickly as possible.

But the CDC just issued new guidelines that recommend that gatherings of 50 people or more not be held for the next eight weeks.

Of course most decision makers in this country will follow those guidelines, and so that means that our lives will not be getting back to normal for at least the next two months.

And it could be a whole lot longer than that.

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. 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.

Get Ready For Your Lifestyle To Change Indefinitely Because Of This Coronavirus Pandemic

Fear of the coronavirus is causing shutdowns on a global scale like we have never seen before.  Just about every major sporting event that you can think of has been either canceled or postponed, schools and universities are keeping students away, global tourism is absolutely collapsing, churches are being shuttered, conferences and festivals are being taken off the calendar, businesses are asking workers to work from home, and even Disneyland is being closed down.  Over the past several days the wave of closings and cancellations has become an avalanche, and all of our lifestyles are going to be dramatically altered for the foreseeable future.

For the first few days, a lot of people are actually going to enjoy this “free vacation”.  After all, what kid doesn’t enjoy time off from school, and there are lots of Americans that relish the opportunity to work from home.

But as the weeks drag on and the economy grinds to a standstill, this “free vacation” will start evolving into a horror show.

The more this coronavirus spreads, the more restrictions we will see on human interaction throughout the western world, and that has very serious implications.

Yes, there is much that we can do through the Internet today, but most economic activity still requires at least some actual human interaction.  So when authorities restrict human interaction they are actually choking off trade.

I can’t think of too many other things that could trigger an economic collapse faster than a global pandemic could.  We had better pray that life will get back to normal in a few weeks, because a complete and utter economic nightmare is ahead if that does not happen.

Unfortunately, life is not likely to get back to normal any time soon.  The number of confirmed cases continues to grow at an exponential rate, and those that are getting infected now will be able to infect others for weeks to come

Researchers looking at cases in China say patients could spread the virus for up to 37 days after they start showing symptoms, according to the study published in the British medical journal The Lancet.

On average, survivors still had the virus in their respiratory system for about 20 days and could presumably continue to spread the disease, researchers found.

So how long will it be before this pandemic is finally over?

Will it be months?

Could it be years?

Don’t forget, the Spanish Flu pandemic lasted from January 1918 to December 1920.

I think that Wall Street is starting to grasp the reality of what we are potentially facing.  On Thursday, we witnessed the largest single day stock market point crash in American history.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2,352 points, and that shattered the “old record” of 2,013 points that was just set on Monday.  Overall, the Dow was down 9.99 percent, and that was the biggest percentage decline since the nightmarish stock market crash of 1987.

Incredibly, European stocks did even worse on Thursday.  In fact, it was the worst day ever for stock markets in Europe.

We have never seen a time when the entire western world has been in the process of literally shutting down simultaneously.  The following is how a Slate article described what we are currently witnessing…

Virtually every activity that entails or facilitates in-person human interaction seems to be in the midst of a total meltdown as the coronavirus outbreak erases Americans’ desire to travel. The NBA, NHL, and MLB have suspended their seasons. Austin’s South by Southwest canceled this year’s festival and laid off a third of its staff. Amtrak says bookings are down 50 percent and cancelations are up 300 percent; its CEO is asking workers to take unpaid time off. Hotels in San Francisco are experiencing vacancy rates between 70 and 80 percent. Broadway goes dark on Thursday night. The CEOs of Southwest and JetBlue have both compared the impact of COVID-19 on air travel to 9/11. (That was before President Trump banned air travel from Europe on Wednesday night.) Universities, now emptying their campuses, have never tried online learning on this scale. White-collar companies like Amazon, Apple, and the New York Times (and Slate!) are asking employees to work from home for the foreseeable future.

On top of everything else, March Madness has been canceled for the first time ever

The NCAA will not crown a men’s or women’s basketball champion in 2020.

Conceding defeat to the COVID-19 virus and a cascade of uncertainty about how bad its ongoing spread might impact public health across the United States, the NCAA announced Thursday all its winter and spring championships have been canceled after a series of moves across multiple sports leagues that foreshadowed the eventual arrival at this decision.

I can’t even imagine the heartbreak that many of those athletes are feeling right now.

They have been training all of their lives to fight for a championship, and now that opportunity has been taken away.

Sadly, just about every major sporting event has either been canceled or will be canceled shortly.

Of course the business world has been thrown into chaos as well.  Companies all across America are going to great lengths to minimize human interaction, and all sorts of non-essential activities are being eliminated.

Even a New York seminar entitled “Doing Business Under Coronavirus” has been canceled because of the coronavirus.

In the days ahead, the list of public gatherings that are still happening will probably be much shorter than the list of public gatherings that have been canceled.

All of this is being done to save lives.

But in the process, it is going to absolutely kill the economy.

At this point, President Trump is even thinking about imposing “travel restrictions within the United States”

REPORTER: Are you considering travel restrictions within the United States, such as to Washington State or California? [Emphasis added]

TRUMP: We haven’t discussed that yet. Is it a possibility? Yes. If somebody gets a little bit out of control, if an area gets too hot. You see what they’re doing in New Rochelle, which is — which is good, frankly. It’s the right thing. But then it’s not enforced, it’s not very strong but people know that they’re being watched … New Rochelle, that’s a hotspot.

Can you imagine the giant temper tantrum that we would see if that actually happened?

Earlier today, the top headline on CNN was “America’s way of life changes indefinitely”, and for once they got it exactly right.

As long as this virus is spreading out of control, decision makers all over the western world are going to be afraid to resume normal activities.

Just think about it.  If you are a decision maker and you resume normal operations too quickly, someone could get sick and die.  Not only could that cost you your job, but it could also get you sued into oblivion.

In our overly litigious society, the threat of lawsuits is going to play a major factor in this crisis.  In fact, I am sure that some people are already in contact with their lawyers.

Hopefully the measures that are being taken will help to reduce the spread of this virus.  But as one of my good friends has pointed out, even if the U.S. was totally locked down for 30 days, this virus would just keep coming back into the U.S. from other countries that are not locked down.

So the truth is that we would need the entire globe to be completely locked down for an extended period of time to really defeat this pandemic, and that simply is not going to happen.

Many among the elite can see what is happening, and they are taking off in their private jets to their “holiday homes or specially prepared disaster bunkers”

Like hundreds of thousands of people across the world, the super-rich are preparing to self-isolate in the face of an escalation in the coronavirus crisis. But their plans extend far beyond stocking up on hand sanitiser and TV boxsets.

The world’s richest people are chartering private jets to set off for holiday homes or specially prepared disaster bunkers in countries that, so far, appear to have avoided the worst of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Of course most of us do not have that option.

Most of us are going to have to ride this thing out right where we are, and that reality is causing a lot of people to completely panic.  Just check out what is happening in New York

Panicked New Yorkers rushed to stock up on essentials forming long lines and clearing shelves of produce as Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency in the city due the coronavirus outbreak.

He made the decision on Thursday afternoon saying the last 24 hours had been ‘very, very sobering’ and that the world had been turned ‘upside down’ in just a day.

The announcement immediately sparked furious panic shopping from New Yorkers as grocery stores across the city saw chaos and frantic stockpiling with residents fearing the worst.

Sadly, this is just the beginning.

As things go from bad to worse, we are likely to see fear and panic on a scale that is absolutely unprecedented.

But as I discussed yesterday, now is not a time for fear.

During any major crisis, cool heads and calm hearts are needed.  The days ahead are going to be full of challenges, and by God’s grace we shall do our very best to meet those challenges.

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. 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 Just Witnessed The Largest Single Day Stock Market Point Crash In History (Again)

It has happened again.  On Thursday the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2,352 points, which was the largest single day stock market point crash in history.  Of course the old record only lasted for three days, because on Monday the Dow dropped 2,013 points.  And on Wednesday, we actually witnessed the third largest single day stock market point crash in history.  So the three worst days in the history of the U.S. stock market (on a point basis) have all happened this week.  On a percentage basis, the stunning decline that we witnessed on Thursday was the worst day for the Dow since the horrifying market crash of 1987.  Wall Street is in a tremendous state of panic right now, and nobody is quite sure when this will end.

Needless to say, this frenzy of selling is being driven by fear of the coronavirus

“The coronavirus is scary and people don’t know what to expect,” said Kathy Entwistle, senior vice president of wealth management at UBS. “It’s like the tsunami is coming. We know it’s going to hit any day and nobody knows what the outcome is going to be.”

In the last 48 hours, the NBA, the NHL, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer have all suspended their seasons because of COVID-19.  Public gatherings of all sorts are being canceled or postponed all across America, and we are seeing “panic buying” at major retailers like Costco that is absolutely unprecedented.

But we still don’t know if this is going to evolve into a major pandemic that is going to kill millions of people.  Right now there are less than 1,400 confirmed cases in the U.S. and less than 100 deaths.

If we are witnessing this much panic now, what will happen if millions of people do actually start dying?

Stocks should not be falling this rapidly yet, but of course they should have never gotten so high in the first place.

And even after all the carnage that we have already witnessed, stocks are still extremely overvalued.

In order for stock valuation ratios to return to their long-term averages, we would need to see the market fall another 20 to 30 percent.

But if this coronavirus pandemic does eventually become what many are fearing, stock prices will eventually go way below their long-term averages.

These are very strange times, and I have a feeling that they are about to get a whole lot stranger.

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. 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.

Fear Of The Coronavirus Is Causing A Stock Market Apocalypse

In all of U.S. history, we have never seen the Dow Jones Industrial Average go from an all-time high to a bear market as quickly as we just did.  As I keep reminding my readers, the stock market is all about how investors view the future.  Early this year, extremely irrational optimism about the future pushed stock prices to the most overvalued levels that we have ever seen, but now things have completely changed.  Fear of the coronavirus has many investors fearing an imminent economic crisis, and we have seen volatility on Wall Street that is absolutely insane.  On Monday we witnessed the largest single day point decline in the history of the Dow, on Tuesday stocks came roaring back, and then on Wednesday we witnessed the second largest single day point decline in the history of the Dow.  As I have previously explained numerous times, we see huge waves of momentum during any stock market crash, and I am sure we will see many more as this current implosion continues to play out.

On Wednesday, the Dow closed at 23553.22, which represented a 20.3 percent decline from the peak on February 12th.

The bull market that began on March 9th, 2009 has finally ended, and U.S. stocks are off to their worst start for a year since the last financial crisis.

But less than 5,000 people around the globe have died from this virus so far.

If we are seeing this much fear now, what is going to happen if millions of people start dying?

Thankfully, the World Health Organization finally decided to officially label this outbreak a “pandemic” on Wednesday

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic as the global death toll rose above 4,500 and the number of confirmed cases neared 125,000.

“We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear,” Tedros said at a news conference. “We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: All countries can still change the course of this pandemic.”

Of course that announcement really rattled investors and the Dow ended up falling 1,464 points.  Banking stocks were hit particularly hard.

But then later in the day we learned that President Trump would be addressing the nation at 9 PM eastern time, and investors were temporarily encouraged.

Unfortunately, investors didn’t seem to like what Trump had to say, and Dow futures immediately plummeted about 1,000 points afterwards.

On top of everything else, two major stories broke late Wednesday that shocked the entire nation.  We learned that Tom Hanks and his wife have tested positive for the coronavirus, and the entire NBA season was suspended because a Utah Jazz player now has the virus.

Needless to say, every horrifying headline is just going to cause even more chaos for the markets.

At this point, one Goldman Sachs analyst is projecting that the S&P 500 will likely fall quite a bit more in the days ahead

Goldman Sachs chief equity analyst David Kostin said Wednesday he expects the S&P 500 to hit a low of 2,450, more than 10% below its current closing level of 2,741. Kostin based his new view on a reduced expectation for S&P 500 earnings.

And another analyst believes that we are “only about halfway” to the bottom of the market…

“We can see the panic in the equity market,” said Jerry Braakman, chief investment officer of First American Trust. “The big question for most people is, are we at the bottom yet? I think we’re only about halfway there.”

Of course both of them are assuming that this coronavirus pandemic will not last for too much longer.

But what if they are wrong?

What if this pandemic lasts into next year or even longer?

As stocks fall, people are gobbling up gold and silver coins like crazy.  In fact, millions of Silver Eagles have been sold in recent days…

With the spread of the Global Contagion, the demand for physical precious metals has increased significantly.  According to the U.S. Mint’s newest update, another million Silver Eagles were sold over the past two days.  This brings to total Silver Eagle sales in March at 2.3 million, more than three times the previous month.

So if you have been waiting all this time for your silver coins to start appreciating in value, it may finally start paying off.

Meanwhile, we are already starting to see workers being laid off as much of the U.S. literally begins to shut down because of this virus.  The following comes from the Washington Post

At the Port of Los Angeles, 145 drivers have been laid off and others have been sent home without pay as massive ships from China stopped arriving and work dried up. At travel agencies in Atlanta and Los Angeles, several workers lost their jobs as bookings evaporated. Christie Lites, a stage-lighting company in Orlando, laid off more than 100 of its 500 workers nationwide this past week and likely will lay off 150 more, according to chief executive Huntly Christie. Meanwhile a hotel in Seattle is closing an entire department, a former employee said, and as many as 50 people lost their jobs after the South by Southwest festival in Austin got canceled.

Sadly, this is just the beginning.  If this crisis lasts long enough, eventually we will see layoffs that are absolutely unprecedented.

And the civil unrest that I keep warning about appears to be already starting as well.  Just check out what just happened at the University of Dayton

University of Dayton students took to the streets after the school canceled classes, on-campus events, and gatherings, and closed UD student housing. Over 1,000 students gathered on Lowes Street by late Tuesday, jumping on cars and throwing bottles at police the University of Dayton said in a written statement.

You can see a news report about this incident right here.  Of course if this pandemic continues to escalate the civil unrest will become much, much, much worse in the months ahead.

On Wednesday night, President Trump announced that travel from Europe would be suspended for 30 days.

That is certainly a step in the right direction, but at this point it isn’t going to make too much of a difference.

The virus is now in over 100 countries, and it is now spreading in almost every U.S. state.

And what most people don’t realize is that this pandemic is far from the only crisis we will be facing.  We have entered a time when we will be hit by one thing after another, and most Americans will not be able to handle it.

We are seeing so much fear out there right now, but this is not a time for fear.

This is a time for faith, and it is absolutely critical for you and your family to believe that you can get through this.

Anyone can shine during the best of times, but it is during the worst of times that we discover who we really are.

The days ahead are going to be extremely challenging, but they will also be a great opportunity to make a tremendous difference in a society that has been gripped by fear and that is starting to spin completely out of control.

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. 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.

Here Are 18 Breathtaking Facts About The Stock Market Crash Of 2020, And Experts Are Warning This Is Far From Over

We haven’t seen anything like this since the last financial crisis erupted in 2008.  Wall Street has been gripped by a tremendous amount of fear, and the volatility that we are witnessing would have been unimaginable just a couple of months ago.  On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2,013 points.  To put that in perspective, the largest single day decline that we witnessed in 2008 was just 777 points.  A disagreement between Saudi Arabia and Russia about oil prices coupled with increasing concern about the coronavirus pushed many traders into panic mode, and the result was absolutely stunning.  Hopefully stock prices will bounce back throughout the rest of this week, but many experts are warning that this is just the beginning of the carnage.  The stock market crash of 2020 is here, and the losses are already staggering.  Just consider these facts…

#1 We just watched the largest single day point decline in stock market history.  The old record of 1,190 points was just set on February 27th, and the drop on Monday smashed it by more than 800 points.

#2 The 7.79% decline for the Dow was the largest single day percentage drop since October 15th, 2008.

#3 Stocks plummeted so rapidly Monday morning that a key market circuit breaker was triggered just minutes after the opening bell.

#4 It was the very first time since 1997 that a market circuit breaker has been triggered.

#5 Overall, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is now down 19 percent from the all-time high that we witnessed just three weeks ago.

#6 The S&P 500 is also down 19 percent from the peak of the market.

#7 The Russell 2000 has plummeted 23.5 percent, and it is now firmly in bear market territory.

#8 On Monday, tech’s “big five” lost more than 320 billion dollars in market value.

#9 According to Zero Hedge, total U.S. trading volume “on a 10-day moving average basis, is now higher than during the meltdown in 2008.”  In other words, stocks are being dumped at a pace that is absolutely mind blowing.

#10 The yield on 10 year Treasury notes dipped below 0.5 percent on Monday for the first time ever.

#11 The price of oil fell more than 24 percent during Monday’s trading session.

#12 That represented the second largest single day oil price decline ever recorded.

#13 The S&P 500 Energy Sector dropped 20 percent on Monday, and that was the worst day for that index that we have ever seen.

#14 All major U.S. banking stocks fell by double-digit percentages during Monday’s session.

#15 European stocks are now down a total of 22.5 percent from the peak of the market.

#16 The Bloomberg U.S. Financial Conditions Index is now the “tightest” it has been since the last financial crisis.  That has very serious implications for “the real economy”.

#17 Since the end of World War II, there have been 12 official recessions in the United States.  8 of them were preceded by bear markets, and 3 of them were preceded by a market correction.

#18 All it is going to take is one more fairly bad day, and all of the major U.S. stock indexes will be in bear market territory.

In the short-term, we should hopefully see at least somewhat of a bounce.  President Trump is promising emergency tax relief, and the Fed has responded to all of this carnage by doing what it does best

As part of its continuing efforts to make sure the funding, or repo, markets are working properly, the central bank said it will up the amount it offers in overnight operations from $100 billion to $150 billion through Thursday.

Every time we see a surge of panic in the marketplace, the Fed is either going to cut interest rates or flood the system with more money.

And since there isn’t much room left to cut rates, the Fed will increasingly be forced to use option number two.

But if this coronavirus continues to spread all over the globe, no amount of Fed manipulation is going to fix things.  The following is how one analyst described how many investors are feeling at this moment

“They want out. Big time. The sky is falling. Get out, get out while you can. Wall Street’s woes have to eventually hit Main Street’s economy hard.”

Economic activity all over the globe is grinding to a standstill, and the economic impact of this virus will just continue to get worse until this outbreak has finally peaked.

We don’t know if that will be next week, next month or next year.

But until then, many investors “aren’t going to come back into the stock market”

“We’re seeing borderline panic because of fear,” says R.J. Grant, director of equity trading at investment bank KBW. “Uncertainty is what’s causing all of this. We know there’s going to be an economic impact, but we just don’t know how big. Until we get clarity, people aren’t going to come back into the stock market, that’s for sure.”

In other words, things may not return to normal for the stock market for an extended period of time.

Earlier this year, an epic “melt up” pushed stock prices to the most overvalued levels that we have ever seen in U.S. history.  It was inevitable that they would fall dramatically at some point, and it appears that fear of this coronavirus outbreak is the straw that finally burst the bubble.

But even after the immense carnage that we have already witnessed, stocks are still tremendously overvalued.  In order for price-to-sales and price-to-earnings ratios to return to their long-term averages, we would probably need stock prices to fall another 30 to 40 percent.

Of course our system is not in any condition to handle a decline of that magnitude.  Keep watching for a derivatives crisis if stocks continue to fall, because it is likely that we will see some big problems there.  Our system is designed to operate during very stable times, and the sort of volatility that we are now witnessing can cause catastrophic losses very rapidly just like we saw in 2008.

We still don’t know if this coronavirus outbreak will be a minor pandemic that will only kill thousands of people or if it will be a truly historic pandemic that will kill millions.

We shall hope for the best, but we will also continue to prepare for the worst.

Meanwhile, say a prayer for the poor souls that still have money in the stock market, because the days ahead are likely to be very stressful for them.

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. 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.

Will This Coronavirus Outbreak Cause A New Financial Crisis And A Horrifying Economic Collapse?

The term “black swan event” is increasingly being used to describe this coronavirus outbreak, and many are concerned that what we are headed for will be much worse than what we experienced in 2008 and 2009.  Already, we have witnessed a staggering drop in global demand, Wall Street has had to deal with the wildest week in eight years, and people all over the globe are hoarding toilet paper, face masks and hand sanitizer.  That may sound like a plot from one of my books, but it is not.  This is actually happening, and it appears that we are still only in the very early chapters of this crisis.

It seems like just yesterday that everyone was freaking out because there were a few dozen confirmed cases here in the United States.  Now there are 70 in the state of Washington alone

A cruise ship remains at arms length from San Francisco and the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Washington state ballooned to 70 on Thursday – pushing the U.S. total above 220 – as the global struggle against the outbreak intensified.

The nation’s death toll rose to 12, 11 of them in Washington. Fifty-one of the confirmed cases are in King County, home to Seattle, where ten of the deaths have occurred, state health officials said.

As I write this article, the total number of confirmed cases in the U.S. has now risen to 233, but of course that number is going to go much higher now that the U.S. has finally decided to ramp up testing for the virus.

If you live in the Seattle area, you are going to want to avoid public places for the foreseeable future.  In fact, officials in King County are already recommending that all businesses “allow their employees to telecommute throughout March”

A Washington state county, where 31 coronavirus cases and 9 deaths have been reported, has recommended to its 2.2 million residents that they should work from home to help slow the spread of the infectious disease, and further urged everyone over 60 to stay indoors.

Public Health officials in King County on Wednesday recommended that businesses allow their employees to telecommute throughout March in an effort to reduce the amount of face-to-face contact between large numbers of people during this “critical period” in the COVID-19 outbreak.

Unfortunately, other hotspots are starting to emerge as well.  The total number of cases in California is up to 53, and the number of cases in New York just doubled

California declared a state of emergency after a coronavirus-related death and 53 confirmed cases in the state. The number of infections in New York also doubled overnight to 22 as the state ramps up its testing.

Predictably, U.S. stocks plunged on Thursday as the bad news came rolling in.  By the end of the trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 969 points

Stocks plunged on Thursday, erasing most of the steep gains in the previous session, as markets remained highly volatile in the face of the fast-spreading coronavirus.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day 969.58 points, or 3.5%, lower at 26,121.28 after tanking nearly 1,150 at its session low. The S&P 500 dropped 3.3%, or 106.18, to 3,023.94 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 3.1%, or 279.49, to 8,738.60. All 11 S&P sectors finished the day in the red. Stocks turned sharply lower as the 10-year Treasury yield fell to an all-time low below 0.9%.

This is precisely the sort of wild market behavior that we witnessed during the financial crisis of 2008.  One day stocks would be way down, and the next day they would be way up.  When we see extreme volatility such as this, it is a clear indication that investors are very nervous.

After watching what transpired on Thursday, one trader described the market’s current behavior as “a super-puke”

Watching the markets today  – as The Dow plunged 1000 points, Treasury yields collapsed to record lows, credit markets imploded, and demands for more Fed intervention exploded – has one veteran trader remarking, “this is becoming a super-puke.”

Of course if this coronavirus outbreak starts to fade, it is entirely possible that the markets could settle back down.

But that hasn’t happened so far, and experts are warning that we should expect to see more market volatility ahead.  Here is one example

“We expect markets to remain volatile,” Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, said in a note. “The unfolding nature of the coronavirus threat—both real and perceived—is not yet quantifiable, and, as such, the current global policy response can’t immediately be judged as sufficient or insufficient for restoring investor confidence in the short term.”

Meanwhile, the fear that this coronavirus outbreak has created is hitting the real economy exceedingly hard.

In fact, the CEO of Southwest Airlines says that his company “lost several hundred million dollars in a week’s time” because people are so afraid to travel right now…

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly told CNBC on Thursday that the company has lost several hundred million dollars in a week’s time thanks to a decline in bookings amid increasing fears over COVID-19. Kelly added that the drop-off was “noticeable” and “precipitous” and has continued declining on a daily basis.

We are seeing similar things happen in industry after industry.

So what is going to happen if this outbreak continues to intensify in the months ahead?

Needless to say, we could soon be facing a worst case scenario for the global economy.  According to Egon von Greyerz, the party is indeed “over” and we are headed for the worst economic crisis that any of us have ever experienced…

This is it! The party is over. The world is now facing the gravest economic and social downturn in Modern Times (18th century). We are now entering a period of global crisis that will change the world for a very long time to come. This should come as no surprise to the people who have studied history and also read my articles for the last few years. Many others have also warned about the same thing. But since MSM never talks about the excesses in the world or the risks, 99.9% of people are totally unprepared for what is coming next.

Will he be correct?

We shall see.

It would be wonderful if this virus would just go away and life could get back to normal.  Unfortunately, this crisis just seems to escalate with each passing day.

On Thursday morning, police were actually called out to a Costco in southern California because “toilet paper, paper towels, and bottled water were out of stock”

Deputies responded to the Chino Hills Costco at 10.15am on Thursday morning after receiving a report of a disturbance, a San Bernadino County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman told DailyMaill.com.

On the scene, deputies learned that ‘a large group of customers were upset’ that items such as toilet paper, paper towels, and bottled water were out of stock, said Public Information Officer Cindy Bachman.

All over America, people have been hoarding essential supplies like crazy.  If people are this delirious already, how are they going to act once things start getting really bad?

It was inevitable that stock prices would crash from the ridiculously elevated levels that we witnessed earlier this year.

And the next economic downturn has been building for a really long time.

But now events are starting to move at a pace that is absolutely breathtaking, and it looks like all of our lives are about to change in a major way.

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. 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 Unstoppable Coronavirus vs. The “All-Powerful” Federal Reserve

Has the Federal Reserve finally met an opponent that it won’t be able to defeat?  Ever since the last financial crisis, unprecedented intervention by the Fed at key moments has kept the economy and the financial system relatively stable.  No matter what has come along, it has seemed like the Federal Reserve has always had an answer, and this has created an environment that has enabled the most ridiculous stock market bubble in U.S. history to grow to epic proportions.  But now COVID-19 is perhaps the greatest challenge that the Fed has faced in modern times.  No matter how low interest rates are pushed, and no matter how much helicopter money the Fed drops from the sky, it isn’t going to cause fearful Americans to go shopping, take trips or start businesses.  And nothing that the Fed can do will be able to mitigate the severe disruptions to global supply chains that we are currently witnessing.

But that doesn’t mean that the Fed isn’t going to go back to the same old playbook that has worked so well in the past.

On Tuesday the Fed announced an emergency rate cut, and instead of soaring, stock prices absolutely tanked.  In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day down 785 points

The decision to cut rates by half a percentage point came two weeks before the Fed’s scheduled meeting as the central bank felt it was necessary to act quickly to combat the effect of the virus spreading worldwide. It’s the first such emergency action coming in between scheduled meetings since the financial crisis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 785.91 points lower, or nearly 3%, to 25,917.41; it rose more than 300 points earlier in the day. The 30-stock average gyrated between sharp gains and solid losses after the decision was announced. The S&P 500 fell 2.8% to 3,003.37 while the Nasdaq Composite pulled back 3% to 8,684.09.

At this point, the Federal Reserve doesn’t have much room to reduce interest rates.  But of course President Trump was disappointed in the Fed’s decision because he wanted an even bigger rate cut

Trump tweeted following the Fed’s move – keeping up his longstanding practice of demanding lower rates.

‘The Federal Reserve is cutting but must further ease and, most importantly, come into line with other countries/competitors,’ Trump wrote. ‘We are not playing on a level field. Not fair to USA. It is finally time for the Federal Reserve to LEAD. More easing and cutting!’

Meanwhile, just about everyone else is using the word “panic” to describe this move by the Fed.  The following example comes from Zero Hedge

Instead, as it stands “it smells like panic” as more than one Wall Street veteran put it.

Worse, as BMO’s Ian Lyngen puts it, what happened after the Fed’s emergency 50bps rate cut, the biggest since Jerome Kerviel blew up SocGen, “the situation didn’t play out exactly as Powell might have envisioned.

So just how bad is it? Well, as plunging stocks demonstrate, the Fed is this close from losing all credibility…. and since the market has been held up for the past 11 years on nothing but Fed faith – and trillions in Fed liquidity – this could be a very, very big problem.

If you can believe it, even CNBC’s Jim Cramer is saying that this move by the Fed has made him “nervous”

Cramer went on to say that he’d previously been optimistic, despite the recent Dow freefall. But the Fed’s move has caused him to adopt a more cautious posture.

“It makes me feel, wow, the weakness must be much more than I thought,” Cramer said. “And I’ve been trying to be bullish, but I can’t.”

He added, “I’m now nervous. I’m more nervous than I was before.”

The Federal Reserve has almost entirely run out of interest rate ammunition already, and we aren’t even officially in a recession yet.

So what are they going to do once things get really bad?

A reduction in interest rates usually spurs the U.S. economy, but these are not normal times.

Even if interest rates were pushed all the way to the floor, it isn’t going to change the fact that global supply chains are collapsing and a large portion of the population is scared to death of this virus

Lower borrowing costs typically spur more consumers to buy houses, cars and other products, and encourage businesses to purchase more equipment such as factory machines, computers.

But historically low rates can’t address delayed deliveries from China that leave store shelves half-filled and auto manufacturers short of imported parts. They can’t prod shoppers fearful of contracting the virus to visit malls and restaurants. And they can’t bring back throngs of foreign tourists to U.S. hotels and shopping centers, including many from China and other countries now subject to travel bans.

And the problems that we are seeing with global supply chains are expected to continue to get worse in the weeks ahead.  In fact, Harvard Business Review is anticipating that the impact of this virus could peak “in mid-March”…

Reports on how the Covid-19 outbreak is affecting supply chains and disrupting manufacturing operations around the world are increasing daily. But the worst is yet to come. We predict that the peak of the impact of Covid-19 on global supply chains will occur in mid-March, forcing thousands of companies to throttle down or temporarily shut assembly and manufacturing plants in the U.S. and Europe. The most vulnerable companies are those which rely heavily or solely on factories in China for parts and materials. The activity of Chinese manufacturing plants has fallen in the past month and is expected to remain depressed for months.

But what if this virus just continues to explode all over the planet?

When I posted my last article yesterday, the number of confirmed cases outside of China had just surpassed the 10,000 mark.

As I write this, that number is just shy of the 13,000 mark, and by the time most of you read this article it will be even higher.

After interest rates are pushed all the way to the floor, “helicopter money” will be about the only weapon the Fed has left.

Normally, “helicopter money” pushes up stock prices, but in the middle of a horrifying global pandemic people are not going to want stocks.

Instead, there is going to be tremendous demand for food and other essential supplies, and “helicopter money” will just escalate prices to absolutely absurd levels.

Sadly, fear of this virus is already starting to cause this to happen

Would you pay $149 for a two-pack of 12-ounce bottles of Purell? How about a single container of Clorox wipes for $44.25, plus $14.59 shipping?

As the coronavirus spreads and people rush to protect themselves and their families from getting sick, the U.S. is seeing heavy demand for everything from masks to hand sanitizer.

If you use Purell, I hope that you stocked up ahead of time.

There has never been a time like this before in all of American history, and what we have seen so far is just the beginning.

Now that the U.S. is planning to start testing more people, we are being warned that we could see an explosion in the number of confirmed cases in the weeks ahead.

If that happens, there is going to be a tremendous amount of fear.

But now is not a time for fear.  Now is a time to be calm, to think rationally, and to act resolutely.

It is during moments of crisis that we find out who we really are, and hopefully this challenge will bring out the best in all of us.

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. 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 Are Watching The Stock Market Do Things That It Has Never Done Before

Stock prices are falling faster and harder than they ever have before.  If the financial markets are in this much chaos even though not a single American has died from the coronavirus yet, what are things going to look like if this outbreak starts sweeping across America like wildfire?  The number of confirmed cases continues to explode all over the world, and the discovery of a case of “unknown origin” in northern California has really shaken up global financial markets.  It has become clear that efforts to contain this virus have failed, and investors are now coming to grips with the fact that this crisis is just getting started.  We haven’t seen this much panic on Wall Street in a very long time, and on Thursday we actually witnessed the largest single day point decline in all of U.S. history

Rising anxiety over the global coronavirus outbreak pushed the stock market into a new zone of fear Thursday.

After falling sharply all week, the Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 1,190.95 points to close at 25,766.64 – its worst one-day point drop in history.

Overall, this is turning out to be an absolutely disastrous week for stocks.

The Dow fell more than 1,000 points on Monday, it fell another 879 points on Tuesday, and stock prices continued to drop on Wednesday.

But hardly anyone expected a brand new all-time record to be set on Thursday, and now we will wait to see what happens on Friday.

Incredibly, the S&P 500 has already plunged into correction territory.  It only took six trading sessions for that to happen, and that is also a brand new record

Six days. That’s all the time it took for the S&P 500 to fall more than 10% from a record into a correction.

That’s the quickest turnaround of the sort ever, according to data from Deutsche Bank Global Research.

We have never seen anything like this, and many are now wondering what is going to happen if this outbreak gets much, much worse.

Without a doubt, stocks could potentially fall a long, long way.  Thanks to a tremendous rally earlier this year, stock prices were pushed to the most overvalued levels that we have ever seen.  It was inevitable that prices would fall, and this coronavirus outbreak looks like it could greatly accelerate that process.

Meanwhile, analysts are increasingly coming to the realization that this virus is going to have very serious implications for the entire global economy.

For example, on Thursday David Kostin of Goldman Sachs warned that American companies “will generate no earnings growth in 2020”

“US companies will generate no earnings growth in 2020,” Goldman’s chief U.S. equity strategist, David Kostin, said in a note to clients Thursday. “We have updated our earnings model to incorporate the likelihood that the virus becomes widespread.”

And Guggenheim’s Scott Minerd is even more pessimistic

Guggenheim’s Scott Minerd says the coronavirus crisis is possibly the worst thing he’s ever seen in his career: “This has the potential to reel into something extremely serious”

This virus is spreading great fear all over the planet, and it is going to be exceedingly difficult for the world economy to function normally when people are afraid to even leave their own homes.

At this point, the travel industry is being hit particularly hard

“We don’t even need to wait for economic data to see how badly the economy is being hit. You can tell that the sales of airlines and hotels are already falling by a half or something like that,” said Tomoaki Shishido, senior economist at Nomura Securities.

Up until recently, Wall Street had been acting as if this was a temporary problem that would soon fade.

But now it has become clear that we will be battling this virus for many months to come.

And what happens if this crisis is like the Spanish Flu pandemic which lasted for three years?

By the way, tens of millions of people died during the Spanish Flu pandemic.  Let us pray that the death toll will not be anything like that this time around.

Unfortunately, with each passing hour this virus makes even more headlines.  The Vice-President of Iran has become a confirmed case, and the Iranian Ambassador to the Vatican has actually died after catching the virus.

Speaking of the Vatican, the Pope just cancelled a service “after he was struck down with illness”

Pope Francis cancelled a church service today after he was struck down with illness.

The 83-year-year-old pontiff was not well enough to attend the mass, although there is no suggestion at this stage he has coronavirus as the outbreak in Italy topped 500 cases.

I should be clear that so far there is absolutely no indication that Pope Francis has been infected by the coronavirus.

But hopefully he is getting tested for it.

In Italy this virus is now officially completely out of control.  On Thursday, we learned that it has now spread to ten different regions

Ten of Italy’s twenty regions are infected with coronavirus as of Wednesday, with Lombardy and Veneto the two most heavily affected regions in the nation.

So far, 400 people have been confirmed to be infected with the virus, which has resulted in 12 deaths as of Wednesday, according to a report by La Repubblica.

Many communities are already in a near total state of shutdown, but that has not stopped the virus from spreading.

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed cases in France actually doubled in just 24 hours

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in France has more than doubled in 24 hours, the French Health minister said on Thursday, with the tally now at 38 from 18 on Wednesday.

During a press conference, Olivier Veran said this “sharp increase” was due to the identification of so-called “contact persons” linked to previously known cases, adding France was “ready” for an epidemic.

In my entire lifetime, I have never seen anything like this.

And if the number of cases continues to rise at an exponential rate it is going to be absolutely devastating for the world economy and for global financial markets.

For a long time many have been watching for the “trigger event” that would burst the biggest financial bubble in the history of the planet.

That “trigger event” appears to have arrived, and nothing is ever going to be the same from this point forward.

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. 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.

Ominous Warnings About The Very Rapid Spread Of The Coronavirus

Is a widespread coronavirus outbreak inside the United States inevitable? After weeks of generally optimistic statements, officials are now warning us to prepare for the worst. Over the past several days we have seen the number of confirmed cases outside of China escalate dramatically, and this has really rattled global financial markets. After being down more than 1,000 points on Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell another 879 points on Tuesday. U.S. stocks have lost more than 1.7 trillion dollars in value in just two days. Much more importantly, a wave of tremendous panic is starting to sweep across America, and it looks like this crisis is just getting started.

Usually officials at the CDC choose their words very carefully so that they do not needlessly alarm the public. With that in mind, I would like for you to consider three statements that the CDC’s Dr. Nancy Messonnier made about a potential outbreak inside the United States during a press conference on Tuesday…

#1 “It’s not so much of a question of if this will happen in this country anymore but a question of when this will happen.”

#2 “Disruption to everyday life may be severe.”

#3 “We are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad.”

Can you ever recall a top CDC official ever making statements this ominous?

I certainly can’t.

In addition, Messonnier warned that it may soon become necessary for schools and businesses to greatly restrict person to person contact

The CDC outlined what schools and businesses will likely need to do if the COVID-19 virus becomes an epidemic outbreak in the U.S. Schools should consider dividing students into smaller groups or close and use “internet-based tele-schooling,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters on a conference call. “For adults, businesses can replace in-person meetings with video or telephone conferences and increase teleworking options,” Messonnier said.

On a temporary basis such measures would not be too disruptive, but what if this virus just keeps spreading month after month?

We are potentially facing a scenario that is truly unprecedented, and it is becoming increasingly clear that officials have lost confidence that they will be able to contain this virus. In fact, one former U.S. official told USA Today that “the horse is out of the barn”…

Dennis Carroll, former director of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Global Health Security and Development Unit, credited China’s “extraordinary control measures” with delaying the spread of the virus. But he said avoiding a pandemic is “very unlikely.”

“The dramatic uptick of cases in South Korea, Iran and Italy are reflective of a self-sustaining spreading of the virus,” Carroll, who now leads the Global Virome Project science cooperative, told USA TODAY. “And a clear message that the horse is out of the barn.”

At this point there are still only a few dozen confirmed cases in the United States, but authorities are bracing for the worst. If you can believe it, San Francisco Mayor London Breed just declared a state of emergency because of this virus…

Mayor London Breed declared a local emergency in San Francisco Tuesday amid the coronavirus outbreak, despite there being no confirmed cases among the city’s residents.

“Although there are still zero confirmed cases in San Francisco residents, the global picture is changing rapidly, and we need to step-up preparedness,” Breed said in a statement. “We see the virus spreading in new parts of the world every day, and we are taking the necessary steps to protect San Franciscans from harm.”

And after being quite apathetic about this outbreak at first, people all over America are suddenly realizing that they should be preparing for a potential pandemic.

In fact, Silicon Valley investor Geoff Lewis created quite a stir when he asked for advice on stockpiling food. The following is the question that he posted on Twitter that caused so much of an uproar

If one were hypothetically stockpiling four months of shelf stable food, what would folks recommend (optimizing for keto friendly)?

We haven’t seen anything like this in the United States in a very long time.

But we haven’t even had a single death from this virus in our country yet. How crazed will people get when victims start dropping dead in the streets like they have been in Wuhan?

There is now talk that the IOC could potentially cancel or postpone the Olympic Games in Tokyo. At one time such talk would have seemed crazy, but this is how serious this outbreak has become.

In Iran, the number of confirmed cases has now jumped to 95, although many people believe that the true number is far, far higher.

During a press conference on Monday, Iran’s deputy health minister attempted to downplay the seriousness of this outbreak, but on Tuesday we learned that he has been infected too

Iran’s deputy health minister said he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus and is in self-quarantine at his home just a day after he appeared at a news conference in Tehran where he sought to quell fears about the outbreak. Iraj Harirchi, the head of Iran’s counter-coronavirus task force, announced the illness in a video online while vowing that authorities would continue working to control the spread.

Apparently not wanting to be outdone, one of the officials in South Korea that was overseeing the response to this outbreak decided to jump off a bridge

But in Seoul took on a more morbid tone Tuesday following reports in the local press that a civil servant from the Ministry of Justice’s Emergency Safety Planning Office jumped off a bridge in Seoul at around 5 am local time Tuesday.

The official was one of several individuals charged with overseeing the government’s response to the virus. As cases soar and hysteria mounts, we suspect this news won’t exactly help quiet the public’s nerves.

Suicide is never the answer to anything, and we should all be praying for that man’s family.

In Italy, the number of confirmed cases has grown by more than 15 times since Friday…

Over in Italy, the number of confirmed cases has surpassed 300 to 322, while the number of dead climbed to 10, according to Italian emergency chief Angelo Borrelli, who said the newly deceased were over the age of 80. That’s up from just 20 confirmed cases on Friday.

Newly deceased were over 80 years old, says at press conference in Rome Tuesday. The new infections include three cases in southern Sicily region, Italian Civil Protection official Borrelli said.

All of a sudden, people all over Europe are wanting to avoid Italians because of the potential of catching the virus. In most cases that fear is irrational, but we do know that an Italian just spread the virus to a hotel in Spain’s Canary Islands

Hundreds of staff and tourists staying at a hotel in Spain’s Canary Islands were put under lockdown on Tuesday, El Pais newspaper reported. One person who had stayed at the establishment was later found to have tested positive for the coronavirus.

I lived in Italy for a few years as a child, and I have a great love for the country.

It is so sad to watch what is happening over there, but the same things are going to start happening here. In fact, Dr. Messonnier has told the public that now is the time “to begin preparing” for a massive outbreak…

“People are concerned about this situation – I would say rightfully so,” Messonnier said. “But we are putting our concerns to work preparing. Now is the time for businesses, hospitals, communities, schools and everyday people to begin preparing as well.”

If you do prepare and all of this turns out to be a false alarm, at least you will be ready for the next crisis that is coming.

But if you don’t do anything to prepare and things get really, really bad, it could end up costing you dearly.

If this virus starts spreading across the United States like wildfire, you and your family will want to minimize contact with the public as much as possible. So stock up on the things you will need now, because when things start getting really crazy the stores will be cleaned out very quickly.

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 “Unsinkable” Financial Markets Just Slammed Into A Massive “Iceberg” Called The Coronavirus

We just witnessed the third largest single day point drop in U.S. stock market history, and experts are warning that things will only get worse if this coronavirus pandemic continues to escalate. On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down a whopping 1,031 points, and it looks like there could be more volatility on Tuesday. In fact, the Nikkei is already down 787 points as I write this article. Of course this sudden decline is being mostly driven by fear of the coronavirus. The rapid spread of the virus in South Korea, Italy and Iran over the weekend really rattled investors, and there was a rush to sell stocks when the markets opened on Monday morning. And the worse this pandemic becomes, the lower stock prices are going to go.

You see, the truth is that stock prices are primarily based on what investors believe the future is going to look like.

For a long time, investors have assumed that the future would be exceedingly bright, and stock prices have steadily trended upwards.

But a coronavirus pandemic changes everything. If worldwide economic activity comes to a standstill like we are already seeing happen in China, it is inevitable that there will be a very serious global economic downturn.

And this outbreak comes at a time when stock prices have been more overvalued than they have ever been before in American history. Most stocks have been priced “beyond perfection”, and so it was just a matter of time before those prices started to fall.

As I have explained many times before, stock prices tend to fall much faster than they rise, and the rapid decline on Monday was quite breathtaking

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1,031.61 points lower, or 3.56%, at 27,960.80. The S&P 500 slid 3.35% to 3,225.89 while the Nasdaq Composite closed 3.71% lower at 9,221.28. It was the Dow’s biggest point and percentage-point drop since February 2018. The Dow also gave up its gain for 2020 and is now down 2% for the year. The S&P 500 also had its worst day in two years and wiped out its year-to-date gain as well.

Tech stocks got hit particularly hard.

If you can believe it, the stocks of the big tech companies “lost more than $250 billion in value” on Monday…

Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and Google-parent Alphabet collectively lost more than $250 billion in value as part of a broader market plunge. The tech companies make up nearly one-fifth of the value of the S&P 500, which itself is down more than 3.6%. Apple has the largest exposure to China, as it relies heavily on Chinese manufacturing plants for its top products and on Chinese consumers to buy iPhones.

And overall, global stocks lost more than a trillion dollars in value to start the week.

Of course stock prices were so ridiculously inflated that the markets can easily absorb what happened on Monday.

What really matters is what happens next.

If U.S. authorities can keep this virus from spreading widely here in the United States, the impact on our economy won’t be that dramatic.

But if there is a widespread outbreak, all bets are off. More than a decade ago, the CBO conducted a study which examined this sort of a scenario, and what they discovered is definitely alarming

CBO did a study in 2005 and 2006, modeling the impact of a 1918-sized flu pandemic on the economy. They found that a pandemic “could produce a short-run impact on the worldwide economy similar in depth and duration to that of an average postwar recession in the United States.” Specifically, a severe pandemic could reduce U.S. gross domestic product by about 4.5%, followed by a sharp rebound.

The CBO assumed that 90 million people in the U.S. would get sick, and 2 million would die. There would also be demand-side effects, with an 80% decline in the arts and entertainment industries and a 67% decline in transportation. Retail and manufacturing would drop 10%.

Personally, I think that those numbers are probably too optimistic.

In China, people are deathly afraid to leave their homes right now, and that has caused economic activity to come to a crashing halt.

In fact, during the first portion of this month vehicle sales in China were down 92 percent

As The Epoch Times reported late last week, for example, sales of Chinese passenger vehicles has tanked a whopping 92 percent “on an annual basis the first 16 days of February,” according to the China Passenger Car Association.

Sales of passenger vehicles only amounted to 4,909 units during the first 16 days of the month, the organization reported, which fell from 59,930 vehicles sold over the same period a year ago. These are the first figures to demonstrate just how hard the Wuhan coronavirus is hitting the world’s largest auto market.

And at this point even Chinese President Xi Jinping is admitting that this outbreak will “have a relatively big impact on the economy and society”.

Up until now, the financial markets have been mostly overlooking the fact that the second biggest economy on the entire planet has been imploding because of this virus.

I think that many investors were assuming that this outbreak was just a temporary phenomenon, but now reality is starting to set in

“The second-largest economy in the world is completely shut down. People aren’t totally pricing that in,” said Larry Benedict, CEO of The Opportunistic Trader, adding a 10% to 15% correction in stocks may be starting. He also said some parts of the market, particularly large-cap tech stocks, appear to be over-owned. “It seems like there’s much more to come.”

Hopefully U.S. stocks will bounce back on Tuesday. Following a decline of the magnitude that we just witnessed, that is often what happens.

And President Trump is certainly doing his best to keep everyone feeling optimistic. The following is what he tweeted on Monday

The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!

Hopefully President Trump is correct.

And hopefully he is also correct when he claims that this pandemic will start to subside once warmer weather arrives.

But so far this mysterious new coronavirus is winning the battle, and investors all over the globe are really starting to freak out.

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.

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