In its latest Fact Finding 30 report, FMC Commissioner Sola indicates that Florida has lost $3.2 billion in economic activity and 49,500 local jobs paying approximately $2.3 billion in wages as a result of the suspension of cruising following the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s No-Sail Order, in effect through September 30.
By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Headline Wealth
The market for newly constructed homes in the U.S. continued its upward climb in August, despite the ongoing pandemic and lingering worries about the future of the U.S. economy.
The Commerce Department said sales new homes rose by a very strong 4.8% in August to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.01 million units. That’s on top of the massive jump in new home sales that happened in July, climbing that month by 13.9%.
In an ephemeral world, few things survive. I am not talking about species or human beings whose existence on earth is also transitory. Instead I am referring to social and financial systems which are now coming to an end.
In July 2009 I wrote an article called The Dark Years Are Here. It was reprinted again in September 2018.
Here is an extract from my original article:
“The Dark Years will be extremely severe for most countries both financially and socially. In many countries in the Western world there will be a severe depression and it will be the end of the welfare state. Most private and state pension schemes are also likely to collapse. It will be a worldwide depression but some countries may only have a deep recession. There will be famine, homelessness and misery resulting in social as well as political unrest. Different type of government leaders and regimes are likely to result from this.
How long will the Dark Years last? There is a book called ”The Fourth Turning” written by Neil Howe.
The overvaluation of stocks relative to the economy has placed them in such rarefied space that the market is subject to dramatic and sudden air pockets. Our Inflation Deflation and Economic Cycle model is built to identify both cyclical and secular bear markets and protect and profit from them.
However, what it cannot do, nor can anyone else, is anticipate every short-term selloff in stocks. While the IDEC strategy protects and profits from bear markets, it also tends to soften the blow from short-term selloffs and prevents us from panicking at the bottom of every brief correction. This was the case in the latest plunge that started on September 3rd and lasted just three brutal days.
Daily coronavirus cases may be down in the United States, but that is no reason to be complacent, especially given that cold and flu season is only a few weeks away, says the nation’s top doctor.
In a roundtable discussion Thursday at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that “we need to hunker down and get through this fall and winter, because it’s not going to be easy.” He compared the pandemic to the early days of HIV in terms of how quickly it escalated, and how it might continue to escalate, if current trends of low mask-wearing and social distancing continue. “We’ve been through this before,” he said. “Don’t ever, ever underestimate the potential of the pandemic. And don’t try and look at the rosy side of things.”
There can be little doubt that macroeconomic policies are failing around the world. The fallacies being exposed are so entrenched that there are bound to be twists and turns yet to come.
This article explains the fallacies behind inflation, deflation, economic performance and interest rates. They arise from the modern states’ overriding determination to access the wealth of its electorate instead of being driven by a genuine and considered concern for its welfare. Monetary inflation, which has become runaway, transfers wealth to the state from producers and consumers, and is about to accelerate. Everything about macroeconomics is now with that single economically destructive objective in mind.
By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle
I just finished with one of my readers, Bob Unger, and I thought Bob’s questions led to a well-rounded expression of how, over the past two years, our economy got to the collapse we are in now, how predictable the Federal Reserve’s policy changes and failures were, why economic recovery has stalled, and why the stock market was certain to crash twice this year, including why the second crash would likely hit around September.
I’ve found Bob’s interviews with others interesting, so I recommend checking out his YouTube page. I had no idea where the interview below would go, but it wound up encapsulating my main themes for the past two years:
(Other interviews I’ve done are linked in the right side bar where I usually just let people stumble onto them on their own.)
The Fed has now officially changed its inflation target from 2%, to one that averages above 2% in order to compensate for the years where inflation was below its target. First off, the Fed has a horrific track record with meeting its first and primary mandate of stable prices. Then, in the wake of the Great Recession, it redefined stable prices as 2% inflation—even though that means the dollar’s purchasing power gets cut in half in 36 years. Now, following his latest Jackson Hole speech, Chair Powell has adopted a new definition of stable prices; one where its new mandate will be to bring inflation above 2% with the same degree and duration in which it has fallen short of its 2% target.
Re-Blogged From Headline USA
Research is increasingly pointing to a retreat of working mothers from the U.S. labor force as the government shutdowns leave parents with few child care options and the added burden of navigating computer instruction.
Thousands of school districts are starting the school year with remote instruction, including most of the largest ones.
At least half the country’s child care providers are closed and may not survive the crisis without financial help to cope with implementing safety standards and reduced enrollment.
Negotiations for a bailout of the industry have stalled in Congress.
If you think that price inflation runs at about 1.6% you have fallen for the BLS’s CPI myth. Two independent analysts using different methods — the Chapwood Index and Shadowstats.com — prove that prices are rising at a far faster rate, more like 10% annually and have been doing so since 2010.
This article discusses the consequences of price inflation suppression, particularly in the light of Jerome Powell’s Jackson Hole speech when he downgraded the importance of price inflation in the Fed’s policy objectives in favour of targeting employment.
It concludes that the reconciliation between the BLS CPI figure and the true rate of price inflation is inevitable and will be catastrophic for the Fed’s policy of suppressing interest rates, its maximisation of the “wealth effect” of inflated financial asset prices, and for the dollar itself.
The hype and hope being promulgated by Wall Street and D.C. is that the imminent and well-advertised approval of vaccines will bring the economy back to what they characterize as its pre-pandemic state of health. However, even if these prophylactics are very efficient in controlling the pandemic and lead the economy back to “normal”, the state of the economy was anything but normal and healthy prior to the Wuhan outbreak.
The year over year change in GDP in the fourth quarter of 2020 from the trailing 12 months was just 2.3%. Admittedly, this wasn’t indicative of a terrible economy; but it also was very far from what many have portrayed as the best economy anyone has ever seen on the planet. Most importantly, to even get to that rather pedestrian level of just trend GDP growth for the year, the Fed had to slash interest rates three times in the five months prior to the start of 2020. And, please also remember that the Fed felt it necessary to return to Quantitative Easing (QE) in order to re-liquify the entire banking system and save the markets from crashing.
Retail sales growth has slowed down. What does it mean for the U.S. economy and the gold market? Retail sales increased 1.2 percent in July. The growth was worse than expected, which hit the U.S. stock market. As the chart below shows, the number was also much weaker than in the two previous months (8.4 percent gain in June and 18.3 percent jump in May), when it seemed that the economy started to rebound.
By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From WUWT
Child labor, human rights abuses and deaths are routinely ignored by Greens and Democrats
Marathon Petroleum recently announced it will “indefinitely idle” its Martinez Refinery. The decision will remove hundreds of jobs, billions of dollars, and nearly 7 million gallons of gasoline, diesel and other petroleum liquids per day from the energy-hungry California economy. It will also send fuel prices even higher for minority and other poor families that already pay by far the highest gasoline prices in the continental United States: $1.32 more per gallon of regular than in Louisiana and Texas.
California’s green and political interests don’t want drilling or fracking, pipelines, or nuclear, coal or hydroelectric power plants – or mining for the materials needed to manufacture electric cars. They prefer to have that work done somewhere else, and just import the energy, cars and consumer goods.
Measured by the common man, we’re on the road to ruin. The US has been in decline for decades, but you can’t see that by looking at stocks. You can’t tell it from those who lie about the economy to make their living, but look at long-term real numbers, and you see an empire in decline that just got its wobbly legs kicked out by COVID-19.
The clamor of false profits
Listen to the kinds of false narratives being spun to claim the economy is largely recovering. Call it the relentless and unrealistic belief in a V-shaped recovery narrative or whatever you want to call it, but the nonsense is still flourishing, though not the economy.
The dramatic ascent of precious metals markets this summer reflects what could be just the start of a longer-term decline and fall in the Federal Reserve Note’s value and status.
With gold prices surpassing $2,000/oz recently, the monetary metal has now made new all-time highs versus all the world’s major fiat currencies. Gold is, as former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan has acknowledged, the “ultimate money.”
The Fed, by contrast, is the ultimate inflator.
By Paul Driessen and Ned Mamula – Re-Blogged From WUWT
Hold China accountable – or give it even more control?
China unleashed Covid-19 on an unsuspecting world. It knew by early January 2020 (if not by December 2019 or earlier) that it was dealing with a vicious, fast-spreading disease in Wuhan, a city with more people than Chicago and New York City combined. But first it said nothing. Then it lied repeatedly, expelled foreign journalists, and threatened, silenced or “disappeared” Wuhan doctors who tried to warn the world.
The Chinese Communist Party used its influence with the World Health Organization to advance its false claims about the origins of the Wuhan virus (likely a laboratory or wet market in the city) and absence of human-to-human transmission. The CCP even claimed the virus was brought to Wuhan by US soldiers during an October 2019 military sports tournament. It shut down domestic travel to and from Wuhan, while allowing millions to fly between Wuhan and Europe, the United States, Africa and Latin America.
· Gold reached $1,800, close to its all-time high of $1,923.
· Silver reached $19, a long way from its high of $50.
· The NASDAQ hit another new high.
· Tesla closed on July 10 at $1,544, a new high. Tesla looked outrageously high at $1,200.
Now the bubble has blown even larger.
Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and BlackRock Financial Management are stacking up wealth like never before, thanks to the Great Recession 2.0, a.k.a. the Second Great Depression. Yet, the Fed maintains its recovery plans do not create wealth disparity.
Fed-hawk Ron Paul wrote this week,
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly both recently denied that the Federal Reserve’s policies create economic inequality. Unfortunately for Powell, Daly, and other Fed promoters, a cursory look at the Fed’s operations shows that the central bank is the leading cause of economic inequality….
In recent articles for Goldmoney I have pointed out the dollar’s vulnerability to a final collapse in its purchasing power. This article focuses on the factors that will determine the future for sterling.
Sterling is exceptionally vulnerable to a systemic banking crisis, with European banks being the most highly geared of the GSIBs. The UK Government, in opting to side with America and cut ties with China, has probably thrown away the one significant chance it has of not seeing sterling collapse with the dollar.
A possible salvation might be to hang onto Germany’s coattails if it leaves a sinking euro to form a hard currency bloc of its own, given her substantial gold reserves. But for now, that has to be a long shot.
And lastly, in common with the Fed and ECB, the Bank of England has taken for itself more power in monetary matters than the politicians are truly aware of, being generally clueless about money.
Conclusion: the pound is unlikely to survive a dollar collapse, which for any serious student of money, is becoming a certainty.
We can all be very confident that there will be no change to monetary policy for a very, very long time. But there is a fiscal cliff coming—and indeed has already begun.
It is clear that Mr. Powell is all-in on his unlimited QE and ZIRP. And, that he is “not even thinking about thinking about raising interest rates.” Therefore, the stock market does not have to worry about a contraction in the rate of money printing any time soon. However, equities could soon plunge due to the crash in the amount of fiscal support offered to the economy.
- Last month, the auto-loan and credit-card forbearance period ended
- On July 1, state and local government budget cuts kicked into high gear, as the $330 billion in aid already dispensed has been wasted
What happens when politicians decide they are in a better position than business owners to know how much workers should be paid? We don’t have to guess. Cities like Seattle and New York have already done so with their $15/hour minimum wage mandates. Simone Barron, a lifelong restaurant worker, recounts how “helping” her impacted her wallet, her career, and her life.
Please watch the VIDEO
Since June 11th (the past month) the Dow Jones continues struggling with what it’s to do next; break above and stay above its BEV -10% line, or break below and stay below its BEV -15% line.
What’s the Dow Jones waiting for? As seen in my next chart showing the weekly changes in the Federal Reserve’s holding of US Treasury Debt, the Dow Jones is waiting for another “injection” of “liquidity.”
The coronavirus pandemic inflicted a “swift and massive shock” that has caused the broadest collapse of the global economy since 1870 despite unprecedented government support, the World Bank said.…
“This is a deeply sobering outlook, with the crisis likely to leave long-lasting scars and pose major global challenges,” said World Bank Group Vice President for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions Ceyla Pazarbasioglu….
The depth of the crisis will drive 70 to 100 million people into extreme poverty.
We are nearing that mid-point in July when I said we would start to see the news turn from euphoria-inducing reopening positives to depression-developing realism.
Speaking of stock-market bulls who are stampeding uphill on the euphoria side, I wrote,
Right now the farce is with them — reopening has arrived! And these stupid people will believe that means they were right about the “V,” virtually assuring they continue to bet the market up for a little while…. The reopening means economic statistics will improve rapidly. That will give a lot of stupid people many reasons to believe they were right to think the obliterated economy would experience a V-shaped recovery.
We start this week’s commentary with some rather depressing news from Reuters:
The ratio of downgrades to upgrades in the credit ratings of leveraged loans has spiked to a record level, five times above that hit during the last global financial crisis, reflecting the unprecedented stress in risky assets due to the coronavirus pandemic. Leveraged loans, which are loans taken out by companies that have very high levels of debt, usually with non-investment grade credit ratings–tend to be used by private equity firms as a way to fund acquisitions of such companies. The U.S. leveraged lending market has grown to more than $2 trillion, up 80% since the early 2010s, according to credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service.
Add in the $1.2 trillion junk bond market and the $3.2 trillion in BBB debt, which is just barely above the junk category, and you end up with nearly six and a half-trillion dollars’ worth of corporate debt that is primed for varying degrees of default. The catalyst for this default is the worst economy since the Great Depression.
Look at the plethora of problems in my list of 2020 economic predictions, which are so severe and so likely to get even worse that it’s more difficult to imagine they won’t get worse than to believe they will. Some are so bad that just a few of them would plunge us into an abyss of social and financial catastrophes.
Here are my economic predictions for the remainder of 2020
This list of economic predictions is not hard to come up with. It is, however, the fact that it is so easy to predict these things this year that makes this year’s list so important.
Jobless claims paint a much grimmer picture than other pieces of economic data. So, the Fed (and other central banks) will remain dovish for years, which should support gold prices.
More and more economic reports show the beginning of the economic recovery in the U.S. Following the retail sales earlier last week, the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index turned from negative 43.1 in May to positive 27.5 in June, the first positive reading since February. And the Leading Economic Index rose 2.8 percent in May, after a record plunge in the two prior months.
By John Williams – Re-Blogged From Shadow Stats
The seasonally-adjusted SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994. That estimate is added to the BLS estimate of U-6 unemployment, which includes short-term discouraged workers.
The U-3 unemployment rate is the monthly headline number. The U-6 unemployment rate is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) broadest unemployment measure, including short-term discouraged and other marginally-attached workers as well as those forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment.
May 2020 ShadowStats Alternate Unemployment is 34.0%, 36.5% net of BLS errors (Flash Nos. 1435 and 1439).
The stock market promoting mainstream media this morning reported “U.S. Retail Sales Rose Record 18% in May” (e.g. the Wall St Journal). The S&P futures jumped from up 45 points to up 90 points.
But, as usual, the details are in the fine print of the report itself, and it’s apparent that nobody in the financial media bothered to look beyond the headlines.
In fact, the 18% rise is measured from April’s report, which was heavily depressed due to the shelter-in-place restrictions and the closure of many retail businesses. Funny thing about using the percentage change as the metric of measurement. If April had one dollar of retail sales and May had two dollars, the percentage gain would have been 100%.
By Tilak Doshi – Re-Blogged From WUWT
As the world emerges painfully from the lockdown cure that is likely to be far worse than the disease of Covid-19, we are now being sold yet another bill of goods. We are told from almost every quarter that the economic recovery from the pandemic-panic induced lockdowns has to be “green”. Political leaders and mass media editors hitched to the climate change bandwagon cite the well-known if cynical slogan “never let a crisis go to waste” – commonly attributed to former President Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel. Politicians and “thought leaders” ceaselessly claim that massive sums of money need to be spent on economic stimulus plans to recover from the self-induced economic coma and that the spending has to be “sustainable” (aka “green”). Not only will this save us from the “crisis of capitalism” but it is deemed vital for the future of human civilization itself.
The doyenne of MMT, Stephanie Kelton, has published a book this week explaining modern monetary theory. This article examines the foundations of MMT which Kelton explained in an earlier video released last year.
Macroeconomics has become so far removed from reality that its practitioners cannot understand what is happening in the real economy. Never has this been more obvious than today. While they claim to be economically literate, macroeconomists are in thrall to their paymasters; a combination of government, quasi-government and financial institutions with a vested interest in not looking too closely at the full consequences of government economic and monetary policies. From this neo-Keynesian macro world, the latest spinoff is modern monetary theory, which is little more than a logical extension of Keynesianism —justifying intervention by the state and the use of fiat currency being expanded limitlessly. MMT is the end of the line for arguments based on macroeconomic fallacies that have their origin in Keynes.
Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome back Michael Pento president and founder of Pento Portfolio Services. Michael is a well-known money manager, market commentator, and author of the book, The Coming Bond Market Collapse: How to Survive the Demise of the U.S. Debt Market. He’s been a regular guest with us over the years, and it’s always a pleasure to have him on with us.
Michael, thanks for the time again today and welcome back.
Michael Pento: Thank you so much for having me back on Mike.
Mike Gleason: Well, Michael, it’s been a few months since we’ve had you on last and just a little bit has been going on in the world. COVID-19 has hit the states to say the least and caused major disruptions in the economy. Governors have instituted stay-home orders. Tens of millions of people have filed for unemployment. Now we’re seeing major rioting and social unrest in many cities throughout the country over the police killing of a black man in Minnesota last week.
Just when it seemed as though America may be turning the corner after months of lockdown… just when it seemed as though we were on a path to reopening and gradually returning to normalcy… just when the prospects of panic-induced social unrest seemed to be behind us…
…America’s cities erupted into flames.
Antifa and BLM-organized rioting, looting, violence, and mayhem have pushed cities across the country into pandemonium. Even if the insurrections are soon quelled – as President Donald Trump promised to do in a speech in front of the White House on Monday – the consequences won’t soon go away.
I’ve missed a few predictions along the way, but usually only in part. When I missed, it was because I took the bad too far. The bad has almost always happened exactly when I said it would but hasn’t always been as bad as I said it would be. Now, it has all arrived and is turning out to be fully as bad as I said it would be.
It took the kick of a virus to set everything in place, but all the parts are now falling where I said they would once the next recession began.
Conspiracy surrounding the Federal Reserve is a subject of much debate. A controversial topic, yes; one which stirs the imagination of some, fires the suspicion of others, and provokes the declamation of not too few detractors.
From G. Edward Griffin/The Creature From Jekyll Island…
“Back in 1910, Jekyll Island was completely privately owned by a small group of millionaires from New York. We’re talking about people such as J. P. Morgan, William Rockefeller and their associates. This was a social club and it was called “The Jekyll Island Club.”
It drives you absolutely mad to see a whole world living a lie. How can anyone believe that the fake world the Fed and their fellow central bankers have created has anything to do with reality. We have fake money, fake markets, fake companies, fake banks, fake interest rates, fake income, fake pensions, fake social security, fake wealth, fake bail outs, fake buildings, fake holidays, fake cars etc which create false lives for most of us especially in the West. All these fake material values have also created false moral and ethical values.
IT IS ALL AN ILLUSION
Mike Gleason (Money Metals Exchange): It is my privilege now to interview our good friend, Greg Weldon, CEO and President of Weldon Financial. Greg has decades of market research and trading experience specializing in the metals and commodity markets and he even authored a book back in 2006 titled Gold Trading Boot Camp where we accurately predicted the implosion of the U.S. credit market and urged people to buy gold when it was only $550 an ounce. He’s made some fantastic calls over the last few years here on our podcast and it’s great to have him back with us.
We did speak to you back at the end of February before all this madness started. At the time, COVID-19 had begun seriously impacting economic activity in global markets, maybe not so much in the U.S. Now, just two months later, more than 30 million people have filed for unemployment, GDP was deeply negative in the first quarter and figures to be even worse here in Q2. But the equity markets are acting as if the worst is behind us. We got a major correction followed by an almost relentless rally. Our take is that equity markets are completely disconnected from reality. They are hitched, instead, to the Fed’s magic money machine. What is your take on how stock markets are behaving here, Greg?
Ep. 134 — Which Will Do More Harm: The Virus or the Lockdown?
The LA Times reports that extreme poverty may be the pandemic’s heaviest toll. But it isn’t the virus causing this suffering—it’s the lockdown. Dennis also addresses the latest new media lie about him—these leftists are determined to discredit Dennis, but they are just too easily proven wrong every time they try.
Please watch the VIDEO
“In short, the Fed is committed to rescue businesses from the greatest economic catastrophe since the great depression and probably even greater than that, to fund the US Government’s rocketing budget deficits, fund the maintenance of domestic consumption directly or indirectly through the US Treasury, while pumping up financial markets to achieve these objectives and preserve the illusion of national wealth.
“Clearly, we stand on the threshold of an unprecedented monetary expansion.”
April job report shows a terrible US labor market. Coronavirus destroyed 20.5 million jobs, pushing the unemployment rate to almost 15 percent. How far does the number reflect reality – and what does it actually mean for the gold market?
Apocalypse in the US Labor Market
14.7 percent. Remember this value well, as it will go down in history. This is the official US unemployment rate for April calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate soared from 3.5 percent in February and 4.4 percent in March. As the chart below shows, the spike is really historic, as such high level has not been seen in modern history.
By Lisa Bellfuss – Re-Blogged From Barrons
The coronavirus pandemic claimed 20.5 million jobs in April as companies across America were forced to close and consumers stayed home to cap the disease’s spread.
The Labor Department said Friday that the job losses in April followed a downwardly-revised loss of 870,000 in March . So far, about one in five workers are unemployed.
Investors knew this would be one of the worst jobs reports in history . The decline in nonfarm payrolls for April is about three times as bad as the jobs lost over the entire Great Recession, with the depth of the losses not seen since the Great Depression. But the headline number was about in line with the 21 million job losses economists predicted, and the unemployment rate—at least on the surface—looks not as bad as feared. Stocks rose following the report, with the S&P 500 up about 1.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average higher by 1.2% in afternoon trading.
The question that remains is how quickly these laid off workers can be rehired and start spending again to restart the U.S. economy.
My friend Larry Kudlow always says that Profits are the mother’s milk of stocks. That used to be true when we had a real economy. But sadly, that is no longer factual because we now have a global equity market that is totally controlled by central banks. To prove this point, let’s look at the last few years of earnings. During the year 2018, the EPS growth for the S&P 500 was 20%; yet the S&P 500 Index was down 7% over that same time-frame.
Conversely, during 2019, the S&P 500 EPS growth was a dismal 1%; yet the Index surged by nearly 30%. What could possibly account for such a huge divergence between EPS growth and market performance? We need only to view Fed actions for the simple answer: it was the degree to which our central bank was willing to falsify asset prices.