Trampoline Cliff Diving

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From Pentoport

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.

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IMF Downgrades Outlook for Global Economy

[The Recession was caused partly by the COVID Pandemic, partly from the lockdowns put in place in over 40 US States, and partly by the economic troubles starting before that (eg. the REPO Rate crisis). These IMF forecasts likely are too optimistic.  –Bob]

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2020 Economic Predictions: This Series of Unfortunate Events Guarantees the Epocalypse

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.

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Do Jobless Claims Point To Sluggish Recovery

By Arkadiusz Sieroń – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

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.

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Alternate Unemployment Charts

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.

 

Public Commentary on Unemployment

Unemployment Data Series   subcription required(Subscription required.)  View  Download Excel CSV File   Last Updated: June 5th, 2020

May 2020 ShadowStats Alternate Unemployment is 34.0%, 36.5% net of BLS errors (Flash Nos. 1435 and 1439).

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Retail Sales Headlines Are A Complete Joke

By Dave Kranzler – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

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%.

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Remaking Post-Covid-19 Capitalism in the West: Lessons for the East

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.

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MMT —It’s Just Neo-Keynesian Macroeconomics

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.

Introduction

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.

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I Believe In The Stupidity Of The Stock Market

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

Gundlach: A ‘wave’ of layoffs is coming for $100,000/year white-collar jobs

Michael Pento: “Central Banks Have Jumped The Shark,” May Even Buy Stocks

By Mike Gleason – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

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.

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Is America Headed For A Post-Apocalyptic Currency Collapse?

By Stefan Gleason – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

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.

An Epocalypse Upon Us

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

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.

Federal Reserve – Conspiracy Or Not?

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.”

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The Global Forest Fire Is Here

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 

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World Now Faces ‘Monetary Armageddon’

By Mike Gleason – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

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?

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April’s Sales Drop Sets a Record

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Fireside Chat

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

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Unintended Consequences Of Monetary Inflation

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

“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.”

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Will Job Market From Hell Support Gold?

By Arkadiusz Sieroń – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

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.

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Rising Wages and More Bad News From Friday’s Horrific Payrolls Report

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.

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Money Printing Is The New Mother’s Milk Of Stocks

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

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.

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Fiercest Economic Collapse In History Is Best Month For Stock Market

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. April closed as the best month for the US stock market since the V-shaped recovery that followed the Black Monday stock market crash of 1987. April also delivered the deepest, broadest economic collapse of any month in history.

The economic collapse was simultaneously global. What is written here about the US can pretty well be said for all nations in the world. The collapse crushed jobs, personal income, consumer spending, consumer sentiment, car sales, and general economic activity more than any month in the history of the nation. Some of those sharpest declines happened in March, but April relentlessly drove to to greater depths. But stocks rose.

It’s Only Paper

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

The response to the virus has added a new mechanism of capital consumption to the many we have documented over the years. Businesses are shut down, yet they continue to incur expenses. There is a popular misconception out there that this is merely a paper loss. One can almost picture a neutron bomb that somehow wipes out only paper, leaving all the physical assets and plant unscathed. It’s a pleasant fantasy. And it’s quite a popular one—not only amongst all the usual suspects, but even an Austrian school economist of our acquaintance asserted it.

As an aside, this illustrates that, too often, economists are unfamiliar with business. The economist looks at a closed restaurant and thinks there’s no reason why this restaurant can’t be mothballed for a day, a week, a month, or a year. The owner of the restaurant would object that he’s still paying certain expenses, even if he’s laid off all of his staff. And the economist retorts, “That’s just paper!”

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What’s Causing Job Loss

By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From WUWT

I’ve read claims on the web that the job losses in the US were due to the virus itself, and to the fear of the virus making people cut back on activities. The claims are that the job loss is more from that, and not so much a result of the American Lockdown. So I thought I’d take a look at the weekly new claims for unemployment insurance. Of course, the different states have been hit differently by the changes. Here’s the graph of weekly new unemployment claims for one of the least affected states, Oregon.

Figure 1. Weekly new unemployment claims, Oregon, since 1999. “Usual” refers to the one-year period preceding the record rise.

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Coronapocalypse Is Deeper Than The Great Recession

By Arkadiusz Sieroń – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

The recent economic reports show that the current coronavirus crisis will be bigger than the Great Recession. What does it imply for the gold market?

US Economic Data Paints a Gloomy Picture

This week was full of new reports about the US economy. And guess what, I don’t have good news… First of all, let’s start with the update about the weekly initial unemployment benefits. In normal times, the initial claims are not too keenly watched by investors. But in times of a pandemic, they are very informative. The spike in the initial claims may even become the symbol of this crisis. Anyway, the number of new claims for the unemployment benefits declined from 6.6 million in the previous week to 5.2 million in the week from April 4 to April 11, as the chart below shows.

Chart 1: Initial jobless claims from April 2019 to April 2020

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Does Gold Really Care Whether Coronavirus Brings Us Deflation Or Inflation?

By Arkadiusz Sieroń – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

One of the many bothering issues about the coronavirus crisis, is whether it will turn out to be inflationary or deflationary. What do both of these scenarios mean for gold ahead?

US Inflation Rate Declines in March

Many people are afraid that the coronavirus crisis will spur inflation. After all, the increased demand for food and hygiene products raised the prices of these goods. Moreover, the supply-side disruptions can reduce the availability of many goods, contributing to their increasing prices.

On the other hand, the current crisis results not only from a negative supply shock, but also from a negative demand shock. As a result of uncertainty, people cling to cash and forego unnecessary expenses. In addition, social distancing means reduced household spending on many goods and services, which exerts deflationary pressure. The most prominent example is crude oil, whose price has temporarily dropped to just $20 a barrel (although this was partly due to the lack of agreement between OPEC and Russia). Lower fuel prices will translate into lower CPI inflation rate. Entrepreneurs, especially those with large stocks of goods, will probably lower prices to encourage shopping. Moreover, the appreciation of the US dollar means lower prices of imported goods.

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Inflationary And Insolvency Implosion Of The Bond Market

We are all praying for the Wuhan virus to die. But there is something the virus can actually “cure” itself: deflation. I put the word cure in quotes because it’s not an actual issue in reality. Low inflation and disinflation are actually great conditions to enjoy and help an economy thrive. Increasing the purchasing power of consumers is something that should be cherished and targeted goal. Increases in productivity, along with a strong currency, raises your standard of living. In sharp contrast, Central Banks think any rate of inflation that is less than 2% is a deadly economic disease that must be vanquished faster than the Wuhan virus.

Many Austrian economists believed the money printing that occurred during the Great Recession of 2008 would engender massive inflation. That indeed turned out to be the case; but only with asset price inflation. The Fed’s balance sheet expansion left Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) far behind. This is because the Fed bailed out banks, not consumers. Mr. Bernanke printed trillions of new dollars to purchase bad assets from banks’ balance sheets. Thus, it gave banks credit in exchange for those assets; and that base money was primarily parked back at the Federal Reserve. In other words, there was a huge increase in Fed credit but not in loans that would have led to an increase in the broader monetary aggregates—the kind of money supply increase that leads to rising CPI. What money that was lent out arrived directly to Wall Street by the process of banks selling MBS, ABS and other troubles assets and then using that credit to buy more bonds and stocks. The rich got richer and the lower classes were, for the most part, left out in a big way.

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If Bulls Had Wings They Could Fly

Today the bulls did it it again. This market remains deeply entrenched in denial, soaring even as unemployment soars higher toward the grand summits of the Great Depression and with certain knowledge that many jobs will not return.

The U.S. stock market secured another strong advance on Thursday, despite an economic bombshell of historic proportions. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) soared nearly 500 points after this morning’s jobless claims revealed a further 6.6 million unemployed. A gut-wrenching 16 million Americans have now filed for unemployment over the last three weeks…. Some investors are beginning to doubt the ongoing relief rally with many holding out for new lows.

The Destructive Force Of Bank Credit

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From GoldMoney

Commentators routinely confuse the deflationary effects of a contraction of bank credit with the inflationary effects of central bank policies designed to offset it. Central banks always ensure their stimulus is greater, so inflation, not deflation, is always the outcome.

In order to understand bank credit, we must enter the mind of a banker and understand how it is created, why it is expanded and why expansion is always followed by a sharp contraction.

But we have now moved on from a simplistic credit cycle model, given the global economy was already facing a tendency for bank credit to contract before the coronavirus drove supply chains into the greatest global payment crisis in history. The problem is now so large that to maintain both economic stability and price levels for financial assets the central banks, led by the Fed, will have to issue so much base currency that fiat currencies will become almost worthless.

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Will Fed And President Trump Save The US Economy

By Arkadiusz Sieroń – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

The Trump administration will seek an additional $250 billion to support small businesses hurt by the widespread economic shutdown and slowdown. Will the government and the Fed save the US economy? What would be the consequences for the gold market?

US Epidemiological Update

As of April 7, more than 360,000 people were confirmed to be infected by the coronavirus in the US, and more than 10,000 out of them died because of the COVID-19, as the chart below shows. Actually, the US is entering the worst period of the epidemic, as hospitals are struggling to maintain and expand capacity to care for infected patients.

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The Coronavirus Shutdown “Could Collapse The Mortgage Market”

– Re-Blogged From The Economic Collapse

The cascading failures that have been set into motion by this “coronavirus shutdown” are going to make the financial crisis of 2008 look like a Sunday picnic.  As you will see below, it is being estimated that unemployment in the U.S. is already higher than it was at any point during the last recession.  That means that millions of American workers no longer have paychecks coming in and won’t be able to pay their mortgages.  On top of that, the CARES Act actually requires all financial institutions to allow borrowers with government-backed mortgages to defer payments for an extended period of time.  Of course this is a recipe for disaster for mortgage lenders, and industry insiders are warning that we are literally on the verge of a “collapse” of the mortgage market.

Never before in our history have we seen a jump in unemployment like we just witnessed.  If you doubt this, just check out this incredible chart.

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US Sheds 701K Jobs, Ending a Record-Long Hiring Streak

Two-thirds of the job cuts during March were at restaurants, hotels and casinos…

US Sheds 701K Jobs, Ending a Record-Long Hiring Streak

A pedestrian walks by The Family Barbershop, closed due to a Gov. Gretchen Whitmer executive order, in Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich./AP Photo

A record-long streak of U.S. job growth ended suddenly in March after nearly a decade as employers cut 701,000 jobs because of the viral outbreak that’s all but shut down the U.S. economy.

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The Out Has Not Yet Begun To Fall

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

So, the stock market has dropped. Every government in the world has responded to the coronavirus with drastic, if not unprecedented, violations of the rights of the people. Not to mention, extremely aggressive monetary policy. And, they are about to unleash massive fiscal stimulus as well (for example, the United States government is about to dole out over $2 trillion worth of loot).

The question on everyone’s mind is what will be the consequences?

The standard analysis is that governments will print massive amounts of money. And, this will, of course, cause massive inflation (i.e., skyrocketing consumer prices). There’s just one problem with this analysis.

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Bills Are Coming Due

By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Headline Wealth

The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Friday related to the global economy, the work place and the spread of the virus.


UNDER REVIEW: This week, the U.S. reported that a staggering 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, a five-fold increase over the last high sent in 1982. On Friday, President Donald Trump signed a $2.2 trillion aid package into law. Few believe it will be the last in the aftermath of this viral outbreak. Credit ratings agencies are taking note of the financial standing of the U.S., and other nations.

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2020 Gold Price Forecast And Gold Thesis

By Don Durrett – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle
Gold is currently showing some strength, with a price over $1600. However, there is still a lot of paper gold selling (where the spot price is determined), and there is no clear direction in price. In fact, I have been saying all year that until silver gets above $18.50, I won’t consider this a gold bull market.

The Energy Disaster Kicking Into Full Gear

By SRSrocco – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

There’s more evidence finally surfacing in the media of the dire energy predicament the world is now facing.  The negative ramifications of peak oil and the falling EROI were going to hit the world economy within the next 2-5 years, but the global contagion has sped up the process considerably.  Unfortunately, the world will never return back to the energy consumption and GDP growth experienced in 2019.  I believe the peak of unconventional oil production has finally arrived… FOREVER.

Here are a few highlights describing the ongoing ENERGY DISASTER taking place

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Record 3.3 Million Americans Apply for Unemployment Benefits

By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Headline Wealth

Nearly 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week — almost five times the previous record set in 1982 — amid a widespread economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus.

The surge in weekly applications was a stunning reflection of the damage the viral outbreak is inflicting on the economy. Filings for unemployment aid generally reflect the pace of layoffs.

Layoffs are sure to accelerate as the U.S. economy sinks into a recession. Revenue has collapsed at restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, gyms and airlines. Auto sales are plummeting, and car makers have closed factories. Most such employers face loan payments and other fixed costs, so they’re cutting jobs to save money.

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Pandemic Virus Impacts An Economy Already In Decline Before The Crisis

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

The soup lines hadn’t formed yet. Jobs had not even noticeably started to dry up, but they weren’t as easy to find anymore. You had to be angry to quit without having a better job firmly in hand. Stocks were climbing furiously above an economy that had been slowly ebbing away since summer. Sales were down for months, so revenues were down for months, and profits were down. Funding in the world’s easiest credit market — interbank repos — was extremely tight — so tight the Fed had to come to the rescue every single day for months, and the problem was only getting worse.

Such were the times before COVID-19 struck the world in 2020 like an asteroid from some far reach of the solar system crumbling the walls that already sat on cracked foundations, burying in ash a partying world that hadn’t yet figured out it was already slowly dying from its own internal decay.

Fed Slashes Rates To Zero And Introduces QE In Response To COVID-19

By Arkadiusz Sieroń – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

On Sunday, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates and restarted quantitative easing to stimulate economy hit by the pandemic of COVID-19. That’s already its second move prior to this Wednesday’s FOMC. What does it imply for gold?

It’s Serious, Really.

Winter is not coming. Winter is here already. The situation does not look too good. Although the epidemic seems on the way out in China and South Korea, the situation in Europe and the US is deteriorating quickly. As you can see in the charts below, the new daily cases are quickly rising, making the total number of infected people doubling each 3-4 days. And please note that the chart shows only confirmed cases – the true number of infected people is almost certainly larger, especially in the US, where shockingly low number of tests have been conducted.

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The Demise Of The Financial System Is Imminent

By Egon von Greyerz – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

“Next five years is not about winning but surviving.” This is the headline of an article I wrote in early August 2019. At that point I was primarily thinking of economic survival. But now the world is facing multiple threats and multiple failures. As I have already stated, the Coronavirus is not the cause of global market crashes but the catalyst.

But even if I have been totally certain that the world will see an economic collapse greater than any crisis for 100s of years, this is the worst catalyst that anyone could have expected. Yes, a global virus was always one of the potential risks but of all triggers, this one was certainly the most unwelcome and horrible.

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Growth Will Be A Thing Of The Past If Businesses Choose ‘Net Zero’

By Rupert Darwall – Re4-Blogged From GWPF

Investors more obsessed with climate than investor returns, who bully corporations into adopting net-zero business strategies, are doing more than destroying shareholder value. They are destroying the capitalist growth machine.

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The Bear Is At The Door

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

Yesterday was the greatest crash in Wall Street history by one measure, and took down many other milestones. The Dow plunged 2,012 points in its largest single-session drop on record! Percentage-wise it was down 7.8%, which still knocked out decades of lows, leading to “Black Monday” being the hot search term on Google today as people sought a comparison worthy of this Monday crash.

For comparison, the 1929 event looked like this:

The stock market crash of 1929 – considered the worst economic event in world history – began on Thursday, October 24, 1929, with skittish investors trading a record 12.9 million shares. On October 28, dubbed “Black Monday,” the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged nearly 13 percent. The market fell another 12 percent the next day, “Black Tuesday.” While the crisis send shock waves across the financial world, there were numerous signs that a stock market crash was coming.

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Fed’s Real Mandate: Ever Expanding Asset Bubbles

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

Wall Street hit a new all-time high on February 20th. It was supposed to be smooth sailing from there, riding along the global liquidity wave. But then, that wave crashed into what turned out to be the fastest correction from a new high in the history of the US stock market. Even though the fall was mild in comparison to the record-breaking bull run of the past few years, it was enough to frighten central planners to the core. Hence, we had further confirmation on Tuesday, March 3rd of what we already knew: our central bank has been fully corrupted and co-opted by Wall Street.

The Fed lowered rates by 50bps in an emergency meeting, even though its regularly scheduled meeting was just two weeks away–maybe Trump will now give Powell the Presidential Medal of Freedom. But someone should have informed the White House and the Fed that the 4th rate cut in a rate-cutting cycle has nearly always led to market panics. But to be clear, the only reason the Fed cut rates is that the stock market suffered a brief correction. It wasn’t a bear market or a recession. It wasn’t even runaway deflation or an outright recession scare, …but just an 8% fall in stock prices from an all-time bubble high at the time of its decision.

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Studies Show Fracking Ban Would Wreak Havoc on U.S. Economy

By Tim Benson – Re-Blogged From WUWT

A new study from the American Petroleum Institute (API), with modeling data provided by the consulting firm OnLocation, details how a nationwide ban on hydraulic fracturing (colloquially known as “fracking”) could trigger a recession, would seriously damage U.S. economic and industrial output, considerably increase household energy costs, and make life much harder and costlier for American farmers.

In America’s Progress at Risk: An Economic Analysis of a Ban on Fracking and Federal Leasing for Natural Gas and Oil Development, API argues that a fracking ban would lead to a cumulative loss in gross domestic product (GDP) of $7.1 trillion by 2030, including $1.2 trillion in 2022 alone. Per capita GDP would also decline by $3,500 in 2022, with an annual average decline of $1,950 through 2030. Annual household income would also decline by $5,040.

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Pandemic Pandemania Causes Global Economic Crisis

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Back in the oil-embargo recession of the early 70s when Boeing was Seattle’s economy and was laying off thousands of Seattleites, a billboard on the edge of town by Sea-Tac Airport read, “Will the last person leaving Seattle turn the lights out?” (Boeing had gone from 100,800 employees in 1967 to 38,690 in 1971.)

Since Seattle is the first area where the coronavirus made landfall in the US, I’ll present Seattle’s viral transformation in the last forty-eight hours (about two weeks since the first cases were reported) as an anecdote for the extremely rapid changes already sweeping many cities in the US as outbreaks begin to show elsewhere.

No Checkout Needed: Amazon Opens Cashier-less Grocery Store

Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Headline Wealth

Amazon is aiming to kill the supermarket checkout line.

The online retailing giant is opening its first cashier-less supermarket, the latest sign that Amazon is serious about shaking up the $800 billion grocery industry.

At the new store, opening Tuesday in Seattle, shoppers can grab milk or eggs and walk out without checking out or opening their wallets. Shoppers scan a smartphone app to enter the store. Cameras and sensors track what’s taken off shelves. Items are charged to an Amazon account after leaving.

Called Amazon Go Grocery, the new store is an expansion of its 2-year-old chain of Amazon Go convenience stores. At 10,400 square feet, the supermarket is more than five times the size of the smaller stores, and stocks more items beyond the sodas and sandwiches found at Amazon Go. The new market stocks fresh baked bread, blood oranges, butternut squash and other food to whip up dinner or stock the fridge.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #400

The Week That Was: February 22, 2020, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. [H/t Eric Wagner]

Number of the Week: £108.5 million (about $140 million) in 2018

The Scientific Method: There appears to be no clear, widely accepted definition of science or the scientific method. Professor of Applied Mathematics and philosopher Christopher Essex considers science to be an adventure. A long game of generations and part of the ascent of Man. Not just a fad invented in the 17th century. In an unpublished paper, “The Scientific Adventure,” he wrote for the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s 1905 discoveries, he stated:

“Others try to embrace it as a recipe. They say, to be scientific, do this, then do that, but not the other way around. They talk of the scientific method as if there is just one; as if scientific discovery were clean, orderly and uncontroversial, supervised by grizzled elders of authority. But the search for scientific discovery is anything but. It is messy, contentious, factional, but also wondrous, inspired, and above all serendipitous. It is human.”

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Glub Of Recession Circling The Drain

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

Who says there is no recession anywhere in sight? It depends on where you are looking. In short, manufacturing remains in recession; corporate profits remain in recession; freight remains deep in recession; Carmageddon remains in recession; and the Retail Apocalypse remains a recession for brick-and-mortar stores, while employment — the last holdout — is now also turning downward.

The manufacturing recession that everyone acknowledges as having begun last summer continues: