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Bad Economic News

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It seems like almost everywhere you turn these days there is bad economic news.  Foreclosures are setting records, unemployment remains depressingly high, poverty is exploding, U.S. government debt is wildly out of control and Europe is on the verge of an economic collapse that could send the entire globe into a devastating financial panic.  If all that wasn’t enough, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has destroyed the seafood and tourism industries along the Gulf coast and threatens to push that entire region into a depression for years to come.  The truth is that the more you look at the economic statistics coming in from around the globe the more it becomes obvious that we are headed for a complete and total economic nightmare. 

Just consider some of the most recent economic news…. 

*The number of U.S. home foreclosures set a record for the second consecutive month in May.  How can the U.S. housing industry be recovering when the number of Americans being foreclosed on continues to set all-time records?

*As of March, U.S. banks had an inventory of approximately 1.1 million foreclosed homes, up 20 percent from a year ago.  Instead of working their way through the huge backlog of unsold homes, U.S. banks continue to pile up a massive inventory of foreclosed homes at a staggering pace.

*According to figures from the U.S. Commerce Department, housing starts in the United States fell 10 percent in May, the biggest decline since March 2009.  The data also revealed that single-family home starts suffered the biggest drop since 1991.  There is already a massive glut of unsold homes on the market, so builders simply do not think it is profitable to build many new homes right now.

*Officials now tell us that the cost of “fixing” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-backed mortgage companies that last year bought or guaranteed the vast majority of all U.S. home loans, will be at least $160 billion and could grow as high as $1 trillion.  The twin pillars of the U.S. mortgage industry have become financial black holes that the U.S. government endlessly pours massive amounts of cash into.  That is not a good sign.

*Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are to be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange because their stock prices have been trading under $1 per share for more than 30 trading days.  The truth is that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would have completely imploded by now if the U.S. government had not decided to step in and bail them out.

*The average duration of unemployment in the United States has risen to an all-time high.  Not only are a ton of Americans out of work, they can’t find work for a very, very long time once they are unemployed.

*For Americans younger than 25 years of age, the unemployment rate is 18.8%.  But even those young Americans that can find employment often find themselves working in very low paying service jobs.

*Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says that the U.S. unemployment rate is likely to stay “high for a while”.  Considering how badly Bernanke has been doing his job, it would be really nice if we could add just one more person to the unemployment rolls.

*According to one new study, approximately 21 percent of children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 – the highest rate in 20 years.  There are hundreds of thousands of American children on the streets each night, and yet we continue to insist that we are the greatest country in the world. 

*For the first time in U.S. history, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011.  How many tens of millions of Americans have to be on food stamps before we officially say that we are in a depression?

*According to the Wall Street Journal, the debates have begun inside the Fed about what it should do in the event of a “double dip” recession.  If they are already debating what to do during the next economic downturn that means it is probably a foregone conclusion. 

*If you were alive when Christ was born and spent one million dollars every single day from then until now, you still would not have spent one trillion dollars by now.  But somehow the U.S. government is now over 13 trillion dollars in debt.  According to a U.S. Treasury Department report to Congress, the U.S. national debt will top $13.6 trillion this year and climb to an estimated $19.6 trillion by 2015

*It is being projected that the U.S. national debt will grow to surpass our gross domestic product in 2012.  Needless to say, that is a really, really bad sign.

*The total of all government, corporate and consumer debt in the United States is now equal to 360 percent of GDP.  At no point during the Great Depression did we ever even come close to such a figure.

But things may be even worse in Europe right now.  Unfortunately for the U.S., when Europe experiences an economic collapse it will devastate the American economy as well. 

The economic news coming out of Europe lately has been extremely alarming….

*George Soros says that a European recession next year is “almost inevitable”.  Considering how much access George Soros has to inside information, the fact that he is so pessimistic about Europe is a very troubling thing indeed.

*A report by the Bank for International Settlements says that the debt crisis hitting southern Europe resembles the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis.  Is history about to repeat itself?

*Moody’s has downgraded Greece government bond ratings into junk territory, citing the risks inherent in the rescue package that the rest of the eurozone has put together for them.  Soon Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Romania and a number of other European nations could have their debt downgraded as well. 

*The U.K.’s  new Office for Budget Responsibility has announced that the U.K. economy was more damaged by the recent financial crisis than previously admitted, and that it may never fully recover.  But the same could be said for many other nations across the world as well.

*21.5% of all working-age people in the U.K. do not have a job.  It seems like almost every country has a shortage of jobs these days.

*New U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron is warning that Britain’s “whole way of life” is about to be significantly disrupted for years by the most drastic public spending cuts in a generation.  In fact, severe austerity measures being implemented all across Europe could make this one of the most “interesting” European summers in ages.

*Spanish banks are borrowing record amounts of money from the European Central Bank as Spain’s financial institutions are finding it increasingly difficult to acquire funds in international capital markets.  But the truth is that it isn’t just Spanish banks that are facing a liquidity squeeze – the entire world is heading for a massive credit crunch.

But the biggest piece of bad economic news of all is the nightmare that is unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico.  There is no way that the southeast United States is going to be the same after this.  Hordes of businesses and entire industries have been literally destroyed over the past two months.  The total economic damage from this unprecedented disaster will easily run into the hundreds of billions of dollars.  This is an economic blow that the teetering U.S. economy simply could not afford right now.  Once the oil finally stops flowing the crisis will not be over.  In fact, the aftermath from this oil spill could end up echoing for decades.

So are things bad out there?  Yes, things are incredibly bad and they are about to get a whole lot worse.  In fact, there are so many cancers eating away at the U.S. economy that it would take an entire book to detail them all. 

What we are dealing with is not “just another recession” or “just another economic downturn”.  What we are witnessing is the fundamental unraveling of the monstrous debt spiral that our economy is based upon.  Any economy that is built on a foundation of debt and paper money is inevitably doomed.

So yes, the bad economic news is going to continue.  Things may get better for a while here and there, but the truth is that we are caught in a long-term spiral of economic decline from which there is no escape.

So what do you think?  Do you believe that there is hope for the U.S. economy?  Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion….

 
  • Craig

    Long time comin’.

  • Colin

    O.K we get it. Things are bad and going to get worse. But this site is adding to the problem by reporting this stuff. All you are doing is keeping the negativity flowing. How can things improve when all you are doing is driving into peoples minds what your against. You may think you are doing a service by telling people about the problems but your not. Your just feeding their minds with fear about possible outcomes. Why not offer solutions to the issues instead of telling us whats wrong all the time. This site is part of the problem and untill we get people that offer alternative systems that the masses can understand and embrace, we will continue in this downward spiral.

  • jb sylverson

    astrologically, it goes solidly into ever accelerating degeneration for 9 more years!!!!!! the last two days of july will explosively ratchet the intensity of the gulf catastrophe…….a real nasty ecological development, the federal reserve is actively involved and this event will correspond to another mass appropriation of wealth ever upward in the food chain.

  • This is the first time I’ve read your blog and I’ve wanted to read it for a while but I keep getting sidetracked, so I put it on my RSS. Anyways, the only thing stopping this one is technological innovation. I think everybody thought that was going to save us and they got reckless, but they were wrong. Good luck!

  • Matt

    I agree, we are freaking doomed! Our current way of life is about to end and be replaced by one that is alot more frugal.

  • David

    My heart truly breaks when seeing the disaster unfolding in the gulf and my heart goes out to those folks.
    I am always totally amazed how people are so unaware of what is going on with our economy.
    People can tell you all about Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey and American Idol but don’t have a clue on what is going on within our country.

    I am so glad for the years spent in the Marine Corps, it did help prepare me for what is to come.
    So stay out of debt, buy Gold and Silver along with your water filter, freeze dried and dehydrated food.

  • Elocutionist

    Well, it’s clear there is no recovery but the ‘cover-up’ relative to what’s happening in housing is more important than most might initially consider. When the economy imploded in the 1930s, it was directly related to excessive leverage in stocks. This time around, the straw breaking the camel’s back – which is to say the highest concentration of debt – is leverage in housing. Because most Americans have (had) their wealth tied up in the value of their homes, until or unless there is a genuine recovery in that sector, there can be no genuine recovery anywhere else. And until or unless there is a recovery in employment, there can be no recovery in housing. Debt liquidation is the end markets and economies need to reach but with governments everywhere spending and encouraging consumers to do the same, the journey to that end – which will be forced upon all over-spenders – will not be pleasant. The sub-prime crisis didn’t cause this meltdown. It was only the first of its symptoms. Debt is at the root of all evil and, for now, evil is occupying high government offices around the world. There is no recovery and the worst is yet to come.

  • Grumpy

    The only hope for the stricken economies of the world (and the US in particular) is debt forgiveness of all private and public debt, and a return to a metals-denominated currency thereafter. Since those currently in power will never allow such a thing to happen as they would lose the mastery of the ‘little people’, as the dolt from BP calls us, due to having no more debt slavery. Short of that, all of the working people of the US (and other countries) will become more controlled by specious laws designed to support odious public (and private) debts, and will see the majority of their paychecks stolen to service those debts.

  • JLouise

    I agree with what Matt wrote.

    There is a huge opportunity for people to talk about what this new direction in living will entail. We need a mindset to go with it, and we need it now. Trying to hold on to life as we knew it will not work.

  • Dan

    I agree with Grumpy. There’s a good reason that God declaerd a Jubilee every 7 years for the Isrealites.

  • sharonsj

    Colin, get your head out of the sand. The serious problems we face cannot be solved by pretending they don’t exist. In fact, I doubt they can be solved. The BP disaster is probably a death blow.

    Most people don’t realize just how bad this is. The oil will disrupt the food chain. It isn’t just dead sea life and the prospect of being unable to afford to eat fish anymore. Goodbye krill, goodbye algae…and the eventual disappearance of higher life forms.

    The idea that 2012 will be the end of a cycle is looking pretty prophetic.

  • Jorge

    This is in reply to Colin:

    How can this website be the problem? I hope this doesn’t come off as rude, and in no way am I trying to be. The MSM is telling us everything is fine, the stock market is surging, consumer spending is up. The I-phone sold out in one day.
    Well everything is not fine, the market is being manipulated, as is precious metals market, consumer spending is up because people aren’t paying for their $400,000 home because it’s worth $200,000 now. Parts of the country are in depression.
    So this website shouldn’t be telling us the truth, or at the least giving us information, like the MSM should be doing, so we can save our money, get out of debt, Invest in gold & silver (just in case), stock up on food, water, so we can be self reliant.
    Yep, that’s crazy.
    Tell me the truth, it scared the hell out of me a couple of years ago, but I’d rather be ahead of the curve.
    Thank you for the facts & ignorance is not bliss. I’m better off now then I was a couple of years ago.

  • Elocutionist

    Colin, What kind of neophyte are you? The information in this blog is not readily available to the masses still mired in network news – if that. Your comments read as if you’re attempting to rectify some sort of psychological issue; just change the thinking – offer up some resolutions and this will work out. Do you really think the people who held interest rates at record lows for more than the past fifteen years are unaware of the consequences of their actions, let alone the steps necessary to rectify conditions? Global economic affairs are so out of control that preparation for the worst is the only resolution left. And unless people have a clue about the nature of worst-case scenarios, they’re hardly going to understand what it might take to protect themselves. Absolution from debt might be the only thing – as Grumpy points out – that could generate a constructive result, but how likely is that? In the meantime, sticking one’s head in the sand as to the nature and expansion of the current crisis is hardly a solution to anything.

  • Grumpy

    @Colin:

    How can you honestly say that telling people the truth about what is happening in the financial world is doing them a disservice? No one in the lamestream media or government will come clean with honest numbers and projections, so how can anyone make an informed financial decision (INCLUDING how to fix the problems inherent in the current systems) without knowing the reality of the situation? You’re putting the cart before the horse – one can’t propose a solution until the causes are understood, and taking a ‘throw-it-against-the-wall-and-see-if-it-sticks’ approach will only worsen matters.

  • Jeff

    I agree with Grumpy. It’s time to hit the “reset” button.

    Forgiveness of debt is the only true way out of this mess. Anything else is doomed to fail.

    The party is truly over, not it’s time to return to the basics.

  • laura

    Grumpy, I couldn’t have said it better! The younger working folks have no future, (I’m retired)no good jobs, and will have to live frugal as hyperinflation destroys the dollar. Politicians are totally corrupt and there is no true leadership. Conservative patriots are useless at this point and for decades have been ineffective. Voting at this point is a waste of time. Joining and supporting patriot orgs. is useless, as no results were ever seen. Prep your family for a total meltdown.

  • kolchack

    Gee, Colin, shoot the messenger much? If you can’t handle what’s being written here, go watch tout TV. They will make you feel all better inside.

  • Lennie Pike

    I disagree with what Colin says about this blog adding to the problem by reporting bad news. Most of this news is not reported in the Main Stream Media and that is what hurts people because they will not do what they can to prepare for the coming hard times if they don’t know what’s coming. Is it counterproductive to yell fire in a crowded theater that is burning down? The time for finding solutions to these problems within the status quo has passed and been frittered away. Colin is wrong, the writer has had many recommendations to resolve these problems, for example, drastically reducing the size of the Federal Government and ending the Federal (a different type of Federal) Reserve. (Two biggies and good ones). I don’t think personal rancor is going to help the situation, and strongly recommend that we press on with all possible dispatch to carry out the recommended solutions of the writer of The Economic Collapse Blog.

  • crapdetector

    Colin: There are few solutions to such a monstrous problem as this because we cannot stop the economic collapse, we can only shorten it. How? One way is to “modify” mortgages the old fashioned way – by foreclosure, which effectively liquidates the debt problem. Government is delaying this natural cleansing process with it’s misdirected and counter-productive efforts at re-flation. This only prolongs the pain while having the terrible consequence of rewarding the same (mis)behaviours that got us into this mess.

  • Gringo in Brazil

    I saw this collapse coming several years ago and began making plans to move to my wife’s country of Brazil, where we now reside. 20 years ago, Brazil had 80% per MONTH inflation. 10 years ago they were predicting doom and gloom for Brazil but somehow, Brazil got serious and paid off their foreign debt 100% . Incredibly, they did this in 2009, while the rest of the world was reeling from the crisis. The past 20 years in Brazil were not easy for Brazilians but the people were adaptable, learned to get by with little, save money, invest wisely and understand that high taxes and modest lifestyles were the price they had to pay to get out of debt. Now they are debt free and the economy is booming.

    America has a chance but it will probably require years of hardship, high unemployment, increased taxes, reduced government programs and subsidies, and a positive attitude of American people wanting to rebuild their country. America has in its favor much less corruption, a fantastic infrastructure, good transportation/logistics, a highly educated workforce among other factors. What we do with these advantages will determine how hard we are hit and how quickly we can recover. If you wait for politicians to turn things around, you and your family will suffer greatly. It is up to you to protect your assets and family from complete disaster.

    Here is what I have learned by observing Brazilians: 1. Stop spending money on most recreation and non-essential luxury items. 2. Simplify your lifestyle; more efficient/cheaper cars, cheaper cell phone plans, cable TV, internet, etc. 3. Cut your grocery bill by shopping at discount markets like Aldi or Save-a-lot and using coupons. 4. If possible, get into a smaller, lower cost house/condo in a more modest neighborhood – pay off mortgage within 5 years instead of 30. 5. Buy American products!!! 6. Learn additional skills through community colleges or other educational programs. 7. Find part time work or a small side business using your skills. 8. Teach your kids to work, have them contribute part of their wages to household expenses or for their own clothes and personal expenses. 9. Make household items last longer – don’t throw it out until it is to the point where it is impossible to fix. 10. Start developing close family friendships, you may need help someday and without relatives or friends, it may be hard to pick yourself up alone.

    The news may be negative – be proactive!!!

  • scott_free

    Why is the truth bad news, you have the best opportunity to prepare for the upcoming crisis
    and we can all learn from the past
    for the next generation.
    Education is knowledge

  • tyler

    I will never be able to understand why people waste their time commenting on something they say they dont like. If you don’t like the site then stay the hell off it. Your input is wasting peoples time.

  • VegasBob

    The big problem we have in America is that, as a nation, most of us refuse to even see the problem. The result is that we have no realistic solution to our economic misery anywhere in sight, because it is impossible to solve a problem that we cannot accurately identify.

    The problem is debt. As a nation, we borrowed too much money and we are having trouble paying it back (except for Bernokio’s Fed, which controls the US Govt printing press). A smart 5th grader understands that the solution to the debt problem cannot possibly be to increase debt by borrowing even more money.

    Why is it so difficult for people to see that this unholy alliance between financiers and government is literally sucking the lifeblood out of this country?

    If this country were China, criminals like Ben ‘Bernokio’ Bernanke, ‘Turbo-Tax’ Timmy Geithner, Larry Summers, and Lloyd Blankfein would have already been tried, convicted, and executed for their assorted crimes, most of which involve financial frauds of one sort or another.

    Finally, in the last day or two, some 1,200 people have been rounded up for financial and mortgage-related crimes. Can anybody explain why it took so many years to indict and arrest these people?

  • There is no possible way the U.S.A can ever possibly recover!!! We are on a collison course with destiny. In about 1 year from now, there will be such a depression in the streets of American cities, there will no be enough police and national guards to handle all the destruction across this country. According to the Bible Scriptures, all of us are very close to the starting of the Great Tribulation and the Lord God stepping into the affairs of mankind. The United States have sent another task force over to the Gulf in preparation to attack Iran. Their could possibly be a nuclear attack and I believe this could start a chain reaction in the world. Folks, get ready to meet fulfilling prophecy right before your very eyes!!!!!!!

  • jc

    Here’s a (partial) solution for you: read Grumpy’s post. Forgive ALL debts. Every bit of it. Clear it off the books and let everyone start with a fresh balance sheet. Yes, there will be a few years of chaos as things re-order, but it will be followed by economic renewal.

    Of course, that would mean the bankers have to relinquish nearly all of their power over us. That’s why it will never happen.

    So much for optimism.

  • ONE day the bankers will relinquish all the power they over us. These dark days only mean that sunny ones are on the way. Of course this means that people need to go on a diet and GET OFF THEIR KNEES. But remember that the very fact that there is a problem implies that there is a solution. Stay sane and calm.

  • It would be nice to get this party started – have everything collapse – and lets start fresh again.

    Lets not delay whats coming any way – to make it worse.

    Its like when you binge drink at night, wake up, and you know you have to puke, but you hate puking, so you dont.

    Just puke and get it over already – and you will feel better!

  • jtuck004

    Forgiving all the debts and starting over is a great idea. Problem is, as a nation we owe how many trillion dollars? Who is going to forgive that? And although I like the idea of forgiving all personal debt, because then peopel could afford greater taxes to pay the deficit, what banks are going to accept having all their assets devalued?

    We need government to invest in this country and our people – rebuild infrastructure and manufacturing which will put money directly into the economy, create some government-paid educational opportunities for adults to increase the skills everyone has not been working on, and fund some R&D into areas that we want to lead, such as batteries, solar, high speed trains, water resources.

  • Dwight

    After reading all the posts, I see that most of the comments have been supportive of the article, and most agree that Americans need to be informed as to what is transpiring. Over the past 20 years I have read many well-written books which pointed to the economic collapse which we are now in. One outstanding book is “The Creature From Jekyll Island” which details the formation of the “unconstitutional” Federal Reserve, and how this “cartel” of international bankers have been sucking the guts out of America. Americans have been totally blind as to what has been going on, and still cant see. There are thousands and thousands of Americans preparing for this collapse and more “patriots” signing up for this upcoming “rebellion”. Even high-ranking military, sheriffs, police, etc. are signing up as “Oath Keepers”, and they will defend the Constitution to the letter, and will NOT FOLLOW any Government orders telling them to kill fellow-american patriots or to seize American’s weapons. Our corrupt political “servants” in Washington will soon be getting very nervous as they see more and more Americans understanding the source of their sufferings.
    Even Thomas Jefferson said that “rebellion is necessary for the preservation of a true republic”. Well folks, if we want to preserve our republic, be ready to fight off the enemies and their desire of a one-world government.
    I am like millions of americans who have lost most of their retirement in this corrupt stock market. Our political “servants” managed to pass the 1000 page Bailout package for their buddies in Wallstreet and the Big Fat Cat Bankers, and our “servants” did not even take the time to read the bill. Bammm—zapppp! In minutes they shell out almost a trillion dollars to their wealthy corrupt buddies who then spend it in lavish bonuses, parties, and and unheard list of luxuries. What money is left in the bank’s vaults never made it to mainstreet to help those unemployed or losing their homes.
    Think about the corrupt Federal Reserve and how it sucks the lifeblood out of average americans. As they “print” these trillions of fresh dollars and pass it to their wealthy banking and wallstreet buddies, the ugly creature called “Inflation” suddenly begins to grow and grow and grow. This inflation is going to cause the cost of all essential products to rise, which is the hidden tax on the average american. The FED gives “our money” to the banks at 0 percent interest, and the banks immediately turn around and buy U.S. Governtment T-bills paying 4-5%. You would have to be an idiot not to make a fortune as a banker! So, instead of lending the money to americans as they should, these creeps do not want to risk “their” money on americans, but instead get “free” profits from the U.S. Govt thru the interest on the T-Bills. So, it makes you wonder how these big banks can be failing in the first place. Well, one word is the answer…..GREED.
    Patriots accross this devastated nation…..its time to take back our country! Buy your weapons, as much ammo as you can (before it is seized due to a crisis), stockpile your food, and if there is anything left, be sure to dump your dollars for silver coins. Patriots…..United we stand, divided we fall.

  • mickey

    I have an answer..hyperinflation will set us free..you need to learn some history..what did people do in other countries to survive their time of crisis..then you will know what to do and what to save your time on..While you are at it, what would happen if everybody just stopped playing their elitist game? Stop paying for any loans..stop paying any taxes..stop paying any fees or surcharges or other such crap..deprive the shepard of his dollars and the sheep can do whatever they please..because he cannot control them anymore with no money to pay his dog..
    Your other alternative is to learn chinese now because I think it likely that our eastern overlords are going to foreclose on our amerikan dream real soon, since our Washington overlords sold us down the river for a few pieces of silver..

  • Sam

    “COLIN” wants a web site that can present unemployment, underemployment, lack of job security, and foreclosures as something very positive.

    Well such web sites already exist: Washington Post, NTimes, wall street journal, CNN etc…

  • mickey

    forget Colin and the rest of the sheep..they mean nothing and are not going to be of any importance in the coming times..they will be too meek to seek food they will be to shy to try or to lie and they will all simply die..
    The system is broken and you are on your own..figure out a survival strategy. work closely with your friends and family and understand reality is different than you had ever imagined unless you have survived a total economic/social/political and spiritual collapse..the water is rising and if you are waiting for the government or anybody else to save you, you are just as dead as those poor souls lost in New Orleans..We just finished phase one..Phase two is just getting started..there will be people starving to death in the streets and eating stray dogs before we even start phase 3 of this mess

  • Alexey

    Who said that Bernanke has been doing his job for the good of all people?

  • Dwight

    I agree with Mickey……if all angry americans would “unite” and agree to just stop paying for their mortgages, credit cards, etc…..then we could turn the tide in our favor. However, Americans are so “brain washed” that they have lost the inner power to think on their own and stand up and fight as our forefathers did. Im glad that there are more and more sheriffs and military signing up to OathKeepers (Sheriff Mack/AZ and USN Commander Tillie, for ex.), and they will stand by us patriot Americans fighting for our freedoms and the constitution.

    Start getting prepared. A must site is “National Inflation Association”, where you will get more details as to why an economic collapse is upon us.

  • Things are unraveling fast. My hope is that in the midst of this we can deflate the government bloat.

    I also hope that people don’t turn to government to “save them” from the economic crisis. You can’t cure cancer with more cancer.

    @Dan – Actually, God called for a Jubilee every 49 years (7 rest-year cycles). Every 7 years was a rest year — a year during which you did not have to repay debts.

    God also prohibits usury (interest), which has a way of minimizing debt in the first place.

    -SJ

  • I know you want me to pick one but I want to vote for 2, one short term (within a few months) and the second for longer (2 to 5 years) term. First the short term, the BP oil geyser. (I refuse to call it a spill. You spill milk.) The economical impact of this event as well as how the government seizes the opportunity for it’s agendas will finish off the economy. Longer term, runaway spending and money printing will turn the US into a second or even third tier country. I hope I’m wrong.

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