Stocks And Bonds Are Both Sending The Exact Same Message As Wall Street Braces For A Very Uncertain Future

Slowly but surely, Wall Street is starting to understand that the good times are over.  For months, most investors were absolutely convinced that the U.S. and China would be able to work out a trade deal because the alternative would simply be too painful for both sides.  But now trade talks are completely dead, and Wall Street is starting to come to grips with the reality that we really are facing a very long trade war.  Unless there is a major miracle, this trade war with China is likely to last until the presidential election in 2020, and if Trump wins it could go a lot longer than that.  And of course this comes at a time when the U.S. economy is already slowing down dramatically.  The economic optimism of the last couple of years is being replaced by a deep sense of gloom, and we are starting to see this reflected in the behavior of the markets.

For example, on Thursday we witnessed “dramatic” moves in the bond market as investors engaged in a rush to safety…

Investors rushed into the safety of bonds Thursday and dumped stocks, as it appeared the trade war could be prolonged and more painful for the world economy than expected.

The moves in the bond market were dramatic, with the 10-year Treasury yield dropping about 8 basis points in its biggest one-day move since April 1. At the same, traders in fed funds futures bet on the Fed making two quarter-point rate cuts by the middle of next year and possibly a third in the second half of 2020.

Meanwhile, stocks continued to fall as well, although some positive remarks from President Trump caused a bump late in the day…

Wall Street is coming to grips with the idea that the US-China trade war will get worse before it gets better.

The Dow dropped 286 points, or 1.1%, on Thursday on fears about the tariff battle slowing global growth and dinging corporate profits. The index recovered somewhat toward the end of the day — at one point it was down nearly 450 points.

Unfortunately, stocks and bonds are both telling us the exact same thing.

According to the head of short U.S. rate strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, U.S. financial markets are indicating that “we’re moving toward a worst case scenario, and that could persist for quite some time”

“The market is obviously telling you that it’s quite worried about some of the incoming data, including the PMIs this morning, the ongoing trade rhetoric and the move in risk assets,” said Mark Cabana, head of short U.S. rate strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Cabana said the market now believes a full blown trade war is coming, with taxes on all of China’s products.

“The concern the market has right now is that we’re moving toward a worst case scenario, and that could persist for quite some time. If that’s the case, then the market is believing the [weak] economic data, and the Fed will likely need to respond to that by trying to offset and prevent a recession,” he said.

Of course there is still enough hope in the marketplace to keep the floor from completely falling out from underneath investors, but at this point even CNBC’s Jim Cramer is admitting that “banking on hope” is not a good strategy…

“If you buy right now on anything other than a slammed, super-growth stock down on a general market pullback, well you’re banking on hope, and hope should never be a part of the equation,” the “Mad Money” host said.

From this point forward, we should start to see things escalate pretty quickly.

Relations with China are going to continue to deteriorate, and problems between the United States and China are going to expand well beyond the economic sphere.

But for the immediate future, most of the focus will be on the economic consequences of the trade war, and most of the “experts” are starting to openly admit that those consequences are going to be quite painful.  The following comes from CNN

“You can’t have the world’s two largest economies in a long, drawn-out mutually destructive trade war and not slow the global economy,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities Corporation.

Of course Hogan is 100 percent correct.  The trade war is going to hurt all of us economically, and very disturbing numbers are rolling in on a daily basis now.  For example, we just learned that new manufacturing orders just fell for the first time since the last recession

American business activity tumbled to a three-year low in May due in large part to concerns about tariffs, according to a report released on Thursday by IHS Markit. New manufacturing orders declined for the first time since August 2009.

And as I pointed out the other day, global exports have also fallen to the lowest level that we have seen since 2009.

Once the dominoes start falling, all of our economic and financial bubbles could start bursting at the same time, and that could potentially create a crisis unlike anything that any of us have ever seen before.

My wife and I are both feeling a tremendous sense of urgency right now.  So many of the things that we have been waiting and watching for are starting to unfold.

Many believed that 2019 was going to represent a major turning point, and that appears to be exactly what is happening.

So hold on to your hats, because the remainder of this year is likely to be extremely “interesting”.

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.

Even Before The Recession Has Officially Begun, Some Large U.S. Firms Are Laying Off Thousands Of Workers

If the U.S. economy is “booming” and very bright days are ahead, then why are many large U.S. corporations laying off thousands of workers?  Layoffs are starting to come fast and furious now, and this is happening even though the coming recession has not even officially started yet.  Of course many are convinced that we are actually in a recession at this moment.  In fact, according to John Williams of shadowstats.com if the government was actually using honest numbers they would show that we have been in a recession for quite some time.  But the narrative that the mainstream media keeps feeding us is that the U.S. economy is “doing well” and that the outlook for the future is positive.  Well, if that is true then why are big companies laying off so many workers right now?

Let’s start by talking about Ford Motor Company.  On Monday, they announced that they will be laying off approximately 7,000 workers

Ford Motor said Monday that it is laying off about 7,000 managers and other salaried employees, about 10% of its white-collar workforce across the globe, as part of a restructuring plan designed to save the No. 2 automaker $600 million annually.

The cuts, some of which were previously announced by the company, will be completed by August, Ford CEO Jim Hackett said in an email to employees Monday.

If the U.S. economy was about to take off like a rocket, this move doesn’t make any sense at all.

But if we are headed into a recession, this move makes perfect sense.

Another large firm that is laying off thousands of workers is Nestle

Nestle SA’s U.S. unit will dismiss about 4,000 workers as it stops delivering frozen pizza and ice cream directly to stores and transitions to a warehouse model that’s becoming an industry standard for Big Food companies looking to trim costs.

And we also recently learned that 3M is planning to get rid of about 2,000 workers

3M plans to cut 2,000 globally as part of a restructuring due to a slower-than-expected 2019.

The maker of Post-it notes, industrial coatings and ceramics said Thursday that the move is expected to save about $225 million to $250 million a year. The St. Paul Minnesota-based company anticipates a pretax charge of about $150 million, or 20 cents per share, this year.

Did you catch that part about these layoffs being due to “a slower-than-expected 2019”?

Unfortunately, things are slow for a lot of companies out there these days.

Another company that is dumping a large number of workers is MGM Resorts

MGM Resorts International MGM, -2.09% plans to cut about 1,000 positions by the end of the current quarter amid a cost-cutting and operational overhaul that calls for fewer managers across its properties.

That figure includes some 254 positions that the company moved to eliminate last week.

In addition, Dressbarn just announced that all of their stores will be closing

Dressbarn is closing all of its stores.

The women’s retailer announced Monday “plans to commence a wind-down of its retail operations, including the eventual closure of its approximately 650 stores.”

I am not sure how many employees they have per store, but even if it is just a handful we are talking about the loss of thousands of jobs.

The U.S. economy has been slowing down for months, and now the complete breakdown of trade talks with China threatens to plunge us into a prolonged trade war.  As I noted in another article, a couple of different studies have concluded that an extended trade war could literally cost our economy millions of lost jobs.

And once the job losses start rolling, they can really get out of hand very quickly.  We saw this in 2008, and it is just a matter of time until we see it happen again.

On Sunday, a reader sent me an article about a factory closing that was happening in her neck of the woods in Pennsylvania.  One worker that was laid off said that the closure of the facility “was the final kick in the gut”

Robert and Brooks Gronlund, owners of Wood-Mode Inc., wrote a text to workers Friday, saying they “are extremely appreciative” of the employees’ contributions and commitments. The company owners then confirmed all of them were terminated, as were their benefits.

“It was the final kick in the gut,” Michele Sanders, a 22-year employee of the company, said Saturday.

The privately-owned company in Kreamer, which produced custom wood cabinets, shut its doors Monday, leaving nearly 1,000 people without jobs. The abrupt closure of the plant stunned workers and community leaders.

So now almost 1,000 people do not have a way to support themselves and their families.

We are talking about hard working people with real hopes and real dreams.

Kreamer is a very small town.  According to Wikipedia, only 773 people live within the city limits, and so obviously there are not a lot of employment opportunities in the town.

And if those workers are anything like the rest of the U.S. population, most of them were probably living paycheck to paycheck.

I keep encouraging my readers to build an emergency fund, because you never know when you will be next on the employment chopping block.  I personally know a number of people that have just lost their jobs, and it can be an absolutely devastating experience.

Unfortunately, it looks like what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning.  All of the numbers tell us that economic activity is slowing down, and so we should all get ready to potentially face a rapidly deteriorating economic environment during the second half of 2019.

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.

Wal-Mart Executive Warns: “Higher Tariffs Will Lead To Higher Prices For Customers”

Wal-Mart gets approximately one-fourth of all the merchandise that it sells from China, and Wal-Mart’s CFO is warning that “higher tariffs will lead to higher prices for customers”.  In other words, U.S. consumers will soon be feeling a lot of pain.  Over the last several decades, major retailers such as Wal-Mart have become increasingly dependent on exports from China, and U.S. consumers have loved the “low, low prices” because those rock bottom prices enabled our society to enjoy a greatly inflated standard of living.  Of course in the process we were mortgaging our own economic future, because we have lost more than 60,000 manufacturing facilities and millions of good paying jobs since China first joined the WTO in 2001.  But we didn’t care because ultra-low prices felt good, and so our economy became increasingly integrated with China’s economy.  Well, now a trade war has begun and people all over America are demanding that we get tough with China.  And without a doubt something needs to be done about China, but the process of decoupling from the Chinese economy is going to be exceedingly painful.  We should have never allowed ourselves to become so dependent on China in the first place, and now the consequences for our past foolishness are going to be very bitter indeed.

Previously, I have warned that this trade war will be particularly painful for those on the bottom of the economic food chain, and now the CFO of Wal-Mart has confirmed that higher tariffs “will lead to higher prices for customers”

Walmart has said that prices for shoppers will rise due to higher tariffs on goods from China, joining other retailers in warning consumers of cost hikes for imports.

‘Higher tariffs will lead to higher prices for customers,’ Walmart Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs said on Thursday following the company’s report on its first quarter results.

So what this means is that a hundred dollars will not go nearly as far as it once did when you are shopping at Wal-Mart.

And some of Wal-Mart’s biggest vendors are also sounding the alarm.  For example, just consider what Del Monte CEO Greg Longstreet just said

Also, Walmart’s vendors have started to raise prices, among them Del Monte Foods, which supplies fresh and packaged goods to Walmart, including mandarin oranges imported from China. Prices will go up again with tariffs rising.

‘It´s not just tariffs. Transportation costs are up, labor costs are up. It´s an inflationary environment,’ Del Monte CEO Greg Longstreet told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference. ‘A lot of that’s going to have to be passed on. The consumer is going to have to pay more for a lot of critical goods.’

Unfortunately, Longstreet is 100% correct.

The price of everything is going to go up in the months ahead, and this is particularly true when it comes to food prices.

Meanwhile, the trade war is really starting to hit hard in other parts of the economy as well.  At this point, the largest producer of farm tractors in the world is no longer “cautiously optimistic”

Deere & Co. is no longer “cautiously optimistic” as it has been for so long. The machinery giant reported lower-than-expected earnings and cut its annual guidance as its farmer customers shun major purchases amid uncertainty about demand for their products.

“Ongoing concerns about export-market access, near-term demand for commodities such as soybeans, and a delayed planting season in much of North America are causing farmers to become much more cautious about making major purchases,” Chief Executive Officer Sam Allen said in a statement Friday.

If the U.S. and China are able to come to a trade agreement soon, that would greatly help things.

But at this juncture no new talks have even been scheduled because there really isn’t anything to talk about

Scheduling for the next round of negotiations is “in flux” because it is unclear what the two sides would negotiate, two sources briefed on the status of the talks said. China has not signaled it is willing to revisit past promises on which it reneged earlier this month, despite showing up for talks in Washington last week.

Both sides have dug in on their positions this week. China propped up its currency and cut U.S. pork orders, while state media took on an increasingly nationalistic message. The Trump administration, meanwhile, put Chinese telecommunications company Huawei and its affiliates on a business blacklist and banned it from the supply chain, actions it had shelved earlier in the trade talks to smooth relations.

When President Trump decided to use the “nuclear option” on Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, that was a major turning point.

At this moment, it would be difficult to overstate how angry the Chinese are at the Trump administration.  The Global Times is a mouthpiece for the Chinese government, and they just published a scathing editorial in which they accused Trump of “a declaration of war on China in the economic and technological fields”.  The following excerpt from that editorial comes from Zero Hedge

Huawei is the symbol of China’s ability to do independent research. As a private company, it is the forerunner of China’s reform and opening-up. It has been deeply engaged in the development of global communications and become the leader of 5G technology. That Huawei will not lose to the US is significant for China’s response to the US’ strategic suppression.

The US has completely abandoned commercial principles and disregarded law. Its barbaric behavior against Huawei by resorting to administrative power can be viewed as a declaration of war on China in the economic and technological fields. It is time that the Chinese people throw away their illusions. Compromise will not lead to US goodwill.

A breakdown in relations with China is part of the long-term scenario that we have been anticipating.  But we had hoped that it would be put off for as long as possible, because what is coming next is going to be very painful.

This isn’t going to be just a trade war.

And in the long run, it isn’t going to be just an “economic war” either.

Unless somebody can pull off a miracle, things between are two nations are likely to start spiraling downhill rather quickly.  As the trade war escalates, the U.S. and China will take turns retaliating back and forth, and the entire globe is going to suffer as a result.

So let us hope for a miracle, because at this point the outlook for the months ahead is definitely quite bleak.

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.

Here Are 15 Numbers That Show How The Global Economy Is Performing, And All Of Them Are Bad

Global economic activity has already been slowing down dramatically, and the U.S. trade war with China is just going to make things worse.  In so many ways, what we are witnessing in 2019 is quite reminiscent of what we witnessed as the last recession was beginning.  Global exports are absolutely plummeting, auto sales are way down all over the globe, debt delinquencies are way up, and retailers are closing stores at a record pace.  Even if the U.S. and China were getting along, things would be rough for the global economy in the months ahead, but a full-blown trade war between the two largest economies on the entire planet has the potential to be absolutely disastrous.  We are truly in uncharted waters, and many believe that events are going to start accelerating very rapidly now.

Even though I write about this stuff on a daily basis, I have been surprised by how poor the global economic numbers have been lately.

And remember, earlier this month the global media were convinced that the U.S. and China were about to finalize a trade deal.  Now that negotiations have completely broken down, we should expect that these numbers will soon get even worse.

The following are 15 numbers that show how the global economy is currently performing…

#1 Global exports are absolutely crashing and have now fallen to the lowest level since 2009.

#2 U.S. auto dealers are dealing with a backlog of 4.2 million unsold vehicles.

#3 Auto sales in Europe have fallen for seven months in a row.

#4 Chinese auto sales fell a whopping 16.6 percent in the month of April.

#5 Overall, Chinese auto sales have now fallen for 11 months in a row.  That is a new all-time record.

#6 U.S. auto loan delinquencies have reached the highest level since the last recession.

#7 U.S. credit card delinquencies have hit the highest level in eight years.

#8 In April, U.S. manufacturing activity unexpectedly declined 0.5 percent.

#9 Thanks to the trade war, the price of soybeans just dropped to the lowest level since 2008.

#10 Party City just announced that it will be closing 45 stores.

#11 Fred’s just announced that they will be closing 104 more stores.

#12 In April, U.S. retail sales declined for the second time in three months.

#13 According to the Atlanta Fed’s latest forecast, U.S. GDP growth is expected to fall to just 1.2 percent in the second quarter of 2019.

#14 According to a new study just released by the Urban Institute, 40 percent of all Americans “sometimes struggle to afford housing, utilities, food or health care”.

#15 Overall, 59 percent of all Americans are currently living paycheck to paycheck according to a survey that was just conducted by Charles Schwab.

Leaders from both the U.S. and China are trying to act tough and say the right things, but everyone knows that this trade war is going to hurt both countries.

Economic numbers from both nations have been troubling lately, and one expert that was just interviewed by CNBC says that “it could get a lot worse”

Consumer and industrial activity in both the U.S. and China slowed in April, even before the world’s two biggest economies entered the latest phase of an escalating trade war that could take a bite out of global growth.

“The real message today is that both the economic data from the U.S. and China have disappointed. They’re like two boys in the sandbox that are spitting on each other, and it could get a lot worse,” said Marc Chandler, global market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex.

In the short-term, it would greatly help if the U.S. and China could find a way to agree to a trade deal.

Unfortunately, the events of the past 48 hours have made that a lot less likely.

As I discussed yesterday, President Trump essentially took a sledgehammer to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.  When the Commerce Department put Huawei on the “Entity List”, it essentially banned the company from buying much needed parts and components from U.S. firms.  Some have described this as “the nuclear option”, and I think that description is quite accurate.  In the end, this move is going to be absolutely devastating for Huawei.

Of course the Chinese are absolutely furious about this.  Huawei is viewed with great national pride in China, and this move is considered to be a direct insult to Chinese national honor.  Most Americans are not paying too much attention to the details of the trade war, but in China this is a really big deal and people are extremely angry.  In fact, there has apparently been a run on “Donald Trump toilet brushes” in China in recent days because the Chinese are so angry.

Following my recent article about Huawei, a number of readers complained that I was being too soft on China.  Of course that is not true at all.  Long before Donald Trump ran for president, I was writing about how China was lying, cheating, stealing our technology and robbing us blind.  I was literally begging for our politicians to stand up and do something, and I was thrilled when Trump started talking tough about China because I knew that he really understood these issues.

But I also want everyone to understand that trying to decouple from the Chinese economy would be extremely painful even in the most optimistic scenario.  Our two economies have become extremely integrated, and we have become very dependent on China in many different ways.  They buy our soybeans, they provide us with rare earth elements, and they own more than a trillion dollars of our debt.  Looking at it from the Chinese perspective, they have countless ways that they can hurt us, and the angrier we make them the more likely it will be that they will lash out at us.

When negotiating with China, you need to be tough but you also need a lot of finesse.  Taking a baseball bat and slamming it into their kneecaps is not going to work.

If we destroy our relationship with China, that is going to result in us going down a very dark path.  Yes, China is an evil empire that has no respect for human rights at all.  There is no freedom of speech in China, over the past year they have been shutting down lots of churches and burning lots of Bibles, and they have been systematically throwing members of other religious minorities into concentration camps.

So I don’t have any sympathy for the communist Chinese government at all.  I just want all of you to understand that they are a very dangerous adversary, and a protracted trade war could be truly disastrous for the entire global economy.

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.

Investors May Be Laughing At China’s “People’s War” Now, But Here Is Why They Won’t Be Laughing For Long…

Wall Street is still treating this crisis as a temporary trade dispute, but the Chinese see things completely differently.  At this point, the narrative in China is that the U.S. has deeply insulted their national honor, and every angry statement from U.S. officials is just digging the knife in a little bit deeper.  The Chinese began their retaliation to Trump’s new tariffs with some new tariffs of their own, but they won’t be stopping there.  As I stated yesterday, China literally has hundreds of different ways that they can hurt us, and the longer this crisis goes the more likely it is that they will utilize all of those weapons.

And we got a hint of what might be coming on Tuesday.  An editorial published in government-run media outlets boldly proclaimed that the conflict between the United States and China was now a “people’s war”

In a series of opinion pieces and on-air editorials, the country’s government-controlled media used strong and nationalistic language to reassure a shaky domestic audience that China’s economy can weather the higher tariffs imposed last Friday by US President Donald Trump.

One strongly worded editorial published by both the Xinhua News Agency and the People’s Daily, the Communist Party mouthpiece, said that while the US was fighting for “greed and arrogance,” China fought to defend “its legitimate rights and interests.”

“The trade war in the United States is the creation of one person and his administration who have swept along the entire population of the country. Whereas the entire country and all the people of China are being threatened. For us, this is a real ‘people’s war,'” the editorial said.

And similar sentiments were expressed on state-owned television during a prime time broadcast

During a prime time broadcast on Monday, CNN reported that the state broadcaster CCTV also aired a statement saying that China would “fight for a new world.”

“As President Xi Jinping pointed out, the Chinese economy is a sea, not a small pond,” anchor Kang Hui said on his 7 p.m. news show. “A rainstorm can destroy a small pond, but it cannot harm the sea. After numerous storms, the sea is still there.” Hui concluded echoing a popular refrain, that “China…doesn’t want to fight, but it is not afraid to fight.”

Amazingly, U.S. stocks actually went up on Tuesday following these remarks.  Apparently investors think that China’s new “people’s war” is pretty funny.

But they won’t be laughing when China starts playing hardball with us.

For example, how much pressure do you think that President Trump will feel when the Chinese suddenly announce a national boycott of U.S. goods in the middle of Trump’s re-election campaign?

As CNBC has pointed out, China has implemented such boycotts numerous times before…

At the height of the South China Sea conflict in 2016, China administered an unofficial boycott of mangoes and bananas from the Philippines. The region is still in dispute.

Years before that, China boycotted salmon from Norway during a hotly contested human rights issue, and Norway eventually relented.

Five years back, the world’s second largest economy also boycotted Japanese cars and minerals over a territorial dispute in the East China Sea.

In addition, a massive Chinese boycott of South Korean goods in 2017 turned out to be an immense blow to the South Korean economy.

What do you think that it would do to the U.S. economy and to U.S. financial markets if China suddenly did the same thing to us?

It would be absolute chaos, and Trump would feel an unbelievable amount of pressure to cave in because his re-election prospects would be diminishing with each passing day.

This is a strategic advantage that the Chinese have over Trump.  They don’t have to worry about the calendar, but Trump does.

And Trump could not hit back by declaring a national boycott of Chinese goods because he does not have that authority.  He could ask his supporters to conduct such a boycott, and undoubtedly some of them would go along, but most Americans would just continue to shop the way that they are shopping right now.

If large U.S. corporations lose all access to the second largest economy in the world, it would be a complete and utter disaster for them.  As Matt Egan has pointed out, the Chinese market has become “a critical growth engine” for some of the largest U.S. brands…

China’s booming middle class is a critical growth engine for Boeing (BA), Apple, Nike (NKE) and other American brands. China is expected to keep growing in importance as a buyer. And America’s insatiable appetite for cheap goods has created a Chinese factory juggernaut that employs millions of workers.

The world’s two largest economies are each other’s biggest trading partners. Nearly $700 billion in goods were sent between China and the United States in 2018 alone. And with $1.1 trillion of Treasuries, China is America’s largest foreign creditor.

In 2018, Apple reported total revenue of 265.6 billion dollars.

51 billion dollars of that total came from China.

Apple is extremely vulnerable, and so are dozens of other large U.S. corporations.

Out in the middle of the country, many farmers are already almost mad enough to pick up their pitchforks and march on Washington because of this trade war.

As a result of our deteriorating trade relationship, soybean exports from the U.S. to China have fallen from $14 billion in 2016 to $12 billion in 2017 to just 3.1 billion in 2018.

Desperately hoping that things would turn around, U.S. soybean farmers have stockpiled an all-time record of almost 1 billion bushels of soybeans

Since December, when U.S. and China negotiators called a truce to tariffs and began signaling that an agreement might be reached, soybean farmers had been holding out hope that sales to China would resume, said Todd Hultman, an Omaha-based grain market analyst with agriculture market data provider DTN. In the meantime, the farmers had been storing a record stockpile of nearly 1 billion bushels.

The latest news of a new round of tariffs, with no agreement in sight, spooked the financial markets and some farmers who had been tentatively optimistic.

And now that trade negotiations have completely fallen apart, the price of soybeans is falling like a rock.  In fact, we just saw it hit the lowest level in a decade.

Needless to say, the American Soybean Association is not at all pleased with the latest developments…

In a statement Monday, the American Soybean Association reacted with frustration edged with anxiety.

“The sentiment out in farm country is getting grimmer by the day,” said John Heisdorffer, a soybean farmer in Keota, Iowa, who is chairman of the ASA. “Our patience is waning, our finances are suffering and the stress from months of living with the consequences of these tariffs is mounting.”

Of course soybean farmers are far from alone.  Thousands upon thousands of farmers all over America are on the brink of financial ruin, and one J.P. Morgan analyst is describing it as a “perfect storm” for U.S. farmers…

The state of American agriculture is “rapidly deteriorating” into crisis, J.P. Morgan said Tuesday, due to three factors: declining exports, a poor crop of corn and soybeans and the trade war with China.

“Overall, this is a perfect storm for US farmers,” J.P. Morgan analyst Ann Duignan said in a note to investors.

It is funny how that term keeps popping up.  Without a doubt, a perfect storm is rapidly coming together for the entire U.S. economy, but most Americans are still in denial about what is happening.

As for this “trade dispute”, the truth is that it isn’t going to go away any time soon.

In fact, a senior official in the Trump administration just told Axios that “he can’t see the fight getting resolved before the end of the year”…

A senior administration official said the differences between the two sides are so profound that, based on his read of the situation, he can’t see the fight getting resolved before the end of the year.

The longer this trade war lasts, the more painful it will become for the U.S. economy.

And as we move toward a presidential election year, the Chinese will increasingly be the ones with the strategic leverage.

So Wall Street can laugh for now, but the Chinese are fully convinced that they will be having the last laugh in this matter.

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.

Stocks Crater – 3.5 Trillion Dollars In Global Market Cap Wiped Out – China Considers “Dumping U.S. Treasuries”

Wall Street responded to our escalating trade war with China by throwing a bit of a temper tantrum.  On Monday the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 617 points, and that was the worst day for the Dow since January 3rd.  But things were even worse for the Nasdaq.  It had its worst day since December 4th, and overall the Nasdaq is now down 6.3 percent in just the last six trading sessions.  Of course it isn’t just in the United States that stocks are declining.  Since last Monday, a total of approximately $3.5 trillion in market cap has been wiped out on global stock markets.  And since it doesn’t look like we are going to get any sort of a trade deal any time soon, this could potentially be just the beginning of our problems.

China fired a shot that was heard around the world on Monday when they announced that they would be dramatically raising tariffs on U.S. goods

China will raise tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods in retaliation for the U.S. decision to hike duties on Chinese goods, the Chinese Finance Ministry said Monday.

Beijing will increase tariffs on more than 5,000 products to as high as 25%. Duties on some other goods will increase to 20%. Those rates will rise from either 10% or 5% previously.

According to CNBC, these new tariffs are going to be particularly damaging for U.S. farmers…

The duties in large part target U.S. farmers, who largely supported Trump in 2016 but suffered from previous shots in the Trump administration’s trade war with China. The thousands of products include peanuts, sugar, wheat, chicken and turkey.

When you combine the impact of these Chinese tariffs with the unprecedented flooding that we have seen in the middle of the country, the result is that thousands upon thousands of U.S. farmers are going to be pushed into bankruptcy before the end of 2019.

But China might not stop with just increasing tariffs.  According to Global Times Editor in Chief Hu Xijin, China “may stop purchasing US agricultural products” entirely, and the Chinese are also examining “the possibility of dumping US Treasuries”…

China may stop purchasing US agricultural products and energy, reduce Boeing orders and restrict US service trade with China. Many Chinese scholars are discussing the possibility of dumping US Treasuries and how to do it specifically.

As I mentioned yesterday, China literally has hundreds of different ways that they can hurt us.

So the truth is that those that are suggesting that the U.S. will not be hurt by this trade war are just being delusional.

In an article that was posted on Monday, CNBC referred to dumping Treasuries as “China’s nuclear option”…

Consider it China’s nuclear option in the trade war with the U.S. — the ability to start dumping its massive pile of Treasury bonds that could trigger a surge in interest rates and substantially damage the American economy.

As the two sides engage in a tit-for-tat tariff exchange, the possibility that China might raise the stakes and stop being the world’s biggest consumer of U.S. debt again reared its imposing head Monday.

The longer this trade war lasts, the angrier the Chinese will become, and the more damage they will inflict upon our economy.

And without a doubt, this trade war could be more than enough to push us into a new recession.  On Monday, Michael Wilson of banking giant Morgan Stanley authored this ominous forecast

“Given other cost pressures and stubbornly low inflation, we are unconvinced that companies will generally be able to fully offset tariff costs through raising prices or through cost efficiencies elsewhere, meaning tariffs will press on margins,” Wilson wrote. “In the case of 25% tariffs on all of China’s exports to the US, we are inclined to think this has the potential to tip the US economy into recession given the cost issues companies are already dealing with.”

Before I end this article, there are two more points that I would like to make.  Firstly, the price of soybeans is absolutely tanking right now, and this is going to be absolutely catastrophic for soybean farmers

With the most recent news of the intensifying tensions between the U.S. and China, the price of soybeans has dropped below $8 a bushel for the first time since 2008, which comes as many Midwest farmers are facing rampant flooding on their land during the planting season.

At this point in the year, around 60 to 70 percent of crops should be planted, John Newton, the chief economist of the Farm Bureau, said. Most expect the USDA to soon announce that, because of flooding and other difficulties, American farmers are only 35 percent planted so far.

I put that last paragraph in bold for a reason.  It is the middle of May, and U.S. farmers have only planted about half the crops that they would normally have planted by this time of the year.

That is a national crisis, and it also means that U.S. food production is going to be way down this year.

This is a theme that I have been hammering on over and over again, and hopefully people are getting prepared for much, much higher prices at the grocery store.

Secondly, financial markets got a boost on Monday evening when President Trump indicated that the next “three or four weeks” will determine the success of trade talks with China…

Speaking at a White House event on Monday evening, U.S. President Donald Trump offered a projection about how much longer Washington and Beijing could be locked in heated trade negotiations.

“We’ll let you know in three or four weeks if it’s successful,” he said, according to NBC News.

Trump is expected to meet with the Chinese president some time in June, and the hope that they will be able to work out a deal will probably keep global financial markets from completely tanking in the next few weeks.

Of course there is still likely to be quite a bit of volatility for global stocks in the short-term, but if there is no trade agreement by the end of next month, July could potentially be an absolutely pivotal month for global financial markets.

So stay tuned, because it looks like things could soon be getting very, very interesting…

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.

Economic Doom: China Says That There Will NEVER Be A Trade Deal Until The U.S. Agrees To Their Demands

Unless someone backs down in a major way, this trade war is going to last for a very long time, and the Chinese have made it exceedingly clear that they are never going to back down on the core issues.  So that means that the only way out is for President Trump to back down, and with an election looming in 2020, his advisers are telling him that now is the time to be very tough with China.  Bernie Sanders and other top Democrats have staked out positions that are just as tough on China as Trump is being, and so if Trump backs down now he will be absolutely hammered by the other side for being weak.  But if investors become fully convinced that a protracted trade war is in our future, that could be enough to set off a new financial crisis and throw the global economy into a tailspin.  It definitely looked like we were headed for a major economic downturn anyway, and so this trade crisis could certainly be more than enough to push us over the edge.

In a very rare move, the Chinese have publicly revealed what it is going to take for a trade deal to happen.

According to Vice Premier Liu He, China has three key demands that must be met

In a wide-ranging interview with Chinese media after talks in Washington ended Friday, Vice Premier Liu He said that in order to reach an agreement the U.S. must remove all extra tariffs, set targets for Chinese purchases of goods in line with real demand, and ensure that the text of the deal is “balanced” to ensure the “dignity” of both nations.

Liu’s three conditions underscore the work still to be done if an accord is to be reached between the world’s two largest economies. President Donald Trump’s administration told China it has a month to seal a trade deal or face tariffs on all its exports to the U.S.

That first demand is definitely “a sticking point” for the Trump administration.

In fact, the Trump administration has been adamant that the removal of current tariffs will not happen until the Chinese show that they are following through on their commitments

By insisting that it wouldn’t remove any tariffs upon closing a deal, the U.S. gave Beijing little incentive to accept tough conditions. The U.S. position remained firm: no tariff removal until Beijing showed it would carry through on the commitments it made under the deal. On top of that, the U.S. wanted China to pledge not to retaliate if the U.S. were to reimpose tariffs if it found China in violation of some provisions.

In essence, the U.S. wants a trade agreement with very tough enforcement provisions, and the Chinese feel like such an agreement would be a slap in the face.

Responding to these developments, the main government-run newspaper in China struck a defiant tone

“At no time will China forfeit the country’s respect, and no one should expect China to swallow bitter fruit that harms its core interests,” the People’s Daily, a newspaper controlled by the Chinese ruling Communist Party, said in a commentary on Monday.

And an editorial in the Global Times made it quite clear that China will be willing to fight a trade war if that is what is necessary

China’s nationalist Global Times tabloid said in an editorial on Monday that the country had no reasons to fear a trade war.

“The perception that China cannot bear it is a fantasy and misjudgment,” the commentary said.

“If they weren’t being seriously provoked, the Chinese people would not favor any trade war. However, once the country is strategically coerced, nothing is unbearable for China in order to safeguard its sovereignty and dignity as well as the long-term development rights of the Chinese people.”

The Editor in Chief at the Global Times, Hu Xijin, insists that the position of the Chinese government will not change no matter how high Trump raises tariffs

China has made public 3 core concerns that must be addressed & it won’t make concessions on. From perspective of China’s politics, there is little room for compromises. They will insist. This political logic won’t be changed no matter how much additional tariffs the US will impose.

Of course Trump is not exactly being conciliatory either.  For example, check out what he just posted on his Twitter account

China is DREAMING that Sleepy Joe Biden, or any of the others, gets elected in 2020. They LOVE ripping off America!

It’s true, but that is not the sort of thing that you say if you hope to make a deal.

And earlier, Trump insisted that we “are right where we want to be with China”

We are right where we want to be with China. Remember, they broke the deal with us & tried to renegotiate. We will be taking in Tens of Billions of Dollars in Tariffs from China. Buyers of product can make it themselves in the USA (ideal), or buy it from non-Tariffed countries…

….We will then spend (match or better) the money that China may no longer be spending with our Great Patriot Farmers (Agriculture), which is a small percentage of total Tariffs received, and distribute the food to starving people in nations around the world! GREAT!

Without a doubt, previous administrations allowed the Chinese to walk all over us, and we must either stand up for ourselves or we are going to continue to get abused.

As one U.S. official put it, “sometimes you need to say ‘stop screwing me.’”

But now that a trade war has begun, the conflict could get quite dirty.

Most analysts seem to assume that tariffs will be the only weapon of choice, but what if China decides to cut off our access to rare earth elements?  The U.S. rare earth industry is greatly underdeveloped because we assumed that we could always get all that we wanted from China.

Well, if they cut us off we will be in a world of hurt.

And that is just one example.  The Chinese can literally hurt us in hundreds of different ways, and they will not hesitate to exert pressure where needed.

A trade war is going to hurt the U.S., it is going to hurt China, and it is going to hurt everyone else too.  In fact, this could be what triggers the next great economic meltdown.

Doing nothing about China was not an option, because they have been robbing us blind.  But a cataclysmic trade war is not a good option either.

In the end, getting a trade agreement with China that addressed our core concerns without throwing the entire global economic system into chaos would have been preferable.

But that didn’t happen, and now everyone should be bracing for disaster as we enter a very uncertain future.

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.

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