44 Numbers From 2018 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe

Was 2018 everything that you expected it to be?  Every year contains surprises, but 2018 truly turned out to be a year that we will never forget.  Over the past 12 months we witnessed great political shaking, Wall Street experienced the worst downturn that we have seen since 2008, the crust of our planet was rattled by an increasing number of major seismic events, social decay spread like wildfire, and America continued to become even more divided as a nation.  In comparison, 2017 was rather bland and boring, and I truly believe that one day we will look back on 2018 as a major turning point.

It is amazing that 12 months has flown by already.  It seems like the years just keep getting faster, and perhaps that is because we are all getting older.

In any event, the following are 44 numbers from 2018 that are almost too crazy to believe…

#1 One study found that the average American spends 86 hours a month on a cellphone.

#2 A different study discovered that 37 percent of all Americans have eaten fast food within the last 24 hours.

#3 90 percent of the beer that Americans drink is produced by just 2 gigantic corporations.

#4 McDonalds feeds approximately 70 million people a day globally.  Pornhub gets more than 78 million visits a day.

#5 60 percent of all Americans actually believe that they have seen a ghost.

#6 The middle class continues to decline, and at this point half of all American workers make less than $30,533 a year.

#7 During the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats were able to pick up 40 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Those that were forecasting a “red tsunami” were completely and totally wrong.

#8 Kevin Spacey’s incredibly creepy YouTube video entitled “Let Me Be Frank” in which he promises that he will never be held accountable for his actions has already been viewed more than 8 million times.

#9 Since 2007, the total amount of student loan debt in America has nearly tripled.

#10 The suicide rate in the United States has risen by 33 percent since 1999.

#11 Suicide is now the second leading cause of death for Americans from age 15 to age 24.

#12 Netflix recently made a deal to renew streaming of “Friends” for another year for 100 million dollars.

#13 According to the United Nations Population Fund, 40 percent of all births in the U.S. now happen outside of marriage. But if you go back to 1970, that figure was sitting at just 10 percent.

#14 13 million households in the United States do not always have enough food to eat.  So if you have enough food to eat every day, you should consider yourself to be very blessed.

#15 According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, almost 1 out of every 4 children in rural areas is currently living in poverty.

#16 At this point, almost 52 percent of all children live in a home that receives monthly help from the federal government.

#17 Over half a million people are homeless in the United States right now.

#18 Today, a million Americans are living in their RVS, and that number is rising with each passing year.

#19 Social decay is clearly evident even in our most prosperous cities.  One recent investigation found 300 piles of human feces on the streets of downtown San Francisco.

#20 62 percent of all U.S. jobs do not pay enough to support a middle class lifestyle.

#21 In 1980, the average American worker’s debt was 1.96 times larger than his or her monthly salary. Today, that number has ballooned to 5.00.

#22 Over half the country now receives more in government transfer payments than they pay in taxes.

#23 According to one recent study, the “rate of people 65 and older filing for bankruptcy is three times what it was in 1991”.

#24 More than 100 churches in the United States are dying every single week.

#25 If you go back to 1986, just 10 percent of all young adults were “religiously unaffiliated”, but now that number has jumped all the way to 39 percent.

#26 According to one recent survey, Americans from the age of 18 to the age of 29 favor Democrats over Republicans by a 66 percent to 32 percent margin.

#27 One study found that one-third of all American teenagers haven’t read a single book in the past year.

#28 The number of married couples with children in the U.S. just reached a 56 year low.

#29 In the city of Baltimore, approximately one out of every four babies is born as an opioid addict.

#30 According to the New York Times, approximately 110 million Americans have a sexually-transmitted disease right now.

#31 It is being projected that the total amount of plastic in the oceans of the world will exceed the total weight of all fish by the year 2050.

#32 90 percent of all seabirds in the world now have plastic in their stomachs.  Back in 1960, that number was sitting at just 5 percent.

#33 In August, we learned that the number of global earthquakes over the last 30 days had risen to a level that was 50 percent above normal.

#34 In September, an all-time record high seven named storms were swirling across the globe simultaneously.

#35 In October, we witnessed the third largest single day point crash in stock market history on the exact same day that the third most powerful hurricane in U.S. history made landfall.

#36 In November, the Camp Fire destroyed 14,000 homes and businesses in northern California.  It was the most destructive wildfire in the history of the state.

#37 According to the official Twitter account of Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire, they had wind chills of between -70 and -75 degrees on Thanksgiving morning.

#38 In the aftermath of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that rattled Anchorage, the state of Alaska was shaken by more than 1,400 earthquakes.

#39 In early December, the largest earthquake in 45 years hit eastern Tennessee.

#40 During the last full week before Christmas, the Dow fell 1,655 points.  That was the worst week for the stock market since the financial crisis of 2008.

#41 The National Retail Federation was projecting that total Christmas spending would surpass $465,000,000,000 in 2018. Only 25 countries on the entire planet have a GDP that is greater than that number.

#42 In 2017, the Dow was either up or down by 1 percent or more just 8 times.  In 2018, it happened 64 times.  Volatility has returned to Wall Street in a major way, and that is a really bad sign.

#43 A recent survey of corporate financial officers discovered that 82 percent of them believe that a recession will have started by the end of 2020.

#44 During 2018, the U.S. national debt increased by nearly 1.4 trillion dollars.  We are now almost 22 trillion dollars in debt, and there is no end to our debt problems on the horizon.

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

Jim Cramer On The U.S. Economy: “Many CEOS Have Told Me About How Quickly Things Have Cooled”

A lot of people are shocked by how rapidly things are beginning to move.  The U.S. economy is slowing down at a pace that we haven’t seen since the last recession, and this is something that I have been tracking extensively.  But now the slowdown is so obvious that even some of the biggest names in the mainstream media are talking about it.  For example, just take a look at what Jim Cramer of CNBC is saying.  For a long time, he was touting how well the U.S. economy was doing, but now his tune has completely changed.  According to Cramer, a lot of corporate executives have “told me about how quickly things have cooled”, and he says that many of them are shocked because this “wasn’t supposed to occur so soon”

Company leaders across industries are telling Jim Cramer — off the record — that they’re worried about a slowdown in the U.S. economy, Cramer said Thursday on CNBC.

“So many CEOs have told me about how quickly things have cooled,” the “Mad Money” host said. “So many of them are baffled that we could find ourselves in this late-cycle dilemma that wasn’t supposed to occur so soon.”

Just like in 2008, the suddenness of the downturn is taking many of the experts by surprise.

Because our system is so highly vulnerable, when things start to go bad we can see a crisis escalate very rapidly, and the outlook for the months ahead is very troubling.

Normally Jim Cramer doesn’t talk like this, but now he is warning that we are “on the verge” of a slowdown that could potentially “cause an awful lot of havoc and cost a lot of jobs”

“There are degrees of slowdowns that, nonetheless, can cause an awful lot of havoc and cost a lot of jobs, and that’s what we’re on the verge of here,” he said. “That’s what the markets are saying. That’s what the CEOs are worried about offline.”

The situation reminded Cramer of when, on the cusp of the 2008 financial crisis, his corporate sources confided in him that the Fed “seemed to be out of touch … with what was happening” on Wall Street, he said. That led to his now-famous “They know nothing!” rant blasting the Fed for its lack of diligence.

Back in 2008 and 2009, millions of Americans lost their jobs within a matter of months.  Many of you that are reading this article know all about it, because it happened to you personally.

The same thing will happen again, and now it looks like it may happen a lot faster than most of the “experts” were projecting.

There is also another troubling piece of news that I would like to share with all of you.

On Friday, the latest NY Fed report came out, and we learned that U.S. household debt is now 837 billion dollars higher than it was during the previous peak in 2008

Total household debt, driven by a $9.1 trillion in mortgages, is now $837 billion higher than its previous peak in 2008, just as the last recession took hold and brought on massive deleveraging across the United States. Indebtedness has risen steadily for more than four years and sits more than 21 percent above a trough in 2013.

The $219 billion rise in total debt in the quarter ended September 30 was the biggest jump since 2016.

Our entire “economic recovery” has been fueled by debt, and so those numbers are not that surprising.

But the troubling part of the report is the fact that debt delinquency rates have now risen to the highest levels in 7 years

Aggregate delinquency rates worsened in the third quarter of 2018. As of September 30, 4.7% of outstanding debt was in some stage of delinquency, an uptick from 4.5% in the second quarter and the largest in 7 years. Of the $638 billion of debt that is delinquent, $415 billion is seriously delinquent (at least 90 days late or “severely derogatory”). This increase was primarily due to a large increase in the flow into delinquency for student loan balances during the third quarter of 2018. The flow into 90+ day delinquency for credit card balances has been rising for the last year and remained elevated since then compared to its recent history, while the flow into 90+ day delinquency for auto loan balances has been slowly trending upward since 2012.

In other words, Americans are getting behind on their debts to a degree that we have not seen since the U.S. economy was coming out of the last recession.

This is a very clear indicator that the U.S. economy is really slowing down, and if delinquency rates keep rising that is going to mean big trouble for U.S. financial institutions.

Of course U.S. consumers are not the only ones with a massive debt problem.  Corporate debt has more than doubled since the last financial crisis, state and local government debt levels are at record highs, and the U.S. government is now almost 22 trillion dollars in debt.

Perhaps if we had not spent six trillion dollars on wars in the Middle East since 2001, we would be in much better financial shape as a nation.

The Bubble to End All Bubbles, which some have dubbed “The Everything Bubble”, appears to be starting to burst and that is likely to mean tremendous chaos for global financial markets.

And without a doubt, this was another very tough week for Wall Street.  All of the major indexes were down significantly, and tech stocks got hit particularly hard

The S&P 500 fell 1.6 percent this week, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite both declined more than 2 percent.

Technology, the biggest sector in the S&P 500 by market cap, was the second-worst performer this week, falling 2.5 percent. The sector dropped following a 5.4 percent decline in Apple. Wall Street analysts worry iPhone sales will slow down. Tech-related shares like Amazon and Netflix were also down 7 percent and 5.7 percent, respectively. Sharp losses in Nvidia dragged down the chips sector and the overall tech sector on Friday.

For the past couple of years we have been enjoying a time of relative economic and financial stability, but most Americans used that time to party instead of to prepare.

Now that period of stability is ending, and a very uncertain future is ahead.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

11 Signs That The U.S. Economy Is Starting To Slow Down Dramatically

The pace at which things are changing is shocking the experts.  Just a few months ago, many of the experts were still talking about how the U.S. economy was “booming”, but since then a major shift has taken place.  Most of the headlines have been about the huge stock market declines that we have been witnessing, but things have not been going well for the real economy either.  Home sales are way down, auto sales are plummeting, the retail apocalypse is escalating, the middle class continues to shrink and economic optimism is rapidly evaporating.  We haven’t seen anything like this since 2008, and many believe that the economic downturn that is now upon us will ultimately be even worse than what we experienced a decade ago.  The following are 11 signs that the U.S. economy is starting to slow down dramatically…

#1 When economic activity is rising, demand for oil increases, and oil prices tend to go up.  But when economic activity is slowing down, demand for oil diminishes, and oil prices tend to go down.  That is why what is happening to the price of oil right now is so alarming

US oil prices plummeted 7% to a one-year low of $55.69 a barrel on Tuesday. It was crude’s worst day since September 2015.

The losses in the oil world have been staggering as worries deepen about excess supply. Crude is down 12 straight days, the longest losing streak since futures trading began in March 1983.

#2 One new poll has found that only 13 percent of Americans plan to buy a home in the next year.  That number has fallen for three quarters in a row, and it is now down by almost half over the last twelve months.

#3 As the market dries up, the inventory of unsold homes is absolutely soaring nationwide…

With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that inventory countywide soared 86% among single-family homes and 188% among condos in October compared to a year prior, according to newly published data by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. It was the most massive year-over-year increase on record, dating back to the Dotcom bust, a rhythm that has some asking: Is the housing industry about to go bust?

#4 California once had the hottest housing market in the entire nation, but now home prices in the state are plummeting like it is 2008 all over again.

#5 According to the latest Bank of America survey, global fund managers are the most bearish that they have been since the financial crisis of 2008…

According to the survey, 44% of the fund managers expect global growth to decelerate in the next year, the worst outlook since November 2008. What’s more, 54% are anticipating a slowdown in Chinese growth in the next year, the most bearish they’ve been in over 2 years.

#6 America’s ongoing retail apocalypse just continues to accelerate.  According to a recent Bloomberg article, things are going so poorly for some mall operators that they “handing over their keys to lenders even before leases end”

Things are getting worse for malls across America. So much worse that their owners are walking away early from struggling properties, a trend that has mortgage bond investors bracing for losses.

Mall operators, eyeing defaults caused or made more likely by shuttered stores such as Sears Holdings Corp., are handing over their keys to lenders even before leases end. That’s forcing loan-servicing companies to either take a shot at running the properties or sell them cheap. And if they’re unable to salvage the debt payments, investors in commercial mortgage-backed securities will take a hit.

#7 Despite the eruption of a major trade war, the U.S. trade deficit with the rest of the world is on pace to set a brand new all-time record in 2018.

#8 One new study discovered that 62 percent of all U.S. jobs do not currently pay enough to support a middle class lifestyle.

#9 At this point, most Americans barely have any financial cushion at all.  According to one recent survey, 58 percent of all Americans have less than $1,000 in savings.

#10 Right now, more than half of all U.S. children are living in households that receive financial assistance from the federal government.

#11 As the economy slows down, an increasing number of Americans are being forced into the streets.  More than half a million Americans are currently homeless, and that number is growing with each passing day.

Meanwhile, more troubling news continues to emerge from Wall Street on a daily basis.  One of the big stories this week has been the fact that General Electric appears to be on the verge of “collapse”.  They have been completely locked out of the commercial paper market, they are being completely overwhelmed by the giant mountain of debt that they are carrying, and their formerly “investment grade” bonds are now being traded like junk.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

Two weeks after we reported that GE had found itself locked out of the commercial paper market following downgrades that made it ineligible for most money market investors, the pain has continued, and yesterday General Electric lost just over $5bn in market capitalization. While far less than the $49bn wiped out from AAPL the same day, it was arguably the bigger headline grabber.

The shares slumped -6.88% after dropping as much as -10% at the lows after the company’s CEO, in an interview with CNBC yesterday, failed to reassure market fears about a weakening financial position. The CEO suggested that the company will now urgently sell assets to address leverage and its precarious liquidity situation whereby it will have to rely on revolvers – and the generosity of its banks – now that it is locked out of the commercial paper market.

GE is not a financial company, but could this be a candidate to become “the next Lehman Brothers”?

The upward economic downturn of the last couple of years is totally gone, and many believe that there will soon be a feverish race for the exits on Wall Street.  If you have not already positioned yourself for the coming crisis, now is the time to do so.  As we saw in 2008, markets tend to go down a whole lot faster than they go up.

And once things get really crazy on Wall Street, the real economy can fall apart at a pace that is breathtaking.  In 2008, millions of people lost their jobs within a matter of months.  This will happen again, and there are an increasing number of signs that this is going to happen much sooner than most people had anticipated.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots.  It is a premium members-only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically.  The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

The One Election Scenario That Would Be A “Disaster” For The Financial Markets

On Tuesday night all of the speculation about the midterm elections will mercifully be over, and there is one potential outcome that is being called a “disaster” for the financial markets.  Over the past couple of years, stock prices have soared to unprecedented levels, and Wall Street has seemed to greatly appreciate the pro-business environment that President Trump has attempted to cultivate.  Regulations have been rolled back, corporate taxes have been reduced significantly, and many corporate executives no longer fear that the federal government is out to get them.  But after Tuesday, everything could be different.

The most likely outcome appears to be that the Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives and the Republicans will remain in control of the Senate.  For what it is worth, Nate Silver is currently projecting that the Democrats have an 88 percent chance of winning the House and only a 19 percent chance of winning the Senate.

But of course he was also projecting a huge landslide victory for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

In any event, a divided Congress would create gridlock in Washington, and according to Wedbush Securities managing director Steve Massocca that would produce “some negative fallout” for the financial markets…

Steve Massocca, Wedbush Securities managing director said there could be some negative fallout from a split Congress, since Democrats would hold committee chairmen seats in the House. “To what extent are they able to disrupt the Trump agenda will weigh on peoples’ minds,” he said.

“Donald Trump, the agenda, is very good for the markets. Less regulation, lower taxes,” he said.

But in the end, such a scenario is not likely to move stock prices too substantially.

However, if the Democrats are able to take control of both houses of Congress on Tuesday, Massocca believes that would truly be a “disaster” for stock prices…

The least likely scenario—a Democratic sweep— is also seen as the most negative for stocks.

“Disaster,” said Massocca.

Normally by now we would have a really good idea of what is going to happen tomorrow, but at this point the polls are all over the place.

For example, the last generic poll conducted by CNN has Democrats up by 13 points, but the last generic poll conducted by Rasmussen has Republicans in the lead

One day before Americans head to cast their ballots in the crucial midterm congressional elections, two final polls conducted by CNN and Rasmussen have predicted wildly different results.

The final generic poll conducted by left-leaning CNN has put Democrats 13 points ahead of Republicans. Meanwhile, a separate poll carried out by the more right-leaning Rasmussen agency has suggested that Republicans are leading, but by a much smaller margin of one point.

For the record, Rasmussen was more accurate back in 2016, and in only about 24 hours we will find out who was more accurate this time around.

There are some that are entirely convinced that Republicans will be able to maintain control of both houses of Congress, and needless to say that would almost certainly cause a huge surge on Wall Street.  In fact, one Nevada lawyer is so sure that Republicans will maintain control of the House of Representatives that he just flew to London and bet $130,000 of his own money on that outcome…

A big political gambler I met in Las Vegas in 2016 is in London betting that the Republican Party will keep control of the U.S. Congress. Robert Barnes is essentially wagering that U.S. pollsters haven’t fixed any of the problems that led them astray during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Barnes, a trial lawyer, lives in Las Vegas, frequenting the city’s sportsbooks, but he has to travel to the British Isles to wager on U.S. politics since it’s not allowed in the U.S. On this side of the Atlantic, the bookies know him as a high roller; the political betting team at Ladbrokes even tweeted his photo to mark his arrival and his 100,000 pound ($130,000) bet on the Republicans’ House majority. Given that the entire U.S. primaries betting market is in the single millions in the U.K. and Ireland, that’s quite momentous.

$130,000 is an enormous amount of money, and so I hope that he knows what he is doing.

On the other side, Nancy Pelosi is so confident about the outcome that she has already declared victory on national television.

But of course many other leading Democrats are extremely nervous right now.  They remember the election night debacle of 2016, and they are concerned that something like that might happen again.

Democratic pollster John Anzalone is describing what they are going through as “the bed-wetting phase”

Haunted by memories of 2016, liberals around the country are riven with anxiety in the campaign’s homestretch. They’re suspicious of favorable polls and making election night contingency plans in case their worst fears come true. Some report literal nightmares about a Democratic wipeout.

“We’re kind of just in the bed-wetting phase now,” said Democratic pollster John Anzalone, a Hillary Clinton campaign alumnus who spent election night 2016 in Clinton’s Manhattan war room.

If the Democrats are unable to take the House, that will probably mean that a late “red wave” has saved the day for the Republicans and it will also probably mean that they will likely increase their Senate majority by a little bit.

In that scenario, we will see a lot more than “bed-wetting” from the left.  Their hopes have been pinned on these midterm elections for nearly two years, and a crushing loss could set off a national temper tantrum of frightening proportions.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots.  It is a premium members-only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically.  The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

Stock Market Crash! The Dow Has Now Plunged 2,368 Points From The Peak Of The Market

The level of panic that we witnessed on Wall Street on Wednesday was breathtaking.  After a promising start to the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average started plunging, and at the close it was down another 608 points.  Since peaking at 26,951.81 on October 3rd, the Dow has now fallen 2,368 points, and all of the gains for 2018 have been completely wiped out.  But things are even worse when we look at the Nasdaq.  The percentage decline for the Nasdaq almost doubled the Dow’s stunning plunge on Wednesday, and it has now officially entered correction territory.  To say that it was a “bloodbath” for tech stocks on Wednesday would be a major understatement.  Several big name tech stocks were in free fall mode as panic swept through the marketplace like wildfire.  As I noted the other day, October 2018 looks a whole lot like October 2008, and many believe that the worst is yet to come.

But in the short-term we should see some sort of bounce once the current wave of panic selling is exhausted.  During every major stock market crash in our history there have been days when the stock market has absolutely soared, and this crash will not be any exception.

If we do see a bounce on either Thursday or Friday, please don’t assume that the crash is over.  Most key technical levels have already been breached, and even a small piece of bad news can send stocks plunging once again.

On Wednesday there really wasn’t anything too unusual that happened, but stocks cratered anyway.  Here is a summary of the carnage…

-The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 608 points on Wednesday.

-The Dow is now down 7.1 percent for the month of October.

-The S&P 500 has now fallen for 13 of the last 15 trading days.

-The S&P 500 is now down 8.9 percent for the month of October.

-A whopping 70 percent of all S&P 500 stocks are already in correction territory.

-A third of all S&P 500 stocks are already in bear market territory.

-It was the worst day for the Nasdaq since 2011.

-The Nasdaq is now down 11.7 percent for the month of October.

-At this point, the Nasdaq has officially entered correction territory.

-The Russell 2000 is now down about 15 percent from the peak as it hurtles toward bear market territory.

-Over in Germany, Deutsche Bank closed at yet another record low as it teeters on the brink of disaster.

-Global systemically important bank stocks have now fallen a total of 30 percent from the peak of the market.

Hopefully things will stabilize for a while, but many experts are warning that things could get much worse from here

The latest swoon, which knocked the S&P 500 down more than 3 percent Wednesday, signaled to many Wall Street pros that the decline was entering a new, more dangerous phase. There’s growing concern now that this decline is more than a garden variety pullback, or drop of 5 percent to 9.99 percent, and could morph into a drop of 10 percent of more for the broad market.

“With the big sell-off today, the market may have moved from pullback into correction territory,” says Nick Sargen, chief economist and senior investment advisor for Fort Washington Investment Advisors.

All it is going to take is one more really bad day for the Dow to push us officially into correction territory.  And once we breach that 10 percent threshold, that could set off another round of panic selling.

On Wednesday, the one piece of bad news that kind of rattled investors was the fact that new home sales plunged dramatically in September…

This is a disastrous print:

August’s 629k SAAR was revised drastically lower to 585k and September printed 553k (SAAR) massively missing expectations of 625k (SAAR) – plunging to the weakest since Dec 2016…

That is a 13.2% collapse YoY – the biggest drop since May 2011

Without a doubt, a 13 percent year over year decline is catastrophic, and this is starting to remind many people of the housing crash that we witnessed back in 2008.  Homebuilder stocks have been plummeting all month, and home prices are collapsing all over the nation.

In my previous article entitled “Why Are So Many People Talking About The Potential For A Stock Market Crash In October?”, I noted that this has been the month with the most market volatility ever since the Dow was first established.  Absent some kind of major event, the stock market usually gets kind of sleepy around Thanksgiving and does not really spring to life again until after the new year has begun.

Of course it is entirely possible that this year could be different.

We have entered a time when global events appear to be accelerating significantly.  Earlier today, bombs were mailed to major political leaders all over the United States.  In the Middle East, it looks like Israel and Hamas could go to war at any moment.  And we continue to see a rise in major seismic events – including three very large earthquakes that just hit the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

It truly does appear that the elements for a “perfect storm” are beginning to come together.  We have been enjoying a period of relative stability for so long that many Americans have allowed themselves to become lulled into a state of complacency.  That is a huge mistake, because all along we have been steamrolling toward disaster, and nothing has been done to alter our course.

Dark days are ahead my friends, and I strongly urge you to get ready.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots.  It is a premium members-only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically.  The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

Worst Job Growth In A Year – Way Below Expectations

We just got more evidence that the U.S. economy is starting to slow down.  The U.S. economy must produce somewhere around 200,000 jobs a month just to keep up with population growth, and last month we were way below that number.  In fact, the employment numbers that the government released on Friday were the worst that we have seen in an entire year.  In late 2018, the IMF is openly warning of “a second Great Depression”, and indications that another economic crisis is coming are emerging all around us.  Many had been hoping that very strong employment numbers on Friday would change that trend, but instead it was “the worst performance since last September”

Nonfarm payrolls rose just 134,000, well below Refinitiv estimates of 185,000 and the worst performance since last September, when a labor strike weighed on the numbers.

But even though the number of jobs created did not even come close to keeping up with population growth, we are told that the unemployment rate actually declined, and some media outlets are proudly touting this as some sort of “success”.

Of course other numbers actually show that the unemployment rate is rising.  The following comes from CNBC

A separate measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers and those holding jobs part-time for economic reasons — sometimes called the “real unemployment rate” — edged higher to 7.5 percent.

And according to shadowstats.com, the actual unemployment rate in the United States right now is 21.3 percent.  That is down slightly from the peak, but it is nowhere even close to where we were before the last recession.

There are many out there that desperately want to believe that the U.S. economy is “booming”, but that simply is not accurate.

If the U.S. economy really is “booming”, then why has “the largest ever homeless encampment” that Minneapolis has ever seen just gone up?…

The Associated Press (AP) has revealed a troubling story of the largest ever homeless encampment site mostly made up of Native Americans has quickly erected just south of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota.

City officials are scrambling to contain the situation as two deaths in recent weeks, concerns about disease and infection, illicit drug use and the coming winter season, have sounded the alarm of a developing public health crisis.

We also got another really bad piece of economic news on Friday.

According to official government numbers, the U.S. trade deficit increased once again in August

The US Census Bureau reported Friday that the trade deficit increased to $53.2 billion in August for both goods and services, up from $50.0 billion in July. The goods trade deficit, which draws most of Trump’s attention, also increased to $86.3 billion, a $3.8 billion increase from the month before.

The primary reason for the increase in the deficit was a collapse in exports, especially soybeans, which fell off by $1 billion, a 28% drop from the month prior. China, the largest buyer of US soybeans, imposed tariffs on the American crop and it appears the restrictions are taking a toll.

One of the primary goals of the trade war is to decrease the size of our trade deficit, and so far it is not working.

Financial markets responded very negatively to all of the bad economic news.  Stocks plunged for a third straight day on Friday, and the Nasdaq was hit particularly hard

US equity markets were pressured for a third straight day Friday, with all of the major averages sporting losses of at least 1% at their lows. Heavy selling pushed the tech-heavy Nasdaq down by as much as 2.1%, before rebounding and finishing with a loss of just more than 1%.

Overall, it was a very tough week on Wall Street.  The following is how Zero Hedge summarized the carnage…

 

  • US Stocks – worst 2-day drop since May
  • Small Caps, Nasdaq – biggest weekly drop in 7 months
  • Small Caps – biggest 5-week drop since Nov 2016
  • China (closed) ETF – biggest weekly drop in 7 months
  • Semis – biggest weekly drop in 6 months
  • FANGs – biggest weekly drop in 7 months
  • Homebuilders – worst.losing.streak.ever…
  • USD Index – best week in 2 months
  • HY Bonds – biggest weekly price drop in 8 months
  • IG Bonds – biggest weekly drop since Nov 2016
  • Treasury Yields – biggest weekly yield spike in 8 months
  • Yield Curve – biggest weekly steepening in 8 months
  • Gold – best weekly gain in 6 weeks

 

In particular, it is absolutely stunning what is happening to homebuilder stocks.  They have now fallen for 13 days in a row, and that could be another very clear indication that a housing crash is coming.

None of the problems that caused the crash of 2008 have been fixed.  It absolutely amazes me that some people think that you can “fix” our economy by tinkering with the tax code a little bit and getting rid of a few regulations.  A handful of marginal changes is not going to alter our long-term outlook one bit.

The truth is that our economic system requires extensive emergency surgery.  We need to abolish the Federal Reserve, abolish the IRS, abolish the income tax and start using currency that is not created by debt.  And that would just be for starters.  Our current economic system is fundamentally flawed, and in the long-term it is inevitably going to fail.  The best that anyone can do in the short-term is to keep inflating the bubbles so that things will hold together long enough until they can become somebody else’s problem.

Right now, the only way that we can achieve economic growth is by growing debt at a far faster pace than the overall economy is expanding.  That is a recipe for a long-term disaster, and everyone knows that we are in the process of committing national suicide, but nobody is really doing anything to stop it.

Sadly, it is probably going to take another major crisis before people start calling for real change, and that is extremely unfortunate.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots.  It is a premium-members only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically.  The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

 

The Stock Market Falls Another 724 Points! What In The World Is Happening On Wall Street?

We just witnessed the 5th largest single day stock market crash in U.S. history.  On Thursday the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 724 points, and many believe that this is just the beginning of another huge wave down for stock prices.  After this latest dramatic decline, the Dow is now down 3.1 percent so far in 2018, and overall it is down 9.99 percent from the all-time high in January.  A 10 percent decline is officially considered to be “correction” territory, and that means that we are just about there.

So why are stock prices falling so much?  Well, USA Today is blaming the potential for a trade war with China, the latest Facebook scandal and “the impact of rising interest rates on the economy”…

U.S. stocks sold off sharply Thursday, with the Dow tumbling more than 700 points amid growing fears of a trade fight between the U.S. and its trading partners after President Trump said he will impose billions of dollars in tariffs on Chinese imports.

The heavy selling on Wall Street was exacerbated by continued weakness in shares of Facebook as well as concerns about the impact of rising interest rates on the economy.

Of course the possibility of a trade war between the two largest economies on the planet is certainly the greatest concern that the markets are grappling with at the moment.  According to Ian Winer, any sign of retaliation by China “will really spook people”…

“A global trade war, whether it’s real or perceived, is what’s weighing on the market,” said Ian Winer, head of equities at Wedbush Securities. “There’s this huge uncertainty now. If China decides to get tough on agriculture or anything else, that will really spook people.”

Trump announced tariffs on about $50 billion worth of Chinese imports on Thursday afternoon. It’s not clear which products will be hit, but the action is aimed at curbing China’s troubling theft of US intellectual property.

And we can be quite sure that China will retaliate.

In fact, before the end of the day on Thursday the Chinese embassy boldly declared that China will “fight to the end”

The Chinese embassy released a statement late Thursday saying China “would fight to the end..with all necessary measures.”

What people need to understand is that China has been taking advantage of us for decades.

For example, many U.S. vehicles cost three times as much in China because of all the tariffs that China slaps on them.  But we have been allowing China to flood our shores with giant mountains of super cheap goods with no tariffs at all.

This is why we have been buying far more from China than they have been buying from us.  It has been an unfair playing field.  As a result of our massive trade deficit with China, they have been systematically getting wealthier and we have been getting poorer.

Since China joined the WTO in 2001, we have lost more than 70,000 manufacturing facilities and millions of good paying jobs.  We have to beg China to lend us back a lot of the money that we send to them, and as a result the Chinese now own more than a trillion dollars of our national debt.

So we simply cannot afford to continue to allow China to take advantage of us, but if we start standing up to them it is inevitable that they will strike back. Here are just a few of the things that they could do

1. Impose higher tariffs on all US exports to China

2. Restrict market access for US firms in China

3. Provide preferential treatment to US competitors

4. Restrict US travels by Chinese nationals

5. Sell US treasuries and buy other government bonds

But what is the alternative?

Should we just continue to allow China to walk all over us?

Hopefully we can negotiate with China without causing a horrible trade war, because without a doubt trade wars are not good for the global economy

Trade wars are bad for the global economy, as they cause prices that consumers and businesses pay for goods and services to rise. A rise in inflationary pressures could prompt the U.S. central bank to speed up its pace of interest rate hikes, which could slow economic growth. Trade skirmishes can also hurt U.S. exports and corporate earnings.

And in the short-term, any news about a potential trade war will continue to rattle the financial markets.  At this point more than half of the companies on the S&P 500 are already in “correction territory”, and dozens of companies are already down at least 20 percent from their one year highs…

The U.S. stock market is under pressure once again, with more than half the S&P 500 falling into correction territory.

More than 275 components in the broad index were down at least 10 percent from their 52-week highs as of 11:04 a.m. ET. Of those companies, 84 were in bear-market territory, or down at least 20 percent from their one-year high.

As most of you already know, my race for Congress is extremely close and voting day is on May 15th.  If you would like to send someone to Washington that understands the long-term economic and financial challenges that we are facing, I would very much encourage you to get involved.  If you would like to make a financial contribution, there are several ways that you can do that…

Donate By Credit Card Online: https://secure.anedot.com/michaelsnyderforcongress/donate

Donate By Paypal: https://donorbox.org/michael-snyder-for-congress

Donate By Check: Make your check out to “Michael Snyder For Congress” and send it to the following address…

Michael Snyder For Congress
PO Box 1136
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805

We have already seen more financial shaking in 2018 than we have during any year since the great financial crisis of 2008.

Hopefully things will settle down in the days ahead, but I wouldn’t count on it.  Our long-term economic and financial problems are really starting to catch up with us, and Donald Trump is trying to navigate our ship through some very rough waters.

As always, let us hope for the best, but let us also get prepared for the worst.

Michael Snyder is a pro-Trump candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District.  If you would like to help him win on May 15th, you can donate online, by Paypal or by sending a check made out to “Michael Snyder for Congress” to P.O. Box 1136 – Bonners Ferry, ID 83805.  To learn more, please visit MichaelSnyderForCongress.com.

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