The Economic Mood Darkens: iPhone Sales Plunge 15% As Consumer Confidence Falls For The 3rd Straight Month

Apple iPhone sales are never supposed to go down.  For nearly two decades, Apple has been an unbeatable economic miracle, but now it appears that times have changed.  Global sales for the iPhone were disastrous during the holiday quarter, and this is yet another indication that the global economic slowdown is accelerating.  Here in the United States, auto sales have been abysmal, retail bankruptcies have been surging and home sales have been seriously declining, but the big tech giants were supposed to be an economic bright spot that we could always rely on.  Perhaps that is why so many investors were shocked when Apple announced their most recent quarterly results on Tuesday

Sales of Apple’s flagship iPhones plummeted 15% during the holiday quarter, a sharp deterioration in a business that the company said Tuesday will continue to struggle in the coming months.

Apple gave a weaker-than-expected sales-and-profit forecast for its fiscal second quarter. Its guidance calls for sales to fall by as much as 10% and for its earnings per share to plunge by as much as 22%.

Apple is openly admitting that this is not just going to be a one quarter anomaly.

The company is telling us that sales are going to continue to fall in the months ahead, and that is very alarming news.

In fact, we haven’t seen Apple sales fall on a year over year basis since the year 2000

The last time Apple’s holiday quarter sales fell, America was consumed with Bush v. Gore and Tom Brady had one completed pass in his career.

Apple’s sales fell 15% in the last three months of 2018 — and that’s the first time Apple’s sales dropped during the final quarter of the year since 2000.

Speaking of Tom Brady, what he has accomplished is nothing short of remarkable.  This will be his ninth Super Bowl as quarterback with the Patriots, and that is a record that will never, ever be broken.

But we have to go all the way back before his first Super Bowl to find a time when Apple sales declined, and that just shows how dominant Apple has been over the years.

I have to admit that I have an iPhone myself, and I really like it.  I know that some people have complaints, but over the years Apple has made good products and it is easy to understand why they have been so successful.

Unfortunately, the economic winds are shifting.

One of the big factors that is hurting Apple is our trade war with China, and Apple CEO Tim Cook is reportedly in “regular contact” with President Trump about this…

Cook, who is in regular contact with U.S. President Donald Trump, told Reuters he sees some hope that trade tensions between the United States and China have eased, and that the company is considering pricing its phones in local currency in China and other international markets, which may spur sales.

Hopefully there will be a positive resolution to this trade conflict in the near future, but at this moment that is looking doubtful.  And now that the U.S. has formally requested the extradition of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, the chances of a comprehensive trade agreement have deteriorated considerably.

Apple has been successful for a very long time, but the tech industry is constantly evolving, and consumer behavior is shifting at an extremely rapid pace.  For example, one recent survey indicated that almost 60 percent of all Americans have already canceled cable television

Nearly 60 percent of Americans have canceled their cable television subscription – and just 12 percent said they are committed to sticking with their cable package, according to a new survey.

An additional 29 percent of Americans are considering cutting the cord on their traditional cable subscription.

The entire cable television industry is living on borrowed time, and they are going to have to adapt to the new paradigm that is emerging if they are going to survive.

In the headline of this article, I also noted that consumer confidence has just fallen again.  In fact, Breitbart is calling it “the third consecutive steep monthly decline”…

Consumer confidence took another hit in January, as the government partially shut down while Capitol Hill Democrats and the Trump White House battled over funding for a border wall.

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index decreased in January, the third consecutive steep monthly decline.

The index fell to 120.2 from December’s revised down 126.6. Economists had expected a milder decline to 124.3.

This is a clear indication that the economic mood in this country is getting darker.

But the good news is that things have calmed down on Wall Street.  After the worst December since the Great Depression, the stock market has bounced back a bit in recent weeks.

So the truth is that 2019 is off to a better start than many had anticipated.  That may not last for very long, but at least for the moment investors have a reason to smile.

And we should all be hoping for stability for the financial markets for as long as possible.  Because once this bubble finally bursts, it is going to be virtually impossible to put the pieces back together once again.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.  His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News.  From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the nation.  If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so.  The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Climate Collapse: Wind Chill Temperatures Will Hit -60 In The Midwest This Week As Global Weather Patterns Shift

The experts are telling us that the Midwest could experience the coldest weather that it has ever seen this week.  Wind chill temperatures of -40 and -50 degrees will be common throughout the region, and it is being projected that some spots will actually get hit by wind chill temperatures of up to -60 degrees.  A shift in the polar vortex is being blamed for this life-threatening weather, and we are being told to expect the coldest temperatures to arrive on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.  But all-time records are already being set.  For example, according to Accuweather the temperature in the city of International Falls, Minnesota hit 45 below zero on Monday morning…

The coldest weather in years will put millions of people and animals throughout the midwestern United States at risk for hypothermia and frostbite to occur in minutes during the final days of January.

The deep freeze continued across the Upper Midwest on Sunday with temperatures plummeting well below zero in the morning. The low of 45 below zero F in International Falls, Minnesota, shattered the day’s record of 36 below zero F from 1966.

Please keep in mind that was not a wind chill temperature.

That was the actual temperature outside.

As the week progresses, bitterly cold temperatures will be accompanied by heavy snow and strong winds across the Midwest.  The polar jet stream has weakened, and as a result the polar vortex will “dip into parts of North America”

The wintry onslaught will be driven by the Northern Hemisphere’s polar vortex, the pocket of cold air sitting atop the North Pole. When temperatures rise in the Arctic, the polar jet stream — the torrent of westerly winds that hold the polar vortex in place — can weaken and dip into parts of North America.

“Occasionally this ring of winds deforms or even splits, which allows the cold air to spill southward over mid latitudes — this is exactly what’s happening now,” said Jennifer Francis, a senior research scientist with Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts, in an email. “It just so happens that the lobe of cold air is located over central North America, with Chicago in the crosshairs.”

This is an extremely dangerous situation, and we will probably read about some people that underestimate the danger and end up dead.

According to weather.com, the air will be so cold that it “could lead to frostbite on exposed skin in a matter of minutes”…

This bitter cold will be accompanied by strong winds at times Tuesday through Thursday, leading to life-threatening wind chills in the Midwest that could lead to frostbite on exposed skin in a matter of minutes. A large swath of the Midwest will have wind chills in the 30s, 40s and 50s below zero by Wednesday. A few spots in Minnesota and eastern North Dakota may see wind chills in the 60s below zero.

Unless you absolutely must go out for some reason, if you live in the Midwest you should stay inside until temperatures begin to warm up again.

This weather is so unusual that even President Trump is tweeting about it

In the beautiful Midwest, windchill temperatures are reaching minus 60 degrees, the coldest ever recorded. In coming days, expected to get even colder. People can’t last outside even for minutes. What the hell is going on with Global Waming? Please come back fast, we need you!

Now that even the president of the United States is acknowledging that this winter could be “the coldest ever recorded”, I want to remind everyone that we were warned about this months in advance…

“Climate Chaos: Following Record Heat This Summer, Experts Are Predicting There Will Be A Nightmarishly Cold Winter”

“November Snow In Texas? Experts Warn Decreased Solar Activity Will Shatter All Global Climate Models”

“The Coldest And Snowiest November Ever? Here Is Why America’s Freakish Weather Is Only Going To Get Worse…”

“A Mini Ice Age? NASA Scientist Warns That Diminished Solar Activity Could Mean The Coldest Winter In Modern Times”

“-75 Wind Chill On Thanksgiving??? Why This Could Be The Coldest Winter In America EVER…”

I wrote article after article warning that this would happen, and now it is happening.

At this hour, schools and businesses are closed throughout North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin as blizzard-like conditions sweep through both states.  And Chicago is bracing for what will likely be the coldest day ever in the history of the city

After seeing a high around 34 on Monday at O’Hare International Airport, temperatures will drop to near zero before the end of the day, according to the National Weather Service. By Tuesday night, temperatures are expected to take another plunge, to 23 below zero, flirting with Chicago’s coldest temperature ever: minus 27 on Jan. 20, 1985.

Temperatures are forecast to inch up to a daytime high of about minus 14 on Wednesday — the first subzero high temperature in five years and the coldest winter high ever recorded in Chicago — before dipping, again, to about minus 21 overnight. The coldest daytime high in Chicago was minus 11 on Christmas Eve 1983.

Our planet is changing, our climate is collapsing, and this is going to put an increasing amount of strain on social order.

And we are already starting to see evidence of this.  In fact, Chicago police are telling us that in recent days people have been getting robbed of their expensive winter coats at gunpoint

Chicago police are reporting gunpoint robberies targeting people wearing pricey Canada Goose jackets as temperatures plunge in the city.

Over the past two weeks, police say there’s been a spate of the thefts in which people wearing the luxury coats have been targeted and forced to give up the jackets. The coats can cost upward of $1,000 and are often seen on celebrities.

Six people had their Canada Goose coats stolen last week and two more were targeted Wednesday.

Unfortunately, this is only just the beginning.

Global seismic activity is rising, weather patterns are becoming more extreme, and a worldwide environmental collapse is already well underway.  If you have any doubts that this worldwide environmental collapse is happening, just read this excellent article by Chris Martenson.

We have been making the wrong decisions for decades, and now the consequences of those decisions are starting to catch up with us.  The clock is ticking, but most Americans are still completely and utterly clueless about what is coming.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.  His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News.  From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the nation.  If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so.  The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Advanced Social Decay: You Will Cringe When You Read What Has Been Going On Behind Closed Doors All Across America

It is difficult for me to write this article, and I will warn you in advance that some of the things in this piece are going to make you cringe.  Today, there are an increasing number of signs that the very fabric of our society is rotting away all around us.  We witnessed a very clear example of this last week when Kyrsten Sinema paraded around on the floor of the U.S. Senate looking like a hooker, but far more telling is what is going on behind closed doors all across America.  The stories that I am about to share with you barely made a blip on the news, but they should have, because they are all indications of how far our nation has fallen.

Let’s start in Colorado.  A 27-year-old man named Christopher Wayne Cleary was just arrested on terrorism charges after he threatened to shoot “as many girls as I see”

Authorities said Christopher Wayne Cleary, of Denver, posted on his Facebook page that “Theres nothing more dangerous than man ready to die.”

“All I wanted was a girlfriend, not 1000 not a bunch of hoes not money none of that,” he wrote, according to a probable-cause statement cited by authorities. “All I wanted was to be loved, yet no one cares about me I’m 27 years old and I’ve never had a girlfriend before and I’m still a virgin, this is why I’m planning on shooting up a public place soon and being the next mass shooter cause I’m ready to die and all the girls the turned me down is going to make it right by killing as many girls as I see.”

Thankfully authorities were able to arrest him before he was able to carry out his threats, but the sad truth is that there are thousands upon thousands more young men out there just like him.

These young men feel like failures if they can’t get young women to sleep with them, and this message is reinforced by popular culture over and over again.

But that isn’t what “being a man” is all about.

Unfortunately, the only values that many of our young men have are the values that they have been fed by Hollywood, and Christopher Wayne Cleary was so frustrated with his inability to live up to the Hollywood ideal that he was ready to go on a mass shooting spree.

Next, let me share a story with you about a young mother in Florida.  When police recently arrived at the home of Angelica Crites, she didn’t respond.  So they entered the home and when she still didn’t respond they had to pry her bedroom door open.

But she still didn’t wake up when they did that.  In fact, it took authorities several minutes to finally wake her up.

And when they looked around the house, what they discovered was like something out of a horror movie

There was an “overwhelming odor of ammonia and feces,” and large spider webs were along the ceilings and door frames. Food and dirt was all over the floor in the living room and dining room. A mop bucket filled with dirty water and food pieces was in the dining room, the report said.

The dining room had a large amount of trash in the corner and underneath a table to make food. The refrigerator was unsanitary with food, dirt and stains all over the inside and outside. Numerous insects were flying around the house.

The condition of her children was even worse.  They were filthy dirty and their teeth “were black and gray” from a lack of care.

On top of everything else, animal feces had literally been smeared throughout the house

The floor leading to the bathroom had animal feces smeared on it. Mold and animal feces was in the corner of the hall by the bathroom door.

Crites and her children shared a bedroom, where there was a large pile of clothes in the corner, dirt on the floor and several red cups on a shelf containing an unknown black liquid and cigarette butts, the report said.

In her bathroom, there were several piles of animal feces on the floor and in the bathtub, and some smeared on the floor, the report said.

It is easy to criticize anyone that lives like that, but the truth is that what we are doing to ourselves as a nation is even worse.

We need to be praying for children all across America, because so many of them are living in absolutely horrific situations and they have no way to escape.

For example, consider what recently happened to one precious child in Indiana

Back on January 14th, a young child was taken to Union Hospital.

That’s according to court documents.

Police, DCS, and emergency room staff say the child had a split tongue, several bruises, and other injuries.

That child was later transported to Riley Hospital in Indianapolis.

While there, hospital staff determined an object, most likely scissors, were used to split the child’s tongue.

How evil do you have to be to do something like that?

But this is who we have become as a nation.  And things like this happen so frequently that this story barely made a blip on the national news.

Almost everyone can put up a pretty decent facade in public, but it is the things that happen behind closed doors that define who we truly are.  And what one man in Arizona recently did is almost too sickening for words

A nurse has been arrested in the sexual assault of an incapacitated woman who gave birth at a Phoenix nursing facility, Arizona police said Wednesday.

Nathan Sutherland, 36, was a licensed practical nurse at Hacienda Skilled Nursing Facility, where the woman gave birth.

The female patient had been in a vegetative state facility for at least 14 years after a near-drowning incident.

Some of you may be thinking that “this is just one guy”, but the truth is that there are more than 850,000 registered sex offenders in the United States today.

And that is just the people that have been caught.  Imagine how many more there are that have not been caught.

So no, this is not just “an isolated incident”.  We are a nation that is literally teeming with sexual predators.

Lastly, I want to share with you the story of Logan and Daley South.  They both wear fangs and they both drink blood, and they opened up about their relationship with their “girlfriend” Ilona on a recent episode of Extreme Love

‘I don’t like the way blood tastes. I find it inconvenient to have to do regularly,’ Daley admits. ‘I’m someone that needs it, but I’m not a big fan of it. For Logan, it can be very sexual for him.’

Although Logan and Daley both wear fangs, they don’t need to bite into Ilona’s neck and gorge on her blood like a scene in a horror movie to feel satisfied.

In the clip, Daley uses the same tool that diabetics use to prick their fingers to draw Ilona’s blood before she and Logan begin hungrily sucking on her fingers.

If you took Americans from 200 years ago and showed them this, how do you think that they would react?

Needless to say, they would think that we have completely lost our minds.

And the sad truth is that we have definitely lost our way as a nation.  Our lack of values is producing absolutely horrific results, and it is getting worse with each passing day.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.  His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News.  From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the nation.  If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so.  The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Elizabeth Warren’s Annual Wealth Confiscation Tax Would “Redistribute” 2.75 Trillion Dollars Over 10 Years

Elizabeth Warren is making it exceedingly clear that she is a socialist, and that is quite frightening considering the fact that she could potentially become our next president.  Unless some really big name unexpectedly enters the race, there is a decent chance that Elizabeth Warren could win the Democratic nomination in 2020.  And if she ultimately won the general election, the Democrats would likely have control of both the House and the Senate during her first two years in the White House as well.  So that means that the proposal that you are about to read about could actually become law in the not too distant future.

After AOC’s proposal to raise the top marginal tax rate to 70 percent received so much favorable attention, it was just a matter of time before Democratic presidential candidates started jumping on the “soak the rich” bandwagon, and the first one to strike was Elizabeth Warren.

When she announced her new proposal on Twitter, she dubbed it the “Ultra-Millionaire Tax”

We need structural change. That’s why I’m proposing something brand new – an annual tax on the wealth of the richest Americans. I’m calling it the “Ultra-Millionaire Tax” & it applies to that tippy top 0.1% – those with a net worth of over $50M.

It would be bad enough if this was just a one-time tax on wealth.

But it isn’t.

Please note the use of the word “annual” in Warren’s tweet.  That means that the rich would keep getting hit with this tax year after year after year.

Those with more than 50 million dollars in assets would pay a 2 percent tax each year, and those with more than a billion dollars in assets would pay 3 percent each year

The Post reported that Warren has been advised by Saez and Gabriel Zucman, left-leaning economists affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley, on a deal that would levy a 2 percent wealth tax on Americans with $50 million-plus in assets. For Americans with assets above $1 billion, that tax rate would increase to 3 percent.

The newspaper, citing a person familiar with the plan, reported that Warren’s plan would try to counter tax evasion by boosting funding for the IRS, and by levying a one-time tax penalty on people with more than $50 million who try to renounce their U.S. citizenship. It would also require that a certain number of people who pay the wealth tax be subject to annual audits, the Post reported.

3 percent may not sound like a lot to many of you.  But over the course of a couple of decades many families could have their fortunes almost completely wiped out by this wealth confiscation tax.

According to economist Emmanuel Saez, this new tax would be imposed upon approximately 75,000 families and would raise 2.75 trillion dollars over 10 years.

Clearly this is a move by Warren to appeal to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.  I really like how Zero Hedge made this point…

Elizabeth Warren has never been a friend to the wealthy. But in the age of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, merely advocating for “holding the rich accountable” simply doesn’t penetrate like it did back in 2008. And that’s because, on the left flank of the Democratic Party, you’re not really a progressive unless you believe that the existence of billionaires is a policy error.

And surprisingly, there is actually a lot of public support for such a proposal.  In fact, a recent Fox News poll found that Americans overwhelmingly support soaking the rich…

Voters support tax increases on families making over $10 million annually by a 46-point margin (70 percent favor-24 percent oppose), and support a hike on those making over $1 million by 36 points (65-29 percent).

There is less support for a broader tax increase: 44 percent favor raising rates on those with income over $250,000, and a small minority, 13 percent, approves of an increase on all Americans.

Of course so much depends on how a survey is worded.  For example, I would be willing to bet that a survey would show that well over 50 percent of all Americans would back my proposal to abolish the income tax completely.

Over the coming months, Democratic presidential contenders are going to be continuously trying to one up each other with their promises to tax the rich and give out free stuff.  By the end, someone out there may even be promising to give free rides to the Moon to everyone.

But if Elizabeth Warren really wants to be considered a serious contender, she needs to eliminate the ridiculous gaffes that have plagued her in the past.  For instance, she recently claimed that we have “two co-equal branches of government”

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., already has declared that the government has “three chambers of Congress,” the House, the Senate and the presidency.

Now, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has claimed on Twitter that the government has “two co-equal branches of government, the president of the United States and Congress.”

“The Notorious RBG (Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg) is gonna be ticked off that she’s been forgotten again,” said a post on the Twitter news-aggregating site Twitchy.

And there is certainly no excuse for such a gaffe, because she used to be a law professor.

In the end, it is difficult to understand why so many Americans seem to want to march down the road toward socialism.  Because as President Trump has noted, Venezuela has shown us where that road leads

“We’re looking at Venezuela, it’s a very sad situation,” Trump told reporters. “That was the richest state in all of that area, that’s a big beautiful area, and by far the richest — and now it’s one of the poorest places in the world. That’s what socialism gets you, when they want to raise your taxes to 70 percent.”

He added: “You know, it’s interesting, I’ve been watching our opponents — our future opponents talk about 70 percent. No. 1, they can’t do it for 70 percent, it’s got to be probably twice that number. But, maybe more importantly what happens is you really have to study what’s happened to Venezuela. It’s a very, very sad situation.”

Unfortunately, political proposals don’t have to actually make sense, and right now Elizabeth Warren is doing all that she can to win the progressive vote.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.  His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News.  From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the nation.  If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so.  The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

The Trump Administration Is Warning That The U.S. Economy May Not Grow At All During The First Quarter Of 2019

This government shutdown is really starting to take a toll on the U.S. economy.  On Wednesday, the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers made an absolutely stunning admission.  We all knew that the global economy was slowing down, and we all knew that U.S. economic activity was beginning to sputter, but up until this week the Trump administration had always insisted that we are not heading for a recession.  Well, all of that changed on Wednesday when Kevin Hassett publicly admitted that we could end up with zero GDP growth during the first quarter of 2019

A top economic adviser to President Donald Trump told CNN on Wednesday that the US economy may show no growth in the first quarter if the federal government shutdown lasts much longer.

White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett said in an interview with CNN’s Poppy Harlow that he was not overly worried about the long-term effects of a government shutdown. But after Harlow asked him if the United States could wind up with zero GDP growth this quarter, he conceded that it was possible. “We could, yes,” he said.

With much of the government currently closed, and with no end to the shutdown in sight, it is inevitable that the economic numbers for the first quarter are not going to look as good as they could have been.

But if this shutdown lasts for the entire quarter, that could easily push us into an economic contraction, and that would send shockwaves all over the planet.

And at this point there is definitely a possibility that this shutdown could go on for a couple more months.  Neither side intends to give in, and things are starting to get very personal.  On Wednesday, Nancy Pelosi made it exceedingly clear that she will not allow President Trump to deliver the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol until the shutdown ends under any circumstances…

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dug in Wednesday on her call to delay the State of the Union address even after President Trump vowed to proceed with the speech next week, sending a curt letter making clear she will not allow the event to take place during the government shutdown.

Reacting to Pelosi’s letter, Trump told reporters at the White House “we’ll do something in the alternative,” suggesting a speech of some kind will still happen next week.

This truly is unprecedented.

Donald Trump is the very first president in all of U.S. history to be “disinvited” from delivering the State of the Union address.

And the hundreds of thousands of federal workers that are not receiving paychecks right now are really starting to get restless.  A lot of them have been living paycheck to paycheck, and so missing a couple of paychecks is a really, really big deal to those people.  As Marketwatch recently noted, some of them are actually “turning to food banks to feed their families”…

Within just a few weeks into the government shutdown, people are struggling to cope. We hear stories about people turning to food banks to feed their families. We hear stories about people who are in dire straits because they can’t get loans. We hear stories about people who can’t pay their mortgages. That’s not even one month into the shutdown.

If something this minor can cause such widespread pain and suffering, what would we see if a real crisis actually hit this nation?

Of course the truth is that most Americans are simply not prepared to handle much of anything, and this is a point that Mac Slavo made quite well in one of his most recent articles

Almost 60% of Americans have less than $1000 in savings for a rainy day fund or an immediate emergency. It’s been ten years since the Great Recession left many Americans jobless with no money, and it appears most have learned nothing. The government shutdown serves as a painful warning and preview for what will happen once unemployment rises from 50-year lows.  Americans are far too dependent on others, including the government, for their survival.

For now, many that are struggling financially due to this shutdown are trying to bridge the gap by going into more debt.

And if the shutdown doesn’t last too much longer, that might work for a lot of people.

But it is very dangerous to go into too much debt, and a large portion of the country has already crossed that line.  For example, one recent survey discovered that approximately a third of all Americans are “afraid they’ll max out their credit card when making a large purchase”

Despite the dangers of high-interest loans, more consumers are testing the limits of plastic.

To that point, more than 1 in 3 people —or 86 million Americans — said they’re afraid they’ll max out their credit card when making a large purchase, according to a new WalletHub credit cards survey. (Most of those polled considered a large purchase as anything over $100.)

The only easy way out of this government shutdown would be for one of the two sides to completely fold, and that would be politically disastrous for whoever decides to do that.

The battle lines have been drawn, and this political game of chicken is going to go on until somebody blinks.

And if nobody blinks for a couple more months, the economic consequences of this government shutdown are likely to be quite severe.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.  His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News.  From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the nation.  If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so.  The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Stocks Plunge, Consumer Pessimism Grows And U.S. Home Sales Just Hit Their Lowest Level In 3 Years

It appears to be more likely than ever that the U.S. economy is heading for a recession.  On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 301 points as investors were rattled by several very important pieces of news.  Back in 2008, home sales began to fall precipitously just prior to the financial crisis in the second half of that year, and now it is happening again.  Of course home sales are always going up and down, but the numbers that we are seeing now are definitely very unusual.  According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales just hit their lowest level in 3 years

U.S. home sales tumbled to their lowest level in three years last month and house price increases slowed sharply, suggesting a further loss of momentum in the housing market.

The National Association of Realtors said on Tuesday existing home sales declined 6.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.99 million units last month — the lowest level since November 2015.

And when you compare December 2018 to December 2017, the numbers look even worse.  According to Wolf Richter, last month existing home sales were down 10.3 percent on a year over year basis…

Sales of “existing homes” — including single-family houses, townhouses, condos, and co-ops — in December, plunged 10.3% from a year earlier, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 4.99 million homes, according to the National Association of Realtors this morning. This was the biggest year-over-year drop since May 2011, during the throes of Housing Bust 1

Those are absolutely horrible numbers, but thanks to high interest rates they aren’t going to get much better any time soon.  Just like a decade ago, this is going to be a very tough time to be in the real estate industry.

During the “boom years”, the west was the hottest region for real estate in the entire nation, but now it is leading the way down.  And last month was just abysmal, with sales falling 15 percent in that portion of the country…

  • Northeast: -6.8%, to an annual rate of 690,000.
  • Midwest: -10.5%, to an annual rate of 1.19 million.
  • South: -5.4%, to an annual rate of 2.09 million.
  • West: -15.0%, to an annual rate of 1.02 million.

Unfortunately, these are exactly the kinds of numbers that we would expect to see if the U.S. economy was heading into a recession.

Investors were also rattled on Tuesday by news that trade talks between the U.S. and China seem to be breaking down

Stocks fell to their lows of the day after the Financial Times reported the U.S. canceled a trade meeting with Chinese officials. CNBC later confirmed the report through a source. White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow denied the reports, saying the meetings are not canceled, giving stocks a boost into the close. China and the U.S. are trying to strike a permanent trade deal with the U.S. Both countries have been in a trade war since last year, slapping tariffs on billions of dollars worth of their goods.

We’ll see what happens, but the Chinese appear to be dragging their feet, and it does not look like there will be a major trade agreement between the two sides any time soon.

And when you throw in the fact that we are in the midst of the longest government shutdown in all of U.S. history, it becomes exceedingly clear that the elements for a “perfect storm” are definitely coming together.

In fact, Peter Schiff is entirely convinced that the coming recession is already “a done deal”…

“And they think simply because the Federal Reserve is no longer hiking rates that they no longer have to worry about the Fed pushing the economy into a recession. Well, it’s too late for that. The rate hikes of the past have already guaranteed that the economy is headed for recession. It doesn’t matter whether they continue to raise rates in the future. The recession is a done deal. It’s just now you have that calm between the storm while investors are still clueless and haven’t yet connected those, what should be, very obvious dots.

When the next recession comes, you will know who to blame.  Every time the Federal Reserve has engaged in a rate hiking program since World War II, it has always ended in either a recession or a stock market crash.  The Fed is the reason why the U.S. economy has been on a roller coaster ride for decades, and now we are steamrolling directly toward the “bust” portion of this cycle.  If we ever want to end this madness, we need to abolish the Fed, and that means that we need to send people to Congress that are willing to take action on these things.

Sadly, it is probably going to take a major collapse before abolishing the Fed becomes a big political issue again.  Economic issues have been on the back burner for a while, but that may be about to change, because pessimism about the economy is growing.  According to Gallup, the percentage of Americans that believe economic conditions are worsening has risen by 12 points over the past two months…

Americans are not feeling very confident about the economy these days.

Almost half (48%) of Americans say economic conditions are worsening, up from 45% in December and 36% in November, according to a recent poll by Gallup, a Washington, D.C.-based research and consulting firm.

This is more evidence of the national psychological shift that I have been talking about.  People are starting to realize what is happening, and they are becoming deeply concerned about what the future holds.

Well, the truth is that things are going to get a lot tougher.  But instead of getting down in the dumps about it, we need to prepare for what is ahead, and we need to be ready to implement some positive solutions in the aftermath of the coming crisis.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.  His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News.  From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the nation.  If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so.  The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

 

The IMF Issues A Worldwide Warning: “The Risk Of A Sharper Decline In Global Growth Has Certainly Increased”

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde made headlines all over the globe this week when she declared that “the risk of a sharper decline in global growth has certainly increased”.  As you will see below, signs of economic trouble are popping up all over the planet, and pretty much just about everyone is now acknowledging that the global economy is slowing down.  But does that mean that we are headed for a global recession in 2019?  Well, things certainly do not look good right now, but there is still time to turn things around.  But in order to turn things in a more positive direction, something has got to be done to stop the downward momentum that seems to be accelerating in the early portion of this year.

On Monday, the IMF slashed their forecast for global economic growth for the second time in three months

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised down its estimates for global growth on Monday, warning that the expansion seen in recent years is losing momentum.

The Fund now projects a 3.5 percent growth rate worldwide for 2019 and 3.6 percent for 2020. These are 0.2 and 0.1 percentage points below its last forecasts in October — making it the second downturn revision in three months.

But at least they are still projecting global economic growth this year, and many would argue that “a 3.5 percent growth rate” is wildly optimistic.

At this point, it seems like just about everywhere you look economic confidence is declining.  For example, one recent survey found that the percentage of global CEOs that believe that the world economy will slow down over the next year has jumped dramatically

Rising populism, policy uncertainty and trade conflicts have led to a sharp drop in confidence among global CEOs.

The share of chief executives who think the global economy will slow over the next year has jumped to nearly 30% from 5% in 2018, according to a survey of 1,300 top business leaders by audit giant PwC.

At least publicly, corporate CEOs usually want to put a positive spin on the future, and so it is absolutely astounding that this number has risen so much in a single year.

But there is no denying what is happening around the world right now.  Over in Asia, China just announced that 2018 was the worst year for economic growth that country had seen in 28 years.

In addition, Chinese corporate bond defaults soared to an all-time record high in 2018, and it looks like 2019 could easily be even worse.

On the other side of the globe, Europe’s largest economy actually contracted during the third quarter

In Europe, its largest economic powerhouse Germany has been dented after it was announced the German economy had contracted in the third quarter.

This left Berlin skirting on the fringe of recession territory with economists fearing the most powerful economy in Europe was on the brink of financial chaos.

Europe faces great uncertainty during the months ahead.  There is a very real possibility that we could have a “no deal Brexit”, Italy is teetering on the brink of complete and total financial ruin, and the entire European banking system could begin to collapse at any time.

Meanwhile, we continue to get more indications that the U.S. economy is slowing down as well.

For example, on Monday we got news that JCPenney is “on the precipice of bankruptcy”

JCPenney already finds itself in a precarious position in the first month of 2019: stocks are dwindling, sales are falling, and its desolate boardroom is still waiting for a number of senior vacancies to be filled.

Analysts fear the multitude of problems the department store is now facing points towards a ‘broken business’ balancing on the precipice of bankruptcy.

And just like its once fierce competitor Sears, all 846 of its stores could face closure, potentially affecting thousands of workers and risking another heavy blow to an already beaten-and-bruised retail sector.

Just like Sears, JCPenney is headed for zero, but it will take some time for the process to fully play out.

And the same thing is true for the nation as a whole.  As James Howard Kunstler observed in his most recent article, our financial system “is on a slow boat to oblivion”…

As in this age of Hollywood sequels and prequels, America prefers to recycle old ideas rather than entertain new ones, so you can see exactly how the 2020 presidential election is shaping up to be a replay of the Great Depression, with Roosevelt-to-rescue! — only this time it’ll be with somebody in the role of Eleanor Roosevelt as chief executive. Donald Trump, of course, being the designated bag-holder for all the financial blunders of the past decade, gets to be Herbert Hoover. As was the case in the original, economic depression will segue into war, with maybe not such a happy ending for us as World War Two was.

There should be no doubt that the money part of the story is on a slow boat to oblivion. The world has been running on loans to such a grotesque degree that it’s managed the impressive feat of bankrupting the future. The collateral for all that debt was the conviction that there were ample amounts of future “growth” up ahead to service that debt. That conviction is now evaporating as car sales plummet, and real estate goes south, and nations twang each other over trade, and global supply lines wither. Globalism is unwinding — and not for the first time, either.

Of course most ordinary Americans are not getting prepared for what is ahead because they do not believe that anything is going to happen.

Despite an abundance of evidence to the contrary, most people believe that the system is stable and that our political leaders can easily fix any problems that may arise.

Unfortunately, the truth is not that simple.  Our problems have been building for decades, and at this point there is no way that this story is going to end well.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.  His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News.  From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites.  If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so.  The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.