Signs Of Trouble As We Make The Turn Toward The Fall?

Over the past several months we have been witnessing one of the most gloriously irrational stock market rallies in U.S. history.  Even CNN is admitting that this is “the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes”, but stock prices have just kept going higher and higher until this week.  Several months ago the Federal Reserve decided to do whatever it took to rescue the financial markets, and their exceedingly reckless behavior fueled a speculative boom that is unlike anything that we have ever seen before.  But now it appears that the boom may be ending.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 807 points on Thursday, and it appears that Friday could be another very challenging day for Wall Street.  It is well documented that many of the greatest stock market crashes in history have happened in the fall, and many investors may be trying to bail out before this latest bubble bursts in spectacular fashion.

Tech stocks have led the way up during this latest rally, and now they could potentially start leading the market back in the other direction.  On Thursday, the biggest names in the tech world got hit particularly hard

Apple shares fell 8% for their biggest one-day decline since March 16. Amazon and Netflix were both down more than 4% and Facebook slid 3.8%. Microsoft slipped 6.2%. Alphabet pulled back by 5.1%.

And Tesla has been absolutely monkey-hammered over the past several days.  If you can believe it, the stock is now 18 percent lower than it was on Monday

Tesla shares slid 9% on Thursday, building on the stock’s recent losses after the company’s largest outside shareholder reduced its position, and after the automaker said it would raise up to $5 billion in a new share offering.

With Thursday’s decline, the stock is more than 18% below Monday’s close, a day when the name surged following its stock split.

But I wouldn’t be crying too much for those holding Tesla stock just yet.  The stock is still way, way up so far in 2020, and it is still massively overvalued.

In fact, if Tesla’s stock price fell 90 percent I would still think that it was overvalued.

Needless to say, the entire market is tremendously overvalued at this point.  It is absolutely absurd that the Dow is sitting above 28,000 at the moment.  Investors decided to divorce economic reality long ago, and even with the losses that we have seen this week they are still sitting really pretty.

But could that soon change?

According to one expert that was just interviewed by CNBC, the market could be heading into a “Minsky moment”…

Asset prices could be on the cusp of a sharp collapse known as a “Minsky moment,” and may retest lows last seen in March, according to Ron William, market strategist and founder of RW Advisory.

So exactly what is a “Minsky moment”?

The following is how CNBC defines it…

A “Minsky moment,” named after economist Hyman Minsky, refers to a sudden market collapse following an unsustainable bull run, which in this case could be fueled by the “easy credit” environment created as a result of unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus measures.

I think that may be a perfect description of what we are facing.  Since the second half of March, the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are all up more than 50 percent even though the U.S. economy as a whole has been falling apart all around us.

If we were ever due for a “Minsky moment”, it is now.

And it is interesting to note that the stock market also peaked in early September in 1929.  The following quote from Sven Henrich was just posted by Zero Hedge

“September 3rd marked the top in 1929 following a furious rally fueled by wild optimism, excessive retail speculative behavior and markets disconnecting far above the fundamentals of the economy.”

It has been said that history doesn’t always repeat, but it often rhymes.

Meanwhile, we just learned that a huge number of Americans filed for unemployment benefits once again last week.

As I discussed a week ago, the Labor Department decided to change the way that it calculates seasonal adjustments for initial unemployment claims, and this week was going to be the first week when that change was going to show up.  So it wasn’t a surprise that the “official number” was lower than last week, but when you look at the unadjusted numbers the story is completely different.

In fact, those figures tell us that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits was about 7,000 higher than the week before.

That is very troubling, because if we were going to have any sort of an “economic recovery” before the next wave of economic pain, it should be happening now.

And according to Wolf Richter, the number of continuing unemployment claims under all state and federal programs was way up over the previous week…

Powered by a nasty jump in continued unemployment claims under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program for contract workers, established under the CARES Act, total continued claims under all state and federal programs jumped by 2.2 million, “not seasonally adjusted,” to 29.2 million people on unemployment rolls, the highest since August 1, according to the Department of Labor this morning.

In our entire history, we have never seen a spike in unemployment claims like we have in 2020.

But up until now, investors on Wall Street have been able to ignore what has been going on in the rest of the country.

In some ways it is easy to be in awe of their single-minded focus on speculative greed, and the mainstream media has been proudly touting how much richer some of the wealthiest investors have been getting.

Of course the truth is that you only make money in the stock market if you get out in time.  Nothing goes up forever, and this ridiculously absurd bubble will end the same way that so many others have.

Meanwhile, the real economy will continue to deteriorate as we plunge even deeper into the “perfect storm” that we are now dealing with.

In addition to everything else, a hotly contested presidential election is looming, and the fact that we are not likely to have a winner until some time well after November 3rd is just going to make matters even worse.

We truly live in historic times, and I have a feeling that they are about to get a whole lot more “interesting”.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  By purchasing the book you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

As The Stock Market Soars, The Numbers Say That The Real Economy Is In The Midst Of A Historic Crash

Have you been watching the madness that has been unfolding on Wall Street?  Even though we are in the middle of the worst global pandemic in 100 years, and even though rioters and looters have been turning our major cities into war zones, stock prices have been going up day after day.  In fact, the Nasdaq closed at an all-time record high on Monday.  Sometimes people ask me to explain this rationally, and I can’t, because the Federal Reserve has transformed our “financial markets” into a total mockery at this point.  The real economy is literally collapsing all around us, but thanks to Fed intervention stock investors are doing just fine.  It has been absolutely disgusting to watch, and if Adam Smith could see what was happening he would be rolling over in his grave.  Unfortunately, thanks to our rapidly declining system of education most Americans don’t even know who Adam Smith is anymore.

I can’t recall another time in modern U.S. history when stock prices skyrocketed as the U.S. economy plunged into a recession.  What we have been witnessing has truly been extremely bizarre, and it will be fascinating to see how long it can last.

Meanwhile, the real economy is a giant mess.  On Monday, the National Bureau of Economic Research finally got around to letting us know that a recession has officially begun

It’s official: The United States is in a recession.

The National Bureau of Economic Research said Monday the U.S. economy peaked in February, ending the longest expansion in U.S. history at 128 months, or about 10½ years.

In truth, the announcement codifies the painfully obvious. States began shutting down nonessential businesses in mid-March to contain the spread of the coronavirus, halting about 30% of economic activity and putting tens of millions of Americans out of work.

And in other news, the sky is blue and the moon is not made out of cheese.

Anyone with half a brain can see that the economy is falling apart.  For example, we just learned that U.S. factory orders were down 22.3 percent in April compared to a year earlier…

Having collapsed by a record 10.4% MoM in March, April factory orders were expected to accelerate even lower and it did. However, the 13.0% plunge in April was modestly better than the 13.4% MoM drop expected… but is still the worst in American history.

Year-over-year, factory orders collapsed 22.3% – the worst since the peak of the financial crisis.

Of course it is not that difficult to find a number that is even worse than that.

Just look at heavy truck sales.  Last month they were down a whopping 37 percent from the same month in 2019…

The last three months have been catastrophic for segments of the trucking business, after an already tough period that started in late 2018. In May, orders for Class 8 trucks – the heavy trucks that haul much of the goods-based economy across the US – plunged 37% from the  low levels in May a year earlier, and by 81% from May two years ago, to 6,600 orders, according to estimates by FTR Transportation Intelligence today.

Not to be outdone, the number of corporate bankruptcies shot up 48 percent last month compared to the same period a year ago…

Corporate bankruptcies spiked during May as the coronavirus pandemic slammed the U.S. economy, pushing the number of filings to levels recorded in the wake of the 2007-09 recession.

U.S. courts recorded 722 businesses nationwide filing for chapter 11 protection last month, a yearly increase of 48%, according to figures from legal-services firm Epiq Global.

But every time we get another horrific economic figure, the stock market goes even higher.

The worse the news gets, the more investors seem to like it.  Week after week, we have seen unprecedented numbers of Americans file for unemployment benefits, and at this point a grand total of more than 42 million Americans have lost a job since this pandemic began.

And yet investors keep taking these job losses as signs that they should buy even more stocks.

Perhaps someone should spread a rumor that a planet-killing asteroid is about to hit us, because that would probably really get investors salivating.

Of course most ordinary Americans don’t get to live in a Fed-fueled fantasy world, and this new economic downturn is hitting most of them extremely hard.

In fact, it is being reported that approximately a third of all Americans “are now showing signs of clinical anxiety and depression”…

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crash, which triggered depression-like unemployment with 40 million initial claims filed in ten weeks, a third of Americans are now showing signs of clinical anxiety and depression, according to new data collected by the Census Bureau. This, by far, is the most comprehensive and troubling sign yet of the psychological toll inflicted on Americans due to months of lockdowns.

The Census Bureau contacted one million households between May 7 and 12, and about 42,000 responded, said The Washington Post. The survey was about 20 minutes long and buried deep within, several questions asked respondents about depression and anxiety. Those who answered provided a laggard but clearest snapshot into people’s mental state at the tail end of the lockdown, where many folks were subjected to isolationism, virus fears, and widespread unemployment.

That is the most alarming number that I have shared with you so far in this article, but I am about to share with you some numbers that are even more alarming.

In recent days, we have watched rioters destroy large sections of our major cities all across America.  But when asked about “violent protests”, a surprising percentage of Americans actually support them…

A broad majority of Americans say the peaceful protests happening all across the country after police violence against African Americans are justified (84% say so), and roughly a quarter (27%) say violent protests in response to police harming or killing African Americans are justified. Both figures are higher than they were when similar protests rose in the fall of 2016. Then, 67% saw peaceful protests as justified while 14% felt violent protests were.

There isn’t much of a racial or partisan difference over whether peaceful protests are justified now, but the gaps are larger over violent protests. Among Democrats, 42% consider violent protests justified in response to police violence against African Americans, while just 9% of Republicans agree.

Yes, you read that last sentence correctly.

42 percent.

Unfortunately, a lot more economic pain is on the way, and that is just going to fuel even more rioting, looting and violence.

These are definitely not “the best of times” no matter what stock market investors seem to think.

We have entered a deeply disturbing new chapter in American history, and life in this country will never be the same again.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

This Was The Worst Week For The Stock Market Since 2008, And “Jobless Filings Are Growing Geometrically”

Just a few weeks ago everything seemed completely normal to most people, but now fear of the coronavirus has caused U.S. stock prices to absolutely implode.  The stock market crash of 2020 will forever be mentioned alongside the crashes of 1929, 1987 and 2008, and by the time it is over it could potentially end up being the largest of them all.  Close to a third of all stock market wealth in the entire country has already been wiped out, and many experts are warning that the worst is yet to come.  Of course the authorities are going to do their very best to try to prop up the market, but despite the most dramatic intervention by the Federal Reserve that we have ever witnessed, U.S. stocks just had their worst week since 2008

The Dow dropped more than 17% for the week, its biggest one-week fall since October 2008, when it slid 18.2%. The S&P 500 lost more than 13% week to date after dropping another 11.5% last week. The Nasdaq fell 12.6%. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq also had their worst weekly performances since the financial crisis in 2008.

And when you look at the numbers for the entire month so far, they are even more depressing

The Dow is down more than 24% for March and is currently on pace for its biggest one-month fall since September 1931. The S&P 500 has dropped 22% month to date and is headed for its worst monthly performance since May 1940.

Overall, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen a whopping 35.2 percent from the all-time record high that we witnessed in February, and the S&P 500 has fallen 32.1 percent from the all-time record high that it set earlier this year.

In all of U.S. history, we have never seen a market crash of such speed and ferocity.

At this point, all of the stock market gains that we have witnessed since Donald Trump became president have been completely wiped out.

Ouch.

I know that many of you may find this difficult to believe, but stock prices are still substantially overvalued.

According to historical norms, stocks valuation ratios are still way too high, and so stocks still have a lot further to fall until they get back to “normal”.

Of course these aren’t “normal” times, and so there is no telling how far prices could eventually fall.

As financial markets continue to go wildly up and down, an increasing number of financial firms are inevitably going to get into very serious trouble.

On Friday, many were absolutely stunned when Ronin Capital completely imploded

Well, no more: according to CNBC’s Scott Wapner, one of the CME’s direct clearing firms was unable to meet its capital requirements on Friday, forcing the exchange to step in and invoke its “emergency protocols” to auction off the firm’s portfolios.

The firm in question: Ronin Capital, which on its website says “seeks the best and brightest people who embrace our Firm’s culture, and can thrive in a dynamic, entrepreneurial trading environment.” Apparently, that also meant being unable to quantify your risk exposure.

Sadly, what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning.

Meanwhile, the greatest corporate debt bubble in history appears as though it is about to burst in a major way.  According to Bloomberg, “the amount of distressed debt in the U.S. alone has doubled” over the past couple of weeks…

In less than two weeks, the amount of distressed debt in the U.S. alone has doubled to a half-trillion dollars as the collapse of oil prices and the fallout from the coronavirus shutters entire industries.

In all, U.S. corporate bonds that yield at least 10 percentage points above Treasuries, as well as loans that trade for less than 80 cents on the dollar, have swelled to $533 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

But most ordinary Americans are not really too concerned about such matters.

What many Americans are worried about these days is whether or not they will actually have jobs next week.

As the U.S. literally shuts down from coast to coast, Americans are losing jobs at a pace that is mind blowing, and we are being told that state jobless claims “are growing geometrically”

State jobless filings are growing geometrically, a signal of how the national numbers will change when we have them. Last Monday, Colorado had 400 people apply for unemployment insurance. This Tuesday: 6,800. California has seen its daily filings jump from 2,000 to 80,000. Oregon went from 800 to 18,000. In Connecticut, nearly 2 percent of the state’s workers declared that they were newly jobless on a single day. Many other states are reporting the same kinds of figures.

When I first read those numbers, they took my breath away.

And since most workers in this country are living paycheck to paycheck, large numbers of them will almost instantly be struggling to pay their basic expenses once they are let go.

Sadly, more layoffs are coming, and we are now being warned to brace ourselves for job loss numbers that once would have been unthinkable

The first real bad U.S. economic data from the coronavirus outbreak was released on Thursday, as initial jobless claims surged 70,000 to 281,000, the highest level in 2.5 years.

But that is not anything compared with what is in store.

David Choi, an economist from Goldman Sachs, says initial claims for the week ending March 21 may jump to a seasonally adjusted 2.25 million.

Please pray for those that are losing their jobs, because most of them will not be able to find work for the foreseeable future.

What we are dealing with is not just another economic downturn.  In her most recent article, Annie Lowrey described this as an economic “shock” that is “more sudden and severe than anyone alive has ever experienced”…

What is happening is a shock to the American economy more sudden and severe than anyone alive has ever experienced. The unemployment rate climbed to its apex of 9.9 percent 23 months after the formal start of the Great Recession. Just a few weeks into the domestic coronavirus pandemic, and just days into the imposition of emergency measures to arrest it, nearly 20 percent of workers report that they have lost hours or lost their job. One payroll and scheduling processor suggests that 22 percent of work hours have evaporated for hourly employees, with three in 10 people who would normally show up for work not going as of Tuesday. Absent a strong governmental response, the unemployment rate seems certain to reach heights not seen since the Great Depression or even the miserable late 1800s.

So how bad could things ultimately get?

Well, Goldman Sachs is now forecasting that on an annualized basis U.S. GDP will plunge 24 percent in the second quarter

Goldman Sachs economists on Friday forecast an unprecedented 24% decline in second quarter gross domestic product, following a 6% decline in the first quarter, based on the economy’s sudden and historic shutdown as the country responds to the coronavirus pandemic.

If that projection is anywhere close to accurate, we are about to see economic suffering that will be off the charts.

Needless to say, cries for help from the federal government will soon become overwhelming.  At this point, even billionaires such as Ray Dalio are pleading for the government to do more

As the coronavirus spread Thursday, Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio said the outbreak will cost U.S. corporations up to $4 trillion, and “a lot of people are going to be broke.”

“What’s happening has not happened in our lifetime before. … What we have is a crisis,” the Bridgewater founder said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “There will also be individuals who have very big losses. … There’s a need for the government to spend more money, a lot more money.”

So a broke government that is already 23.5 trillion dollars in debt is supposed to borrow and spend trillions more to bail everyone out?

Good luck with all that.

We have reached the beginning of the end.

We have reached a time when everyone and everything is going to be shaken, and life is never going to go back to the way it was before.

But as I keep stressing, now is not a time for fear.

With God’s help we can get through this, but God’s plan for your future may end up looking radically different from what your plan for the future would have looked like.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

For The 3rd Time This Month, We Just Witnessed The Largest Single Day Point Crash In Stock Market History

We are literally witnessing history in the making.  For the third time in the last six trading sessions, we have witnessed the largest single day point crash in stock market history.  Let that sink in for a moment.  On March 9th, the Dow set a new record by falling 2,013 points.  Then on March 12th, the Dow set a new record again by falling 2,352 points.  Of course what happened on Monday was the biggest whopper of them all.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2,997 points, and words like “carnage” and “devastation” don’t seem to be strong enough to convey that horror that took place.  To put all of this into perspective, the largest single day point crash during the last financial crisis was just 777 points.  That means that the crash that we witnessed on Monday was nearly four times as large as the worst single day point crash in 2008.

Of course all of this volatility is being driven by fear of the coronavirus.  Even though less than 100 Americans have died so far, investors are completely freaking out.

So what will happen if thousands or even millions of us start dying?

On a percentage basis, the nightmare that we watched unfold on Monday was the worst day for stocks since “Black Monday” in 1987

Stocks fell sharply Monday — with the Dow suffering its worst day since the “Black Monday” market crash in 1987 and its third-worst day ever — even after the Federal Reserve embarked on a massive monetary stimulus campaign to curb slower economic growth amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 2,997.10 points lower, or 12.9%, at 20,188.52. The 30-stock Dow was briefly down more than 3,000 points in the final minutes of trading. The S&P 500 dropped 12% to 2,386.13 — hitting its lowest level since December 2018 — while the Nasdaq Composite closed 12.3% lower at 6,904.59 in its worst day ever.

Overall, the Dow is now down more than 31 percent from the all-time high set earlier this year.

If you can believe it, all of the tremendous stock market gains that we have witnessed over the last three years have been completely wiped out in just 18 trading days.

Ouch.

Banking stocks were hit particularly hard once again on Monday.  Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase were each down more than 14 percent, Morgan Stanley was down more than 15 percent, and Citigroup was down more than 19 percent.

Remember, those are not figures for the entire year.

Those are figures for one day.

Of course the utter carnage was not just limited to stocks.  The following is how Zero Hedge summarized some of the other losses that we witnessed…

  • STOXX EUROPE 600 ENDS DOWN 4.9%, LOWEST CLOSE SINCE MID-2013
  • SOUTH AFRICA’S FTSE/JSE INDEX FALLS AS MUCH AS 12.2%, MOST EVER
  • MUNI BONDS EXTEND WORST ROUT SINCE 1987
  • COPPER SLUMPS AS MUCH AS 5.2% AMID WEAKENING RISK APPETITE
  • BRENT CRUDE OIL PLUNGES BELOW $30 FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2016
  • SILVER PLUNGES TO 2011 LOWS
  • U.S. WHOLESALE GASOLINE PRICES PLUNGE 21%
  • HYG WORST DROP SINCE 2008
  • LQD WORST DROP SINCE 2008

The good news is that there is often a hefty rebound after a historic decline of this magnitude.  It appears that stock prices will likely shoot back up a good bit on Tuesday, and that will temporarily soothe a lot of frazzled nerves.

But this coronavirus pandemic is not going away any time soon.  Over the past couple of days, restaurants and bars have been shut down across the nation, schools have been shuttered for the foreseeable future, and it has been announced that the entire city of San Francisco will be locked down.

As virtually all forms of activity come to a standstill all over America, our economic numbers are going to absolutely collapse.

In fact, on Monday we got a sneak preview of what is coming

The New York Fed’s Empire State business conditions index plunged a record 34.4 points to -21.5 in March, the regional Fed bank said Monday. Economists had expected a reading of 4.8, according to a survey by Econoday. This is the lowest level since the financial crisis in 2009.

As we plunge into a truly horrifying economic downturn, businesses all over the country are already crying out for bailouts.

We are now being told that many airlines could be bankrupt by May, and a 50 billion dollar aid package for the industry has already been requested

US airlines slammed by the coronavirus are requesting an aid package from the federal government that could amount to about $50 billion, according to industry group Airlines for America.

The requested aid would be in the form of loans, grants and tax relief. The airlines are looking for up to $25 billion in grants for passenger air carriers and $4 billion in grants to cargo carriers, and the same amounts in loans or loan guarantees, Airlines for America outlined in a briefing document.

Meanwhile, thousands upon thousands of ordinary U.S. citizens are already losing their jobs.  For example, just check out what is currently transpiring in New York

New York’s unemployment website was overwhelmed Monday as the coronavirus pandemic put tens of thousands of people across the state out of work.

A drastic move by Gov. Cuomo to close all of the state’s restaurants, bars, movie theaters, gyms and casinos by 8 p.m. Monday to contain the outbreak had suddenly jobless workers flooding the Department of Labor with applications for unemployment benefits.

This will soon be happening all over the nation.

So how many jobs could ultimately be lost if this pandemic stretches on for quite a while?

According to Moody’s Analytics, millions of jobs are potentially at risk…

Nearly 80 million jobs in the US economy are at high or moderate risk today, according to analysis in the last week from Moody’s Analytics. That’s more than half of the 153 million jobs in the economy overall.

That doesn’t mean that all those jobs will be lost. But it’s probable that as many as 10 million of those workers could see some impact to their paychecks — either layoffs, furloughs, fewer hours or wage cuts, said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.

Needless to say, there is going to be enormous pressure for the federal government to “do something”, and U.S. Senator Mitt Romney has “joined a growing chorus of liberal and conservative economists” in calling for $1,000 to be given to every adult in America

On Monday, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) joined a growing chorus of liberal and conservative economists are lining up behind a proposal published in the Wall Street Journal by Harvard professor Jason Furman, who chaired the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) under President Obama, that calls for direct government payments of $1,000 to every American adult.

Why not make it $10,000?

We could all use some extra cash.

Of course once this sort of thing starts happening, it won’t be too long before a loaf of bread costs ten dollars and a gallon of milk costs 20 dollars.

Flooding the system with money at a time when economic activity is contracting very sharply will inevitably cause very painful inflation.

Unfortunately, at a moment like this short-term considerations are all that policy makers are really concerned about, and the American people will be demanding “relief”.

So we should fully expect lots of free money to be thrown around.  In fact, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced on Monday that her city will provide “$5 million in grocery vouchers to help families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic”.

But I must once again stress the fact that less than 100 Americans have died during this pandemic so far.

If things are getting this crazy already, what is our society going to look like a few months down the road?

According to the New York Times, nearly 7 million Americans could die in a “worst-case scenario”…

So far, the illness – known as COVID-19 – has sickened more than 4,200 people and killed 74.

But as a graphic from The New York Times shows, things could be much bleaker should overall infection rates and fatality rates rise.

In the worst-case scenario 6.99 million Americans would die from coronavirus – 2.74 million of them being those aged 80 and above.

We are just in the very early chapters of this “perfect storm”, and what we have experienced so far is nothing compared to what is coming.

If we can’t even handle the leading edge of this storm, what are we going to do when it really starts raging?

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

Did The Federal Reserve Just Purposely Try To Crash The Stock Market?

Unless the Federal Reserve is purposely attempting to spread panic on Wall Street, the decisions that the Fed just made don’t make any sense at all.  Back on March 3rd, the Federal Reserve announced an unscheduled emergency interest rate cut for the very first time since 2008.  Wall Street immediately interpreted that as a “panic move” and the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the session down 785 points.  So Fed officials had to know what was going to happen once they announced an even bigger unscheduled emergency interest rate cut on Sunday.  Predictably, stock futures hit “limit down” very rapidly, and now investors are bracing for a week of tremendous carnage.

But this didn’t have to happen.  Yes, we witnessed three of the worst trading days in U.S. stock market history last week, but on Friday the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1,985 points.  It was an absolutely epic rally, and if the Fed had not caused so much panic there may have been a good chance that the rally could have continued into next week.

In other words, U.S. stocks just had one of their best days ever, and there didn’t appear to be a need for any “emergency intervention” by the Fed.

If the Federal Reserve had just waited a couple of days until their normally monthly meeting, and if the Fed had just cut rates a quarter point, that would have likely been greeted by the markets with warm enthusiasm.

But instead, Fed officials decided to load up their bazooka and go for broke on Sunday.  In addition to using up all of their “interest rate ammunition” in one epic volley, the Fed also officially restarted quantitative easing

The Federal Reserve, saying “the coronavirus outbreak has harmed communities and disrupted economic activity in many countries, including the United States,” cut interest rates to essentially zero on Sunday and launched a massive $700 billion quantitative easing program to shelter the economy from the effects of the virus.

The new fed funds rate, used as a benchmark both for short-term lending for financial institutions and as a peg to many consume rates, will now be targeted at 0%-0.25% down from a target range of 1% to 1.25%.

These moves have “panic” written all over them, and investors immediately responded accordingly

Stock market futures hit “limit down” levels of 5% lower, a move made by the CME futures exchange to reduce panic in markets. No prices can trade below that threshold, only at higher prices than that down 5% limit.

Dow Jones Industrial average futures were off by more than 1,000 points, triggering the limit down level. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were also at their downside limits.

As I mentioned above, Fed officials saw what happened immediately after their March 3rd emergency rate cut, and so this sort of response by the markets should have been foreseeable.

As Wolf Richter has noted, these latest moves by the Fed were “the opposite of being confidence inspiring”…

The whole Sunday afternoon maneuver, on top of the mega shock-and-awe maneuvers Thursday and Friday reek of sheer and outright panic – and they’re the opposite of being confidence inspiring. That stock futures plunged after the Fed had effectively put its biggest tools to work shows how obvious this panic is.

So then why did the Fed pull the trigger if this was going to be the result?

It would seem that there are two obvious conclusions.  Either Fed officials are completely and utterly incompetent, or they were purposely trying to crash the stock market.

And now that the Federal Reserve is completely out of interest rate ammunition to fight any future economic downturn, the only weapon they have left is “helicopter money”.

As economic activity comes to a grinding standstill due to fear of the coronavirus, it appears to be inevitable that we will see tremendous inflation as the Fed floods the system with money.

In other words, there is going to be a whole lot more money chasing a lot fewer goods and services in the months to come.

Meanwhile, we are already starting to see a run on U.S. banks.  On Thursday, so many people were taking money out of a Bank of America branch in midtown Manhattan that it actually ran out of cash

As the stock market was having its worst day in 30 years on Thursday, customers at a Bank of America branch in Midtown Manhattan, the financial heart of New York, were lining up to take cash out of their accounts — sometimes tens of thousands of dollars at a time.

So many people sought huge sums that the bank branch, at 52nd Street and Park Avenue, temporarily ran out of $100 bills to fulfill large withdrawals, according to three people familiar with the branch’s operations. The shortage hit after a rash of requests for as much as $50,000, said two people who witnessed the rush.

And according to Zero Hedge, wealthy individuals in the Hamptons are doing the same thing…

As the ultra rich Snake Plisken out of the soon-to-be quarantined Manhattan – where at least one bank has are already run out of $100 bills – to fortify themselves against the viral zombie peasant hordes in their impregnable castles in the Hamptons, one thing they’re looking to hoard is cash, which has caused some substantial pressure on financial institutions in the area, according to Bloomberg. At least one New Yorker had his $30,000 cash withdrawal request denied at a Chase bank after being told the limit was $10,000. Meanwhile, bank employees said they were waiting on a “shipment of cash” to fulfill other requests that have been made exceeding the $10,000 amount.

Other branches in the area were unable to help in fulfilling the request, with the East Hampton branch reportedly telling the Southampton branch that it had “two massive withdrawal orders” of its own that it was trying to deal with.

Hopefully we won’t see similar scenes all over the country in the weeks ahead.

But without a doubt, panic continues to spread all over the globe.  The following examples come from CNN

A woman at an Australian supermarket allegedly pulls a knife on a man in a confrontation over toilet paper. A Singaporean student of Chinese ethnicity is beaten up on the streets of London and left with a fractured face. Protesters on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion welcome cruise passengers by hurling abuse and rocks at them.

The coronavirus risks bringing out the worst in humanity.

Yes, this virus is definitely bringing out the worst in humanity.

Here in the United States, two “panic shoppers” became so enraged with one another that they began hitting each other with broken wine bottles

A brawl erupted in a Georgia Sam’s Club packed with shoppers during which two feuding men slashed each other with broken wine bottles.

A second incident in a Costco in Brooklyn saw an employee pleading with two women to calm down after a screaming match began when carts collided in the mobbed store.

This is why it was so important to get prepared in advance.

For years I have been mocked for telling my readers to “get prepared”, but now those that did are going to be very thankful for the things that they have stored up.

If you are not prepared, you can go brave the giant crowds storming the stores if you wish, but at this point the big stores are going to be one of the very best places in the entire country to catch the virus.

I don’t know about you, but I am not eager to experience the “blinding pain” that survivors of COVID-19 have told us about.  So I would highly recommend avoiding big stores and other major public gathering places as much as possible.

We need to accept that life has changed for the foreseeable future.  According to Newt Gingrich, it is time for us to adopt a wartime mindset…

We should be planning for a worst-case pandemic and using the kind of intensity of implementation which served us so well in World War II. Getting enough ventilators, masks, intensive care units, treatment medications and aggressive community-wide testing are the minimum steps to saving lives and stopping the pandemic.

The Pence-led Coronavirus Task Force has begun to pull things together, but it should have a planning group that creates a worst-case projection and then devises the steps necessary to smother the pandemic and minimize its impact.

And this is also a time for prayer.  In fact, President Trump designated Sunday as a “National Day of Prayer”

President Donald Trump on Saturday declared Sunday, March 15, a “National Day of Prayer for All Americans Affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic and for our National Response Efforts.”

“I urge Americans of all faiths and religious traditions and backgrounds to offer prayers for all those affected, including people who have suffered harm or lost loved ones,” Trump said in his statement announcing the day of prayer.

Let us all hope that this pandemic passes as quickly as possible.

But the CDC just issued new guidelines that recommend that gatherings of 50 people or more not be held for the next eight weeks.

Of course most decision makers in this country will follow those guidelines, and so that means that our lives will not be getting back to normal for at least the next two months.

And it could be a whole lot longer than that.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

We Just Witnessed The Largest Single Day Stock Market Point Crash In History (Again)

It has happened again.  On Thursday the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2,352 points, which was the largest single day stock market point crash in history.  Of course the old record only lasted for three days, because on Monday the Dow dropped 2,013 points.  And on Wednesday, we actually witnessed the third largest single day stock market point crash in history.  So the three worst days in the history of the U.S. stock market (on a point basis) have all happened this week.  On a percentage basis, the stunning decline that we witnessed on Thursday was the worst day for the Dow since the horrifying market crash of 1987.  Wall Street is in a tremendous state of panic right now, and nobody is quite sure when this will end.

Needless to say, this frenzy of selling is being driven by fear of the coronavirus

“The coronavirus is scary and people don’t know what to expect,” said Kathy Entwistle, senior vice president of wealth management at UBS. “It’s like the tsunami is coming. We know it’s going to hit any day and nobody knows what the outcome is going to be.”

In the last 48 hours, the NBA, the NHL, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer have all suspended their seasons because of COVID-19.  Public gatherings of all sorts are being canceled or postponed all across America, and we are seeing “panic buying” at major retailers like Costco that is absolutely unprecedented.

But we still don’t know if this is going to evolve into a major pandemic that is going to kill millions of people.  Right now there are less than 1,400 confirmed cases in the U.S. and less than 100 deaths.

If we are witnessing this much panic now, what will happen if millions of people do actually start dying?

Stocks should not be falling this rapidly yet, but of course they should have never gotten so high in the first place.

And even after all the carnage that we have already witnessed, stocks are still extremely overvalued.

In order for stock valuation ratios to return to their long-term averages, we would need to see the market fall another 20 to 30 percent.

But if this coronavirus pandemic does eventually become what many are fearing, stock prices will eventually go way below their long-term averages.

These are very strange times, and I have a feeling that they are about to get a whole lot stranger.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

Fear Of The Coronavirus Is Causing A Stock Market Apocalypse

In all of U.S. history, we have never seen the Dow Jones Industrial Average go from an all-time high to a bear market as quickly as we just did.  As I keep reminding my readers, the stock market is all about how investors view the future.  Early this year, extremely irrational optimism about the future pushed stock prices to the most overvalued levels that we have ever seen, but now things have completely changed.  Fear of the coronavirus has many investors fearing an imminent economic crisis, and we have seen volatility on Wall Street that is absolutely insane.  On Monday we witnessed the largest single day point decline in the history of the Dow, on Tuesday stocks came roaring back, and then on Wednesday we witnessed the second largest single day point decline in the history of the Dow.  As I have previously explained numerous times, we see huge waves of momentum during any stock market crash, and I am sure we will see many more as this current implosion continues to play out.

On Wednesday, the Dow closed at 23553.22, which represented a 20.3 percent decline from the peak on February 12th.

The bull market that began on March 9th, 2009 has finally ended, and U.S. stocks are off to their worst start for a year since the last financial crisis.

But less than 5,000 people around the globe have died from this virus so far.

If we are seeing this much fear now, what is going to happen if millions of people start dying?

Thankfully, the World Health Organization finally decided to officially label this outbreak a “pandemic” on Wednesday

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic as the global death toll rose above 4,500 and the number of confirmed cases neared 125,000.

“We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear,” Tedros said at a news conference. “We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: All countries can still change the course of this pandemic.”

Of course that announcement really rattled investors and the Dow ended up falling 1,464 points.  Banking stocks were hit particularly hard.

But then later in the day we learned that President Trump would be addressing the nation at 9 PM eastern time, and investors were temporarily encouraged.

Unfortunately, investors didn’t seem to like what Trump had to say, and Dow futures immediately plummeted about 1,000 points afterwards.

On top of everything else, two major stories broke late Wednesday that shocked the entire nation.  We learned that Tom Hanks and his wife have tested positive for the coronavirus, and the entire NBA season was suspended because a Utah Jazz player now has the virus.

Needless to say, every horrifying headline is just going to cause even more chaos for the markets.

At this point, one Goldman Sachs analyst is projecting that the S&P 500 will likely fall quite a bit more in the days ahead

Goldman Sachs chief equity analyst David Kostin said Wednesday he expects the S&P 500 to hit a low of 2,450, more than 10% below its current closing level of 2,741. Kostin based his new view on a reduced expectation for S&P 500 earnings.

And another analyst believes that we are “only about halfway” to the bottom of the market…

“We can see the panic in the equity market,” said Jerry Braakman, chief investment officer of First American Trust. “The big question for most people is, are we at the bottom yet? I think we’re only about halfway there.”

Of course both of them are assuming that this coronavirus pandemic will not last for too much longer.

But what if they are wrong?

What if this pandemic lasts into next year or even longer?

As stocks fall, people are gobbling up gold and silver coins like crazy.  In fact, millions of Silver Eagles have been sold in recent days…

With the spread of the Global Contagion, the demand for physical precious metals has increased significantly.  According to the U.S. Mint’s newest update, another million Silver Eagles were sold over the past two days.  This brings to total Silver Eagle sales in March at 2.3 million, more than three times the previous month.

So if you have been waiting all this time for your silver coins to start appreciating in value, it may finally start paying off.

Meanwhile, we are already starting to see workers being laid off as much of the U.S. literally begins to shut down because of this virus.  The following comes from the Washington Post

At the Port of Los Angeles, 145 drivers have been laid off and others have been sent home without pay as massive ships from China stopped arriving and work dried up. At travel agencies in Atlanta and Los Angeles, several workers lost their jobs as bookings evaporated. Christie Lites, a stage-lighting company in Orlando, laid off more than 100 of its 500 workers nationwide this past week and likely will lay off 150 more, according to chief executive Huntly Christie. Meanwhile a hotel in Seattle is closing an entire department, a former employee said, and as many as 50 people lost their jobs after the South by Southwest festival in Austin got canceled.

Sadly, this is just the beginning.  If this crisis lasts long enough, eventually we will see layoffs that are absolutely unprecedented.

And the civil unrest that I keep warning about appears to be already starting as well.  Just check out what just happened at the University of Dayton

University of Dayton students took to the streets after the school canceled classes, on-campus events, and gatherings, and closed UD student housing. Over 1,000 students gathered on Lowes Street by late Tuesday, jumping on cars and throwing bottles at police the University of Dayton said in a written statement.

You can see a news report about this incident right here.  Of course if this pandemic continues to escalate the civil unrest will become much, much, much worse in the months ahead.

On Wednesday night, President Trump announced that travel from Europe would be suspended for 30 days.

That is certainly a step in the right direction, but at this point it isn’t going to make too much of a difference.

The virus is now in over 100 countries, and it is now spreading in almost every U.S. state.

And what most people don’t realize is that this pandemic is far from the only crisis we will be facing.  We have entered a time when we will be hit by one thing after another, and most Americans will not be able to handle it.

We are seeing so much fear out there right now, but this is not a time for fear.

This is a time for faith, and it is absolutely critical for you and your family to believe that you can get through this.

Anyone can shine during the best of times, but it is during the worst of times that we discover who we really are.

The days ahead are going to be extremely challenging, but they will also be a great opportunity to make a tremendous difference in a society that has been gripped by fear and that is starting to spin completely out of control.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

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