Slowdown Confirmed

By Mike Savage – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

I have had a rough time for the last few weeks coming up with commentary that has anything new to say. It seems that we are bombarded day after day with talk of trade wars, tariffs and counter-tariffs.

Just today, April retail and industrial production numbers came out in China and in the USA. To say the least, the numbers were uninspiring at best.

In the USA retail sales for April contracted 0.2%. Much of the weakness was in auto sales because taking the auto numbers out there was a .1% gain in April. Electronics and building materials also fell. US industrial production, which has been stagnant all year, was not expected to grow in April either. It still surprised on the downside contracting 0.5%. That is the largest monthly drop since May of 2018.

Durable consumer goods dropped 0.8%. What caught my eye, however, was production decreased for business equipment, construction supplies and business supplies. This appears to confirm that 500,000 less people are actually working today than were at the beginning of 2019 even though we have “full employment”. What a joke that is! The only reason production wasn’t hurt worse was an increase in defense and space equipment materials.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Nonmonetary Cause Of Lower Prices

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Over the past several weeks, we have debunked the idea that purchasing power—i.e. what a dollar can buy—is intrinsic to the currency itself. We have discussed a large non-monetary force that drives up prices. Governments at every level force producers to add useless ingredients, via regulation, taxation, labor law, environmentalism, etc. These are ingredients that the consumer does not value, and often does not even know are included in the production process. However, these useless ingredients can get quite expensive, especially in industries that are heavily regulated such as health care.

What Force Pushes Prices Down?

There is another non-monetary force, and this one is pushing prices down. Producers are constantly finding useless ingredients that they can remove. In the research for his Forbes article on falling wages, Keith discovered that dairy producers found ways to eliminate 90% of the ingredients that go into producing milk between 1965 and 2012. For example, they reduced by two thirds the labor hours that support each cow.

Continue reading

Bubble, Bubble, Double Trouble

By David Stockman – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

The Donald was at it again in Wisconsin this weekend, reiterating his patented boast that the US economy is booming like never before.

We’re now the No. 1 economy anywhere in the world and it’s not even close,” he said on Saturday night at a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

“At the end of six years, you’re going to be left with the strongest country you’ve ever had,” he said.

We beg to differ, profoundly. The debt- and bubble-freighted US economy is actually running out of gas after a long, artificial cycle of tepid expansion; and so far the Donald’s Trade Wars and fiscal borrowing binge have only piled more debilitating baggage on America’s deeply impaired economy.

Continue reading

Show Me The Real Money

By GE Christenson – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

I’ll show you real money. It looks like this:

Those circulating dollar bills, euros, pounds, and yen are DEBTS (notes) issued by central banks to extract wealth from citizens and the economy, dilute the purchasing power of the currency, and nourish the banking cartel.

From Graham Summers:

“The problem of course is once it has done this [created the ‘everything bubble’], the Fed will NEVER be able to normalize interest rates because the entire financial system is now addicted to extraordinarily low rates.”

“… a Fed President stated point blank that the Fed is aware that the entire US financial system is one gigantic leveraged bet on low interest rates…and as a result of this, the Fed is DONE with normalization.”

Continue reading

When Overvalued And Dangerous Markets Meet Stagflation

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From PentoPort

To put into perspective how overvalued and dangerous the US market has become; I often cite the figure of total market cap to GDP—currently 145% of the economy. How high is 145% of GDP? It is a full 30% higher than it was before the start of the Great Recession.

The twin sister to this metric is the Household Net Worth to GDP Ratio. Household net worth as a percent of GDP is calculated by dividing the current bubbles in home prices and equities by the underlying economy, which has been artificially inflated by interest rates that have been pushed into the sub-basement of history. This metric is now an incredible 535% of GDP, which is a record high and 19% higher than the NASDAQ bubble of 2000. To put that figure in perspective, the good folks at Daily Reckoning have calculated that the historical average is 384%.

These valuation measurements are much more accurate than Wall Street’s favorite PE ratio valuation barometer because they cannot be easily manipulated by corporate share buybacks that have been facilitated by record-low borrowing costs. And, as hinted at already, the GDP denominator of today is much more tenuous because it has become more than ever predicated on the record amount of fiscal and monetary stimulus from the government.

Continue reading

US GDP Not All It Was Cracked Up To Be

You may be worried my prediction that a recession will start sometime this summer is not looking too good. So was I after first-quarter corporate earnings started coming in better than what economists expected. Except that barely “beating expectations” is kind of pathetic when expectations are dumbed down as far as they were.

(Note that I have also stated each time I repeat this prediction that we won’t know until half a year beyond summer whether or not it happened, because initial GDP reports are often revised down after the next quarter (perhaps in order to make the next quarter look better quarter on quarter) as facts come in more clearly and because no recession is officially declared until a month after two full quarters have seen total GDP decline — not a decline in the growth rate, but an actual drop in GDP.)

Continue reading

Silver Versus Debt, Delusions And Devaluation

By GE Christenson – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

Part One: THE ECONOMY – AND DEBT, DELUSIONS AND DEVALUATION

  • Global retail sales are weak. “Redbook Retail Index confirms Commerce Department December Retail Collapse.”
  • Falling Imports into the U.S.
  • Industrial Production dives lower
  • Housing sales are weak.
  • Auto (U.S. and China) sales are down and auto loan defaults are rising.
  • Tariff war with China. Does a tariff war benefit anyone?
  • From Charles Hugh Smith: “Credit Exhaustion Is global.”

Continue reading