What In The World Is The Federal Reserve Thinking???

You don’t use up all of your ammunition before the battle even begins. The U.S. economy has not even officially entered recession territory yet, although many experts are definitely anticipating one in 2020. When that recession arrives, the Federal Reserve is going to want as much ammunition to fight it as possible. So I was horrified to learn that the Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday that interest rates are being slashed once again. We have now had three interest rate cuts in 2019 as the Federal Reserve desperately attempts to revive the stalling U.S. economy. But what are they going to do during the next recession when they have already pushed interest rates all the way to the floor and they can’t push them any lower? In addition, in recent days the Federal Reserve has decided to absolutely flood the financial system with new money in a desperate attempt to stabilize the repo market. In essence, the Federal Reserve has launched a massive new round of quantitative easing even before a major crisis has erupted on Wall Street. I can understand trying to be proactive, but in reality quantitative easing is an extreme emergency measure that should only be used in the most desperate of situations. If the Fed is creating this much new money now, what are they going to do once things really get bad? Are we destined to become the next Venezuela?

For a long time, the Federal Reserve has insisted that the U.S. economy is in good shape. If that is true, there is no way in the world that the Fed should be cutting interest rates. But that is exactly what happened on Wednesday

In a vote widely anticipated by financial markets, the central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee lowered its benchmark funds rate by 25 basis points to a range of 1.5% to 1.75%. The rate sets what banks charge each other for overnight lending but is also tied to most forms of revolving consumer debt.

It was the third cut this year as part of what Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has characterized as a “midcycle adjustment” in a maturing economic expansion.

With rates now so close to zero, there isn’t going to be much that the Fed can do in that regard once the next recession strikes.

According to Fed Chair Jerome Powell, this latest rate cut was done for “insurance” purposes

Powell said lowering the rate again was ‘insurance’, or protection needed because ‘weakness in global growth and trade developments have weighed on the economy and posed ongoing risks’.

If the U.S. economy doesn’t plunge into a deep recession next year, Powell and the other bureaucrats at the Fed will probably be applauded for these moves.

But if we do experience a significant economic downturn, they will be caught with their pants down.

Yes, the U.S. economy is definitely slowing down, but this week we learned that it still grew at an annual rate of 1.9 percent last quarter.

1.9 percent is not good at all, and if honest numbers were being used it would show that our economy is actually contracting. But at least things are relatively stable for the moment, and as long as things are relatively stable the Federal Reserve should not be resorting to emergency measures.

Of course Wall Street was absolutely thrilled that the Fed cut rates again, and news of the rate cut pushed the S&P 500 to yet another all-time record high

Stocks advanced Wednesday after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the third time this year, propelling the Standard & Poor’s 500 to a fresh record.

The S&P 500 index added 9.88 points, or 0.3%, to close at 3046.77. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 115.27 points, or 0.4%, to end at 27,186.69. The Nasdaq added 27.12 points, or 0.3%, at 8,303.98.

And without a doubt, this rate cut is good for consumers. Rates on mortgages, auto loans and credit cards will go down, and that will save average Americans a lot of money

These Fed interest rate cuts are starting to add up, lowering costs for many Americans who use credit cards or take out loans while squeezing savers.

The Federal Reserve lowered its benchmark interest rate Wednesday by a quarter percentage point for the third time in the past three months. The move is likely to further trim borrowing costs on credit cards, home equity lines, adjustable-rate mortgages and auto loans.

But this is yet another example of the short-term thinking that is plaguing our society.

When the next recession arrives, the Fed will be able to cut rates a handful of times, and then that will be the end of it.

The Fed should have also held off on buying more bonds until we really needed it as well. Even though a new financial crisis has not even started yet, the Fed has been creating money like crazy and their balance sheet has ballooned “by about $100 billion over the past month”

The Fed has been buying bonds again, but officials insist it is an effort to stabilize the funds rate within the target range rather than a resurrection of QE. Still, the central bank balance sheet has expanded by about $100 billion over the past month and is back above the $4 trillion mark, $3.6 trillion of which is in Treasurys and mortage-backed securities.

So if the Fed is being this crazy now, what are they going to do when a real financial crisis erupts?

Perhaps they should just get it over with and create trillions of dollars right now and turn us into the Weimar Republic already.

Because that is where all of this craziness is eventually going to take us. Our dollar is eventually going to be absolutely worthless and we will become the next Venezuela.

I have always been highly critical of the Federal Reserve, but at least in other eras those running the Fed were at least mildly competent.

But now it appears that incompetence is running wild over at the Federal Reserve, and we will all pay a great price for their mistakes in the not too distant future.

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

Is The Federal Reserve Actually TRYING To Cause A Stock Market Crash?

The Federal Reserve has decided not to come to the rescue this time. All of the economic numbers tell us that the economy is slowing down, and on Wednesday Fed Chair Jerome Powell even admitted that economic conditions are “softening”, but the Federal Reserve raised interest rates anyway. As one top economist put it, raising rates as we head into an economic downturn is “economic malpractice”. They know that higher rates will slow down the economy even more, but it isn’t as if the Fed was divided on this move. In fact, it was a unanimous vote to raise rates. They clearly have an agenda, and that agenda is definitely not about helping the American people.

Early on Wednesday, Wall Street seemed to believe that the Federal Reserve would do the right thing, and the Dow was up nearly 400 points. But then the announcement came, and the market began sinking dramatically.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 720 points in just two hours, and the Dow ended the day down a total of 351 points. This is the lowest that the Dow has been all year, 60 percent of the stocks listed on the S&P 500 are in bear market territory, and at this point approximately four trillion dollars of stock market wealth has been wiped out.

We haven’t seen anything like this since the last financial crisis. This is officially the worst quarter for the stock market since the fourth quarter of 2008, and it is the worst December that Wall Street has experienced since 1931.

It is insanity to raise interest rates when stocks are already crashing, but the Federal Reserve did it anyway.

They knew what kind of reaction this would cause on Wall Street and in other global markets, but that didn’t stop them. The financial world is in utter turmoil, and this move by the Fed has definitely added fuel to the fire.

Could it be possible that they actually want a stock market crash?

Some are suggesting that the reason why the vote was unanimous was because they wanted to send a “strong signal” to President Trump. He has been extremely critical of the Federal Reserve in recent weeks, and this could be a way for the Fed to show Trump who is really in charge.

They are calling this “the Trump economy”, but that is simply not true. And when Barack Obama was in the White House, it wasn’t “the Obama economy” either. Ultimately, it is the Federal Reserve that is running the economy, and they fiercely guard their independence and their authority.

President Trump knows that the only way that he is going to win in 2020 is if the economy is doing well, and he also understands that higher interest rates will slow the economy down.

So essentially the Federal Reserve has a tremendous amount of political power in their hands.

During the Obama era, the Fed pushed interest rates all the way to the floor and kept them there for many years.

But now the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates seven times since Donald Trump took office, and four of those rate hikes have been under current Fed Chair Jerome Powell.

Needless to say, it certainly doesn’t take a lot of imagination to figure out how Donald Trump is feeling about Powell at this moment.

Meanwhile, we continue to get more indications that the U.S. economy is heading for difficult times. Just consider the following news about FedEx

FedEx shares are plunging after what Morgan Stanley called a “jarring” cut to its annual forecasts, suggesting global growth is slowing far more than most expect – in fact, the bank hinted at the possibility of a “severe recession” unfolding – and prompting expectations of an “uber-dovish hike” by the Fed.

The global logistics bellwether slashed its outlook just three months after raising the view, reflecting an unexpected and abrupt change in the company’s view of the global economy amid rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Not only were the cuts were deeper than the Street expected according to Morgan Stanley analyst Ravi Shanker, but everyone is pointing to the following comment from the press release: “Global trade has slowed in recent months and leading indicators point to ongoing deceleration in global trade near-term.”

To see the term “severe recession” used in such a context is more than just a little bit alarming.

The last time the U.S. economy went through a recession, millions of Americans lost their jobs and we saw a wave of mortgage defaults unlike anything we had ever seen before in modern American history.

Are we about to go through something similar?

Earlier today, a CNN article also used the term “recession”, and it discussed the fact that investors now want big corporations to focus on paying down their debts instead of buying back shares of stock…

Fears of an economic slowdown — or even recession — have turned a spotlight on the debt that businesses piled up during the past decade, when borrowing costs were historically low.

For the first time since the Great Recession, investors want companies to prioritize paying down debt rather than investing in the future or share buybacks and dividends, according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch survey of global fund managers.

But stock buybacks are one of the only things that has been propping up the stock market. The only way for the bubble to continue is for corporations to go into dizzying amounts of debt in order to fund massive stock buybacks, because the Federal Reserve clearly does not intend to support the markets right now.

At least for the short-term, the Federal Reserve could have calmed the markets and encouraged economic activity by leaving interest rates alone.

In the end, they decided not to do that, and that makes one wonder what they are really trying to achieve.

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.

Top Economist: “If The Fed Raises Interest Rates Tomorrow They Should All Be Fired For Economic Malpractice”

The Federal Reserve is responsible for creating the stock market boom that we have witnessed in recent years. Are they now also setting the stage for a stock market bust? After hitting an all-time high earlier this year, the Dow has plunged more than 3,000 points from the peak of the market, and it would appear that it would be extremely irresponsible for the Fed to raise interest rates in such a chaotic environment. In addition, evidence continues to mount that the U.S. economy is slowing down, and everyone knows that raising interest rates tends to depress economic activity. So it would seem that it would not be logical for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates at this time. In fact, economist Stephen Moore told Fox Business that if the Fed raises interest rates “they should all be fired for economic malpractice”

“The Fed has been way too tight. They made a major blunder three months ago with raising the rates. It’s caused a deflation in commodity prices. And I will say this, David, if the Fed raises interest rates tomorrow they should all be fired for economic malpractice.”

If the Federal Reserve raises interest rates and indicates that more rate hikes are coming in 2019, it is quite likely that the markets will throw another huge temper tantrum.

But as Jim Cramer has noted, if the Federal Reserve make the right choice and leaves rates where they currently are, we could potentially see a significant market rally…

“Today was a dress rehearsal for the kind of rally we can get if the Fed does the right thing tomorrow and repudiates the idea that we need a series of rate hikes in 2019, not just one more tomorrow,” Cramer said Tuesday. “If we get the Fed on board, expect more positive action like we had this morning before the market gave up much of its gains.”

Unfortunately, there is a factor that is complicating things.

In recent weeks, President Trump has been extremely critical of the Federal Reserve and Fed Chair Jerome Powell. If the Fed decides to leave interest rates where they are, that could be interpreted as them giving Trump exactly what he wants, and it is likely that they do not want to be viewed as siding with Trump.

This is yet another reason why we need to end the Fed. The Fed has become just another player in the game of politics, and the truth is that the Federal Reserve is a deeply un-American institution. Our founders intended for us to have a free market capitalist system, but instead we have an unelected panel of central planners setting our interest rates and running our economy.

Since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, there have been 18 major economic downturns, and now we are heading into another one. Central banking manipulation endlessly causes boom and bust cycles, and hopefully this time around the American people will finally decide that enough is enough.

As losses on Wall Street mount, hedge funds are starting to go down like dominoes, and that is going to cause huge problems for some of our largest financial institutions. For example, we just found out that Citigroup could potentially lose 180 million dollars due to bad loans that it made to a prominent Asian hedge fund

It’s not just hedge funds that are blowing up left and right: so are the banks that are lending them money.

Citigroup is facing losses of up to $180 million on loans made to an unnamed Asian hedge fund which saw major losses on its FX trades Bloomberg reports citing a person briefed on the matter. The hedge fund and Citi “are in discussions on the positions and how they should be valued” which is usually a bad sign as when it comes to FX the mark to market is, at least, instantaneous. Bloomberg adds that the situation is fluid and the eventual losses may end up being smaller depending on how the trades are unwound.

We haven’t seen anything like this in 10 years, and if the Fed raises interest rates this new financial crisis could begin to escalate quite rapidly.

At this point, even former Fed chair Alan Greenspan is urging investors to “run for cover”

The former Federal Reserve chairman who famously warned more than two decades ago about “irrational exuberance” in the stock market doesn’t see equity prices going any higher than they are now.

“It would be very surprising to see it sort of stabilize here, and then take off,” Greenspan said in an interview with CNN anchor Julia Chatterley.

He added that markets could still go up further — but warned investors that the correction would be painful: “At the end of that run, run for cover.”

The markets were calmer on Tuesday because everyone was kind of waiting to see what the Fed would do on Wednesday.

The decision should be obvious, but unfortunately things are never that simple.

We live in very uncertain times, and the shaking of our financial system has begun.

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.

Teetering On The Brink Of Disaster: 14 Of 19 Bear Market Signals Have Now Been Triggered

October 2018 is turning out to be a lot like October 2008. The S&P 500 has now fallen for 12 of the last 14 trading days, and it is on pace for its worst October since the last financial crisis. But the U.S. is actually in much better shape than the rest of the world at this point. Even though they have fallen precipitously in recent days, U.S. stocks are still up 3 percent for the year overall. On the other hand, global stocks (excluding the U.S.) are now down more than 10 percent for the year, and they are down more than 15 percent from the peak of the market in January. All it is going to take is a couple more really bad trading sessions to push global stocks into bear market territory.

And even though U.S. stocks are still outperforming the rest of the world, many are anticipating that the U.S. is definitely heading for a bear market as well.

According to Bank of America, 14 out of their 19 “bear market indicators” have now been triggered

“Expect a long bout of volatility,” Bank of America strategists led by Savita Subramanian wrote in a report published on Sunday.

Bank of America keeps a running tally of “signposts” that signal looming bear market. The bad news is that 14 of these 19 indicators, or 74%, have been triggered. Two more were toppled earlier this month: the VIX volatility index (VIX) climbed above 20 and a growing number of Americans expect stocks to go up.

Of course not all 19 indicators need to be triggered in order for a bear market to happen. These indicators are simply signposts, and what they are telling us is that big trouble could be brewing for the financial markets.

And Tuesday was certainly another chaotic day for Wall Street. The Russell 2000 experienced another extremely disappointing day, and it is now officially red for the year

Small-cap stocks erased all of their gains for the year on Tuesday, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average at one point was not be too far behind.

The Russell 2000, composed of publicly traded companies with a market capitalization between $300 million and about $2 billion, shed 0.8 percent on Tuesday, putting it into the red for 2018, down 0.6 percent.

The number of stocks that are at 52-week lows far outnumbers those that are at 52-week highs, but a handful of big name stocks has been keeping the market from plummeting too dramatically.

In the short-term, we should expect some more wild swings up and down, but meanwhile we continue to receive more troubling news about the real economy.

For example, we recently learned that existing home sales were down once again last month

The metric of interest today is existing home sales. The reading came in at 5.15m units, which was well below the estimated 5.3m units and 4.1% below year ago levels. As the chart below shows, existing home sales have been falling all year long, and year-over-year growth rates have been mostly negative since September, 2017.

And auto sales are way down all over the country

A growing number of auto dealers around the country is seeing a noticeable drop in retail sales and customer traffic in showrooms, raising the possibility that a long-anticipated slowdown in auto sales has arrived.

“We are definitely seeing business pull back,” said Scott Adams, the owner of a Toyota dealership in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, just outside Kansas City. “September was off some, but this month our car sales are down 12 percent and our truck sales are down 23 percent.”

These things would not be happening if the economy was in good shape.

Every time the Federal Reserve goes through an interest rate hiking cycle it causes big problems for the economy, and this is something that President Trump alluded to during an interview with the Wall Street Journal

In an interview Tuesday with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Trump acknowledged the independence the Fed has long enjoyed in setting economic policy, while also making clear he was intentionally sending a direct message to Mr. Powell that he wanted lower interest rates.

“Every time we do something great, he raises the interest rates,” Mr. Trump said, adding that Mr. Powell “almost looks like he’s happy raising interest rates.” The president declined to elaborate, and a spokeswoman for the Fed declined to comment.

No matter what President Trump does, disaster is inevitable if the Federal Reserve continues to raise rates. The Federal Reserve has far more control over the economy than Trump does, and that is why many of his supporters are hoping that Trump adopts Ron Paul’s “End the Fed” message for the 2020 presidential campaign.

Speaking of the Federal Reserve, former Fed chair Paul Volcker is saying that the U.S. is facing “a hell of a mess”

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who has reached legend status in the world of central banking, isn’t optimistic about current conditions.

When Volcker looks around now, he sees “a hell of a mess in every direction,” including a lack of basic respect for government institutions, a current Fed that seems to be following a completely arbitrary benchmark and a “swamp” in Washington run by plutocrats.

Without a doubt, it is most definitely true that we are facing “a hell of a mess”, but most Americans are entirely clueless about what is coming.

In the aftermath of the 2008 crisis, the economy stabilized and global central banks were able to inflate the biggest financial bubble in human history.

Once this bubble bursts, there won’t be a similar “recovery” this time around.

Along with the rest of the world, the U.S. is headed for an unprecedented period of chaos and pain. We should be thankful for each day of relative stability that we are still able to enjoy, because time is rapidly running out.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots. It is a premium members-only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically. The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

The Dow Has Fallen Nearly 1,500 Points From The Peak Of The Market, And Many Believe This “October Panic” Is Just Beginning…

We haven’t had an October like this in a very long time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down another 327 points on Thursday, and overall the Dow is now down close to 1,500 points from the peak of the market. Unlike much of the rest of the world, it is still too early to say that the U.S. is facing a new “financial crisis”, but if stocks continue to plunge like this one won’t be too far away. And as you will see below, many believe that what we have seen so far is just the start of a huge wave of selling. Of course it would be extremely convenient for Democrats if stocks did crash, because it would give them a much better chance of doing well in the midterm elections. This is the most heated midterm election season that I can ever remember, and what U.S. voters choose to do at the polls in November is going to have very serious implications for the immediate future of our country.

After a very brief rally earlier in the week, stocks have been getting hammered again. The S&P 500 has now fallen for 9 out of the last 11 trading sessions, and homebuilder stocks have now fallen for 19 of the last 22 trading sessions. It was a “sea of red” on Thursday, and some of the stocks that are widely considered to be “economic bellwethers” were among those that got hit the hardest

Several stocks seen as economic bellwethers fell sharply in the U.S., including United Rentals and Textron, which dropped at least 11 percent each. Snap-on and Caterpillar, meanwhile, fell 9.6 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively.

Hopefully we will see another bounce on Friday, but at this moment it looks like things could go either way.

But no matter what happens on Friday, many are convinced that the worst is yet to come, and here are some of the reasons…

China

Chinese stocks have fallen 12 percent so far this month, and overall they are down 26 percent over the last 12 months.

That means that China is now well into a bear market.

And history tells us that when Chinese stocks fall 10 percent or more within 30 days, that is usually very bad news for U.S. stocks. The following comes from CNBC

But a study by CNBC using analytics tool Kensho found that U.S. stocks are more often weaker when the declines in Chinese stocks are large. Over the past 10 years, when Shanghai stocks fell 10 percent or more in a 30-day period, the U.S. stock market was up only about 30 percent of the time, and the U.S. indexes all averaged significant declines.

For instance, the S&P 500 on average fell 4.8 percent when China was down 10 percent or more, and the Nasdaq was even worse with a loss of 5.3 percent.

The Chinese just had the worst quarter for economic growth since the first quarter of 2009, and many believe that is a huge sign of trouble for the global economy as a whole.

The Federal Reserve

In recent weeks I have been hammering the Federal Reserve over and over again, and they definitely deserve it.

The Fed is raising interest rates way too rapidly, and this is going to kill the economy and at some point it will inevitably cause a horrifying market crash.

And I am far from alone in criticizing the Fed. For instance, just consider what CNBC’s Jim Cramer said about the Fed on Thursday

Stocks tanked on Thursday because people are finally realizing that the Federal Reserve has the power to hurt stocks and slow the economy, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said after the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 300 points.

“This is one of those moments where it’s dawning on people that maybe all the assurances that we don’t need to be afraid of the Fed are being proven to be totally bogus,” the “Mad Money” host said.

Every Fed rate hiking cycle since 1957 has ended in either a recession or a market crash, and this one won’t be any different.

Forced Selling

In this day and age, when markets start to plunge things can get out of hand very quickly thanks to all of the computer trading that starts to happen.

This is something that Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon says his firm is watching very closely

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said Thursday that he believes part of October’s steep stock sell-off was the result of programmatic trading.

“There’s no question when you look at last week, some of the selling is the result of programmatic selling because as volatility goes up, some of these algorithms force people to sell,” Solomon told CNBC’s Wilfred Frost. “Market structure can, at times, contribute to volatility and one of the things that we’re spending a bunch of time thinking about at the firm is how changes in market structure over the course of the last 10 years will affect market activity.”

One key level to watch in the coming days is 25,000 on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

That is a very important psychological level, and if this downturn successfully breaks through that barrier we could very quickly move toward 24,000 thanks to programmatic selling.

This current bull market has lasted for much longer than it should have, but now it appears that the bubble may have burst.

And once the bears take control, things could get bad for a very long time. The following comes from investing expert Egon von Greyerz

It now looks like the secular bull market in stocks is turning into a secular bear market that could last for several years if not decades. The stock market acts as a sentiment indicator for what happens in the real economy. No indicator is perfect and stock market moves will be exaggerated in both directions. It is now likely that the world is starting an economic downturn of epic proportions.

During previous market downturns over the past 10 years, there was still a lot of optimism on Wall Street.

But these days it seems like “doom and gloom” is the dominant theme in trading circles, and it won’t take too much to turn that “doom and gloom” into “fear and panic” as everyone races for the exits as quickly as they can…

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots. It is a premium-members only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically. The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

Is The Federal Reserve Trying To Sabotage Trump? Stocks Fall Again As Investors Are Rattled By Fed Comments

Could it be possible that the Federal Reserve is attempting to influence the outcome of the upcoming midterm elections? Just weeks before Americans will go to the polls, the Fed has been making headline after headline with talk about interest rate hikes. And they very well understand that interest rate hikes will rattle investors and slow down the economy. In fact, every Fed rate hiking cycle since 1957 has ended in either a stock market crash or a recession. So could the Federal Reserve be doing this on purpose in order to sabotage Donald Trump and the Republicans? Nobody is really asking this question, but perhaps we should be.

For a while there it looked like a good rally was cooking on Wall Street, but then news about future Federal Reserve interest rate hikes sent stocks tumbling on Wednesday

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell Wednesday in volatile trading after a summary of the Federal Reserve’s most-recent meeting showed the central bank was leaning toward more rate hikes moving forward.

The 30-stock index dropped 91.74 points to 25,706.68 as sharp losses in IBM offset strong gains in Goldman Sachs. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite closed just below the flatline at 2,809.21 and 7,642.70, respectively.

And the Federal Reserve is also being identified as the reason why Asian stocks tumbled overnight

Stocks in Asia were broadly lower on Thursday morning, as a Fed report hints at more rate hikes ahead.

The Greater China markets were in largely negative territory in early trade. The Shanghai composite dropped by 1.53 percent while the Shenzhen composite fell by 1.914 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also traded slightly lower.

As I have explained many times, nobody has more control over the economy than the Federal Reserve does, and nobody has more influence over the financial markets than the Federal Reserve does either.

If the American people truly understood the Federal Reserve, there would be “End the Fed” protests in every city in America tomorrow morning.

What is troubling investors so greatly at the moment is the fact that the Fed minutes that were just released clearly indicate that more interest rate hikes are coming in future months

Federal Reserve officials remain convinced that continuing to gradually increase interest rates is the best formula to preserve a steady economy, according to minutes released Wednesday of the central bank’s most recent policy meeting.

That may not please President Donald Trump, who has been vocal in his criticism of the central bank’s actions.

President Trump has been criticizing the Fed recently because he understands that many Americans vote based on how their pocketbooks are doing. If the economy is doing well, his re-election chances go up, but if the economy tanks there is a very good chance that he could lose in 2020.

And if stock prices really start to tumble over the next few weeks, that would really help Democrats in the upcoming mid-term elections.

Of course it isn’t just President Trump that has been criticizing the Fed lately. In fact, CNBC’s Jim Cramer is literally “begging” the Federal Reserve to slow down the pace of future interest rate hikes

“I’m not saying the Fed’s gone crazy. I’m not saying they need to stop tightening because it’s bad for the stock market. I don’t care about that. I’m simply begging [Fed Chair] Jerome Powell and the rest of the Open Market Committee to take things one rate hike at a time,” he said. “Because from what I’ve seen so far this earnings season, it might make sense to put next year’s three planned rate hikes on hold until we know if the nascent strength is dissipating before our very eyes.”

Jim Cramer can see what all of the rest of us can also see. U.S. economic activity appears to be slowing down substantially, and major volatility has returned to the financial markets.

If the Dow Jones Industrial Average suddenly falls a couple of thousand points, it is entirely possible that the Federal Reserve could change course.

But once again, we must consider the possibility that they actually want to cause chaos in order to harm Donald Trump politically.

At one time such a notion would have been unthinkable, but we have entered a time when lots of things that were once unthinkable have become reality.

Today, we have news anchors calling the president of the United States all kinds of things on the air, we have leading members of the opposition party openly calling for violence, and we have conservatives and progressives literally fighting each other in the streets.

The elite are desperate to get rid of Donald Trump, and without a doubt the Federal Reserve’s recent actions have been bad for the President. That doesn’t necessarily mean that malice is involved, but we cannot entirely rule out that possibility either.

But if the Fed really does want to alter the results of the upcoming midterm elections, they have got some work to do. According to the latest map from Real Clear Politics, it appears likely that the Republicans will keep their Senate majority and may even expand it.

And even though it looks like the Democrats will definitely make gains in the House, a late Republican surge has altered the landscape. It is not the most likely result, but there is now a possibility that Republicans could also retain control of the House, and that would be absolutely disastrous for the Democratic Party.

Let us not forget, however, that things can change dramatically in politics in just a few days.

With just a few weeks to go before the 2016 election it looked like Hillary Clinton would win by a landslide, and we all saw what happened.

One major event could change everything, and without a doubt this is going to be one of the most interesting midterm election cycles in ages.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots. It is a premium-members only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically. The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

We Witnessed The 3rd Largest Point Crash In Stock Market History On The Same Day That The 3rd Most Powerful Hurricane To Ever Hit The U.S. Made Landfall

If you don’t believe in “coincidences”, what are we supposed to make of this? On Wednesday, the 3rd most powerful hurricane to ever hit the United States made landfall in the Florida panhandle. Entire communities were absolutely shredded as Hurricane Michael came ashore with sustained winds of 155 miles per hour. You can find the entire article that I just posted about this massive storm right here. In this article, I am going to focus on what just happened on Wall Street. At the exact same time that Hurricane Michael was causing chaos in the Southeast, an October stock market crash was causing havoc in the Northeast. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 831 points, which was the 3rd largest single day point crash in stock market history. Of course it isn’t as if we hadn’t been repeatedly warned that this was coming, and the truth is that it looks like this is only the start of the financial shaking.

In fact, international financial markets are in a state of chaos as I write this article. Asian markets are a sea of red, and at this moment Dow futures are way down.

So it appears likely that Wednesday’s nightmare may extend into Thursday as well.

But before we look ahead too much, let’s talk about the utter carnage that we just witnessed.

According to Bloomberg, the 500 wealthiest people in the world lost 99 billion dollars on Wednesday…

Plunging global markets lopped $99 billion from the fortunes of the world’s 500 wealthiest people on Wednesday, the year’s second-steepest one-day drop for the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos lost $9.1 billion, the most of anyone on the index, as shares of the online retailer fell the most in more than two years. The plunge lowered Bezos’s net worth to $145.2 billion, its lowest since July.

Can you imagine losing that much money on a single day?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has now fallen for four out of the last five trading sessions, and for the month as a whole all three of the major indexes are way down

Stocks have fallen sharply this month. For October, the S&P 500 and the Dow are down more than 4.4 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, has lost more than 7.5 percent.

Tech stocks are being hit particularly hard. In fact, tech stocks just had their worst day in more than seven years

Technology stocks got clobbered on Wednesday, suffering their worst day in more than seven years, as concerns over rising interest rates punished the overall market, particularly shares of companies that have been the best performers.

The S&P 500 Information Technology Index closed at $1,220.62, down 4.8 percent, marking the biggest decline since August 18, 2011, when the index dropped 5.3 percent. All 65 members of the index fell.

At this point, 330 out of the 505 stocks that make up the S&P 500 are already more than 10 percent below their 52-week highs.

That means that about two-thirds of all S&P 500 stocks are officially in correction territory.

And 140 of those stocks are already down more than 20 percent from their 52-week highs, and that means that they are officially in bear market territory.

So why is this happening?

Many of the “experts” are pointing to the dramatic rise in interest rates

Nervousness had been building for days on Wall Street. The catalyst was the recent spike in the yield on a closely watched government bond to a seven-year high.

The 10-year Treasury note — whose key rate impacts the pricing on things ranging from fixed-rate mortgages to stocks to virtually every financial asset on the planet — recently climbed above 3.25 percent for the first time since May 2011. And when you add the threat of higher borrowing costs on things like houses and cars and corporate debt to the economic obstacles caused by the U.S. trade war with China, all it takes is a whiff of weakness to set a major sell-off in motion.

A week ago, I warned my readers that rapidly rising rates could spark a market sell-off, and now it is happening with a ferocity that is absolutely breathtaking.

Needless to say, President Trump was not thrilled by the market crash on Wednesday, and he is pointing the blame at the Federal Reserve

President Donald Trump slammed the Federal Reserve as “going loco” for its interest-rate increases this year in comments hours after the worst U.S. stock market sell-off since February.

Trump said in a telephone interview on Fox News late Wednesday night the market plunge wasn’t because of his trade conflict with China: “That wasn’t it. The problem I have is with the Fed,” he said. “The Fed is going wild. They’re raising interest rates and it’s ridiculous.”

“That’s not the problem,” he said of the trade standoff. “The problem in my opinion is the fed,” he added. “The fed is going loco.”

I love it.

I absolutely love it.

Could it be possible that we will soon see supporters chant “end the Fed” at Trump rallies?

No president has ever openly criticized the Federal Reserve like this, and I greatly applaud Trump for doing so.

And he is precisely correct – the Federal Reserve is the problem.

Nobody has more power over the performance of the U.S. economy than the Federal Reserve does, and the only way that our long-term economic and financial problems will ever be fixed is if the Federal Reserve is shut down.

So I hope that President Trump’s feud with the Federal Reserve gets as heated as possible. I hope that the Federal Reserve becomes a central issue during the 2020 presidential election, and I hope that every Trump supporter in the entire country will urge Trump to make a promise to shut down the Federal Reserve.

The Federal Reserve is a deeply insidious system that has turned America into a nation of debt slaves, and it is definitely time to end that sick and twisted debt-based system and return this nation to a solid financial foundation.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots. It is a premium-members only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically. The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

Ron Paul Is Warning That A 50% Stock Market Decline Is Coming – And That There Is No Way To Stop It

Is Ron Paul about to be proven right once again? For a very long time, Ron Paul has been one of my political heroes. His willingness to stand up for true constitutional values and to keep saying “no” to the Washington establishment over and over again won the hearts of millions of American voters, and I wish that there had been enough of us to send him to the White House either in 2008 or in 2012. To this day, I still wish that we could make his classic work entitled “End The Fed” required reading in every high school classroom in America. He was one of the few members of Congress that actually understood economics, and it is very sad that he has now retired from politics. With the enormous mess that Washington D.C. has become, we sure could use a lot more statesmen like him right now.

But even though he has retired from politics, Ron Paul is still speaking out about the most important issues of the day. And what he recently told CNBC is extremely ominous.

The following comes from a CNBC article entitled “Ron Paul: US is barreling towards a stock market drop of 50% or more, and there’s no way to prevent it”

According to the former Republican Congressman from Texas, the recent jump in Treasury bond yields suggest the U.S. is barreling towards a potential recession and market meltdown at a faster and faster pace.

And, he sees no way to prevent it.

Of course lots of such predictions are flying around these days.

In fact, at this point even the IMF is warning of a “second Great Depression”.

So when it actually takes place it won’t be much of a surprise. However, I do believe that many will be surprised by the ferocity of the coming crash. According to Ron Paul, stock prices could end up falling by up to 50 percent

Paul is a vocal Libertarian known for an ardent grassroots fanbase that propelled him to multiple presidential runs, as well as his grim warnings about the economy. Yet he has been warning investors for years that an epic drop of 50 percent or more will eventually hit the stock market. He predicted the February correction, but not in size and scope.

Actually, stock prices need to fall by at least 50 percent in order for stock valuations to get close to their long-term averages.

In the end, if stocks only fall by 50 percent we will be extremely fortunate. Stock valuations always, always, always return to their long-term averages eventually, and usually they fall below those averages during a period of adjustment.

And the mood on Wall Street has definitely changed. The euphoria that we once witnessed is now gone, and instead it has been replaced by a gnawing sense that a really big downturn is coming. In his most recent piece, John Hussman compared it to the fading out of a pop song

In recent days, the combination of extreme valuations and unfavorable market internals has been joined by acute dispersion in daily trading data that often occurs within a few days of pre-collapse peaks in the market. My opinion is that the music has already quietly faded out like the end of a pop song, in a wholly uneventful way, and that even a surprise push to further highs would be marginal.

And he concluded his most recent piece with this very chilling statement

For now, and until market conditions shift, there’s an open trap door under the equity market, and it’s a very long way down.

The end of last week was very bad for the markets, and so Monday and Tuesday will be key.

If stock prices continue to fall, this could be the beginning of a race for the exits.

But if stock prices rebound a bit, it means that we could have some more time.

And keep an eye on junk bonds. They crashed really hard just before the financial crisis of 2008, and they are starting to slip here in October 2018.

A full-blown junk bond panic would definitely be a very clear sign that a major market crash is imminent.

As I write this, all of the markets in Asia are down. Chinese stocks have fallen almost 3 percent, and that is very troubling news.

But whether a massive crisis erupts right now or not, the truth is that there is no way that we are going to avoid the consequences of our actions.

At this moment we are in the terminal phase of the biggest debt bubble in human history. In fact, total indebtedness in the United States has increased by more than 2 trillion dollars over the past 12 months…

In total, indebtedness of consumers, corporations, and all governments has grown by $2.04 trillion over the past four quarters. And they’re going to be paying higher interest rates on this ballooning debt. In other words, debt service costs are going to rise substantially.

All of this debt has fueled a short-term bubble of relative “prosperity”, but meanwhile all of our long-term problems just continue to get worse.

There is no possible way that our debt bubble can continue to grow much faster than the overall economy indefinitely. In fact, we have already been defying the laws of economics for way too long.

Eventually all debt bubbles burst, and when this one bursts we are going to experience economic pain on a scale that America has never seen before.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots. It is a premium-members only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically. The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

Do They Know Something We Don’t? Corporate Insiders Are Selling Stocks At The Fastest Pace In 10 Years

A lot of things are starting to happen that we haven’t seen since the last recession. A few days ago, I wrote about the fact that home sellers in the United States are cutting their prices at the fastest pace in at least eight years, and now we have learned that corporate insiders are selling stocks at the most rapid pace in ten years. So why are they dumping their shares so quickly? Do they know something that the rest of us do not? Certainly nobody can blame them for taking advantage of the ridiculously high stock prices that we are seeing in the marketplace right now. But stock prices have been very high for a while. Why is there such a mad rush for the exits all of a sudden? According to CNN, corporate insiders have sold 5.7 billion dollars worth of stock so far in September…

CEOs are using the market boom to quietly cash in their own chips.

Insiders at US companies have dumped $5.7 billion of stock this month, the highest in any September over the past decade, according to an analysis of regulatory filings by TrimTabs Investment Research.

It’s not a new trend. Insiders, which include corporate officers and directors, sold shares in August at the fastest pace in 10 years as well, TrimTabs said.

It would be one thing if September was an anomaly, but the fact that insider shares were being sold so rapidly in August as well indicates that this is a clear trend.

Could it be possible that these corporate insiders believe that the market is about to take a tumble?

Of course it doesn’t exactly take inside information to see the writing on the wall. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the third time in 2018. Overall, this is the Fed’s eighth interest rate increase since 2015, and it looks like the Fed is anticipating three more rate hikes in 2019

Looking ahead to 2019, Fed officials expect at least three rate hikes will be necessary, and one more in 2020.

“The Fed shows no signs of taking (a) breath in rate hikes,” Robert Frick, corporate economist with Navy Federal Credit Union, wrote in a research note.

This is terrible news for stock market investors, because every rate hiking program in the history of the Federal Reserve has ended in a stock market crash and/or a recession.

In fact, since 1957 there have been 18 rate hiking cycles, and every single one of them has ended in disaster.

So do you think that we are going to beat the odds this time?

After raising rates again, the Fed released a statement in which it said that it expects the U.S. economy to grow “for at least three more years”

The Fed sees the economy growing at a faster-than-expected 3.1 percent this year and continuing to expand moderately for at least three more years, amid sustained low unemployment and stable inflation near its 2 percent target.

“The labor market has continued to strengthen … economic activity has been rising at a strong rate,” it said in its statement.

You can believe that if you want, but it is also important to remember that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke assured all of us that a recession was not coming in 2008.

And later we learned that the moment when he made that statement a recession had actually already begun.

Needless to say, investors were not thrilled by Wednesday’s rate hike, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped another 100 points. Stocks have really struggled this week, and we continue to get more disappointing news from the real economy. On the heels of a “disappointing” existing home sales report, we just received news that new home sales missed expectations

Following existing home sales disappointment, hope was once again high for a bounce in new home sales in August but once again disappointed with a 629k print (up from a revised 608k), but missed expectations of 630k.

While the sales gain was the first in three months, the downward revisions to prior figures indicate that the market in recent months was slower than previously reported, adding to broader indications of cooler demand in residential real estate.

And the trade war continues to take a toll as well. According to Ford’s chief executive, the metals tariffs are going to result in a billion dollars in lost profits for his company…

Ford CEO Jim Hackett told Bloomberg Television on Wednesday that his company faces $1 billion in lost profits from President Donald Trump’s tariffs.

“The metals tariffs took about $1 billion in profit from us – and the irony is we source most of that in the U.S. today anyways,” Hackett said. “If it goes on longer, there will be more damage.”

Perhaps this is one of the main reasons why it looks like Ford could soon be laying off thousands of workers.

The “smart money” is always one step ahead of the “dumb money”, and corporate insiders have a much better view of what is really going on inside their companies than any of the rest of us do.

So if they are collectively convinced that now is a perfect time to sell, that is a major red flag.

On Wall Street, actions speak much louder than words, and corporate insiders are sending a very loud message by selling so many of their own shares.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

If You Read Between The Lines, Global Economic Leaders Are Telling Us Exactly What Is Coming

Sometimes, a strongly-worded denial is the most damning evidence of all that something is seriously wrong. And when things start to really get crazy, “the spin” is often the exact opposite of the truth. In recent days we have seen a lot of troubling headlines and a lot of chaos in the global financial marketplace, but authorities continue to assure us that everything is going to be just fine. Of course we witnessed precisely the same thing just prior to the great financial crisis of 2008. Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke insisted that a recession was not coming, and we proceeded to plunge into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Is our society experiencing a similar state of denial about what is ahead of us here in 2018?

Let me give you a few examples of some recent things that global economic leaders have said, and what they really meant…

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk: “We are definitely not going bankrupt.”

Translation: “We are definitely going bankrupt.”

Tesla is a company that is supposedly worth 51 billion dollars, but the reality is that they are going to zero. They have been bleeding massive amounts of cash for years, and now a day of reckoning has finally arrived. A severe liquidity crunch has forced the company to delay payments or to ask for enormous discounts from suppliers, and many of those suppliers are now concerned that Tesla is on the verge of collapse

Specifically, a recent survey sent privately by a well-regarded automotive supplier association to top executives, and seen by the WS , found that 18 of 22 respondents believe that Tesla is now a financial risk to their companies.

Meanwhile, confirming last month’s report that Tesla is increasingly relying on net working capital, and specifically accounts payable to window dress its liquidity, several suppliers said Tesla has tried to stretch out payments or asked for significant cash back. And in some cases, public records show, small suppliers over the past several months have claimed they failed to get paid for services supplied to Tesla.

Shark Tank billionaire Mark Cuban: “I’ve got a whole lot of cash on the sidelines.”

Translation: “I believe that the stock market is about to crash.”

Mark Cuban is not stupid. Like Warren Buffett, he is sitting on giant piles of cash as he waits for stock valuations to return to their long-term averages. And when “something happens”, Cuban insists that he is “ready, willing and able” to make some bold moves…

Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban told CNBC on Monday that he’s holding much more cash than he normally does because he’s concerned about the stock market and U.S debt levels.

“I’m down to maybe four dividend-owning stocks, two shorts, and Amazon and Netflix. I’ve got a whole lot of cash on the sidelines,” Cuban said on “Fast Money Halftime Report.” “[I’m] ready, willing and able if something happens” to invest.

Deutsche Bank: We need our employees to “take every opportunity to restrict non-essential travel” in order to cut costs.

Translation: We are on the verge of collapse, and we have got to save every single penny that we can right now.

If you follow my work on a regular basis, you already know that I have been extremely hard on Deutsche Bank. The biggest bank in Europe is teetering on the brink, and this latest move is more evidence that their days are numbered

Forget the days of traveling first class to meet clients: Deutsche Bank, which following major management upheaval in the past year, is telling its employees to take the bus whenever possible.

In the latest indignity to befall the bank’s employees, in a memo sent by Deutsche Bank CFO James von Moltke, the biggest European bank – if certainly not by market cap – urged employees to “take every opportunity to restrict non-essential travel” until the end of the year adding that “with your help, we will meet our cost-reduction targets.”

Italian Cabinet Undersecretary Giancarlo Giorgetti: “I hope that the quantitative easing program will go forward.”

Translation: If the ECB does not buy our bonds, the Italian financial system is toast.

Italy will almost certainly be the fulcrum of the next European financial crisis, and the truth is that the EU will not have enough money to bail Italy out once it collapses.

So the Italians desperately need the ECB to continue buying their bonds, and the new Italian government seems to understand this very well

Italian Cabinet Undersecretary Giancarlo Giorgetti said he hopes the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing program will be extended to help protect the country from financial speculators.

Italy also needs to be credible to help shield itself, Giorgetti said in an interview with newspaper Il Messaggero. After the Genoa bridge disaster, the country may boost its extra spending request to the European Union, he said.

Signs of trouble continue to erupt in the United States as well. The trade war is taking a huge toll on businesses of all sizes, and sometimes it is rural America that is being hurt the most.

For instance, the looming closure of the Element Electronics factory in Winnsboro, South Carolina would be absolutely crippling for that community…

TVs at the plant are made out of components that are imported from China, and the tariffs make assembling the TVs here a losing proposition, the company has said. The company is fighting for a waiver but is bracing for shutdown.

Winnsboro is the seat of Fairfield County, where a third of the population lives in poverty. Unemployment among its nearly 23,000 residents is second highest in the state, and, despite periodic rebounds, the population has fallen steadily over the past century.

“This is going to be a ghost town,” Winnsboro resident Herbert Workman said.

In this day and age, we are trained to be optimistic, and that can be a good thing.

But there comes a point when blind optimism causes us to lose touch with reality, and many believe that we have already crossed that threshold.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

According To The “Buffett Indicator”, The Stock Market Is More Primed For A Crash Than It Has Ever Been Before

Warren Buffett’s favorite indicator is telling us that stocks are more overvalued right now than they have ever been before in American history. That doesn’t mean that a stock market crash is imminent. In fact, this indicator has been in the “danger zone” for quite some time. But what it does tell us is that stock valuations are more bloated than we have ever seen and that a stock market crash would make perfect sense. So precisely what is the “Buffett Indicator”? Well, it is actually very simple to calculate. You just take the total market value of all stocks and divide it by the gross domestic product. When that ratio is more than 100 percent, stocks are generally considered to be overvalued, and when that ratio is under 100 percent stocks are generally considered to be undervalued. The following comes from MSN

That being said, the Buffett Indicator, while it’s not a flawless indicator, does tend to peak during hot stock markets and bottom during weak markets. And as a general rule, if the indicator falls below 80%-90% or so, it has historically signaled that stocks are cheap. On the other hand, levels significantly higher than 100% can indicate stocks are expensive.

For context, the Buffett indicator peaked at about 145% right before the dot-com bubble burst and reached nearly 110% before the financial crisis.

So where are we today?

Right now we are at almost 149 percent, which is the highest level ever recorded

Where does the Buffett Indicator stand now? It may surprise you to learn that, at nearly 149%, the total market cap to GDP ratio has never been higher. It’s even higher than the 145% peak we saw during the dot-com bubble.

In recent days we have seen a “tech bloodbath”, but that was nothing compared to what is eventually coming. Ultimately, the stock market would need to fall by at least one-third in order for prices to be properly balanced again.

And it appears that Warren Buffett is taking his own advice. His company is currently sitting on more than 100 billion dollars in cash

Having said that, it does seem like Buffett himself is paying attention and agrees that the market is generally expensive. After all, the lack of attractive investment opportunities has resulted in Berkshire Hathaway accumulating nearly $110 billion of cash and equivalents on its balance sheet. Plus, Buffett has specifically cited valuation when discussing the absence of major acquisitions lately.

Warren Buffett didn’t become one of the wealthiest men in America by being stupid. He knows that valuations are absurd right now, and he is waiting to strike until valuations are not so absurd.

And he knows that another recession is inevitably coming. I wrote about some of the trouble signs yesterday, and more trouble signs seem to pop up on a daily basis now.

Earlier today, CNN published an article entitled “Two recession warning signs are here”

Home sales have declined in four of the past five months as housing prices have grown — but paychecks have remained stagnant. Many people can’t afford to buy homes, and those who can are taking on a lot of debt to get into them.

I feel really bad for those that purchased a home in recent months, because those poor people are getting in right at the top of the bubble. The housing bubble is about to burst in a major way, and there will be a tremendous amount of pain afterwards.

And we received more bad news about the housing market on Wednesday. According to Redfin, housing demand plunged 9.6 percent in June…

The long list of housing headwinds is finally taking its toll on potential buyers. Housing demand fell 9.6 percent in June, compared with June 2017, according to a monthly index from Redfin. That is the largest decline since April 2016.

CNN’s second “warning sign” is the fact that the yield curve is about to invert

The Federal Reserve, which is finishing up its two-day meeting Wednesday, is expected to raise its target rate two more times this year. Higher rates have boosted short-term US Treasury bond rates. But the longer-term bond rates haven’t risen along with the shorter-term rates, because investors are growing wary about the economy over the long haul.

With two more interest rate hikes planned, the Fed could boost short-term rates higher than long-term ones, inverting the so-called yield curve. An inverted yield curve has preceded every recession in modern history.

If you don’t understand the yield curve or you just want a deeper examination of this issue, please see my previous article entitled “Beware – The Last 7 Times The Yield Curve Inverted The U.S. Economy Was Hit By A Recession”.

In recent weeks, there has been renewed interest in my economics website as people begin to wake up and understand that a major economic crisis is looming. Of course the truth is that we are way, way overdue for a stock market crash and another recession. The only thing that is surprising is that it took us so long to get here.

Sadly, most people are still very much asleep. Average Americans spend most of their waking hours staring at either a television or a computer screen, and the big media companies control almost all of the media that we are so voraciously consuming. Instead of thinking for themselves, most people simply regurgitate what they have been fed by the media giants, and we are never going to turn things around if we continue to allow “the matrix” to tell us what to think.

The Buffett Indicator is very simple, but it is also very accurate. If you want to do well in the stock market, you want to buy low and sell high, and right now we are in absurdly high territory. Stock valuations always return to their long-term averages eventually, and many believe that the coming stock market crash is going to arrive sooner rather than later.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Ron Paul Warns That When The “Biggest Bubble In The History Of Mankind” Bursts It Could “Cut The Stock Market In Half”

When this bubble finally bursts, will we witness the biggest stock market crash in U.S. history? “The bigger they come, the harder they fall” is a well used phrase, but I think that it is very appropriate in this case. From a low of 6,443.27 on March 6th, 2009, we have seen the Dow nearly quadruple in value since the last financial crisis. It has been a remarkable run, and it has lasted far longer than virtually any of the experts anticipated. But what goes up must come down eventually. This stock market bubble was almost entirely fueled by easy money from the Federal Reserve, and now that easy money has been cut off. The insiders can see the handwriting on the wall and they are getting out of the market at a pace that we haven’t seen since 2008. Could it be possible that the day of reckoning is finally at our door?

Of course we have been hearing warnings like this for a very long time. In fact, I have been warning about a market crash for a very long time. Just the other day, one of my readers insisted that if something was going to take place that “it would have happened by now”. In the Internet age, we have been trained to have very short attention spans, but financial bubbles don’t care about the length of our attention spans. They all inevitably come to a bitter end, but they don’t reach that end until they are good and ready.

And without a doubt we are on borrowed time, but meanwhile so many of us that are continually warning about what we are facing are getting a lot of heat for it.

For instance, when Ron Paul told CNBC that the stock market is “the biggest bubble in the history of mankind”, he was strongly criticized for it, but he was 100 percent correct…

This market is in the “biggest bubble in the history of mankind,” and when it bursts, it could cut the stock market in half, he told CNBC’s “Futures Now” Thursday.

If the Dow only plummets to about 12,000 or so during the coming downturn we will be exceedingly fortunate, because the truth is that stock prices need to fall by at least that much just to get us into the neighborhood where stock prices will start to make sense once again.

Today, sales to stock price ratios are hovering near all-time highs.

The same thing is true for earnings to stock price ratios and GDP to stock price ratios.

The only other times these ratios have been so elevated were just before major stock market crashes.

In the end, these ratios always, always, always return to their long-term averages eventually.

It may take many years, but it always happens.

So what factors led Ron Paul to make such an ominous prognostication? The following comes from CNBC

“The Congress spending and the Federal Reserve manipulation of monetary policy and interest rates — debt is too big, the current account is in bad shape, foreign debt is bad and it’s not going to change,” he said.

Paul isn’t alone in his critique. A number of politicians have voiced concern over ballooning deficits, including current House Speaker Paul Ryan, who raised a warning on the nation’s debt in 2012.

Of course it isn’t just the U.S. that is drowning in debt.

According to the Institute of International Finance, total global debt just hit a brand new record high of 247 trillion dollars

Every quarter the Institute of International Finance publishes a new number of the total amount of global debt outstanding, and every quarter the result is the same: a new record high

Today was no exception: according to the IIF’s latest Global Debt Monitor, the amount of debt held in the world rose by the biggest amount in two years during the first quarter of 2018, when it grew by $8 trillion to hit a new all time high of $247 trillion, up from $238 trillion as of Dec. 31, 2017 and up by $30 trillion from the end of 2016.

Global debt has been rising much, much faster than global GDP, and at this point there is three times as much debt in the world as there is money.

There is no possible way that all of that debt can ever be paid off. The only way that the party can continue is for debt to continue growing faster than global GDP, and everyone knows that is simply not sustainable in the long-term.

So an absolutely monumental “adjustment” is coming. You can call it a “crash”, a “collapse” or anything else that you would like, but just as certainly as you are reading this article it is coming.

It is just a matter of time.

But for now, the talking heads on television continue to insist that everything is just fine and that the stock market still has more room to go up

There’s still room for stock markets to rise and worries of an impending recession are premature, according to Berenberg Capital Markets’ chief economist.

“Even if profits peaked in (the first quarter of) 2018, which remains uncertain, history suggests the stock market has room to appreciate,” Mickey Levy, Berenberg’s chief Americas and Asia economist, said in a client note this week. He pointed to data demonstrating how in every economic expansion since the mid-1970s, the S&P 500 index went on to appreciate for a “significant period” after corporate profits peaked.

I wish that CNBC would have me on just one time so that I could refute some of these guys.

Since 1913, the Federal Reserve has gone through 18 rate hiking cycles. In 18 out of 18 cases, those rate hiking cycles have ended in either a recession or a market crash.

Do you really think that the 19th time will be different?

10 years ago, virtually everyone thought that the “boom times” would last forever too. But they didn’t. Instead, we plunged into the greatest economic and financial crisis since the Great Depression, but at this point 2008 seems like ancient history to most people.

Yet again we have fooled ourselves into thinking that the good times will just continue to keep on rolling, and once again our society will be in for a very rude awakening when the inevitable crash finally arrives.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

 

We Are Witnessing Unusual Stock Market Behavior That Is Unlike Anything That We Have Seen Since 2008

We have not seen Wall Street this jumpy since just before the great financial crisis of 2008. As I have explained so many times before, when the waters are calm and there is low volatility, markets tend to go up. And when the waters are choppy and volatility starts to spike, markets tend to go down. That is why the behavior that we have been witnessing from investors during the first two quarters of 2018 is so alarming. A high level of market turnover is often a sign of big trouble ahead, and according to Bloomberg our financial markets “are churning at the fastest rate since 2008″…

From junk bonds to emerging-market stocks, market turnover is through the roof, reaching multi-year highs. Within the S&P 500 Index, investors traded more than $2.9 trillion worth of shares in each of the past two quarters, a feat last achieved in early 2008.

Bloomberg is not prone to hyperbole, and so when they say that “market turnover is through the roof”, I hope that you will take that statement seriously.

We truly are facing a scenario that Wall Street has never seen before. The Wilshire 5000 stock index to nominal GDP ratio has been hovering near all-time highs, and what that tells us is that stock prices are more overvalued today than they have been at any other point in modern American history. Meanwhile, all sorts of red flags continue to indicate that big trouble is on the horizon, but most investors are ignoring those red flags.

But if you look closely, it is becoming clear that the most savvy investors are getting out while the getting is good. In a previous article, I explained that the “smart money” is getting out of stocks at a pace that we have not seen since just before the last financial crisis. Fortunately for them, the “dumb money” has been willing to buy what they are selling at these massively inflated prices.

We see a similar spike in the “churn rate” when we look at emerging markets. In fact, Bloomberg says that we have not seen this much volatility in emerging market stocks since the international financial crisis of 1998…

It’s a similar story for developing-nation assets at the mercy of a strengthening U.S. dollar and trade tensions. Volume on the MSCI Emerging Market index reached $1.9 trillion in the three months through June, the most since 1998 when a wave of currency devaluations and defaults ripped through emerging economies from Thailand to Russia.

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, global stocks lost approximately 10 trillion dollars in value during the first six months of 2018.

Just think about that.

10 trillion dollars is almost half of the U.S. national debt.

If global stocks continue to fall at a similar pace during the second half, it is only a matter of time before U.S. stocks get absolutely slammed.

One of the emerging markets that is showing significant signs of trouble is India. According to Bloomberg, India’s banks are now dealing with 210 billion dollars of bad debts…

India’s nearly $1.7 trillion formal banking sector is coping with $210 billion of soured or problem loans, and some regional banks have been ensnared in fraud scandals.

If U.S. banks had 210 billion dollars of bad debts that would be a big problem.

In India, a number like that is a complete and utter financial catastrophe that is not going to be easy to clean up.

According to CNBC, most of the bad loans are owned by India’s state-controlled banks…

India’s public-sector financial institutions control about 70 percent of all banking assets in the country, but they have the highest exposure to soured loans amounting to as much as $150 billion. In fact, the 21 state-owned banks had stressed loans of about 8.26 trillion rupees ($120 billion) as of Dec. 31, Reuters reported. Private sector lenders, meanwhile, reportedly had a bad loan pile of just about 1.1 trillion rupees.

Things have already gotten so bad in India that some people are starting to panic.

In fact, it is being reported that ATMs in some areas of the nation have been “running dry”…

On top of that, ATMs in some parts of the country have been reported to be running dry in recent days. There’s an unusually high demand for cash, according to the Finance Ministry. The rupee shortage is being blamed on everything from farm spending to looming elections and hoarding by some families.

This is yet another example that shows that it always pays to not put all of your eggs in one basket. In the event of a major emergency, you will want access to cash, and you cannot necessarily count on your bank to always be there for you.

As we move forward into the second half of 2018, red flags continue to appear on an almost daily basis. The Federal Reserve is steadily raising interest rates, civil unrest is erupting in the streets of America, and the Trump administration is starting trade wars with virtually everyone else on the planet.

In the end, these trade wars are going to prove to be very painful for U.S. businesses. Earlier today, CNBC posted a piece about the impact that tariffs are likely to have on our pork producers…

U.S. pork producers are about to be bitten by a second batch of hefty retaliatory tariffs from China and Mexico — and that has some large producers predicting they could lose big money and be forced to invest overseas.

Executives say the pork industry has been expanding in recent years, in part on the expectation of export opportunities that would continue to support growth. However, the threat of a trade war is adding uncertainty and driving fear. One in 4 hogs raised in the U.S. is sold overseas, and the Chinese are the world’s top consumers of pork.

As I write this article, I can hear fireworks going off in the background. The 4th of July is always a time for celebration, and without a doubt many Americans are extremely optimistic right now.

But as I have just explained, major storm clouds are gathering, and it isn’t going to take much to push the U.S. economy into another major crisis.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Why Are Investors Pulling Money Out Of Global Stock Funds At The Fastest Pace Since The Last Financial Crisis?

We haven’t seen anything like this since the financial crisis of 2008. Investors are taking money out of global stock funds at a pace that we haven’t seen in 10 years, and many believe that this is a harbinger of tough times ahead. Global stocks lost about 10 trillion dollars in value during the first half of 2018, and an even worse performance during the second half of the year will almost certainly push the global financial system into panic mode. U.S. stocks have been relatively stable, and so most Americans are not too alarmed about what is happening just yet. But if you look back throughout history, emerging market chaos is often an early warning signal that a major global crisis is on the horizon, and that is precisely what is happening right now. Financial markets in emerging markets all over the planet are in the process of melting down, and the losses are becoming quite dramatic.

As stock prices around the planet start to plummet, investors are pulling money out of global stock funds very, very rapidly. The following comes from CNBC

Investor money is hemorrhaging out of global stock funds at a pace not seen since just after the financial crisis exploded.

Global equity funds have seen outflows of $12.4 billion in June, a level not seen since October 2008, according to market research firm TrimTabs. Lehman Brothers collapsed in September of that year, triggering the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and helping fuel a bear market that would see major indexes lose more than 60 percent of their value.

Does this automatically mean that another major financial crisis is on the way in the United States?

No, but it is definitely not a good sign.

As CNBC also noted, investors have been taking tremendous amounts of money out of one emerging market ETF in particular…

The iShares emerging market ETF has seen $5.4 billion in outflows in June, the most of any fund, according to ETF.com.

“U.S. dollar strength and persistent underperformance seem to be driving fund investors away from non-U.S. equities,” TrimTabs said in a note.

The list of emerging market economies that are in crisis mode is beginning to get really long. Argentina, Venezuela, Turkey, Brazil and South Africa are some of the more prominent examples.

If the chaos in emerging markets continues to intensify, the rush for the exits is going to become a stampede. Not too long ago, I discussed the fact that the “smart money” was getting out of stocks at a pace that we haven’t seen since just before the last financial crisis, and it isn’t going to take too much to set off a full-blown financial avalanche.

In the general population, most people still seem to think that the financial system is in good shape. But in many ways, the first half of 2018 was the worst half of a year for the global financial system since the financial crisis of 2008. The following summary of the carnage that we have witnessed over the last 6 months comes from Zero Hedge

  • Bitcoin Worst Start To A Year Ever
  • German Banks At Lowest Since 1988
  • Onshore Yuan Worst Quarter Since 1994
  • Argentine Peso Worst Start To A Year Since 2002
  • US Financial Conditions Tightened The Most To Start A Year Since 2002
  • Global Systemically Important Banks Worst Start To A Year Since 2008
  • Global Stocks Worst Start To A Year Since 2010
  • China Stocks Worst Start To A Year Since 2010
  • German Stocks Worst Start (In USD Terms) Since 2010
  • Global Economic Data Disappointments Worst Since 2012
  • Emerging Markets, Gold, Silver Worst Start To A Year Since 2013
  • High Yield Bonds Worst Start To A Year Since 2013
  • Offshore Yuan Worst Month Since Aug 2015
  • Global Bonds Worst Start To A Year Since 2015
  • Treasury Yield Curve Down Record 16 Of Last 18 Quarters

And as I mentioned above, global stocks lost about 10 trillion dollars in value over the last 6 months.

When the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates, it puts a lot of financial stress on emerging markets. It becomes much more expensive to take out dollar-denominated loans, and it also becomes much more expensive to pay back existing dollar-denominated debts.

But the Fed has not listened to appeals from the rest of the world, and has decided to accelerate the pace of rate hikes instead.

Meanwhile, the trade wars that the United States has started with other nations continue to escalate. Here are the latest developments

U.S. farmers and food producers are in the cross-hairs of a global trade conflict that shows no signs of abating anytime soon — and things are about to escalate in a big way on Sunday.

New tariffs will be imposed by Canada on beef, and more retaliation will come this week when China and Mexico take aim at pork. China’s also planning a 25 percent tariff on soybeans on July 6 in addition to hikes on pork duties, and Mexico’s 20 percent levy on “the other white meat” is set to begin July 5.

Meanwhile, the European Union’s initial duties worth $3.2 billion took effect June 22. Most of the duties amount to 25 percent, and include a variety of U.S. products, including motorcycles, boats, whiskey and peanut butter.

If nobody gives in, economic activity will start to slow down substantially. This is what CNN says that we should expect…

Here’s how the dominoes could fall: First, businesses would be hit with higher costs triggered by tariffs. Then, companies won’t be able to figure out how to get the materials they need. Eventually, confidence among executives and households would drop. Businesses would respond by drastically scaling back spending.

A perfect storm is starting to emerge, and investors are getting spooked.

If financial problems continue to get worse in emerging markets, and if the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates, and if these trade wars continue to grow, it is only a matter of time before we have a major market catastrophe in the United States.

The storm clouds on the horizon have just kept getting darker and darker, and many analysts all over the nation agree that this is the gloomiest that things have looked since 2008.

Hopefully a way can be found to turn things around, but I wouldn’t count on it…

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Federal Reserve Is Increasing The Pace Of Interest Rate Hikes Just In Time For The 2018 Mid-Term Elections

If the Federal Reserve really wanted to hurt the U.S. economy, the quickest way that it could do that would be by aggressively raising interest rates. Lower interest rates make it less expensive to borrow money, and therefore economic activity tends to expand in a low interest rate environment. Alternatively, higher interest rates make it more expensive to borrow money, and economic activity tends to slow down in a high interest rate environment. Since 1913, the Federal Reserve has engaged in 18 previous rate hiking cycles, and every single one of them resulted in a huge stock market decline and/or a recession. It will be the same this time around as well, and the “experts” at the Federal Reserve know exactly what they are doing. Interest rates are being aggressively jacked up just in time for the 2018 mid-term elections, and that is very bad news for the Republican Party and the Trump administration.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve announced an interest rate hike for the 2nd time this year

The Federal Reserve increased a key interest rate again Wednesday, which will trigger higher rates on credit cards, home equity lines and other kinds of borrowing.

Wednesday’s action, which was widely expected, was the second Fed rate hike this year — and the seventh since it began boosting them in 2015. The latest increase puts the federal funds rate in a range between 1.75 and 2 percent. The Fed previously nudged rates up in March.

Because so much is based on what the Federal Reserve does, now interest rates will be going up throughout our economy.

For example, we should expect the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage to surpass the 4.66 percent mark that we witnessed earlier this year

Mortgage rates have been climbing. The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage climbed to 4.66% this year in May, the highest in seven years, before falling slightly in recent weeks.

Home mortgage rates tend to move with the bond market, but rates can also rise because of a higher federal funds rate. A higher rate makes it more expensive for banks to borrow money, which can translate into higher borrowing rates for consumers.

Needless to say, this is going to have a huge impact on the housing market.

Interest rates will also be going up on credit cards, auto loans and just about every other kind of debt that you can imagine.

This will inevitably slow down economic activity, and it will make the party that is in power in Washington (the Republicans) look bad.

Originally, it was anticipated that the Federal Reserve would raise rates only three times in 2018, but now they are indicating that rates will be raised a total of four times this year. The following comes from NPR

The Fed also signaled that it will raise rates more this year than previously expected — four times rather than three.

This is economic sabotage, but nobody in the mainstream media will ever admit this.

Most people do not understand that the Federal Reserve has far more power over the performance of the U.S. economy than anyone else does. It was the Fed’s ultra-low interest rates and easy money policies that fueled the relative economic improvement that we have witnessed early in Trump’s presidency, and it will be the Fed’s policy of aggressively raising rates that will inevitably cause huge economic turmoil in the coming months.

So why would the Federal Reserve do this?

According to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, the Fed decided to raise interest rates to keep the economy from overheating

The decision reflected an economy that’s getting even stronger. Unemployment is 3.8%, the lowest since 2000, and inflation is creeping higher. The Fed is raising rates gradually to keep the economy from overheating.

“The main takeaway is that the economy is doing very well,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said at a news conference. “Most people who want to find jobs are finding them, and unemployment and inflation are low.”

Of course that is a load of nonsense.

As I discussed yesterday, if honest numbers were being used our unemployment rate would be at 21.5 percent, inflation would be at about 10 percent, and GDP growth would be negative.

The U.S. economy is definitely not “overheating”. In fact, it needs as much help as possible to pull out of the deep slump that it has been in for many, many years.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell is supposed to be a Republican, and I suppose that it is possible that he actually believes that he is doing the right thing for the country by aggressively raising interest rates.

But any sort of an economic slowdown will be extremely favorable for the Democrats. American voters are notorious for “voting their pocketbooks”, and when things get bad they always blame whoever is in power at the time.

In this case, it will be Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress that get the blame for what the Federal Reserve has done.

We know that some among the elite are already discussing the possibility of “a crashing economy” as a way to “get rid of Trump”. In the short-term, however, the best way to neuter Trump politically would be to have Democrats do extremely well in the 2018 mid-term elections.

If the Democrats take back control of either the House or the Senate in November, Trump’s agenda will come to a crashing halt, and thanks to the Federal Reserve that scenario has just become much more likely.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

18 Times The Fed Has Gone Through A Rate Hiking Cycle, And 18 Times It Has Caused A Huge Stock Market Decline And/Or A Recession

Since 1913, the Federal Reserve has engaged in 18 distinct interest rate hiking campaigns, and in every single one of those instances the end result was a large stock market decline, a recession, or both. Now we are in the 19th rate tightening cycle since 1913, but many of the experts are insisting that things will somehow be different this time. They assure us that the U.S. economy will continue to grow and that stock prices will continue to soar. Of course the truth is that if something happens 18 times in a row, there is a really, really good chance that it will happen on the 19th time too. For years I have been trying to get people to understand that our country has been on an endless roller coaster ride ever since the Fed was created back in 1913. Things can seem quite pleasant when the economy is on one of the upswings, but the downswings can be extremely painful.

It was economist Lance Roberts that pointed out this correlation between rate hiking cycles and economic troubles. When I came across his most recent article, it really got my attention

A sustained interest rate hiking campaign, as undertaken by the Fed, has always resulted in negative stock market returns.

Always. Not usually, not might-be-correlated-to. Always. As in, 18 out of 18 times. Until now. When we’ve had the single highest percentage increase in history (93.33% peak to trough, so far).

To support his claims, he posted this chart

So far, however, there hasn’t been a huge stock market drop or a recession during this rate hiking cycle.

Has something changed?

Is the 19th time going to be fundamentally different?

Roberts believes that the unprecedented intervention by the Fed that we have seen in recent years that has fueled corporate buybacks has successfully “delayed the inevitable stock market correction”

So what gives? Of course, it’s the Fed. Having kept interest rates near zero for years on end and having filled corporate coffers with super cheap debt used to fuel market-bubble-sustaining corporate buybacks, the Fed has delayed the inevitable stock market correction.

I definitely agree with Roberts – a colossal stock market correction is inevitably coming.

And the warning signs are all around us. As I have discussed so many times before, junk bonds are often an early warning sign for a major financial crisis, and it is extremely interesting to note that it looks like Deutsche Bank is planning a “fire sale” of their energy junk bonds. The following analysis comes from Zero Hedge

Bloomberg reports that Deutsche is planning to sell the loan book as a whole and has marketed it to North American and European peers, said one of the people. The portfolio is expected to sell for par value, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly; good luck with that!

The bank’s energy business is expected to wrap up on June 30, one of the people said. The bank has been an active lender in the energy space in the past year, participating in the financing of companies including Peabody Energy Corp. and Coronado Australian Holdings Pty., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

So to summarize: Moody’s is warning that when the economy weakens we will see an avalanche of defaults like we haven’t seen before; Corporate debt-to-GDP and investor risk appetite is reminding a lot of veterans of previous credit peaks; and now the most desperate bank in the world is offering its whole junk energy debt book in a firesale… just as high yield issuance starts to slump.

Wow.

To me, that is one of the strongest indications yet that things are about to take a major turn for the worse for the global financial system.

And even former Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke is sounding quite pessimistic these days. The following comes from a Bloomberg article entitled “Bernanke Says U.S. Economy Faces a ‘Wile E. Coyote’ Moment in 2020”

The stimulus “is going to hit the economy in a big way this year and next year, and then in 2020 Wile E. Coyote is going to go off the cliff,” Bernanke said, referring to the hapless character in the Road Runner cartoon series.

When you read that quote, alarm bells should have been going off in your head.

If his forecast is accurate, that means that the U.S. economy’s Wile E. Coyote moment will come just in time for the 2020 election

The timing of Bernanke’s possible slowdown would line up badly for Trump, who has called the current economy the best ever and faces reelection in late-2020.

Wouldn’t that be convenient for the elite?

U.S. voters tend to be extremely influenced by the performance of the economy, and so a major economic downturn would not bode well for Trump’s chances.

Similarly, if a major crisis erupts during the second half of this year, it will probably mean big problems for Republicans in November. Timing is everything in politics, and when the next crisis comes most voters won’t even consider the fact that it had been building for a very, very long time. All they will care about is who is in office at the time.

But for the moment, most of the “experts” are assuring us that things will be rosy for the foreseeable future. For example, a couple of prominent analysts over at Goldman Sachs are saying that tech stock prices are likely to continue to rise

“Unlike the technology mania of the 1990s, most of this success can be explained by strong fundamentals, revenues and earnings rather than speculation about the future,” strategists Peter Oppenheimer and Guillaume Jaisson wrote in a note. “Given that valuations in aggregate are not very stretched, we do not expect the dominant size and contribution of returns in stock markets to end any time soon.”

And the optimists will continue to be right up until the moment that the bubble finally bursts.

Whenever the Federal Reserve starts raising rates, it always results in a bad ending.

This time will be no different, and anyone that is trying to convince you otherwise is just being delusional.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

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