The monthly U.S. budget deficit for June 2020 was a heart-stopping record $864 billion. For reference, last year’s deficit for all of fiscal 2019 was just under $1 trillion. In other words, the June deficit was almost as much as the entire amount of red ink spilled one year ago. This year will see the worst annual amount of fiscal hemorrhaging ever—and by a whole lot. The figure will be at least $4 trillion in total, which is $2.6 trillion more than the peak suffered under the Great Recession. One has to imagine that with the Department of Labor reporting, there are now 32 million people collecting unemployment insurance as of June 27th–the amount of additional debt continues to pile up fast.
· 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….
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
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.
This article describes how China can escape the fate of a dollar collapse by tying the yuan to gold. There is little doubt she has access to sufficient gold. Currently, her interest is to preserve the dollar, not destroy it, because it is the principal means of Chinese foreign interests being secured .
Furthermore, a return to sound money requires China to reverse its interventionism under Xi, returning to Deng Xiaoping’s original vision. Sound money can only last if the relationship between the state and the wider economy is properly addressed.
Of all the major economies, China’s is best placed to implement a sound money solution. At the moment it seems unlikely the necessary reforms will be forthcoming; but a general collapse of the global fiat currency regime presents the opportunity for reassessment and change.
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%.
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.
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
“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.”
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.
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.
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!”
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT
According to Valentin Dupouey, head of communications for the European Greens, a pan-European federation of green parties, a major overhaul of Democracy is required to force acceptance of the economic de-growth required to address the climate crisis.
He also thinks its important to explain to China that because of climate change, “a Chinese average citizen … will never be able to reach the material lifestyle of a French minimum-wage worker.“
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
That didn’t take long. Just a month ago, I wrote, “Stock Market More Overpriced And Perilous Than Anytime In History ,” stating that the market was poised for a big fall because “some of the market’s most fundamental valuation metrics are now printing at levels never seen before…. This market is tripping on some pricy hallucinogens.”
.And here we are! A single black swan has knocked the legs out from under the bull. It’s not a full-blown correction yet (requiring indices fall by, at least, 10%) or a crash (20% or more), though it looks like it could hit that mark by the end of today. That would be a full correction in just four days.
The market has fallen off such a steep cliff to where MarketWatch reported that Monday and Tuesday teamed up to be the largest two-day point drop in Dow history! (Some other sites have said it is the largest since the big drop I predicted for the start of 2018 when the market experienced its largest one-day point drop in history.)
Even before the coronavirus sprang upon an unprepared China the credit cycle was already tipping the world into recession. The coronavirus makes an existing situation immeasurably worse, shutting down China and disrupting global supply chains to the point where large swathes of global production simply cease.
The crisis is likely to be a wake-up call for complacent investors, who are content to buy benchmark bonds issued by bankrupt governments at wildly excessive prices. A recession turned by the coronavirus into a fathomless slump will lead to a synchronised explosion of debt issuance for which there are no genuine buyers and can only be monetised.
The adjustment to reality will be catastrophic for government finances, and their currencies. This article explains why the collapse in overpriced financial assets and fiat currencies is likely to be rapid, perhaps giving ordinary people in some jurisdictions an early prospect of a return to gold and silver as circulating money.
In this update we are going to review a small but important range of commodities / lead indicators which strongly suggest that the seemingly endless bullmarket in US equities is living on borrowed time and will end sooner rather than later, and given how long it has lasted and how extremely overvalued it has become, the downturn will likely start with a crash phase.
Regardless of what the eventual impact of the Coronavirus epidemic is, US stockmarkets in particular seem to be in a state of denial about the actual real-world consequences of the Chinese shutdown and impact on the global supply chain and corporate profitability everywhere, and some elements even seem to be gloating about China’s misfortune and predicament, completely oblivious to the fact that this is going to have a negative impact on almost everyone.
A few days ago the market was crashing on Coronavirus fears. But recently, the market has soared back based upon the hopes of a vaccine and some better than expected economic data in the US. The ADP January employment report showed that a net 291k jobs were created, and the ISM Services Index came in at a healthy 55.5. However, a couple of good data points doesn’t change the fact that US economic growth has contracted back to 2% trend growth and will absolutely become more anemic–at least in the short-term. This is because the measures needed to contain the virus are also GDP killers. I have no clue if the virus will become a pandemic or if it will fade away like the SARS and MERS viruses–without long-term economic damage. But, for the stock market to remain at record high valuations, nearly everything has to go perfectly. That is, the Fed has to keep pumping in money, and EPS growth must rebound sharply.
Having predicted last year that a recession would begin in the summer of 2019 and that it would likely start with a major repo crisis, I am now proven wrong by 2019’s fourth-quarter GDP. If the repo crisis that started in the final week of summer had actually been the start of a recession, we would have seen fourth-quarter GDP go negative. Instead, it came in at 2.1% growth.
This article posits that the spread of the coronavirus coincides with the downturn in the global credit cycle, with potentially catastrophic results. At the time of writing, analysts are still trying to get to grips with the virus’s economic impact and they commonly express the hope that after a month or two everything will return to normal. This seems too optimistic.
The credit crisis was already likely to be severe, given the combination of the end of a prolonged expansionary phase of the credit cycle and trade protectionism. These were the conditions that led to the Wall Street crash of 1929-32. Given similar credit cycle and trade dynamics today, the question to be resolved is how an overvaluation of bonds and equities coupled with escalating monetary inflation will play out.
It’s time for free-market capitalism to reclaim its legacy as a creator of prosperity — not just for citizens of the Western world, but for people everywhere. It’s not capitalism that has to justify itself; it’s everything else. Why? Because everything else has resulted only in poverty. Does that surprise you? Are you skeptical? Andy Puzder, author of “The Capitalist Comeback,” has the charts and data to prove it.
Please view the VIDEO
Share prices on the major US exchanges are hitting all-time highs at the same time that both the number and percentage of companies that do not make any money at all are rising.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the percentage of publicly-traded companies in the U.S. that have lost money over the past 12 months has jumped close to 40% of all listed corporations–its highest level since the NASDAQ bubble and outside of post-recession periods.
In fact, 74% of Initial Public Offerings in 2019 didn’t make any money as opposed to just 25% in 1990—matching the total of money-losing ventures that IPOED at the height of the 2000 Dotcom mania. The percentage of all listed companies that have lost money for the past three years in a row has surged close to 30%; this compares with just over 10% for the trailing three years in the late 1990s.
You’ve heard her name. You might even have seen a film about her. Bhttps://www.prageru.com/video/margaret-thatcher-the-woman-who-saved-great-britain/ut do you know the whole story of Margaret Thatcher – where she came from, what she stood for, and the impact she had on Great Britain and the world? Renowned historian Niall Ferguson explains how the Iron Lady earned her status as one of the most important and influential women of the 20th century.
Please watch the VIDEO.