Global Collapse Incoming? The Total Breakdown Of Relations With China Could Throw Our Planet Into Utter Turmoil

We just witnessed one of the most monumental events of the entire decade, and yet most Americans still don’t understand what has happened. In recent months, the global economy and stock markets around the world have been buoyed by the hope that the U.S. and China would soon sign a new trade agreement. Unfortunately, there is no way that is going to happen now. On Tuesday, the Senate unanimously passed the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019”, and the House of Representatives passed the same bill by a 417 to 1 vote on Wednesday. Needless to say, the Chinese are beyond angry that Congress has done this. In part one of this article, I showed that China is warning the U.S. to “rein in the horse at the edge of the precipice” and that there will be “revenge” if this bill is allowed to become law. And it looks like this bill will actually become law, because Bloomberg is reporting that President Trump is fully expected to sign it…

President Donald Trump is expected to sign legislation passed by Congress supporting Hong Kong protesters, setting up a confrontation with China that could imperil a long-awaited trade deal between the world’s two largest economies.

Before I go any further, there is something that I want to address. Earlier today, one of my readers emailed me and accused me of siding with China because I am warning about what will happen if trade negotiations fail. Of course that is not true at all. I have been writing about the horrific human rights abuses in China for many years, and they are one of the most tyrannical regimes on the entire planet today. But our two economies have become deeply intertwined over the past two decades, and there are going to be very serious consequences now that we are rapidly becoming bitter enemies. Anyone that doesn’t see this is simply not being rational.

As I have detailed repeatedly in recent months, the global economy has already entered a very serious slowdown. One of the only things that could reverse our economic momentum in the short-term would be a comprehensive trade agreement between the United States and China. But now that our relationship with China has been destroyed, there isn’t going to be a deal.

Some mainstream news sources are reporting that all of this rancor about Hong Kong could delay a trade deal, but that is just more wishful thinking.

Over in China, they are being much more realistic. In fact, the editor of the Global Times, Hu Xijin, just said that the Chinese are “prepared for the worst-case scenario

Few Chinese believe that China and the US can reach a deal soon. Given current poor China policy of the US, people tend to believe the significance of a trade deal, if reached, will be limited. China wants a deal but is prepared for the worst-case scenario, a prolonged trade war.

And he followed that up with another tweet that openly taunted U.S. farmers

So a friendly reminder to American farmers: Don’t rush to buy more land or get bigger tractors. Wait until a China-US trade deal is truly signed and still valid six months after. It’s safer by then.

As the two largest economies on the entire planet decouple from one another, it is going to cause global economic activity as a whole to dramatically slow down. Corporate revenues will fall, credit markets will start to tighten, and fear will increasingly creep into global financial markets.

I have repeatedly warned that conditions are ideal for our first major crisis since 2008, and this conflict with China could be more than enough to push us over the edge.

And already we are getting more bad economic news day after day. For example, we just learned that U.S. rail traffic this month is way down compared to last year

Nowhere is the slowdown in the U.S. economy more obvious than in places like Class 8 Heavy Duty Truck orders and rail traffic. We already wrote about how Class 8 orders continued to fall in October and new data the American Association of Railroads (AAR) now shows that last week’s rail traffic and intermodal container usage both plunged.

The AAR reported total carloads for the week ended Nov. 9 came in at 248,905, down 5.1% compared with the same week in 2018. U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 266,364 containers and trailers, down 6.7% compared to 2018, according to Railway Age.

Unless a miracle happens with China, the economic numbers are going to continue to get worse.

Sadly, a miracle seems exceedingly unlikely now. As I pointed out in part one, the only way that our relationship with China can be fixed is if Congress repeals the bill that it just passed, and there is no way that is going to happen.

And we better hope that our trade war with China doesn’t escalate into a real war at some point.

According to a report that was released earlier this year, we are very ill-prepared to fight any sort of a conventional war with China in the Western Pacific…

The University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre’s new report Averting Crisis, said: ‘China’s growing arsenal of accurate long-range missiles poses a major threat to almost all American, allied and partner bases, airstrips, ports and military installations in the Western Pacific.

‘As these facilities could be rendered useless by precision strikes in the opening hours of a conflict, the PLA missile threat challenges America’s ability to freely operate its forces from forward locations throughout the region.’

In addition, U.S. military officials are deeply concerned by how rapidly China has been upgrading their strategic nuclear arsenal. For example, they now possess a “submarine-launched missile capable of obliterating San Francisco”

China has tested a new submarine-launched missile capable of obliterating San Francisco, an insider has revealed, in a massive boost to the country’s ‘deterrent’.

The Chinese navy tested its state-of-the-art JL-3 missile in Bohai Bay in the Yellow Sea last month, sources said.

The nuclear-capable missile has a 5,600 mile range, significantly longer than its predecessor the JL-2, which could strike targets 4,350 miles away.

We certainly aren’t at that point yet, but without a doubt the Chinese now consider us to be their primary global enemy.

For the moment, it is just a “cold war” that we are facing, and the Chinese are quite adept at playing global chess. They have lots of ways that they can hurt us, and most Americans don’t realize this.

But in the end nobody is going to “win” this conflict, and the entire planet is going to suffer.

Collectively, the economies of the United States and China account for approximately 40 percent of the GDP of the entire world.

As we cause chaos for one another, everyone else is going to experience tremendous pain as well.

The stage is set for a global nightmare, and at this point it doesn’t appear that there is a way that we will be able to escape it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh, it isn’t actually “written” yet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well, no, we didn’t.

Let me tell you a secret.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now get ready for phase 2 and meeting #14.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Even worse than a 12 percent decline?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winter is coming, and it will not be pleasant.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A million jobs is very serious.

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

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

Over in China, the auto industry is also deeply struggling

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

That isn’t supposed to happen in China.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As China Settles In For A Long Trade War, Economic Pressure On Trump Continues To Grow

The trade war between the United States and China is increasingly weighing on the global economy, but unfortunately it does not appear that it will end any time soon. Many pundits in the U.S. originally believed that the trade war would be short because the economic pain would be too much for the Chinese to handle. But the truth is that the Chinese are not nearly as motivated by short-term concerns as we are. They have always been long-term planners, and they are not afraid to set goals that may take multiple generations to achieve. So they are not going to allow an angry American president that may be voted out of office by the end of next year to greatly alter their long-term economic strategies.

If an acceptable agreement could have been reached with Trump, the Chinese would have jumped at that opportunity. But right now the two sides are so far apart that they are basically not even on the same playing field, and any additional “negotiations” are not going to change that. However, the Chinese are likely to try to keep talks with the Trump administration alive in an attempt to prevent the trade war from escalating even more. In essence, the Chinese are trying to minimize the damage while running out the clock on the Trump presidency.

So for China, this trade war has become an exercise in endurance, and this is something that a Fox Business article recently discussed…

Researchers from Deutsche Bank wrote a note over the weekend, explaining how they believe China appears to have shifted its strategy from a focus on “resolution to one of endurance.”

“We think China is neither aiming to quickly reach a trade deal, nor trying to hit back at the U.S. as hard as it can,” Deutsche Bank China Economist Yi Xiong wrote in a report. “Rather, China seems to have internalized the trade war as a given fact, and is trying to preserve China’s economic resilience under rising tariffs.”

Here in the U.S., we have become quite accustomed to sacrificing our long-term prosperity in order to avoid short-term pain, but the Chinese are simply not going to do that in this case.

Instead, they are going to work extremely hard to do what they can to bolster the Chinese economy internally while they wait for a more “reasonable” U.S. president to get elected. The following comes from the South China Morning Post

China will “enhance countercyclical measures in macroeconomic policies … to ensure sufficient liquidity and reasonable growth in credit,” according to a statement by the government’s Financial Stability and Development Commission on Sunday. The wording marked a subtle change from previous policy statements that called only for “appropriate” fine-tuning of monetary policy.

The statement did not mention the trade war with the US, but included specific guidelines on what China should do to manage its economy in the coming months. It urged financial institutions to help sell local government special bonds, with proceeds to be used for government-backed investment projects, while it also told local authorities to “fully tap investment potential”.

Unlike Chinese officials, President Trump has an upcoming election that he must deal with, and the longer this trade war persists the worse his re-election chances are going to become.

As I detailed yesterday, signs of economic trouble are erupting all around us, and the pain from this trade war is only going to become more intense as each new month passes.

So Trump is going to become increasingly desperate to get China to come to an agreement, and that may lead to some very rash decisions. For example, it is being reported that he “wanted to double tariff rates on Chinese goods” after the Chinese responded to recent U.S. tariffs by imposing some of their own…

President Donald Trump wanted to double tariff rates on Chinese goods last month after Beijing’s latest retaliation in a boiling trade war before settling on a smaller increase, three sources told CNBC.

The president was outraged after he learned Aug. 23 that China had formalized plans to slap duties on $75 billion in U.S. products in response to new tariffs from Washington on Sept. 1. His initial reaction, communicated to aides on a White House trade call held that day, was to suggest doubling existing tariffs, according to three people briefed on the matter.

Unfortunately for Trump, no amount of pressure is going to get the Chinese to budge.

Yes, the Chinese will “talk” to U.S. officials as a delaying tactic, but they have already decided that they will never accept the sort of deal that Trump wants.

Meanwhile, our economic numbers just continue to deteriorate. On Tuesday, we learned that a key measure of U.S. manufacturing just fell to the lowest level in three years

A key U.S. factory gauge unexpectedly contracted for the first time since 2016, sending stocks and bond yields lower and boosting expectations for interest-rate cuts as global manufacturing woes deepen.

The Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing managers index fell to 49.1 in August, weaker than all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of economists, data released Tuesday showed. Figures below 50 indicate the manufacturing economy is generally shrinking. The group’s gauge of new orders dropped to a more than seven-year low, while the production index hit the lowest since late 2015.

In response to that number and more troubling news about the trade war, U.S. stocks were sharply down

Stocks fell on Tuesday, the first trading day of a historically tough month, after the world’s two largest economies began imposing new tariffs on each other’s goods. Weak manufacturing data also dented investor sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 285.26 points lower, or 1.1%, at 26,118.02. The S&P 500 lost 0.7% to end the day at 2,906.27 while the Nasdaq Composite pulled back 1.1% to 7,874.16.

We have reached an absolutely critical moment in modern American history. The largest financial bubble in our entire history is on the verge of bursting, and many believe that we could be on the precipice of an economic downturn even worse than what we experienced in 2008 and 2009.

A trade deal with China would greatly help the short-term outlook, but the Chinese are not willing to give Trump what he desires. So the only way one will happen is if President Trump completely caves in, but I don’t see that happening.

That means that a tremendous amount of pain is ahead, and the American people are completely unprepared for that.

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

Donald Trump claims he has the ‘absolute right’ to order U.S. businesses out of China under 1977 law

(CNN) On Friday, China unveiled a new round of retaliatory tariffs on about $75 billion worth of US goods, the latest escalation in an on-going trade war that’s putting a strain on the world’s two largest economies. In response, Trump wrote on Twitter later Friday: “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China including bringing …your companies HOME and making your products in the USA.”

When leaving the White House for the G7 summit in France, Trump told reporters, “I have the absolute right to do that, but we’ll see how it goes.” He later explained that he was referring to the 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), and in a Friday tweet wrote: “For all of the Fake News Reporters that don’t have a clue as to what the law is relative to Presidential powers, China, etc., try looking at the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977. Case closed!” (Read More…)

A Critical Threshold Has Just Been Crossed, And Things Will NEVER Be The Same Again…

Just when things seemed to be settling down a little bit, our conflict with China has suddenly escalated to a dangerous new phase. This is not simply just a “trade war” any longer, and our relationship with China will never be the same again. As you will see below, President Trump just referred to Chinese President Xi Jinping as our “enemy”, and this is something that the Chinese are going to take extremely seriously. In China, the national leader is a representation of the government as a whole, and the government as a whole is a representation of the entire county. So to the Chinese people, what Trump just said will be interpreted as “the United States and China are now enemies”. Of course for Trump everything would be forgiven tomorrow if the Chinese totally caved in to his demands and started saying all sorts of nice things about him, but for the Chinese what has transpired in recent months will be remembered for generations. President Trump has insulted their national honor over and over again, and that sort of thing may not mean much to us here in the western world anymore, but over in China their sense of honor is central to who they are as a people. After everything that has already been said and done, there will be no going back, and we are now facing a future in which the United States and China will be very bitter enemies.

In response to previously announced U.S. tariffs, China stunned global markets when it announced a new wave of tariffs on U.S. goods early on Friday

The trade war between the U.S. and China escalated further Friday as Beijing announced a new set of tariffs on American products, sending the stock market plunging.

The China State Council announced it would impose tariffs ranging from 5% to 10% on an additional $75 billion in U.S. goods, according to state media outlet Global Times.

After Trump learned of this, he hit the ceiling, and he immediately went on a Twitter rant in which he pledged to hit Chinese goods with even higher tariffs

For many years China (and many other countries) has been taking advantage of the United States on Trade, Intellectual Property Theft, and much more.

Our Country has been losing HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year to China, with no end in sight.

Sadly, past Administrations have allowed China to get so far ahead of Fair and Balanced Trade that it has become a great burden to the American Taxpayer.

As President, I can no longer allow this to happen! In the spirit of achieving Fair Trade, we must Balance this very unfair Trading Relationship.

China should not have put new Tariffs on 75 BILLION DOLLARS of United States product (politically motivated!).

Starting on October 1st, the 250 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, currently being taxed at 25%, will be taxed at 30%.

Additionally, the remaining 300 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, that was being taxed from September 1st at 10%, will now be taxed at 15%. Thank you for your attention to this matter!

In addition, Trump “hereby ordered” U.S. corporations “to immediately start looking for an alternative to China”

Trump then tweeted that American companies “are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA.” He did not immediately detail the authority he thought he could use to compel firms to leave China.

When I first saw that I could hardly believe what I was seeing, and you may have had the same reaction.

Can Trump actually do that?

Well, no, the truth is that he can’t.

He can certainly encourage U.S. businesses to leave China, but as CNN has pointed out, he doesn’t have the authority to unilaterally order all of our companies to leave an entire country…

Here’s the thing: Donald Trump can’t order American business to do anything. There’s a reason the business world is known as the “private sector” — because it’s not owned or controlled by the government (aka the “public sector.”) We don’t have state-run industry (or media). The President of the United States can’t “order” privately held business to do, well, much of anything.

And on top of everything else, President Trump posted another tweet in which he called Chinese President Xi Jinping our “enemy”. The following comes directly from Trump’s Twitter account

As usual, the Fed did NOTHING! It is incredible that they can “speak” without knowing or asking what I am doing, which will be announced shortly. We have a very strong dollar and a very weak Fed. I will work “brilliantly” with both, and the U.S. will do great…

….My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?

Any hopes for a trade deal with China during the Trump administration were already dead, but this has put even more nails in the coffin.

When the outlook for the U.S. economy was brighter, getting a trade deal with China done was not so critical for Trump, but now things have dramatically changed.

At this point, even the White House’s own internal forecasts are showing “that the economy could slow markedly over the next year”

Top White House advisers notified President Trump earlier this month that some internal forecasts showed that the economy could slow markedly over the next year, stopping short of a recession but complicating his path to reelection in 2020.

The private forecast, one of several delivered to Trump and described by three people familiar with the briefing, contrasts sharply with the triumphant rhetoric the president and his surrogates have repeatedly used to describe the economy.

Things just continue to get even bleaker. U.S. manufacturing just contracted for the very first time since 2009, and the financial markets are starting to figure out that there aren’t any promising solutions on the horizon.

On Friday, the trade war turmoil greatly spooked investors and the Dow ended the day down more than 600 points

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 623.34 points lower, or 2.4% at 25,628.90. The S&P 500 slid 2.6% to close at 2,847.11. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 3% to end the day at 7,751.77. The losses brought the Dow’s decline for August to more than 4%.

The major indexes also posted weekly losses for the fourth straight time. The Dow dropped about 1% this week while the S&P 500 pulled back 1.4%. The Nasdaq lost 1.8%.

As I noted at the end of last month, the stock market started to decline in July, and now it has fallen every single week here in August. Just like in “The Beginning Of The End”, we are potentially facing a scenario in which we experience great economic and financial turmoil during the second half of the year.

Over and over again, I have kept warning my readers that our relations with China were going to get progressively worse. We have been expecting this for a long time, but most Americans still do not grasp the implications of this crisis.

This conflict between the United States and China is going to change everything. An extraordinary amount of pain is heading our way, and our society is completely and utterly unprepared to handle it.

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

“Worst Year Ever”: The Chinese Ban On U.S. Agricultural Products Will Be A Death Blow For Countless U.S. Farms

U.S. farmers have never experienced a year quite like this. During the first half of 2019, endless rain and unprecedented flooding were the major problems. As a result of the incredibly wet conditions, millions of acres of prime farmland didn’t get planted at all, and tens of millions of other acres are going to yield a lot less than usual. Even without anything else happening, we were going to see farm bankruptcies soar to absolutely crazy levels, but now the Chinese government is essentially cutting off U.S. agricultural imports. This will greatly depress the prices that U.S. farmers get for their crops, and so many farmers that were still hoping to squeeze out a profit for this year will be hit with a loss instead. Ultimately, the truth is that 2019 is going to be a death blow for countless U.S. farmers that were barely hanging on financially after a string of really tough years. Many will leave the industry entirely and never go back to farming again, and our nation will be worse off because of it.

When the Chinese announced that they were going to completely stop buying U.S. agricultural products, it sent shockwaves across the middle portion of the country. According to the executive vice president of the American Farm Bureau, our farmers and ranchers will now be facing “just a really tough, tough time”

“This is a body blow to farmers and ranchers all across the country,” Dale Moore, executive vice president of the American Farm Bureau, told FOX Business. “That’s one of the things that we are feeling the effects of, and this is on top of a year when mother nature has been a terrible business partner in many parts of the country. It’s just a really tough, tough time for farmers and ranchers in this country.”

Shares of industrial, farming, oil and transportation companies have plummeted, a direct result of the increased tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

Of course President Trump is trying to be upbeat and he is promising that the Chinese will not be able to hurt our farmers, but the truth is that they already have.

Chinese imports of U.S. agricultural products fell by more than half from 2017 to 2018, and now they are going to zero. The following comes from Fox Business

Despite Trump’s tweet, American farmers now stand to lose all of what was a $9.1 billion market in 2018, which was down sharply from the $19.5 billion U.S. farmers exported to China in 2017.

Unfortunately for U.S. farmers, they are caught right in the middle of a tug of war between the Chinese government and President Trump, and China specifically went after U.S. farmers in order to hurt Trump politically

China’s new agricultural ban has an additional benefit to the Chinese of maximizing negative political impact to Trump.

Important presidential election swing states in the Midwest grain belt such as Iowa and Wisconsin were vital to his 2016 election victory. Cutting this particular area of bilateral trade at a time when American farmers are recovering from the after-effects of this year’s floods is a potent way for Beijing to punch back against President Trump’s new tariffs.

If the presidential election was held this November, it would be really difficult for Trump to win in Iowa in Wisconsin. Of course much can change between now and November 2020, but right now Trump is definitely losing support in the middle of the country.

Speaking of Wisconsin, it just happens to be one of the states that currently has the highest number of farm bankruptcy filings

Since last June, there have been a staggering 535 Chapter 12 bankruptcy filings, a 13 percent increase. Kansas, Minnesota and Wisconsin had the highest number of filings.

As a result, Congress passed the Family Farmer Relief Act to update the eligibility requirements for Chapter 12 bankruptcy, raising the debt limit from $4.1 million to $10 million — giving more farmers the chance to declare bankruptcy, thereby offering their producers and creditors a better chance to recognize and avoid mass liquidation.

President Trump will try to keep as many farms going as possible with his massive aid packages, but the truth is that even with those aid packages it is inevitable that farm bankruptcies will continue to surge.

In fact, they are already at the highest level that we have seen since the last recession.

What U.S. farmers really need is an end to the trade war and for the Chinese to start buying from them again.

Sadly, that is just not going to happen. At this point, even Goldman Sachs is admitting that there will not be a trade deal with China before the 2020 presidential election…

Analysts at Goldman Sachs no longer think the U.S. and China will manage to negotiate a trade deal ahead of the 2020 presidential election — which is more than 15 months away.

“We had expected a final round of tariffs targeting remaining Chinese imports at a 10 percent rate,” the analysts, led by chief U.S. economist Jan Hatzius, wrote in a note to clients. “But news since President Trump’s tariff announcement last Thursday indicates that U.S. and Chinese policymakers are taking a harder line, and we no longer expect a trade deal before the 2020 election.”

This means that things will continue to go from bad to worse for U.S. farmers, and this will take a major toll on the U.S. economy as a whole.

We have entered the time of “the perfect storm”, and things are definitely not going to get any easier in the months ahead.

I wish that I had better news for you, but I don’t. Global events are starting to greatly accelerate, and so many of the things that we have been warned about are starting to happen right in front of our eyes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Instead, they decided to bring down the hammer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

China Just Went Nuclear In The Trade War, And There Is No Turning Back Now

When will Americans start to wake up and realize what is happening? At the end of last week, President Trump announced that the U.S. would be imposing a 10 percent tariff on 300 billion dollars worth of Chinese imports, and that marked a dramatic escalation in our trade war with China. This move by Trump came as a total shock to Chinese officials, and global financial markets were thrown into a state of turmoil. Since that announcement, we have been waiting for the other shoe to drop, because we knew that the Chinese would retaliate. But honestly, very few of the experts expected something like this. On Monday, China announced that it is going to completely stop buying U.S. agricultural products

China confirmed reports that it was pulling out of U.S. agriculture as a weapon in the ongoing trade war.

A spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said Chinese companies have stopped purchasing U.S. agricultural products in response to President Trump’s new 10% tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods.

This is essentially a trade war equivalent of a nuclear bomb.

If the Chinese would have slapped U.S. agricultural products with tariffs, that would have been a proportional response. But to quit buying them entirely is an unprecedented escalation in a trade war that is really starting to spiral out of control.

And it is also clearly a political attack on President Trump. The Chinese know that Trump is highly popular in rural areas, and this ban on U.S. agricultural products is going to severely hurt farmers in rural areas all across the United States.

U.S. voters tend to be more influenced by their bank accounts than by anything else, and so this is a smart strategic move by the Chinese if they would like to see a Democrat get elected in 2020.

In 2017, the Chinese bought 19.5 billion dollars worth of U.S. agricultural products, and that number dropped to just 9.1 billion dollars in 2018.

Now that number is going to zero, and according to Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall this latest move by China is going to be “a body blow to thousands of farmers and ranchers who are already struggling to get by.”

Please say a prayer for our farmers, because they really need it.

In addition to ending purchases of U.S. agricultural products, the Chinese also allowed the value of the yuan to decline dramatically on Monday. This really rattled global financial markets, and shortly thereafter U.S. Treasury officials formally designated China as a “currency manipulator”. The following comes directly from the official website of the Treasury Department

The Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 requires the Secretary of the Treasury to analyze the exchange rate policies of other countries. Under Section 3004 of the Act, the Secretary must “consider whether countries manipulate the rate of exchange between their currency and the United States dollar for purposes of preventing effective balance of payments adjustments or gaining unfair competitive advantage in international trade.” Secretary Mnuchin, under the auspices of President Trump, has today determined that China is a Currency Manipulator.

As a result of this determination, Secretary Mnuchin will engage with the International Monetary Fund to eliminate the unfair competitive advantage created by China’s latest actions.

This is the first time since the 1990s that the Treasury Department has used this designation on any of our trading partners, and it is the kind of move that would not be made unless all hopes for a trade deal were completely gone.

Of course the Chinese wouldn’t have made the moves that they made either if they were still holding out hope for a negotiated solution. According to one market analyst that was quoted by CNBC, the Chinese are “signalling that they have lost confidence that they can reach an agreement with Trump.”

So what this means is that in the short-term things are going to get bad for the global economy.

Really bad.

In the longer term, the structure of the entire global economic system could change dramatically, and this will especially be true if Donald Trump emerges triumphant in 2020. According to economist Neil Shearing, we could literally be looking at “the end of the world as we know it”…

Among the implications for more deterioration in the global picture that Shearing cites are the “disintegration of the rules-based system” that has governed international commerce since the end of the World War II, and a potential “Balkanization” of the world economy as the U.S. and China develop their own standards, tech platforms and payment systems.

“It’s too soon to say exactly how events will pan out, but this casts the escalation in the US-China trade war over the past year in an altogether more ominous light. We may be witnessing the end of the world as we know it,” he wrote.

It is difficult to imagine a world in which there is no trade between the United States and China, and many would argue that we would be far better off today if we had never gone down that road in the first place.

But now that our two economies are so deeply integrated, trying to decouple is going to be an exceedingly painful process.

If you are familiar with my work, than you already know that I am not a fan of the Chinese government at all. Something needed to be done about China, because they have been brazenly taking advantage of us and flouting the rules for decades.

Having said that, it is imperative that the American people understand that a messy breakup with China is going to cause an extraordinary amount of pain for us, for them and for the whole world.

It looks like this trade war could be the spark that plunges the global economy into utter chaos, and right now very few Americans seem to understand the true scope of the economic nightmare that appears to be headed our way.

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

China Is Extremely Angry, And They Now Consider The United States To Be Enemy #1

Have relations between the United States and China finally reached the point of no return? At this moment, it would be difficult to overstate how angry the Chinese are with the United States. Chinese officials are firmly blaming the United States for the enormous political protests that we have witnessed in Hong Kong in recent weeks, and on Thursday President Trump slapped another round of tariffs on Chinese imports. Sadly, most Americans aren’t even paying much attention to these developments, but over in China everyone is talking about these things. And of course the truth is that they aren’t just talking – the Chinese are absolutely seething with anger toward the U.S., and they aren’t afraid to express it.

Let me give you a perfect example of what I am talking about. One of the most highly respected news anchors in China, Kang Hui, actually used an expletive when referring to the United States during a news broadcast earlier this week. Normally I would never have such language in one of my articles, but this comment made headlines all over the globe, and I think that it is very important for all of us to understand what the Chinese are saying about us. So since this is a news item of critical importance, I have decided not to censor this quote at all. The following comes from the New York Times

“They stir up more troubles and crave the whole world to be in chaos, acting like a shit-stirring stick,” Mr. Kang said on the usually stolid 7 p.m. national news program on CCTV, China’s state broadcaster. The expletive quickly became one of the most-searched-for phrases on Chinese social media.

In a follow-up video on a CCTV social media account, Mr. Kang boasted about how he had taunted the United States.

“If a handful of Americans always stir up troubles, then we are sorry,” he intoned. “No more do we talk about certain issues. We will also target you. We will bash you till your faces are covered with mud. We will bash you till you are left speechless.”

Could you imagine Anderson Cooper saying something similar about China on CNN?

And actually Mr. Kang likely has far more viewers than Anderson Cooper does.

Most Americans spend very little time thinking about relations with China, but over in China they are absolutely furious with us right now, and the developing situation in Hong Kong is one of the biggest reasons for that anger. Millions of people have flooded the streets of Hong Kong in recent weeks, and it appears that the Chinese have decided that enough is enough. According to Bloomberg, U.S. officials are closely watching “a congregation of Chinese forces on Hong Kong’s border”…

The White House is monitoring what a senior administration official called a congregation of Chinese forces on Hong Kong’s border.

Weeks of unrest in the Chinese territory have begun to overwhelm Hong Kong’s police, who have found themselves in violent clashes with protesters. China warned Monday that the civil disorder had gone “far beyond” peaceful protest after police deployed tear gas over the weekend.

Could it be possible that Chinese forces could soon storm across the border?

And there have also been other signs that China is about to do something drastic

And also on Wednesday, Chen Daoxiang, the commander of China’s military garrison in Hong Kong — which holds around 6,000 troops — said his forces were “determined to protect national sovereignty, security, stability and the prosperity of Hong Kong.” His remarks came as China released a new propaganda video which include armed forces practicing shooting at protestors, after which he underscored his support for the city’s chief executive for “rigorously enforcing the law.”

Yes, Hong Kong is now technically part of China. But according to the agreement that was signed when the British handed over Hong Kong, the city is supposed to be allowed to govern itself to a large degree until 2047

After taking over Hong Kong in a war in the 1800s, Britain returned it to China in 1997 with an important stipulation: The city would partly govern itself for 50 years before fully falling under Beijing’s control. So until 2047, the expectation was that the city and the mainland would operate under the principle known as “one country, two systems.”

So if China ends up sending troops into Hong Kong to end the political protests, the Trump administration will be extremely upset, and tensions between our two nations will go up several more notches.

A new development in the trade war is the other reason why the Chinese are so angry with us right now.

After President Trump hit China with new tariffs on Thursday, China’s ambassador to the United Nations warned that the Chinese are prepared to implement “necessary countermeasures”

China’s new ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, said Beijing would take “necessary countermeasures” to protect its rights and bluntly described Trump’s move as “an irrational, irresponsible act.”

“China’s position is very clear that if U.S. wishes to talk, then we will talk, if they want to fight, then we will fight,” Zhang told reporters in New York, also signalling that trade tensions could hurt cooperation between the countries on dealing with North Korea.

In other words, the Chinese are not going to back down one bit, and they are going to hit us back hard.

And Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said similar things when she addressed reporters on Friday

“China will not accept any form of pressure, intimidation or deception,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a press conference Friday.

China‘s Ministry of Commerce released a statement that said Beijing would impose countermeasures.

“The U.S. has to bear all the consequences,” the statement said. “China believes there will be no winners of this trade war and does not want to fight. But we are not afraid to fight and will fight if necessary.”

In the end, it is very true that there “will be no winners” in this trade war. The Chinese know where our pain points are, and they will not be afraid to fight dirty.

A rapidly deteriorating relationship with China is a big part of the scenario that we have been anticipating. As I discussed yesterday, it is exceedingly unlikely that there will be a trade deal between the United States and China before the 2020 presidential election. And to be honest, it is far more likely that our conflict with China will escalate well beyond just a “trade war” in the months ahead.

The two largest economic superpowers on the entire planet are now locked in a monumental struggle for dominance, and it is going to result in a tremendous amount of economic pain for the entire planet.

Unfortunately, most Americans are completely and utterly clueless about what is going on, and so most of them are still convinced that everything is going to be just fine.

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

New Tariffs, Stocks Plunge, Manufacturing Falls Again And More Layoffs – But Everything Is “Fine”?

Things are starting to go downhill rather quickly now. A day after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time in more than a decade, we received a whole bunch more bad economic news. Most Americans don’t realize it yet, but our economy is in serious trouble. We haven’t seen anything like this since the last recession, but most people seem to think that since stock prices are still very high that everything must be fine. No, everything is definitely not “fine”, and as I noted yesterday, a lot of prominent names are loudly sounding the alarm. Many analysts are expecting things to really start breaking loose as we get deeper into the second half of this year, and what we witnessed on Thursday certainly didn’t make the outlook any brighter.

President Trump completely shocked Wall Street when he announced that yet another round of tariffs will be imposed upon Chinese goods. According to CNBC, these new tariffs will go into effect on September 1st…

Trump said in a series of tweets the tariff will be imposed on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods. The levy will take effect Sept. 1.

He said later in the day those levies could go up to 25%. Trump’s comments came after a U.S. delegation met with Chinese trade officials earlier this week. Those were the first in-person trade talks between China and the U.S. since both countries reached a truce on the situation.

This is essentially the equivalent of a “gut punch”, and it definitely takes our trade war with China to an entirely new level.

And Trump told the press that the tariffs will remain in place until the U.S. and China agree to a deal. The following comes from Fox Business

President Trump said on Thursday the U.S. will continue to tax China until the world’s two largest economies reach a trade agreement .

“When my people came home they said we were talking. We have another meeting in September. Until such time as there is a deal we will be taxing them,” he said from the White House’s south lawn.

But as I have repeatedly explained to my readers, there isn’t going to be an agreement any time soon. In fact, it is extremely doubtful that we will see one before the 2020 presidential election. Trump is not going to back down from his core demands, the Chinese will never accept them, and China would much prefer to negotiate with whoever follows Trump in the Oval Office.

So these tariffs are here to stay, China will inevitably retaliate once again, and global economic activity will suffer.

But Trump doesn’t seem alarmed. On Thursday, he also told reporters that if China doesn’t want to trade with the United States anymore “that would be fine with me”

“For many years China has been taking money out by the hundreds billions of dollars a year. We have rebuilt China so now it is time that we changed things around. If they didn’t want to trade with us anymore that would be fine with me. It would save us a lot of money,” Trump told reporters Thursday.

Those are very strong words, and Trump actually has a point.

In the short-term, decoupling from the Chinese economy is going to be extremely painful for us. But the truth is that we should have never integrated our economy so deeply with China’s economy in the first place. The Chinese government is one of the most tyrannical regimes on the entire planet, and they have no respect for basic human rights. Trade agreements that were extremely unfavorable for the United States allowed China to become exceedingly wealthy at our expense, and the Chinese would like to continue taking advantage of us indefinitely if they could.

So something definitely needed to be done about China, but it is going to be a really, really painful period of adjustment for the U.S. economy.

After Wall Street learned of the new tariffs on Thursday, stock prices immediately began to plummet

When President Donald Trump announced a new round of tariffs on Chinese imports on Thursday, the Dow was up 311 points. Then it was down nearly 300 points.

That was the biggest swing since early January.

And it certainly would not be a surprise if stock prices continued to go down. As I noted the other day, the stock market is more primed for a crash than it has ever been before.

At this point, stock prices are completely and totally disconnected from economic reality. As stocks hit record high after record high in July, bad economic news just kept pouring in.

Of course August certainly just started off with a bang. On Thursday, we learned that a key measure of U.S. manufacturing activity has fallen to the lowest level since September 2009

The IHS Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 50.4 in July, down from 50.6 in June, driven by a weaker demand. The firm also noted managers’ signaled slower hiring.

In addition, Lowe’s just announced that they will be “laying off thousands of workers”

Lowe’s is laying off thousands of workers.

Layoffs will include assemblers, who put together items like grills and patio furniture. The company will also cut maintenance and facility-service jobs, such as janitors. The company said it is outsourcing those positions to third-party companies.

Lowe’s (LOW) declined to say exactly how many workers will be laid off. It said that workers whose jobs are being eliminated will be given transition pay and have the opportunity to apply for open roles at Lowe’s. The Wall Street Journal first reported Lowe’s plan.

This is the continuation of a trend that I have been tracking for months. Big companies have been laying off workers at a level that we haven’t seen since the last recession, and many believe that what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning.

Also, the “trucking apocalypse” just continues to accelerate. The following comes from Zero Hedge

Yet another trucking company has fallen victim to the recession in freight this year, according to FreightWaves. Terrill Transportation of Livermore, California shut its doors unexpectedly on July 30. The company had been in business 25 years.

Customer Manny Bhandal, president of Bhandal Bros. Inc., said that three of his trucks arrived at Terrill on July 30 to drop off a shipment and were turned away. Kevin Terrill, president of Terrill Transportation, did not respond to FreightWaves.

If the U.S. economy really was in “fine” shape, trucking company after trucking company would not be shutting their doors.

Sadly, instead of heeding the warning signs and using this time to get prepared for rough times ahead, most Americans are choosing to use this time to party.

And there is certainly not anything wrong with enjoying life, but we have gotten to the point where it is crystal clear that a new crisis is upon us, and most Americans are completely and utterly unprepared for what is about to happen.

I will continue to track these developments as they unfold. We are truly in unprecedented territory, and I have a feeling that the second half of 2019 is going to be far more “interesting” than the first half was.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Survey: 69% Of U.S. CFOs Believe That A Recession Will Start “By The End Of 2020”

Throughout 2017 and most of 2018, U.S. corporate executives were generally very optimistic about the future of the economy, but now that optimism has been replaced by a deep sense of doom and gloom. And of course there are very good reasons for all of the doom and gloom. The trade war with China looks like it is going to last for an extended period of time, recent global manufacturing numbers have been absolutely dismal, and it is being projected that corporate earnings will be down significantly in the second quarter. The economic environment is tough and it is rapidly getting tougher, and a brand new survey that was just released has found that 69 percent of U.S. CFOs believe that a new recession will start “by the end of 2020″…

The longest economic expansion in modern American history could come to a screeching halt right before the 2020 presidential election.

At least that’s what US finance leaders fear. Nearly half (48.1%) of chief financial officers in the United States are predicting the American economy will be in recession by the middle of next year, according to the Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook survey released on Wednesday. And 69% of those executives are bracing for a recession by the end of 2020.

Other surveys have come up with similar results. For example, a recent National Association for Business Economics survey concluded that there is “a 60% chance” that a recession will start by the time next year ends…

There is about a 60% chance of a recession starting in the United States by the end of next year, according to a National Association for Business Economics survey published earlier this month. Most economists in that report cited protectionist trade policy as the leading risk to the US economy.

Even before trade negotiations with China completely broke down U.S. economic numbers were looking quite bleak, but now it has become clear that the trade war is going to accelerate our economic problems.

In fact, it is being reported that large U.S. corporations that get over half of their sales internationally “are expected to see a 9.3% slump in second-quarter earnings”…

The trade war and global slowdown are combining to trigger a sharp drawdown in profits for U.S. multinational companies.

Companies that derive more than half their sales outside the U.S. are expected to see a 9.3% slump in second-quarter earnings as the reporting season looms about a month away, according to FactSet estimates that see the S&P 500 broadly reporting a 2.3% decline.

The one thing that could really help our economic situation right now would be a trade agreement with China that would end this trade war.

And it would seem that both sides should have a strong incentive to make a deal, because both sides have so much to lose.

But at this point it appears that any hopes of a deal in the short-term are completely dead. President Trump has made it abundantly clear that he will not accept anything dramatically different from the deal that he thought he almost had when talks broke down, and the Chinese have made it abundantly clear that such a deal is completely and totally unacceptable.

So many U.S. companies are now operating under the assumption that this trade war will be here for the long haul. For example, the following comes from an opinion piece that Canary CEO Dan K. Eberhart recently authored for CNN

At Canary, we plan to operate as if the tariffs on Chinese goods are here to stay. China’s government recently released a white paper on the trade standoff that makes it clear Beijing is not giving in to US demands anytime soon.

We have moved much of our manufacturing to Vietnam, India, Malaysia and South Korea. We still depend on China for a significant portion of the wellheads and other steel products used in the oilfields, but it’s on the decline. Our goal is for non-Chinese sources to account for 25% of our international purchases within the year, up from our previous target of 10%.

And the Chinese appear to be preparing as if this struggle could potentially last for quite a few years. The following is a short excerpt from a recent Bloomberg article entitled “Tour of China Shows a Nation Girding for Protracted Trade War”

Now, Trump says, it’s China’s turn to cower. Yet to visit China these days is to encounter the limits of his punch-them-in-the-nose strategy. Even as Trump threatens to raise import duties to painful levels, 10 days of meetings with Chinese officials, academics, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists revealed a nation rewriting its relationship with the U.S. and preparing to ride out a trade war.

Trump is seeking to increase pressure on Xi Jinping, his Chinese counterpart, before this month’s G-20 summit, but Trump may already have pushed too far. Last month, Xi exhorted his countrymen to a second Long March, an echo of Mao’s seminal strategy to preserve the communist revolution.

Without a doubt, we needed to get tough with China, because they have been lying, cheating, manipulating their currency and stealing our intellectual property for many years.

So doing nothing was not an option.

But let there be no doubt that this trade war is going to be exceedingly painful, and the longer it lasts the more painful it is going to become.

Are Americans ready to make the sacrifices necessary in order to win a protracted trade dispute?

That is a a very good question, and only the passage of time will reveal the true answer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The new travel advice did not come in isolation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

At this point, most Americans may be vaguely aware that some sort of a trade war is going on, but over in China they are taking this deadly seriously. And without a doubt, the stage is being set for a full-fledged global showdown between the two superpowers.

This is not a game, and if things go badly we could potentially be facing apocalyptic consequences.

So hopefully Trump knows what he is doing, because right now things appear to be starting to spiral out of control very rapidly.

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

Economic Chaos Erupts! – Global Manufacturing Plunges, The Trade War Expands And The Nasdaq Enters Correction Territory

The global economic slowdown is really starting to accelerate. Just within the past few days, we have gotten more really awful global manufacturing numbers, the trade war has expanded to more nations, and the Nasdaq has officially entered correction territory. We have not witnessed this sort of global economic environment since the Great Recession, and if the economic chaos continues to escalate it won’t take too much to spark a brand new financial crisis. Of course the global financial system is far more vulnerable than it was back in 2008, and so if we stay on the path that we are currently on we could be facing a nightmare scenario very rapidly.

Let’s talk about the manufacturing numbers first. The numbers coming out of Germany are already at a crisis level, and manufacturing is also now contracting in Japan, South Korea and China as well.

Overall, global manufacturing as a whole has now fallen into contraction territory for the first time in seven years

Global manufacturing was the weakest since 2012 last month, a victim of mounting trade tensions and further reason to worry that the world economy is weakening.

With softness in Germany, Japan, the U.K. — as well as the lowest U.S. result in a decade — IHS Markit’s global Purchasing Managers Index fell to 49.8 in May, below the 50 level that divides expansion from contraction.

The reports underscore the growing threat posed by the escalating U.S.-China trade war, and they coincided with a fresh warning from Wall Street about recession risks.

The reason why so many people are freaking out about these numbers is because this is exactly what we would expect to see if we were entering a global recession.

Meanwhile, global financial markets are looking increasingly shaky. On Monday, the Nasdaq fell another 120 points and it has now officially entered correction territory

Stocks ended mostly lower Monday, June’s first day of trading, amid reports that the U.S. government is planning to target a host of big tech companies with antitrust and business practice probes. Shares of Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook and Apple all weighed on the market during Monday’s session.

The Nasdaq dropped 1.6% to enter correction territory, closing more than 10% below its record high set in late April.

The term “correction territory” might not mean a lot to many of you, so let me put what is happening in terms you may understand.

On Monday alone, America’s most prominent tech stocks lost approximately 150 billion dollars in value. It looks like the Trump administration is getting ready to go to war with the big tech companies, and that is really, really bad news for tech investors. The following comes from Breitbart

The Masters of the Universe got hit hard by investors on Monday. Like $150 billion hard.

Shares of the top tech giants fell sharply on Monday after reports that U.S. antitrust regulators had divided up oversight of the sector, with the Department of Justice assuming responsibility for Alphabet and Apple and the Federal Trade Commission taking on Facebook and Amazon. This triggered fears that the government could mount challenges to the business models of the companies.

Shares of Alphabet dived 6.1 percent on Monday after the Wall Street Journal reported that the Justice Department is in the early stage of preparing an antitrust probe of the company. Reuters reported that the Department of Justice is also looking into Apple’s business for possible antitrust violations.

Speaking of war, our trade conflict with China continues to escalate. The mainstream media hasn’t been talking much about it, but apparently the Chinese have decided to put purchases of U.S. soybeans “on hold” until a trade agreement is reached…

China, the world’s largest soybean buyer, has put purchases of American supplies on hold after the trade war between Washington and Beijing escalated, according to people familiar with the matter.

State-grain buyers haven’t received any further orders to continue with the so-called goodwill buying and don’t expect that to happen given the lack of agreement in trade negotiations, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information is private.

U.S. soybean farmers have been sitting on unprecedented amounts of soybeans in hopes that an end to the trade war would raise prices.

But instead, demand for U.S. soybeans is going to go through the floor, and this could potentially force thousands of soybean farmers into bankruptcy.

And in addition to our trade war with China, the Trump administration has apparently decided that now is a good time to start a trade war with Mexico

From produce to cars, a wide variety of Mexican goods could become more expensive if Trump follows through on his threat to hit Mexican imports with tariffs that soon could climb to 25%. Trump wants to pressure Mexico into doing more to halt the flow of Central American migrants to the U.S. via the Mexican border.

The tariffs, set to begin June 10, would gradually climb to 25% on Oct. 1 if Mexico doesn’t take steps “to dramatically reduce or eliminate” the number of migrants, Trump said Thursday. Such a strategy would hurt American shoppers, the economy and stocks, experts say, just as U.S. growth is slowing and the threat of more tariffs on Chinese imports looms larger.

At least in this case the U.S. and Mexico are still talking, and so perhaps some kind of resolution can be reached.

On top of everything else, the Trump administration has also just decided to add India to the trade war as well

Mr. Trump on Friday said India would be removed from the U.S.’s privileged-trading program called the Generalized System of Preferences on Wednesday. Under the decadeslong program meant for some developing economies, the U.S. had allowed India to avoid tariffs on certain exports to the U.S. in the interest of promoting tighter trade ties and development.

India, the U.S.’s ninth-largest trading partner, is a top beneficiary of the GSP program. Mr. Trump’s move will add tariffs of as much as 7% on Indian exports of goods like chemicals, auto parts and tableware to the U.S., which in 2018 accounted for more than 11%, or $6.3 billion, of India’s total exports of goods valued at $54.4 billion, according to the Congressional Research Service, a research agency for the U.S. Congress.

A global trade war is going to be incredibly painful for everyone, and this is all happening at a time when the global economy was already starting to slow down substantially.

Here in the United States, a lot of businesses are really starting to notice a big decline in economic activity. Here is just one example that was published on Zero Hedge earlier today…

Down here, in Texas, I am seeing a big drop in economic activity over the last 6 months. Our healthcare businesses’ volume over this period is at 629, down from 770, year-on-year, almost a 20% decline, and the worst six month decline in our 15 year history. We have been pulling out all of the stops for business development, cutting overhead, and running all the QC traps to determine if it is something within our business, within our local market, within our industry, or having to do with the economy in general.

In this period, we have seen seven competitors go out of business in our city. We have recently confirmed similar experiences with colleagues in Kentucky, Colorado, and elsewhere in Texas. One of them asked me, “If this is not temporary, what would the strategy be?” My response was, “Hunker in the bunker and wait for everyone else to die.”

This is what we have all been preparing for, and things are going to get progressively tougher in the months ahead.

Unfortunately, most Americans are completely and totally clueless about what is ahead. Today, 59 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and the truth is that the vast majority of us are entirely unprepared to go through another recession.

And of course many believe that what we are facing is going to be much worse than just a “recession”. A perfect storm is rapidly coming together, and the chaos that we have seen so far is nothing compared to what is rapidly approaching.

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

While U.S. Farms Are Dealing With Natural Disasters, Trump Slapped Tariffs On The Countries We Import The Rest Of Our Food From

(By Daisy Luther) There’s little doubt that the US is headed into a food crisis. Here’s the bottom line. While American farmers are dealing with one natural disaster after another, President Trump has placed tariffs on the two countries from which we import the rest of our food.

A perfect storm, am I right?

Our farms are in real trouble.

Flooding in the midwest has been going on for months (and in some areas, waters are peaking.) Farmers haven’t been able to plant due to the sodden ground. Levees are failing all over the place. Hundreds of tornadoes have swept other farming areas in just the past month. California is unseasonably wet and cold, and they’re also dealing with a labor shortage, as migrant workers aren’t being allowed in as usual.

None of this sounds good for homegrown food in America and could well lead to a famine. And if it’s not a famine, we’re guaranteed to pay higher prices at the grocery store due to these catastrophes, as farmers struggle to recover.

But like a Ginsu knife commercial, there’s more.

We import a LOT of our food.

According to an article on Quartz, a vast amount of our food comes from other places. We’ll discuss two in particular.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. imports billions of dollars worth of seafood from China each year. Farm-raised seafood such as tilapia, shrimp, salmon and catfish is shipped directly from China…

Imports of fresh fruits and nuts steadily increase each year, with Costa Rica and Mexico being the top suppliers to the U.S. This is due in part to their proximity to the U.S. and ability to import fruits closer to their picking time… Chinese pine nuts are a few. Fresh fruit arrives daily into the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru. The list of fruits that are frequently imported from these countries include produce like bananas, pineapples, avocados, apples, honeydew melons, blueberries, cantaloupe, mangoes, nectarines and lemons…

Mexico dominates the supply of imported vegetables, supplying peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, pinto beans, broccoli, cabbage, onions, lettuce, celery, squash and spinach, to name a few. (source)

And don’t forget Mexican avocados and berries or that Big Agri sends American meat to be processed in China who then sends it back.

(QUICK UPDATE: I think some folks are missing the point. I’m not recommending you eat tilapia etc. from China. I’m saying that our grocery stores are filled with imported food from China and when those prices go up, a lot of people will be in real trouble.  The fact that the food is crappy quality has nothing to do with the point of the article – which is food shortages and rising prices. ~ DL)

So that sounds good – at least all our food isn’t grown here, leaving us to starve next year. Right? Not so fast.

Now there are tariffs on the two places from which we import the most food.

If the government had a way to make all these natural disasters occur almost simultaneously to keep ups from growing food here, I’d think the scheme was positively Machiavellian. But, no, we are just dealing with really horrible natural disasters topped off by some poorly timed political machinations.

Because President Trump has opted to place tariffs on the two places from which we import the most food.

At the same time that we’re having a lot of trouble growing our own food.

Now, regardless of what you think of tariffs, the reasons behind the tariffs, or illegal immigrants, you need to understand that the cart of groceries you buy now versus the cart of groceries you buy next year is going to be vastly different in price. Even though it sounds like I’m being political and bashing Trump (or not bashing him enough, depending on your views) all I’m trying to point out is the end result of all this. We need to think about how this affects us, the normies who have to budget for groceries.

We’re looking at both food shortages and higher priced food due to tariffs. Both of ’em at the same time.

If that isn’t a perfect economic storm for lower-income-earning Americans, I don’t know what is.

What can we do?

I strongly suggest you prep like there’s no tomorrow. Nearly half of all Americans are already in a position where it’s tough to pay rent and buy food. And we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Buy whatever you can get your sweaty little hands on and store it away carefully. (I’ve got a brand-spankin’ new book coming out on this topic next week – you can pre-order it here. It’s an updated version of The Pantry Primer and it’s got additional content and pictures and everything.)

You need to purchase as inexpensively as possible food that will last a long time, like rice, dried beans, wheat berries, canned goods, peanut butter, and freeze-dried foods. You need to garden if you can and preserve the excess through canning and dehydration. Here’s how to make meals with all this stuff if you generally only cook with fresh ingredients.

What do you think will happen?

Maybe things will dry out and our crops will be bountiful. Maybe the tariffs won’t add too much to the price of our groceries.

But I really don’t think that’s what we’re going to see happening. What about you? What do you think about all the tariffs and the weather events and their potential effect on our food supply? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

About the Author: Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, voluntaryism, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com. Daisy is the best-selling author of 4 books and runs a small digital publishing company.  She lives in the mountains of Virginia with her family. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter.

New Video Encourages Chinese “To Starve For A Few Years In Order To Make The United States Bleed”


 

A new video created by activists in China is urging “war” with the United States “until the Pacific Ocean splits into two”.  Hopefully when they are speaking of “war”, they are just referring to the trade war that is currently raging between our two nations.  But without a doubt, there is a lot of anger toward the United States over in China right now, and this video is a reflection of that.

And the Chinese government apparently agrees with the content of this video, because it was posted on a video sharing platform that is very heavily regulated by the communist Chinese government.

The following is what the Washington Free Beacon had to say about this new video…

China’s Communist Party-controlled media stepped up a war of words with the United States recently urging an escalation of the ongoing trade dispute into a full-scale conflict.

“China must be prepared to fight a protracted war,” states a four-minute, anti-American video posted five days ago on a Chinese video-sharing service.

“Trump’s ‘outrageous and selfish’ strategy might work for smaller countries, but it will never work for China,” the video warns. “To quote a well-written article in the Global Times: If the Americans want to fight, we will fight them until the end! And we will fight until the Pacific Ocean splits into two!” Global Times is the Communist Party of China’s nationalistic and anti-U.S. news outlet.

All Of The Economic Momentum Is Moving In Just One Direction Now

Earlier today, I was greeted by this jarring headline when I visited the Drudge Report: “BONDS FLASH RECESSION WARNING”. These days, it seems like the “R word” is being thrown around constantly, but at this time last year everyone was celebrating how well the economy was doing. Unfortunately, we have witnessed a dramatic shift in recent months, and we just got some more really bad economic numbers. Thanks to those bad numbers and an increasing amount of anxiety about the trade war, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell another 237 points on Monday. That means that we are on pace to potentially see the Dow fall for a sixth week in a row, and that is something that hasn’t happened since the last recession.

But right now investors are far more spooked about what is going on in the bond market. According to Mish Shedlock, we haven’t seen this many yield curve inversions “since the start of the Great Recession”…

On Friday, US Treasury yields plunged at the mid to long end of the curve providing the most inversions since the start of the Great Recession. This is the biggest recession warning since 2007.

In so many ways, what we are witnessing at this moment is very reminiscent of the conditions that prevailed just prior to the last financial crisis.

Back then, the economic numbers were definitely starting to slide, but most Americans didn’t think that we were heading toward big trouble. But those that understood what was happening were sounding the alarm, and the same thing is happening today. For example, the following comes from a CNBC article entitled “Morgan Stanley says economy is on ‘recession watch’ as bond market flashes warning”

“Recent data points suggest US earnings and economic risk is greater than most investors may think,” wrote Michael Wilson, the firm’s chief U.S. equity strategist.

Specifically, the stock strategist highlighted a recent survey from financial data firm IHS Markit that showed manufacturing activity fell to a nine-year low in May. That report also revealed a “notable slowdown” in the U.S. services sector, a key area for an American economy characterized by huge job gains in health care and business services.

In addition to disappointing manufacturing numbers, we also just learned that orders for capital goods were down significantly during the month of April…

The Commerce Department said on Friday orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, dropped 0.9% last month as demand weakened almost across the board. Data for March was revised down to show these so-called core capital goods orders rising 0.3% instead of increasing 1.0% as previously reported.

Also, we just found out that U.S. home price gains have now fallen for 12 months in a row.

When you add those numbers to all of the other depressing economic numbers that have been rolling in lately, a very clear picture emerges.

The U.S. economy is heading in the wrong direction, and things are steadily getting worse.

A resolution to our trade war with China would be a huge economic boost in the short-term, but that is not likely to happen for the foreseeable future. In fact, on Monday President Trump stated that he is “not ready” to make a deal with China

Bank shares fell broadly amid the lower interest rates. Goldman Sachs dropped 1.8% while Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase fell 0.9% and 1.1%, respectively. Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo also slipped.

The drop in bank shares and rates come after President Donald Trump said on Monday the U.S. was “not ready” to make a deal with China, before adding he expected one in the future. Trump also said tariffs on Chinese imports could go up “substantially.”

And the Chinese are clearly digging in as well. The chief editor of the Global Times, Hu Xijin, has a very close relationship with top Chinese officials, and he just warned that China “is seriously considering restricting rare earth exports” to the United States…

While the official at China’s national planning body did not directly answer whether Beijing would restrict rare earth exports to the United States, Global Times Editor-in-chief Hu Xijin wrote on Twitter: ‘Based on what I know, China is seriously considering restricting rare earth exports to the U.S. China may also take other countermeasures in the future.’

Although the tabloid Global Times is not one of China’s official media, it is widely read and is published by the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Party newspaper.

Just a few days ago I published an entire article about the impact that such a move would have on the U.S. economy, and I won’t reproduce all of that information here.

But the bottom line is this – the U.S. economy would be in a massive amount of trouble if that happened.

A deteriorating relationship with China is part of the scenario that we have been anticipating, and events are definitely starting to accelerate now.

For most Americans, however, there is no reason to be concerned. Most of us simply trust that our leaders in Washington have things under control and that everything will work out just fine somehow.

But if we do plunge into another deep economic crisis, many Americans will be in enormous trouble right away. According to one recent survey, 45 percent of us rate our financial situations as either “fair” or “poor”

Nearly 30% of respondents rate their financial situation as “only fair” and 15% say it’s “poor.” Meanwhile, 25% worry “all” or “most” of the time that their household income won’t be enough to cover their expenses.

Their biggest concerns: Saving enough for retirement and unplanned medical costs, with 54% and 51%, respectively, saying they’re “very” or “moderately” worried about each prospect.

In addition, another recent survey discovered that 59 percent of all Americans are currently living paycheck to paycheck.

Just like last time around, most Americans are living on the edge financially.

And just like last time around, millions of Americans will be completely blind-sided by an economic train wreck that they didn’t see coming.

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

U.S. Stocks Have Now Fallen For 5 Weeks In A Row – That Is The Worst Stock Market Streak In Almost 8 Years

We haven’t seen stock prices slide like this in a long time, and if this keeps up we could soon be looking at an avalanche. Our rapidly escalating trade war with China and more bad U.S. economic numbers pushed stocks down once again this week, and at this point the Dow Industrial Average has now fallen for five weeks in a row. We haven’t seen a losing streak this long since June 2011, and it is yet another indication that we have reached a major turning point. Some positive comments about China from President Trump on Friday helped to lift stocks a little, but it wasn’t enough to put stocks into the green for the week. Of course the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are both working on losing streaks as well. According to CNBC, both of them have now declined for three weeks in a row…

But Friday’s gains were not enough to offset this week’s losses. The Dow dropped 0.7% this week to post its fifth consecutive weekly decline, its longest streak since 2011. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell a third straight week of losses, their longest slide since December 2018. The weekly losses come at a time when investors are growing more convinced that the trade war will take longer than expected to conclude and could hurt the economy.

Unfortunately, things are not likely to turn around any time soon. As I discussed yesterday, there is not much optimism that a trade deal with China will happen any time in the foreseeable future, and that is going to continually weigh on the economy.

Meanwhile, we continue to get more numbers that indicate that the U.S. economy is starting to slow down significantly. On Friday, a key survey of U.S. manufacturing activity plunged to the lowest level in more than 9 years

An IHS Markit “flash” survey of U.S. manufacturers fell to a nine-and-a-half-year low of 50.6 this month from 52.6 in April. Manufacturing conditions have been soft for months.

Even more ominous, was the firm’s survey of U.S. service-oriented companies such as banks and retailers. These slipped to a 39-month low of 50.8 from 52.7.

Lately you have heard me talk about a lot of things that haven’t happened in “8 years” or “9 years”. In so many areas, we are seeing numbers that we have not seen since the last recession, and many believe that the worst is yet to come.

And actually things are even worse for the retail industry than they were at any point during the last recession. We are already on pace to absolutely shatter the all-time record for store closings in a single year, and on Friday we learned that yet another retail chain is shutting down all of their stores

In another sign of traditional retailers’ struggles, Topshop plans to close all 11 of its US stores as its parent company seeks to restructure after filing for bankruptcy protection.

Arcadia Group, the London-based owner of fast-fashion chain Topshop Topman, said it was facing “unprecedented” market conditions in the retail sector.

Day after day we just continue to get more numbers that tell us that the U.S. economy is heading in the wrong direction.

And we received more confirmation of that fact when J.P. Morgan economists dramatically slashed their U.S. GDP forecast for the second quarter of this year…

J.P. Morgan economists said they now see much slower second-quarter growth of just 1%, down from their prior forecast of 2.25% and way off the 3.2% reported in the first quarter.

“The April durable goods report was bad, particularly the details relating to capital goods orders and shipments. Coming on the heels of last week’s crummy April retail sales report, it suggests second quarter activity growth is sharply downshifting from the first quarter pace, ” the economists wrote.

Meanwhile, more troubling economic news continues to come in from all over the globe. We just learned that Mexico’s economy is officially shrinking, and the Chinese government was just forced to take over an insolvent bank for the first time ever

China’s financial regulators said on Friday the country’s banking and insurance regulator and the central bank, will take control of the small, troubled inner Mongolia-based Baoshang Bank due to the serious credit risks it poses. The regulator’s control of Baoshang will last for a year starting on Friday, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) said on their websites.

The stage is being set for the sort of global economic meltdown that we have been anticipating. Of course if the U.S. and China were able to pull off a miracle and agree to a trade deal, that would be a tremendous boost to both the financial markets and the entire global economy. But the only way that is going to happen is if one side or the other totally caves in. The Chinese government has made a really big deal about the fact that they are not going to move from their current positions, and so the only way that a deal will happen at this point is if Donald Trump decides to wave a white flag and completely surrender to the Chinese.

What do you think the odds are of that happening?

But as the U.S. economy continues to deteriorate, the pressure on Trump to “do something” is going to be immense.

So we shall see what happens. For now global financial markets are slowly sliding downhill, but eventually patience is going to run out and at that point we could see a mad dash for the exits.

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

There Is An Increasing Amount Of Buzz That China Could Invoke The Rare Earth “Nuclear Option” In The Trade War

If China wants to cause a massive amount of pain for the U.S. economy in this trade war, they certainly have the firepower to do so. Today, China accounts for more than 80 percent of the world’s rare earth element production, and approximately 80 percent of the rare earth elements that are used by U.S. companies are imported from China. The U.S. does have one facility that mines rare earth elements in California, but everything that is mined there has to be shipped to China for processing. So at this point we do not have the ability to supply our own rare earth element needs, and that gives the Chinese a tremendous amount of leverage.

Without rare earth elements, modern society as we have come to know it would not be able to function.

Today, rare earth elements are used in the production of cell phones, televisions, computers, DVD players, speakers, cameras, electric car motors, jet engines, satellites, lasers, wind turbines and superconductors.

In other words, without rare earth elements we would not be able to produce any of those things. And since the Chinese have such a dominant position in the global marketplace, that gives them an incredible amount of power.

Of course the Chinese understand this very well, and shortly after trade talks with the U.S. completely collapsed Chinese President Xi Jinping made it a point to visit one of the most important rare earth production facilities in China. Needless to say, the purpose of that visit was to send a very clear message to the United States. And once the Trump administration moved to cripple Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, there was a lot of speculation in the mainstream media that China may consider cutting off rare earth exports to the U.S. in response

The United States last week threatened to cut supplies of US technology needed by Chinese telecom champion Huawei, which Washington suspects is in bed with China’s military.

The US move has fanned speculation that Xi could impose retaliatory measures and in an indication of the importance of rare earths to the US, Washington did not include them in a tariffs increase on Chinese goods this month.

If China made such a move, it would take the trade war to an entirely different level. Some are referring to this as China’s “nuclear option”, and they will not use it lightly.

But if they do decide to go there, it will be absolutely devastating

“China could shut down nearly every automobile, computer, smartphone and aircraft assembly line outside of China if they chose to embargo these materials,” James Kennedy, president of ThREE Consulting, wrote Tuesday in National Defense, a US industry publication.

Just consider the implications of that statement for a moment.

If China wants to do so, they could essentially shut down all auto, phone, computer and aircraft manufacturers in the United States once their existing supplies of rare earth elements run out.

If I was an executive at one of those companies, I would be hoarding rare earth elements like crazy right now.

Unfortunately, the rhetoric on both sides of this trade war just continues to intensify. This week, Chinese President Xi Jinping referred to this trade war as “the new Long March”

“Today, on the new Long March, we must overcome various major risks and challenges from home and abroad,” state news agency Xinhua paraphrased Xi as saying, referring to the 1934-36 trek of Communist Party members fleeing a civil war to a remote rural base, from where they re-grouped and eventually took power in 1949.

“Our country is still in a period of important strategic opportunities for development, but the international situation is increasingly complicated,” he said.

And the Trump administration decided to make China even more upset by sailing two warships through the Taiwan Strait

Just in case the “world tech and trade war I” was not enough to send US-China relations back decades, on Wednesday the US military sent two Navy destroyers through the Taiwan Strait in its latest transit through the sensitive waterway, “angering China” at a time of tense relations between the world’s two biggest economies.

While trade war between the two superpowers is raging, so far at least there have been no shooting incidents, and yet the US seems eager to provide just the right “excuse” for a trade war to become a “kinetic” one, as Taiwan is one of a growing number of flashpoints in the U.S.-China relationship, where in addition to the increasingly bitter trade war, China’s increasingly muscular military posture in the South China Sea has prompted the United States to conducts frequent freedom-of-navigation patrols.

The longer this trade war lasts, the angrier that the Chinese are going to become.

Sadly, most Americans don’t even seem to realize that a trade war is happening, but over in China this is what everyone is talking about right now. In fact, a new song entitled “Trade War” has just gone viral on one of their biggest social media platforms

A song titled “Trade War,” (video below) has gone viral on one the largest Chinese social media platforms, WeChat, generating more than 100,000 views amid a deepening trade war between the US and China. The song begins with a chorus singing “Trade war! Trade war! Not afraid of the outrageous challenge! Not afraid of the outrageous challenge! A trade war is happening over the Pacific Ocean!” reports Bloomberg.

You can listen to the song for yourself on YouTube right here.

If we stay on this path, relations with China are going to continue to deteriorate, and that has ominous implications for our future.

The two largest economies on the entire planet are now locked in a great struggle, and both sides are absolutely determined to emerge victorious.

It may not happen immediately, but at some point the Chinese will be very tempted to cut off all exports of rare earth elements to the United States, and if that happens we will immediately start hearing squeals of panic from many of the largest U.S. corporations.

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

Stocks And Bonds Are Both Sending The Exact Same Message As Wall Street Braces For A Very Uncertain Future

Slowly but surely, Wall Street is starting to understand that the good times are over. For months, most investors were absolutely convinced that the U.S. and China would be able to work out a trade deal because the alternative would simply be too painful for both sides. But now trade talks are completely dead, and Wall Street is starting to come to grips with the reality that we really are facing a very long trade war. Unless there is a major miracle, this trade war with China is likely to last until the presidential election in 2020, and if Trump wins it could go a lot longer than that. And of course this comes at a time when the U.S. economy is already slowing down dramatically. The economic optimism of the last couple of years is being replaced by a deep sense of gloom, and we are starting to see this reflected in the behavior of the markets.

For example, on Thursday we witnessed “dramatic” moves in the bond market as investors engaged in a rush to safety…

Investors rushed into the safety of bonds Thursday and dumped stocks, as it appeared the trade war could be prolonged and more painful for the world economy than expected.

The moves in the bond market were dramatic, with the 10-year Treasury yield dropping about 8 basis points in its biggest one-day move since April 1. At the same, traders in fed funds futures bet on the Fed making two quarter-point rate cuts by the middle of next year and possibly a third in the second half of 2020.

Meanwhile, stocks continued to fall as well, although some positive remarks from President Trump caused a bump late in the day…

Wall Street is coming to grips with the idea that the US-China trade war will get worse before it gets better.

The Dow dropped 286 points, or 1.1%, on Thursday on fears about the tariff battle slowing global growth and dinging corporate profits. The index recovered somewhat toward the end of the day — at one point it was down nearly 450 points.

Unfortunately, stocks and bonds are both telling us the exact same thing.

According to the head of short U.S. rate strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, U.S. financial markets are indicating that “we’re moving toward a worst case scenario, and that could persist for quite some time”

“The market is obviously telling you that it’s quite worried about some of the incoming data, including the PMIs this morning, the ongoing trade rhetoric and the move in risk assets,” said Mark Cabana, head of short U.S. rate strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Cabana said the market now believes a full blown trade war is coming, with taxes on all of China’s products.

“The concern the market has right now is that we’re moving toward a worst case scenario, and that could persist for quite some time. If that’s the case, then the market is believing the [weak] economic data, and the Fed will likely need to respond to that by trying to offset and prevent a recession,” he said.

Of course there is still enough hope in the marketplace to keep the floor from completely falling out from underneath investors, but at this point even CNBC’s Jim Cramer is admitting that “banking on hope” is not a good strategy…

“If you buy right now on anything other than a slammed, super-growth stock down on a general market pullback, well you’re banking on hope, and hope should never be a part of the equation,” the “Mad Money” host said.

From this point forward, we should start to see things escalate pretty quickly.

Relations with China are going to continue to deteriorate, and problems between the United States and China are going to expand well beyond the economic sphere.

But for the immediate future, most of the focus will be on the economic consequences of the trade war, and most of the “experts” are starting to openly admit that those consequences are going to be quite painful. The following comes from CNN

“You can’t have the world’s two largest economies in a long, drawn-out mutually destructive trade war and not slow the global economy,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities Corporation.

Of course Hogan is 100 percent correct. The trade war is going to hurt all of us economically, and very disturbing numbers are rolling in on a daily basis now. For example, we just learned that new manufacturing orders just fell for the first time since the last recession

American business activity tumbled to a three-year low in May due in large part to concerns about tariffs, according to a report released on Thursday by IHS Markit. New manufacturing orders declined for the first time since August 2009.

And as I pointed out the other day, global exports have also fallen to the lowest level that we have seen since 2009.

Once the dominoes start falling, all of our economic and financial bubbles could start bursting at the same time, and that could potentially create a crisis unlike anything that any of us have ever seen before.

My wife and I are both feeling a tremendous sense of urgency right now. So many of the things that we have been waiting and watching for are starting to unfold.

Many believed that 2019 was going to represent a major turning point, and that appears to be exactly what is happening.

So hold on to your hats, because the remainder of this year is likely to be extremely “interesting”.

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

Trade Talks Are Dead, And So U.S. Consumers Should Brace For A Long, Bitter, Painful Trade War With China

There is not going to be a trade deal between the United States and China any time soon, and that is going to mean a tremendous amount of pain for the U.S. economy. For months, hope that the U.S. and China would soon reach a trade deal helped to elevate global financial markets, but now that hope has disappeared. In order for a trade deal to happen, the two sides have to talk, and at this point no negotiations are scheduled. And unless one side or the other decides that they are willing to move dramatically from their current positions, there really isn’t any reason to talk. In fact, the Chinese government is openly saying that it is in “no rush” to negotiate with the United States…

Beijing is in “no rush” to resume trade talks between the U.S. and China, the according to the South China Morning Post.

After CNBC’s Kayla Tausche reported on Friday that trade talks between the U.S. and China have stalled, Chinese analysts said China is prepared to suspend meeting if President Donald Trump wasn’t “prepared to be realistic,” the Chinese newspaper said Saturday.

If Trump was willing to back way down and give the Chinese everything that they want, of course China would be more than happy to resume negotiations.

But that isn’t going to happen. Instead, the Trump administration demonstrated their resolve by sailing a U.S. Navy vessel into disputed waters in the South China Sea on Sunday. The following comes from Zero Hedge

Once again risking a confrontation with the Chinese Navy (at a particularly sensitive time, given where we are with the trade war) the Navy carried out another “freeop” in the South China Sea over the weekend.

A US Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer sailed within 12 miles of a disputed shoal, ignoring Beijing’s repeated warnings to stay away.

On Sunday, the USS Preble, a destroyer armed with Tomahawk missiles, sailed along the Scarborough Shoal, directly challenging China’s disputed claim to the area.

Every time we send a warship into the South China Sea, it drives China up a wall, and the Trump administration understands this very well.

Such a move definitely “sends a message” to China, but it also makes a trade deal much less likely.

Subsequently, Chinese President Xi Jinping just happened to decide to tour a rare earth production facility on Monday. Here is why that was so important

As Bloomberg reported overnight, shares in JL MAG Rare-Earth surged by the daily limit on Monday after Xinhua said the Chinese president had stopped by the company in Jiangxi, a scripted move designed to telegraph what China could do next.

The reason for the dramatic market response is that the presidential visit flags policy priorities, and “rare earths have featured in the escalating trade spat between the U.S. and China.” Specifically, as Bloomberg notes, China raised tariffs to 25% from 10% on American imports, while the U.S. excluded rare earths from its own list of prospective tariffs on roughly $300 billion worth of Chinese goods to be targeted in the next wave of measures. And just in case the White House missed the message, Xi was accompanied on the trip to JL MAG by Liu He, the vice premier who has led the Chinese side in the trade negotiations.

Why does China have a clear advantage in this area? Simple: the U.S. relies on China, the dominant global supplier, for about 80% of its rare earths imports.

If the Chinese cut off our rare earth imports, we would be in a world of hurt, and the Chinese know it.

But even if things don’t escalate any further, this trade war is quickly going to become exceedingly painful. According to a couple of recent studies, millions of U.S. jobs could soon be lost if this trade war is not resolved for an extended period of time…

About 2.1 million workers in aircraft manufacturing, beer brewing, tobacco and dozens of other industries stand to be affected by the trade war, according to an April study by the Brookings Institution. The impact would be evenly distributed between red and blue counties, Brookings found.

But a similar study by Axios last week found that Trump’s recent escalations could wind up affecting more than five times as many workers. The hardest hits will affect industries based in “rural, deeply red, already-struggling parts of the country,” including miners in Texas, furniture makers in North Carolina and sawmills in Alabama.

In addition, U.S. consumers are about to experience a significant case of sticker shock. Major retailers all over the country are going to have to raise prices due to these new tariffs on China, and that is going to mean a lower standard of living for many Americans…

By now, it is likely no surprise to American families that tariffs raise the cost of living. Walmart said last week that new import duties would lead to higher prices on a wide variety of consumer goods newly targeted by the latest promised round of tariffs. Retail trade groups warn that higher prices will be the norm, as China provided about 41% of all apparel, 72% of all footwear and 84% of all travel goods imported into the United States in 2017. Given the likely timeline for this latest escalation, these price hikes should hit American parents just in time for back-to-school shopping.

And if this trade war lasts long enough, many retailers are going to have to close their doors completely. The following comes from USA Today

The trade war with China could cause prices to rise on everything from toys to clothing, but it also could lead to “widespread store closures,” according to a report by UBS.

The investment bank’s analysis said tariffs on Chinese imports could put $40 billion of sales and 12,000 stores at risk.

“The market is not realizing how much brick & mortar retail is incrementally struggling and how new 25% tariffs could force widespread store closures,” UBS analyst Jay Sole wrote in the report. “We think potential 25% tariffs on Chinese imports could accelerate pressure on these company’s profit margins to the point where major store closures become a real possibility.”

We are already on pace to absolutely shatter the all-time record for store closings in a single year, and this trade war could make our ongoing “retail apocalypse” much, much worse.

On top of everything else, analysts at Morgan Stanley are warning that a complete collapse of trade talks “would push the world economy toward recession”. Of course the reality of the matter is that they have already collapsed and both sides are not pushing to schedule any more negotiations because there really isn’t anything to talk about.

So what this means is that things are about to get really hard, and it is time to prepare for an extended economic downturn.

The Chinese are desperately hoping that a Democrat can beat Trump in 2020 so that they will have someone more “reasonable” to deal with in the future.

But the 2020 election is a year and a half away.

Trump is going to continue to stand strong because he can’t afford to look weak on China with an election coming up, and the Chinese are not going to throw in the towel when they may only have to wait 18 months for Trump to be out of the picture.

So for now we have a trade war to deal with, and with each passing day it is going to become increasingly painful.

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

Wal-Mart Executive Warns: “Higher Tariffs Will Lead To Higher Prices For Customers”

Wal-Mart gets approximately one-fourth of all the merchandise that it sells from China, and Wal-Mart’s CFO is warning that “higher tariffs will lead to higher prices for customers”. In other words, U.S. consumers will soon be feeling a lot of pain. Over the last several decades, major retailers such as Wal-Mart have become increasingly dependent on exports from China, and U.S. consumers have loved the “low, low prices” because those rock bottom prices enabled our society to enjoy a greatly inflated standard of living. Of course in the process we were mortgaging our own economic future, because we have lost more than 60,000 manufacturing facilities and millions of good paying jobs since China first joined the WTO in 2001. But we didn’t care because ultra-low prices felt good, and so our economy became increasingly integrated with China’s economy. Well, now a trade war has begun and people all over America are demanding that we get tough with China. And without a doubt something needs to be done about China, but the process of decoupling from the Chinese economy is going to be exceedingly painful. We should have never allowed ourselves to become so dependent on China in the first place, and now the consequences for our past foolishness are going to be very bitter indeed.

Previously, I have warned that this trade war will be particularly painful for those on the bottom of the economic food chain, and now the CFO of Wal-Mart has confirmed that higher tariffs “will lead to higher prices for customers”

Walmart has said that prices for shoppers will rise due to higher tariffs on goods from China, joining other retailers in warning consumers of cost hikes for imports.

‘Higher tariffs will lead to higher prices for customers,’ Walmart Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs said on Thursday following the company’s report on its first quarter results.

So what this means is that a hundred dollars will not go nearly as far as it once did when you are shopping at Wal-Mart.

And some of Wal-Mart’s biggest vendors are also sounding the alarm. For example, just consider what Del Monte CEO Greg Longstreet just said

Also, Walmart’s vendors have started to raise prices, among them Del Monte Foods, which supplies fresh and packaged goods to Walmart, including mandarin oranges imported from China. Prices will go up again with tariffs rising.

‘It´s not just tariffs. Transportation costs are up, labor costs are up. It´s an inflationary environment,’ Del Monte CEO Greg Longstreet told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference. ‘A lot of that’s going to have to be passed on. The consumer is going to have to pay more for a lot of critical goods.’

Unfortunately, Longstreet is 100% correct.

The price of everything is going to go up in the months ahead, and this is particularly true when it comes to food prices.

Meanwhile, the trade war is really starting to hit hard in other parts of the economy as well. At this point, the largest producer of farm tractors in the world is no longer “cautiously optimistic”

Deere & Co. is no longer “cautiously optimistic” as it has been for so long. The machinery giant reported lower-than-expected earnings and cut its annual guidance as its farmer customers shun major purchases amid uncertainty about demand for their products.

“Ongoing concerns about export-market access, near-term demand for commodities such as soybeans, and a delayed planting season in much of North America are causing farmers to become much more cautious about making major purchases,” Chief Executive Officer Sam Allen said in a statement Friday.

If the U.S. and China are able to come to a trade agreement soon, that would greatly help things.

But at this juncture no new talks have even been scheduled because there really isn’t anything to talk about

Scheduling for the next round of negotiations is “in flux” because it is unclear what the two sides would negotiate, two sources briefed on the status of the talks said. China has not signaled it is willing to revisit past promises on which it reneged earlier this month, despite showing up for talks in Washington last week.

Both sides have dug in on their positions this week. China propped up its currency and cut U.S. pork orders, while state media took on an increasingly nationalistic message. The Trump administration, meanwhile, put Chinese telecommunications company Huawei and its affiliates on a business blacklist and banned it from the supply chain, actions it had shelved earlier in the trade talks to smooth relations.

When President Trump decided to use the “nuclear option” on Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, that was a major turning point.

At this moment, it would be difficult to overstate how angry the Chinese are at the Trump administration. The Global Times is a mouthpiece for the Chinese government, and they just published a scathing editorial in which they accused Trump of “a declaration of war on China in the economic and technological fields”. The following excerpt from that editorial comes from Zero Hedge

Huawei is the symbol of China’s ability to do independent research. As a private company, it is the forerunner of China’s reform and opening-up. It has been deeply engaged in the development of global communications and become the leader of 5G technology. That Huawei will not lose to the US is significant for China’s response to the US’ strategic suppression.

The US has completely abandoned commercial principles and disregarded law. Its barbaric behavior against Huawei by resorting to administrative power can be viewed as a declaration of war on China in the economic and technological fields. It is time that the Chinese people throw away their illusions. Compromise will not lead to US goodwill.

A breakdown in relations with China is part of the long-term scenario that we have been anticipating. But we had hoped that it would be put off for as long as possible, because what is coming next is going to be very painful.

This isn’t going to be just a trade war.

And in the long run, it isn’t going to be just an “economic war” either.

Unless somebody can pull off a miracle, things between are two nations are likely to start spiraling downhill rather quickly. As the trade war escalates, the U.S. and China will take turns retaliating back and forth, and the entire globe is going to suffer as a result.

So let us hope for a miracle, because at this point the outlook for the months ahead is definitely quite bleak.

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

Here Are 15 Numbers That Show How The Global Economy Is Performing, And All Of Them Are Bad

Global economic activity has already been slowing down dramatically, and the U.S. trade war with China is just going to make things worse. In so many ways, what we are witnessing in 2019 is quite reminiscent of what we witnessed as the last recession was beginning. Global exports are absolutely plummeting, auto sales are way down all over the globe, debt delinquencies are way up, and retailers are closing stores at a record pace. Even if the U.S. and China were getting along, things would be rough for the global economy in the months ahead, but a full-blown trade war between the two largest economies on the entire planet has the potential to be absolutely disastrous. We are truly in uncharted waters, and many believe that events are going to start accelerating very rapidly now.

Even though I write about this stuff on a daily basis, I have been surprised by how poor the global economic numbers have been lately.

And remember, earlier this month the global media were convinced that the U.S. and China were about to finalize a trade deal. Now that negotiations have completely broken down, we should expect that these numbers will soon get even worse.

The following are 15 numbers that show how the global economy is currently performing…

#1 Global exports are absolutely crashing and have now fallen to the lowest level since 2009.

#2 U.S. auto dealers are dealing with a backlog of 4.2 million unsold vehicles.

#3 Auto sales in Europe have fallen for seven months in a row.

#4 Chinese auto sales fell a whopping 16.6 percent in the month of April.

#5 Overall, Chinese auto sales have now fallen for 11 months in a row. That is a new all-time record.

#6 U.S. auto loan delinquencies have reached the highest level since the last recession.

#7 U.S. credit card delinquencies have hit the highest level in eight years.

#8 In April, U.S. manufacturing activity unexpectedly declined 0.5 percent.

#9 Thanks to the trade war, the price of soybeans just dropped to the lowest level since 2008.

#10 Party City just announced that it will be closing 45 stores.

#11 Fred’s just announced that they will be closing 104 more stores.

#12 In April, U.S. retail sales declined for the second time in three months.

#13 According to the Atlanta Fed’s latest forecast, U.S. GDP growth is expected to fall to just 1.2 percent in the second quarter of 2019.

#14 According to a new study just released by the Urban Institute, 40 percent of all Americans “sometimes struggle to afford housing, utilities, food or health care”.

#15 Overall, 59 percent of all Americans are currently living paycheck to paycheck according to a survey that was just conducted by Charles Schwab.

Leaders from both the U.S. and China are trying to act tough and say the right things, but everyone knows that this trade war is going to hurt both countries.

Economic numbers from both nations have been troubling lately, and one expert that was just interviewed by CNBC says that “it could get a lot worse”

Consumer and industrial activity in both the U.S. and China slowed in April, even before the world’s two biggest economies entered the latest phase of an escalating trade war that could take a bite out of global growth.

“The real message today is that both the economic data from the U.S. and China have disappointed. They’re like two boys in the sandbox that are spitting on each other, and it could get a lot worse,” said Marc Chandler, global market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex.

In the short-term, it would greatly help if the U.S. and China could find a way to agree to a trade deal.

Unfortunately, the events of the past 48 hours have made that a lot less likely.

As I discussed yesterday, President Trump essentially took a sledgehammer to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei. When the Commerce Department put Huawei on the “Entity List”, it essentially banned the company from buying much needed parts and components from U.S. firms. Some have described this as “the nuclear option”, and I think that description is quite accurate. In the end, this move is going to be absolutely devastating for Huawei.

Of course the Chinese are absolutely furious about this. Huawei is viewed with great national pride in China, and this move is considered to be a direct insult to Chinese national honor. Most Americans are not paying too much attention to the details of the trade war, but in China this is a really big deal and people are extremely angry. In fact, there has apparently been a run on “Donald Trump toilet brushes” in China in recent days because the Chinese are so angry.

Following my recent article about Huawei, a number of readers complained that I was being too soft on China. Of course that is not true at all. Long before Donald Trump ran for president, I was writing about how China was lying, cheating, stealing our technology and robbing us blind. I was literally begging for our politicians to stand up and do something, and I was thrilled when Trump started talking tough about China because I knew that he really understood these issues.

But I also want everyone to understand that trying to decouple from the Chinese economy would be extremely painful even in the most optimistic scenario. Our two economies have become extremely integrated, and we have become very dependent on China in many different ways. They buy our soybeans, they provide us with rare earth elements, and they own more than a trillion dollars of our debt. Looking at it from the Chinese perspective, they have countless ways that they can hurt us, and the angrier we make them the more likely it will be that they will lash out at us.

When negotiating with China, you need to be tough but you also need a lot of finesse. Taking a baseball bat and slamming it into their kneecaps is not going to work.

If we destroy our relationship with China, that is going to result in us going down a very dark path. Yes, China is an evil empire that has no respect for human rights at all. There is no freedom of speech in China, over the past year they have been shutting down lots of churches and burning lots of Bibles, and they have been systematically throwing members of other religious minorities into concentration camps.

So I don’t have any sympathy for the communist Chinese government at all. I just want all of you to understand that they are a very dangerous adversary, and a protracted trade war could be truly disastrous for the entire global economy.

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

If The Chinese Were Upset Before, Now They Are Going To Be Absolutely Furious After Trump’s Latest Move

President Trump is doubling down on his tough approach with China, and apparently he has decided that now is the time to cripple their most important tech company. Huawei Technologies sells more telecommunications equipment than anyone else in the entire world, and it was anticipated that they would be one of the global leaders in the rollout of 5G networks all over the planet. The company ranks 72nd on the Fortune Global 500 list, and at this point they sell more phones than Apple does. Essentially, Huawei is China’s version of Apple, and the company is greatly loved by the communist government in China. So if President Trump really wanted to piss off China, taking a sledgehammer to Huawei would be a great way to do it, and that is precisely what he just did.

On Wednesday, Trump’s Commerce Department officially added Huawei to their “Entity List”

The U.S. Commerce Department said on Wednesday it is adding Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and 70 affiliates to its so-called “Entity List” – a move that bans the telecom giant from buying parts and components from U.S. companies without U.S. government approval.

U.S. officials told Reuters the decision would also make it difficult if not impossible for Huawei, the largest telecommunications equipment producer in the world, to sell some products because of its reliance on U.S. suppliers.

Basically, this is the equivalent of taking a baseball bat and slamming it into the company’s knees.

There have been allegations that “Huawei’s infrastructure equipment contains backdoors that may enable surveillance by the Chinese government“, and those allegations are almost certainly true.

But this sure is going to make the Chinese angry.

The following is the full statement about this move from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross…

Today, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it will be adding Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and its affiliates to the Bureau’s Entity List. This action stems from information available to the Department that provides a reasonable basis to conclude that Huawei is engaged in activities that are contrary to U.S. national security or foreign policy interest. This information includes the activities alleged in the Department of Justice’s public superseding indictment of Huawei, including alleged violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), conspiracy to violate IEEPA by providing prohibited financial services to Iran, and obstruction of justice in connection with the investigation of those alleged violations of U.S. sanctions.

The sale or transfer of American technology to a company or person on the Entity List requires a license issued by BIS, and a license may be denied if the sale or transfer would harm U.S. national security or foreign policy interests. The listing will be effective when published in the Federal Register.

“This action by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, with the support of the President of the United States, places Huawei, a Chinese owned company that is the largest telecommunications equipment producer in the world, on the Entity List. This will prevent American technology from being used by foreign owned entities in ways that potentially undermine U.S. national security or foreign policy interests,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “President Trump has directed the Commerce Department to be vigilant in its protection of national security activities. Since the beginning of the Administration, the Department has added 190 persons or organizations to the Entity List, as well as instituted five investigations of the effect of imports on national security under Section 232 of the Trade Act of 1962.” Additions to the Entity List are decided by the End-User Review Committee which is comprised of officials from the Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, State Department, and Department of Energy. Under § 744.11(b) of the Export Administration Regulations, persons or organizations for whom there is reasonable cause to believe that they are involved, were involved, or pose a significant risk of becoming involved in activities that are contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States, and those acting on behalf of such persons, may be added to the Entity List.

The Bureau of Industry and Security’s mission is to advance U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives by ensuring an effective export control and treaty compliance system and promoting continued U.S. strategic technology leadership. BIS is committed to preventing U.S.-origin items from supporting Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) projects, terrorism, or destabilizing military modernization programs.

If the Chinese have been using Huawei equipment to spy on us, then this move is certainly justified.

But timing is everything in life, and this comes at a time when negotiations on a new trade deal have just broken down.

Trump may be thinking that tough moves like this could force China back to the negotiating table, but there is also the possibility that this extremely aggressive approach could completely destroy our relations with the Chinese.

One hopeful sign is the fact that Huawei immediately released a statement after they were put on the “Entity List” which stated that they are willing to work with the U.S. government to “come up with effective measures to ensure product security”

“Huawei is the unparalleled leader in 5G. We are ready and willing to engage with the US government and come up with effective measures to ensure product security. Restricting Huawei from doing business in the US will not make the US more secure or stronger; instead, this will only serve to limit the US to inferior yet more expensive alternatives, leaving the US lagging behind in 5G deployment, and eventually harming the interests of US companies and consumers. In addition, unreasonable restrictions will infringe upon Huawei’s rights and raise other serious legal issues.”

Huawei executives understand how crippling this move will be to their business, and so a little groveling is understandable.

But overall, the Chinese public is going to be extremely angry when they hear this news.

And let us not forget that there is still simmering anger over the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou as she was changing planes in Canada. She was grabbed at the request of U.S. officials, and now they are trying to extradite her to the United States so that she can go on trial. Meng Wanzhou is a national hero in China, and the Chinese consider what we are doing to her to be a grave national insult.

Relations with China will never return to “normal” until we release Meng Wanzhou, but U.S. officials don’t seem to understand this.

Most Americans don’t spend too much time thinking about China, but right now anger toward the United States is rising to frightening levels among the Chinese. They are already talking about a “people’s war” against our country, but so far we don’t seem to be taking that very seriously.

In the end, bullying China is not going to work. Instead, our relations with China are likely to get a lot worse, and that would be absolutely catastrophic for both countries.

We will see what happens, but right now we sure seem to be headed down a very ominous path.

And after this latest move, the Trump administration can pretty much forget about a trade deal with China any time in the foreseeable future.

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

Investors May Be Laughing At China’s “People’s War” Now, But Here Is Why They Won’t Be Laughing For Long…

Wall Street is still treating this crisis as a temporary trade dispute, but the Chinese see things completely differently. At this point, the narrative in China is that the U.S. has deeply insulted their national honor, and every angry statement from U.S. officials is just digging the knife in a little bit deeper. The Chinese began their retaliation to Trump’s new tariffs with some new tariffs of their own, but they won’t be stopping there. As I stated yesterday, China literally has hundreds of different ways that they can hurt us, and the longer this crisis goes the more likely it is that they will utilize all of those weapons.

And we got a hint of what might be coming on Tuesday. An editorial published in government-run media outlets boldly proclaimed that the conflict between the United States and China was now a “people’s war”

In a series of opinion pieces and on-air editorials, the country’s government-controlled media used strong and nationalistic language to reassure a shaky domestic audience that China’s economy can weather the higher tariffs imposed last Friday by US President Donald Trump.

One strongly worded editorial published by both the Xinhua News Agency and the People’s Daily, the Communist Party mouthpiece, said that while the US was fighting for “greed and arrogance,” China fought to defend “its legitimate rights and interests.”

“The trade war in the United States is the creation of one person and his administration who have swept along the entire population of the country. Whereas the entire country and all the people of China are being threatened. For us, this is a real ‘people’s war,'” the editorial said.

And similar sentiments were expressed on state-owned television during a prime time broadcast

During a prime time broadcast on Monday, CNN reported that the state broadcaster CCTV also aired a statement saying that China would “fight for a new world.”

“As President Xi Jinping pointed out, the Chinese economy is a sea, not a small pond,” anchor Kang Hui said on his 7 p.m. news show. “A rainstorm can destroy a small pond, but it cannot harm the sea. After numerous storms, the sea is still there.” Hui concluded echoing a popular refrain, that “China…doesn’t want to fight, but it is not afraid to fight.”

Amazingly, U.S. stocks actually went up on Tuesday following these remarks. Apparently investors think that China’s new “people’s war” is pretty funny.

But they won’t be laughing when China starts playing hardball with us.

For example, how much pressure do you think that President Trump will feel when the Chinese suddenly announce a national boycott of U.S. goods in the middle of Trump’s re-election campaign?

As CNBC has pointed out, China has implemented such boycotts numerous times before…

At the height of the South China Sea conflict in 2016, China administered an unofficial boycott of mangoes and bananas from the Philippines. The region is still in dispute.

Years before that, China boycotted salmon from Norway during a hotly contested human rights issue, and Norway eventually relented.

Five years back, the world’s second largest economy also boycotted Japanese cars and minerals over a territorial dispute in the East China Sea.

In addition, a massive Chinese boycott of South Korean goods in 2017 turned out to be an immense blow to the South Korean economy.

What do you think that it would do to the U.S. economy and to U.S. financial markets if China suddenly did the same thing to us?

It would be absolute chaos, and Trump would feel an unbelievable amount of pressure to cave in because his re-election prospects would be diminishing with each passing day.

This is a strategic advantage that the Chinese have over Trump. They don’t have to worry about the calendar, but Trump does.

And Trump could not hit back by declaring a national boycott of Chinese goods because he does not have that authority. He could ask his supporters to conduct such a boycott, and undoubtedly some of them would go along, but most Americans would just continue to shop the way that they are shopping right now.

If large U.S. corporations lose all access to the second largest economy in the world, it would be a complete and utter disaster for them. As Matt Egan has pointed out, the Chinese market has become “a critical growth engine” for some of the largest U.S. brands…

China’s booming middle class is a critical growth engine for Boeing (BA), Apple, Nike (NKE) and other American brands. China is expected to keep growing in importance as a buyer. And America’s insatiable appetite for cheap goods has created a Chinese factory juggernaut that employs millions of workers.

The world’s two largest economies are each other’s biggest trading partners. Nearly $700 billion in goods were sent between China and the United States in 2018 alone. And with $1.1 trillion of Treasuries, China is America’s largest foreign creditor.

In 2018, Apple reported total revenue of 265.6 billion dollars.

51 billion dollars of that total came from China.

Apple is extremely vulnerable, and so are dozens of other large U.S. corporations.

Out in the middle of the country, many farmers are already almost mad enough to pick up their pitchforks and march on Washington because of this trade war.

As a result of our deteriorating trade relationship, soybean exports from the U.S. to China have fallen from $14 billion in 2016 to $12 billion in 2017 to just 3.1 billion in 2018.

Desperately hoping that things would turn around, U.S. soybean farmers have stockpiled an all-time record of almost 1 billion bushels of soybeans

Since December, when U.S. and China negotiators called a truce to tariffs and began signaling that an agreement might be reached, soybean farmers had been holding out hope that sales to China would resume, said Todd Hultman, an Omaha-based grain market analyst with agriculture market data provider DTN. In the meantime, the farmers had been storing a record stockpile of nearly 1 billion bushels.

The latest news of a new round of tariffs, with no agreement in sight, spooked the financial markets and some farmers who had been tentatively optimistic.

And now that trade negotiations have completely fallen apart, the price of soybeans is falling like a rock. In fact, we just saw it hit the lowest level in a decade.

Needless to say, the American Soybean Association is not at all pleased with the latest developments…

In a statement Monday, the American Soybean Association reacted with frustration edged with anxiety.

“The sentiment out in farm country is getting grimmer by the day,” said John Heisdorffer, a soybean farmer in Keota, Iowa, who is chairman of the ASA. “Our patience is waning, our finances are suffering and the stress from months of living with the consequences of these tariffs is mounting.”

Of course soybean farmers are far from alone. Thousands upon thousands of farmers all over America are on the brink of financial ruin, and one J.P. Morgan analyst is describing it as a “perfect storm” for U.S. farmers…

The state of American agriculture is “rapidly deteriorating” into crisis, J.P. Morgan said Tuesday, due to three factors: declining exports, a poor crop of corn and soybeans and the trade war with China.

“Overall, this is a perfect storm for US farmers,” J.P. Morgan analyst Ann Duignan said in a note to investors.

It is funny how that term keeps popping up. Without a doubt, a perfect storm is rapidly coming together for the entire U.S. economy, but most Americans are still in denial about what is happening.

As for this “trade dispute”, the truth is that it isn’t going to go away any time soon.

In fact, a senior official in the Trump administration just told Axios that “he can’t see the fight getting resolved before the end of the year”…

A senior administration official said the differences between the two sides are so profound that, based on his read of the situation, he can’t see the fight getting resolved before the end of the year.

The longer this trade war lasts, the more painful it will become for the U.S. economy.

And as we move toward a presidential election year, the Chinese will increasingly be the ones with the strategic leverage.

So Wall Street can laugh for now, but the Chinese are fully convinced that they will be having the last laugh in this matter.

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

Stocks Crater – 3.5 Trillion Dollars In Global Market Cap Wiped Out – China Considers “Dumping U.S. Treasuries”

Wall Street responded to our escalating trade war with China by throwing a bit of a temper tantrum. On Monday the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 617 points, and that was the worst day for the Dow since January 3rd. But things were even worse for the Nasdaq. It had its worst day since December 4th, and overall the Nasdaq is now down 6.3 percent in just the last six trading sessions. Of course it isn’t just in the United States that stocks are declining. Since last Monday, a total of approximately $3.5 trillion in market cap has been wiped out on global stock markets. And since it doesn’t look like we are going to get any sort of a trade deal any time soon, this could potentially be just the beginning of our problems.

China fired a shot that was heard around the world on Monday when they announced that they would be dramatically raising tariffs on U.S. goods

China will raise tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods in retaliation for the U.S. decision to hike duties on Chinese goods, the Chinese Finance Ministry said Monday.

Beijing will increase tariffs on more than 5,000 products to as high as 25%. Duties on some other goods will increase to 20%. Those rates will rise from either 10% or 5% previously.

According to CNBC, these new tariffs are going to be particularly damaging for U.S. farmers…

The duties in large part target U.S. farmers, who largely supported Trump in 2016 but suffered from previous shots in the Trump administration’s trade war with China. The thousands of products include peanuts, sugar, wheat, chicken and turkey.

When you combine the impact of these Chinese tariffs with the unprecedented flooding that we have seen in the middle of the country, the result is that thousands upon thousands of U.S. farmers are going to be pushed into bankruptcy before the end of 2019.

But China might not stop with just increasing tariffs. According to Global Times Editor in Chief Hu Xijin, China “may stop purchasing US agricultural products” entirely, and the Chinese are also examining “the possibility of dumping US Treasuries”…

China may stop purchasing US agricultural products and energy, reduce Boeing orders and restrict US service trade with China. Many Chinese scholars are discussing the possibility of dumping US Treasuries and how to do it specifically.

As I mentioned yesterday, China literally has hundreds of different ways that they can hurt us.

So the truth is that those that are suggesting that the U.S. will not be hurt by this trade war are just being delusional.

In an article that was posted on Monday, CNBC referred to dumping Treasuries as “China’s nuclear option”…

Consider it China’s nuclear option in the trade war with the U.S. — the ability to start dumping its massive pile of Treasury bonds that could trigger a surge in interest rates and substantially damage the American economy.

As the two sides engage in a tit-for-tat tariff exchange, the possibility that China might raise the stakes and stop being the world’s biggest consumer of U.S. debt again reared its imposing head Monday.

The longer this trade war lasts, the angrier the Chinese will become, and the more damage they will inflict upon our economy.

And without a doubt, this trade war could be more than enough to push us into a new recession. On Monday, Michael Wilson of banking giant Morgan Stanley authored this ominous forecast

“Given other cost pressures and stubbornly low inflation, we are unconvinced that companies will generally be able to fully offset tariff costs through raising prices or through cost efficiencies elsewhere, meaning tariffs will press on margins,” Wilson wrote. “In the case of 25% tariffs on all of China’s exports to the US, we are inclined to think this has the potential to tip the US economy into recession given the cost issues companies are already dealing with.”

Before I end this article, there are two more points that I would like to make. Firstly, the price of soybeans is absolutely tanking right now, and this is going to be absolutely catastrophic for soybean farmers

With the most recent news of the intensifying tensions between the U.S. and China, the price of soybeans has dropped below $8 a bushel for the first time since 2008, which comes as many Midwest farmers are facing rampant flooding on their land during the planting season.

At this point in the year, around 60 to 70 percent of crops should be planted, John Newton, the chief economist of the Farm Bureau, said. Most expect the USDA to soon announce that, because of flooding and other difficulties, American farmers are only 35 percent planted so far.

I put that last paragraph in bold for a reason. It is the middle of May, and U.S. farmers have only planted about half the crops that they would normally have planted by this time of the year.

That is a national crisis, and it also means that U.S. food production is going to be way down this year.

This is a theme that I have been hammering on over and over again, and hopefully people are getting prepared for much, much higher prices at the grocery store.

Secondly, financial markets got a boost on Monday evening when President Trump indicated that the next “three or four weeks” will determine the success of trade talks with China…

Speaking at a White House event on Monday evening, U.S. President Donald Trump offered a projection about how much longer Washington and Beijing could be locked in heated trade negotiations.

“We’ll let you know in three or four weeks if it’s successful,” he said, according to NBC News.

Trump is expected to meet with the Chinese president some time in June, and the hope that they will be able to work out a deal will probably keep global financial markets from completely tanking in the next few weeks.

Of course there is still likely to be quite a bit of volatility for global stocks in the short-term, but if there is no trade agreement by the end of next month, July could potentially be an absolutely pivotal month for global financial markets.

So stay tuned, because it looks like things could soon be getting very, very interesting…

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

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