18 Signs That We Are Facing A Record Breaking Economic Implosion In 2020

In just six weeks, the entire global economy has completely come apart.  All over the world we are seeing numbers fall faster than we ever have before, and the outlook for the rest of the year is exceedingly bleak.  Fear of the coronavirus is going to paralyze global trade for the foreseeable future, and the lockdowns in some nations will last for many months to come.  Here in the United States, some states are attempting to make an effort to “reopen”, but in most instances that will involve “multiple stages”.  Meanwhile, tens of millions of Americans have already lost their jobs, much of the population has already run through their meager savings, and financial institutions are becoming extremely tight with their money.  Even if COVID-19 disappeared tomorrow, our momentum would still take us into an economic depression, but of course this virus isn’t going to disappear any time soon.  After 9/11 our society evolved into an anti-terror state, and COVID-19 is going to permanently alter our society as well.  So anyone that was hoping for a quick “return to normal” can forget it, because “normal” is about to be completely redefined.

The pace at which economic conditions have deteriorated in recent weeks has been absolutely breathtaking, and the numbers just keep getting worse and worse.

The following are 18 signs that we are facing a record breaking economic implosion in 2020…

#1 According to economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal, the April jobs report will show that the unemployment rate in the United States is now above 16 percent.

#2 U.S. manufacturing orders just crashed by the most ever.

#3 U.S. gasoline consumption just dropped to the lowest level ever recorded.

#4 Light vehicle sales in the U.S. just fell to the lowest level that we have seen since the early 1970s.

#5 The government program that was supposed to get small businesses through this crisis has been a tremendous failure

According to the CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey released Monday, which surveyed 2,200 small business owners across America, while the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program was instituted to give them a lifeline through the coronavirus and economic shutdown, only 13% of the 45% who applied for the PPP were approved.

#6 The “coming meat shortages” are already here.  According to the New York Post, Costco is now rationing meat and Kroger is warning customers of very serious supply problems…

Costco on Monday said it will be limiting customers to just three packages of meat per shopper, while Kroger supermarkets posted an alert on the meat section of its website warning that it may have limited inventory “due to high demand.”

Grocers have been bracing for a run on meat in mid-May as major meat processing plants, including Tyson Foods, have been forced to shut down production. But the shortages appear to have come earlier than expected as consumers worried about the meat shortage have been stocking up, experts say.

#7 Global smartphone shipments were down 11.7 percent in the first quarter compared to a year ago.  That represents the fastest drop on record.

#8 Hong Kong just recorded the worst economic contraction in the city’s entire history.

#9 U.S. consumer spending was down 7.6 percent during the first quarter of 2020.

#10 American Airlines posted a loss of 2.2 billion dollars during the first quarter of 2020.

#11 It looks like retail giants Neiman Marcus, J. Crew and JC Penney are all headed for bankruptcy.

#12 Fox Business is reporting that Hertz is preparing to file for bankruptcy due to plunging car rental ridership.

#13 Gold’s Gym field for bankruptcy on Monday.

#14 Edmunds is projecting that auto sales in the United States this month will be down by more than half compared to April 2019.

#15 In Mexico, manufacturing activity is falling at the fastest pace ever recorded.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

While few have lofty expectations for economic performance with the global economy still largely shutdown, what is happening in Mexico is simply unprecedented. Here are some striking observations detailing the unprecedented economic collapse of the southern US neighbor, courtesy of Goldman.

Business confidence declined sharply in April (the seventh consecutive monthly decline) with the index now sitting deep within pessimist territory. The Manufacturing and Services PMIs also fell sharply in April, and are now at the lowest levels on record.

#16 More than 30 million Americans have already lost their jobs, and economists are projecting that millions more will lose their jobs in the weeks ahead.

#17 In March, U.S. home sales declined by double digit percentages in every region of the country.

#18 White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett is warning that U.S. GDP could fall by up to 30 percent during the second quarter of 2020.

For investors, the good news is that stock prices have bounced back quite a bit after the initial crash, and many market optimists are hoping that this Fed-fueled rally will keep on rolling.

But others are warning that this is a trap for bullish investors, and Kevin Smith is openly telling everyone that this could be the “last chance to sell” before another huge move downward…

The stock market may be flashing some ridiculously bullish signals, but hedge fund bear Kevin Smith is sticking by his prediction that the Dow and S&P 500 are on the verge of a Great Depression-level crash.

In fact, the Crescat Capital founder warns, this is your “last chance to sell” before the impending collapse.

We shall see what happens, but for the moment the financial markets are doing their best to try to defy economic reality.

Unfortunately, economic reality is hitting most Americans like a ton of bricks right now.  We are in the middle of the greatest spike in unemployment that the United States has ever seen by a very wide margin, and most of the jobs that have been lost are never coming back.

And as bad as things are already, the truth is that this is just the beginning.

A whole lot more pain is on the way, and it is going to shake our nation to the core.

Our economic and financial bubbles lasted far longer than they should have, but now fear of COVID-19 has burst them all, and it isn’t going to be possible to reinflate them this time around.

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

About One-Fifth Of All The Jobs In The U.S. Are Already Gone, And This Economic Depression Is Just 6 Weeks Old

In all of U.S. history we have never seen anything like this.  I have been sitting at my desk for quite a while searching for the proper words to convey the gravity of what we are facing, and to be honest it has been quite a struggle.  On Thursday, we learned that another 3.8 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment benefits last week.  That was much higher than many experts were anticipating, because by now the initial surge of unemployment caused by the coronavirus lockdowns should have started to fade quite a bit.  But instead, the job loss tsunami continues to roll on, and at this point a total of 30.3 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the past six weeks.  The following comes from ABC News

Roughly 30.3 million people have now filed for jobless aid in the six weeks since the coronavirus outbreak began forcing millions of employers to close their doors and slash their workforces. That is more people than live in the New York and Chicago metropolitan areas combined, and it’s by far the worst string of layoffs on record.

According to numbers that come straight from the Federal Reserve, more than 152 million Americans were working in February, and that was an all-time high.

So losing 30.3 million jobs in six weeks means that nearly one-fifth of all jobs in the United States have officially vanished in just a month and a half.

And actually things are even worse than that, because millions of Americans still have not been able to successfully file claims because state unemployment websites have been so overloaded.  Just check out these truly alarming numbers from the Economic Policy Institute

The Economic Policy Institute found that for every 10 people who said they successfully filed a jobless claim in the previous four weeks, three to four more attempted to apply but couldn’t get through the system to file a claim.

Meanwhile, another two people didn’t even bother to try because it seemed too hard.

State unemployment websites were never designed to handle this sort of an onslaught.  For some unemployed Americans, attempting to get the benefits that they have been promised can be an exceedingly frustrating experience

Marci Oberst sat down at her computer Tuesday and embarked on what’s become a daily ritual – trying to log onto the Maryland Department of Labor’s website so she can extend her unemployment insurance.

At 9:30 AM, she was number 88,000 in line, according to the state’s labor website.

Number 88,000 in line?

How is that even possible?

Sadly, this is what an economic collapse looks like, and the months ahead are going to be exceedingly painful.

Needless to say, economic activity has come to a virtual standstill during these lockdowns, and this is really starting to show up in the numbers.  For example, Edmunds is projecting that U.S. auto sales will be down by more than half compared to last April…

The car shopping experts at Edmunds say that April will be a record down month for the auto industry due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, forecasting that 633,260 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 7.7 million. This reflects a 52.5% decrease in sales from April 2019, and a 36.6% decrease from March 2020. Edmunds analysts note that this is the lowest-volume sales month dating back to at least 1990; the second worst month for sales in the past 30 years was January of 2009, when 655,000 vehicles were sold.

And major retailers are failing so rapidly now that it is hard to keep up with all the carnage.

The latest major victim to make headlines is J. Crew

Clothing apparel company J. Crew is preparing for a bankruptcy filing that could come as soon as this weekend, people familiar with the matter tell CNBC.

Privately held J. Crew is working to secure $400 million in financing to fund operations in bankruptcy, said the people, who requested anonymity because the information is confidential. They cautioned that timing could still slip, and plans are not yet finalized.

COVID-19 has created an environment of great fear, and as I have been warning for a very long time, financial institutions tighten the flow of credit in such an environment.

We saw this happen during the last financial crisis, and it is starting to happen again now.

All over America we are seeing lending conditions being greatly tightened, and Wall Fargo just announced that they will no longer be taking applications for HELOCs at all

Wells Fargo, one of the largest home lenders in the U.S., is stepping away from the market for home equity lines of credit because of uncertainty tied to the coronavirus pandemic.

The bank informed its mortgage personnel of the news Thursday in a conference call, according to a source, and the move was confirmed by company spokesman Tom Goyda.

I was absolutely floored when I first read that.

Our entire system depends on easy credit, and these changing conditions are going to create quite a bit of chaos for the foreseeable future.  Americans are going to find that it is much, much more difficult to be approved for home loans, auto loans and credit cards, and that is going to greatly depress economic activity.

Fear is also deeply affecting U.S. consumers, and at this point they are hoarding cash at a pace that we haven’t seen since the 1980s

Americans are so nervous about the state of the economy that they are stashing cash in the bank at a rate not seen since the first year of Ronald Reagan’s presidency.

The United States government’s Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday morning that the savings rate surged to 13.1% in March — up from 8% in February.

But of course there are tens of millions of Americans that have already run through their savings and can’t hoard cash because they don’t have any left.

According to one brand new survey, many of those Americans now find themselves unable “to pay the rent, mortgage or utility bills”…

The coronavirus’ seismic hit on the U.S. economy is rattling people’s finances. Roughly 41% of working-age adults say their families have experienced a job loss, a decrease in work hours or other employment-related declines in income in recent weeks, according to a new analysis by the Urban Institute.

Underscoring the jump in financial distress around the country: More than 4 in 10 of Americans whose work was affected by the pandemic said they weren’t able to pay the rent, mortgage or utility bills; skipped medical care; or were at risk of going hungry.

Fear of COVID-19 turned out to be the “black swan event” that burst our debt-fueled economic bubble, but this economic depression would not end even if the coronavirus pandemic suddenly disappeared tomorrow.

Now that the economic dominoes are tumbling, all of the economic momentum is taking us in just one direction, and nobody is going to be able to reverse this process now that it has started.

Next week, a couple more million unemployed Americans will probably be added to our rapidly growing total, and it is just a matter of time before “great civil unrest” starts breaking out.

Our debt-fueled economy and our Ponzi scheme financial system were never going to be sustainable in the long run, and many have been warning for years that we would eventually be facing this sort of a scenario.

Now it is here, and I wish that I could tell you that everything is going to be okay and that our leaders are going to be able to put the pieces of our shattered economy back together, but I can’t.

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

The Economic Numbers That Are Coming Are “Going To Be The Worst In The Post-World War II Era”

We just witnessed the largest quarterly GDP decline since the last financial crisis, and experts are warning that the figure for the second quarter will be far, far worse.  In fact, as you will see below, one expert is telling us to brace ourselves for the worst economic numbers “in the post-World War II era”.  On an annualized basis, U.S. GDP fell by 4.8 percent during the first quarter, and that was a bit worse than most economists were projecting.  And economists were also surprised that consumer spending was down 7.6 percent and business investment was down 8.6 percent during January, February and March.  Under normal circumstances, those would be absolutely horrible numbers, but these are not normal circumstances.  Yes, January and February were relatively normal, but the coronavirus shutdowns began in March and that is why these numbers are so dismal.

Unfortunately, it looks like the economic numbers for the second quarter are going to be much more depressing.  One economist that was interviewed by the New York Times believes that they will actually be the worst that our nation has seen since the end of the Second World War…

“They’re going to be the worst in our lifetime,” Dan North, chief economist for the credit insurance company Euler Hermes North America, said of the second-quarter figures. “They’re going to be the worst in the post-World War II era.”

And at this point even the Trump administration is publicly admitting that the economic numbers are going to start getting really, really bad.  On Monday, Kevin Hassett actually told CNBC that U.S. GDP could fall by up to 30 percent on an annualized basis during the second quarter…

On Monday morning, the White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett warned the second quarter could reflect a 20 to 30 percent decline – something that has not been seen since the 1930s Great Depression.

‘You’re looking at something like minus 20 percent to minus 30 percent in the second quarter. It’s a very grave shock and it’s something we need to take seriously,’ he told CNBC.

But we don’t have to wait until three months from now for numbers that are truly horrific.

On Wednesday, we learned that U.S. home sales in March were down by double digits in every region on the country

Signed contracts to purchase existing homes, referred to as pending home sales, fell 20.8% compared with February and were 16.3% lower annually, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Regionally, pending sales fell 14.5% in the Northeast for the month and were 11% lower than a year ago. In the Midwest, sales decreased 22% monthly and 12.4% annually. In the South sales dropped 19.5% for the week and 17.8% annually, and in the West they fell 26.8% weekly and 21.5% compared with a year ago.

Some states are attempting to gradually “reopen” their economies, and that is good news.

But the bad news is that officials are telling us that all of the restrictions in big states such as California and New York will not be lifted until many months from now, and that is going to greatly depress economic activity for the foreseeable future.

With economic activity so low, companies all over America are laying off workers at a staggering rate.  More than 26 million Americans have lost their jobs so far, and the layoffs just keep on rolling.  For example, we just learned that Uber is planning to let thousands of employees go

Executives at Uber are discussing plans to cut around 20% of the company’s employees, as it copes with a sharp decline in its ride-hailing business due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports The Information.

Layoffs of that magnitude, which haven’t been finalized but could be announced in stages in the coming weeks, could result in more than 5,400 of Uber’s 27,000 employees losing their jobs.

Of course it isn’t just the United States that is facing an unprecedented unemployment crisis.

According to the International Labour Organization, close to half of all the workers in the world “are in immediate danger of losing their livelihoods”…

Some 1.6 billion workers in the informal economy, representing nearly half of the global labour force, are in immediate danger of losing their livelihoods due to the coronavirus pandemic, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Wednesday.

The U.N. agency’s latest report sharply raised its forecast for the devastating impact on jobs and incomes of the COVID-19 disease, which has infected more than 3.1 million people globally, killed nearly 220,000 and shut down economies.

This is one of the biggest reasons why lockdowns all over the globe need to be ended as quickly as possible.  If people are not allowed to make a living, they aren’t going to have anything to feed their families.

Even in the United States, we have already seen an explosion of need that is absolutely shocking.  All over the country, people have been lining up for miles to get whatever food that local food banks are able to give them, and we witnessed more examples of this growing phenomenon on Tuesday

Masses of cars waited in line for the drive-thru food giveaway in Pico Rivera, California, as volunteers sporting face masks, gloves and high-vis jackets helped dish out supplies.

Over in Prospect, vehicles were seen snaking through the Big Butler Fairgrounds. It comes as millions of people across America lose their jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic and households have been thrown into turmoil.

If things are this bad already, what is this nation going to look like as we get even deeper into “the perfect storm”?

In recent days I have been writing quite a bit about the coming “meat shortage” that the mainstream media has been warning about, and now we are being told that a serious shortage of boneless chicken is already upon us

Goodbye, boneless chicken.

Food retailers across North America are swapping boneless chicken legs for less popular thighs and drumsticks as a wave of shutdowns at meatpacking plants has reduced supplies of sought-after cuts.

As I discussed yesterday, President Trump has decided to order meat processing facilities that were closed down because of COVID-19 to reopen, and many are hoping that this move will put a quick end to the shortages.

But on Wednesday the mainstream media was full of stories about how meat processing workers may decide to defy President Trump and refuse to go back to work…

Meat-processing plant workers are concerned about President Donald Trump’s executive order that compels plants to remain open during the coronavirus pandemic. Meat plant employees are among America’s most vulnerable workers, and some say they expect staff will refuse to come to work.

“All I know is, this is crazy to me, because I can’t see all these people going back into work,” said Donald, who works at Tyson’s Waterloo, Iowa, facility. “I don’t think people are going to go back in there.”

If fear of COVID-19 keeps a substantial percentage of workers from returning to their jobs, that could cause the emerging meat shortages to get even worse in the weeks ahead.

Of course fear of the coronavirus is paralyzing many sectors of our economy right now, and that is not going to end any time soon.

So we should expect really dismal economic numbers for the foreseeable future, and it appears exceedingly unlikely that there will be any sort of a turnaround before the election in November.

America’s next economic depression has begun, and it is going to be really, really painful.

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

Are You Ready For The Great Depression Of The 2020s?

For those of you that were expecting just a “deep recession”, I am afraid that you are going to be very disappointed.  It took years for the U.S. economy to fully unravel in the 1930s, but now we have witnessed a similar level of economic devastation in just a matter of weeks.  More than 26 million Americans have already lost their jobs, economic activity has come to a standstill, people are lining up for miles at food banks all over the nation, and businesses are being permanently shuttered at a staggering pace.  But the good news is that some states will attempt to “reopen” their economies in the weeks ahead.  In most instances, there will be several stages before all of the restrictions are finally lifted, and that means that economic suffering will be stretched out for an extended period of time.  And of course if cases and deaths start spiking again we could see another wave of strict lockdowns all over the country, and needless to say that would greatly escalate this economic downturn.

At this moment, so many hard working people all over America are deeply hurting.

I personally know people that have lost their jobs, and you probably do too.  And because virtually nobody is hiring right now, it is going to be exceedingly difficult for newly unemployed workers to find other jobs.

Because it has an economy that is so dependent on the entertainment industry, Nevada is being hit particularly hard by this downturn.  The New York Times spoke to one Nevada resident named Valicia Anderson, and she hardly knows anyone that is still actually working

When Valicia Anderson starts to count the people she knows in Las Vegas who have lost their jobs, she runs out of fingers fast.

Her husband, the breadwinner of her family and a restaurant worker in the Rio casino. All 25 of his co-workers. Her grown son, in a temp agency. The technician who does her nails. The barber who cuts her husband’s hair. Her best friend, a waitress. The three servers and a manager at the TGI Friday’s that is her family’s favorite treat.

It has been estimated that the current unemployment rate in the state is “about 25 percent”, and that number is almost certainly going to go higher in the months ahead.

Down in Texas, they are also dealing with an oil crash at the same time that they are wrestling with this coronavirus pandemic, and this has created the worst budget crisis that the city of Houston has ever seen

On the same day that the price for U.S. crude oil fell to about $30 below zero — a mind-bending concept and the first time oil prices had ever turned negative — Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston, the self-proclaimed energy capital of the world, stood before reporters. His words were grim and muffled by the black mask covering his face.

The mayor announced that city employees would soon be furloughed, but he declined to say how many. The Houston Zoo, he said, could expect to see funding deferred under what he called “the worst budget that the city will deal with in its history.”

The high paying energy industry jobs that fueled an incredible real estate boom in Texas are now disappearing by the thousands, and it is being reported that many of those that are being laid off are learning the news “during painful Zoom sessions from home”

Thousands of energy workers, some of whom only lately moved to the region to take advantage of the recent prosperity, have been laid off. Many of them were told the bad news during painful Zoom sessions from home.

Warning letters from energy companies have been flooding the Texas Workforce Commission about layoffs and furloughs: 3,500 at Halliburton, 223 at Tenaris, 184 at Baker Hughes, 102 at Diamond Offshore Drilling, 95 at Energy Transfer.

By the way, when did Zoom become such a big thing?

It seems like so many people are using it now, and I don’t understand why it is so popular.

Perhaps my readers will help me to understand this.

Getting back to the economy, at this point even the Trump administration is admitting that the unemployment rate will soon be approaching levels that “we saw during the Great Depression”

White House senior advisor Kevin Hassett says US economy is in “grave situation” and the unemployment rate could be hitting the same numbers seen during the Great Depression due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We’re going to be looking at an unemployment rate that approaches rates that I think we saw during the Great Depression,” Hassett told ABC’ ‘The Week’ on Sunday.

Let’s put that into perspective for a moment.

During the last recession, we thought that things were really, really bad when the unemployment rate got up to about 10 percent.

But back in 1933 the unemployment rate peaked at 25 percent, and now we are being told that we should expect something similar here in 2020.

Wow.

And of course low income Americans are being hit harder than anyone else.  Just check out these numbers

Most Americans support stay-at-home restrictions to protect public health. And yet the burden of the country’s shutdown is disproportionately falling on those least prepared to handle it: About 52 percent of low-income Americans say they or someone in their household has experienced job upheaval, compared to 43 percent of the broader adult population, the Pew Research Center found. Only 23 percent of low-income Americans say they have enough emergency funds to last them three months.

Hopefully as some states attempt “reopenings” it will help to slow down this enormous tsunami of unemployment.

But as I pointed out the other day, millions of Americans are now making much more money being unemployed than they did when they were working, and so that is going to provide an incentive for millions of Americans to stay unemployed for the foreseeable future.

And even if all of the coronavirus restrictions in the entire country were lifted tomorrow, fear of the coronavirus would cause economic activity to be greatly depressed for many months to come.

As I discussed yesterday, the meat processing industry is a perfect example of this.  Meat processing facilities are being shut down all over the nation, and one expert just told NBC News that we should expect shortages of meat in our grocery stores “around May 1″…

Beef, chicken and pork could be as scarce as toilet paper soon because so many meat processing plants have been temporarily shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic, industry experts are warning.

“We’ve just completed our third week of reduced slaughter and production,” Dennis Smith, a commodity broker/livestock analyst with Archer Financial Services in Chicago, said. “My guess is that about one week out, perhaps around May 1, shortages will begin developing at retail meat counters.”

So many of the things that we have been warning about for a long time are starting to happen, but most Americans still do not grasp the seriousness of this crisis.

All of the economic dominoes are starting to fall, and even if the remainder of this pandemic goes much more smoothly than anticipated, it will not fundamentally alter our current economic trajectory.

The “Everything Bubble” lasted far longer than it should have, but now that it has burst the pain is going to be absolutely immense.

And it is those at the bottom of the economic food chain that are going to be hit the hardest.

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

They Shut Down America To Slow Down The Coronavirus, But In The Process They Killed The Economy

Will our economy ever be the same again?  At this moment, we are still in the midst of the most comprehensive nationwide shutdown in American history, and nobody knows when it will finally end.  The primary reason why governors all over the country issued “shelter-in-place” orders was because they wanted to “flatten the curve”, and this was done to keep millions of people from getting the virus all at once so that our hospitals would not be completely overwhelmed.  But these “shelter-in-place” orders are not going to completely end this pandemic.  In order to do that, a complete and total national “lockdown” would be needed, and that is not going to happen.  So the coronavirus is going to keep cycling through our population for an extended period of time until we get to the point where the vast majority of the population has built up immunity and the pandemic naturally burns itself out.  So in the end, the total number of people that will catch this virus will be about the same whether the “shelter-in-place” orders were issued or not.  But if the number of cases at any one time isn’t enough to overwhelm our medical resources, the overall death toll could potentially be less than it otherwise would have been.

In other words, these “shelter-in-place orders” are likely saving lives, but they are also killing the economy.

On April 3rd, it was announced that more than 6 million Americans had filed new claims for unemployment benefits the previous week, and I told my readers that we would probably never see a week like that ever again.

I was wrong.

This Thursday, it was announced that another 6.6 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits during the previous week…

Another 6.6 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week, according to the US Department of Labor, as American workers continue to suffer from devastating job losses, furloughs and reduced hours during the coronavirus pandemic.

It was the second largest number of initial unemployment claims in history, since the Department of Labor started tracking the data in 1967.

Prior to this year, the all-time record for a single week was just 695,000.

So what we are witnessing right now is completely nuts.

Overall, a total of approximately 16.8 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the last 3 weeks

Altogether, about 16.8 million American workers, making up about 11% of the US labor force, have filed initial claims for jobless benefits in just the prior three weeks alone. About 7.5 million workers filed for their second week of benefits or more last week.

We already have more unemployed workers than we did at any point during the last recession, and it is only going to get worse with each passing week.

Meanwhile, other economic numbers have been absolutely abysmal as well.  National demand for gasoline has declined to the lowest level since 1968, and U.S. vehicle sales have plunged to levels that are absolutely catastrophic

For the whole month of March, total new vehicle sales plunged 37.9% year-over-year, with fleet sales (rental, commercial, and government) down 27.6% and retail sales down 40.5%. In terms of daily retail sales volume, according to estimates by Cox Automotive, early March sales had been well above the sales on the same day of the week, same week last year.

But by March 13, they were below the year-ago-level and then plunged. By April 1, they were down 71% from a year ago.

I am having difficulty finding the words to describe how bad those numbers are.

If things are this horrific already, what will happen if the U.S. stays shut down for another month or two?

With millions upon millions of Americans out of work and businesses all over the nation currently shuttered, rent payments are not being made on a scale that is unlike anything we have ever seen before.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

Previously we described that over 30% of US renters didn’t pay their April apartment rent as the fallout of coronavirus-induced mass unemployment claims continues to ripple across various key sectors. Despite that some tenants will receive temporary protection from evictions “by a patchwork of federal and local laws” the reality is that as unpaid rents pile up, so will mortgage defaults as landlords struggle to satisfy their obligations – which will in turn affect fixed-income investments backed by said mortgages.

On the commercial side, Bloomberg estimates that about $81 billion in commercial rent comes due on average each month, but of course this is anything but a typical month, resulting in “The delay of a sizable portion of that will put an enormous strain on the complex systems for financing real estate and highlight how quickly the pain caused by social distancing has spread,” as Bloomberg observes.

Domino after domino is going to fall, and the economic pain is going to be off the charts.

And with each passing week, the economic forecasts by the big banks just continue to get even worse.

At this point, JPMorgan is projecting that U.S. GDP will plunge at a 40 percent annualized rate during the second quarter

JPMorgan economists issued an even more dire forecast, now foreseeing a 40% decline in the nation’s gross domestic product for the second quarter and a surge in April’s unemployment rate to 20% with 25 million jobs lost.

In an earlier forecast, they said second-quarter GDP would be down 25%.

The only period in all of U.S. history when we witnessed anything that even comes close to resembling this was during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Of course Congress has tried to help by passing several relief bills, but in many instances they aren’t working quite as anticipated.

For example, a loan program for small businesses was originally supposed to provide up to 2 million dollars in emergency help for each business, but there has been so much demand that loans are now being capped at $15,000

A federal disaster loan program offering up to $2 million in relief is now capping out at $15,000 — and is leaving some borrowers wondering if they’ll even get that.

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, an offshoot of the Small Business Administration’s emergency funds system, has faced an unprecedented number of requests amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and is having trouble keeping up and following through with promised loan amounts, The New York Times reports.

As this pandemic stretches on, it is probably inevitable that Congress will pass even more emergency measures, and needless to say the Federal Reserve is going completely bonkers when it comes to flooding the system with money.

Ultimately, what they are doing will create inflation like we have never seen before, but most Americans aren’t worrying about that right now.

What most Americans really want is to get back to work, but Dr. Anthony Fauci and other medical “experts” are warning that may not happen for some time.

The longer the economy is shut down, the deeper this economic downturn is going to become.  And we certainly don’t want it to get too much deeper, because the IMF is already warning that it looks like this economic downturn will be the worst since the Great Depression

The International Monetary Fund sees the world economy suffering its worst recession since the Great Depression this year, with emerging markets and low-income nations in Africa, Latin America and Asia at particularly high risk.

With half of the IMF’s 189 member countries seeking aid, the executive board has agreed to double access to its emergency financing to meet expected demand of about $100 billion, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a speech on Thursday.

Needless to say, I have been warning of an economic crisis of this magnitude for a very long time.

Let us hope that the “shelter-in-place” orders will be lifted as soon as possible, because that would certainly give the economy some relief.

But things will not be going back to “normal”.  COVID-19 will start spreading faster once again once the restrictions are lifted, and a large percentage of the population will remain huddled in their homes because they will be extremely afraid of catching the virus.

So economic activity will remain depressed for an extended period of time no matter what else happens, and meanwhile Congress and the Federal Reserve are absolutely flooding the system with fresh money.

That is a recipe for an inflationary disaster, and our standard of living will experience a very painful adjustment as a result.

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

These Very Alarming Numbers Show How People Are “Coping” With The Coronavirus Pandemic

It is during times of great crisis that we find out who we really are.  Now that strict “shelter-in-place” orders have been instituted all over the world, most people have a lot more free time than usual.  Of course some are using all of this extra free time for constructive purposes, but many others have decided that “self-medicating” is the best way to “cope” with this coronavirus pandemic.  When under great pressure, people tend to gravitate to whatever is most important to them, and that is why what we are witnessing during this pandemic is so alarming.  Just check out these new numbers

The virtual-sex trade has got a lift: Pornhub, the leading adult entertainment website, saw a near-12% increase in global traffic from Feb. 24 to March 17. British lingerie chain Ann Summers said sex toy sales were up 27% in the last week of March compared to the same period a year ago, with its quietest vibrator fast becoming its best seller.

Self-medicating is all the rage. U.S. states including California, Colorado, Oregon and Alaska where cannabis is legal have reported 50% sales increases from March 16 and March 22, according to Flowhub. Online booze sales in the United States rose 243% in the week ending March 21, according to market research firm Nielsen. Binge buying drove British alcohol sales up 22% in March, according to Kantar.

Of course some of the sales increases can be explained by the fact that people have been stocking up on just about everything in recent days.

At this point, most Americans have suddenly become “preppers”, and online grocery delivery services have been absolutely overwhelmed

As the crisis hit, delivery orders surged as millions of Americans stayed home. During the week of March 2, even before some cities and states imposed “stay at home” orders, Instacart, Amazon, and Walmart grocery delivery sales all jumped by at least two-thirds from the year before, according to Earnest Research. Instacart, a platform that partners with more than 25,000 stores in North America, says orders in more recent weeks have surged 150%.

As a result, customers in hard-hit New York City are waiting days to schedule deliveries that usually take just hours.

Needless to say, the law of supply and demand tells us that as demand for basic essentials goes up it is inevitable that prices will rise as well.

And we are already starting to see this.  In fact, it is being reported that the wholesale price of eggs has shot up 180 percent…

If you’re used to starting your day with coffee, orange juice, bacon, toast and some eggs, brace yourself – the price of wholesale eggs in the U.S. has skyrocketed to a shocking 180 percent from its regular price. And reports reveal that increased buying due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is to blame.

As long as fear of the coronavirus persists there will continue to be more “panic buying”, and shortages will begin to emerge.

In fact, Johnson & Johnson is publicly admitting that there is already a serious shortage of Tylenol

A spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson, the makers of Tylenol, acknowledged the shortage and said the company is working to overcome it.

“We are experiencing record high demand for Tylenol, and despite our producing and shipping product at historic highs, we are experiencing a temporary shortage in some regions in the US,” said Kim Montagnino, Global Corporate Media Relations Senior Director. “We are committed to maintaining our increased production, including running lines up to 24/7 to maximize supply.”

And this may come as a surprise to many of you, but according to USA Today we are also facing a very serious shortage of webcams as well…

Logitech, the company that dominates webcam sales, is sold out of every one it makes. Amazon and Best Buy are out of stock. And price gougers on eBay are selling used models for as high as $420, or more than twice as much as the most expensive Logitech model, the $199 Brio.

“Global demand for webcams is needed from all remote workers, students and in the health care space,” notes analyst Jeremiah Owyang, who himself was able to snag a unit in early March, before they sold out.

With so many people working from home now, demand for webcams has spiked like never before, and it is unclear when they will be widely available again.

Now that most of the country has been locked down, economic activity has come to a standstill, and many Americans are starting to become very desperate for things to return to “normal”.

But even though most Americans are staying home, this virus continues to spread.

In New York City, nearly 20 percent of the entire police force was out sick on Monday…

On Monday, April 6, 2020, 6,974 uniformed members of the NYPD were on the department’s sick report which accounts for 19.3% of the uniformed workforce.

1,935 uniformed members and 293 civilian members of the NYPD have tested positive for the coronavirus.

And on Tuesday the death toll in New York City surged to the highest level yet even though a “shelter-in-place” order has been in place for quite some time now.

That is not good at all.

What makes this even more frightening is that the number of deaths in New York is actually being substantially undercounted because the only coronavirus victims that are included in the official death toll are those that were tested before they died

Only those tested before they die are counted as COVID-19 victims, a New York City councilman said Monday, sparking fears the actual death toll could be far higher than the 3,400 already recorded.

Mark Levine tweeted: ‘Now only those few who had a test confirmation *before* dying are marked as victims of coronavirus on their death certificate. This almost certainly means we are undercounting the total number of victims of this pandemic.’

So what is the true death toll?

We don’t really know, but what we do know is that the number of people “dying at home” in New York City is now close to 10 times higher than normal

But another 200 city residents are now dying at home each day, compared to 20 to 25 such deaths before the pandemic, said Aja Worthy-Davis, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office. And an untold number of them are unconfirmed.

Overall, the number of confirmed deaths continues to rise all over the country at a very disturbing pace.

The very first confirmed death from the coronavirus in the United States was announced at the very end of February, and now just over a month later the numbers are really getting crazy

The number of Americans who have died from coronavirus has nearly doubled in the first week of April alone compared to last month’s entire death toll.

The death toll from the pandemic now stands at 11,000 with more than 368,000 confirmed infections across the United States.

Figures show the number of fatalities has increased drastically by 7,000 in the first six days of April.

Of course most people are assuming that this pandemic will eventually fade (true) and that life in America will soon return to normal (definitely not true at all).

We have entered a time when everything that can be shaken will be shaken, and our world will never be the same again.

Some will respond to adversity by becoming the best people that they can possibly become, while others will “cope” by wallowing in depression, despair and very self-destructive addictions.

You can’t control global events as they spin out of control, but you can control how you respond to them.

You were born for such a time as this, and I encourage all of you to embrace the great challenges that have now been put in front of us.

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

Worse Than 2008: We Are Being Warned That The Coronavirus Shutdown “Could Collapse The Mortgage Market”

The cascading failures that have been set into motion by this “coronavirus shutdown” are going to make the financial crisis of 2008 look like a Sunday picnic.  As you will see below, it is being estimated that unemployment in the U.S. is already higher than it was at any point during the last recession.  That means that millions of American workers no longer have paychecks coming in and won’t be able to pay their mortgages.  On top of that, the CARES Act actually requires all financial institutions to allow borrowers with government-backed mortgages to defer payments for an extended period of time.  Of course this is a recipe for disaster for mortgage lenders, and industry insiders are warning that we are literally on the verge of a “collapse” of the mortgage market.

Never before in our history have we seen a jump in unemployment like we just witnessed.  If you doubt this, just check out this incredible chart.

Millions upon millions of American workers are now facing a future with virtually no job prospects for the foreseeable future, and former Fed Chair Janet Yellen believes that the unemployment rate in the U.S. is already up to about 13 percent

Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told CNBC on Monday the economy is in the throes of an “absolutely shocking” downturn that is not reflected yet in the current data.

If it were, she said, the unemployment rate probably would be as high as 13% while the overall economic contraction would be about 30%.

If Yellen’s estimate is accurate, that means that unemployment in this country is already significantly worse than it was at any point during the last recession.

And young adults are being hit particularly hard during this downturn…

As measures to slow the pandemic decimate jobs and threaten to plunge the economy into a deep recession, young adults such as Romero are disproportionately affected. An Axios-Harris survey conducted through March 30 showed that 31 percent of respondents ages 18 to 34 had either been laid off or put on temporary leave because of the outbreak, compared with 22 percent of those 35 to 49 and 15 percent of those 50 to 64.

As I have documented repeatedly over the past several years, most Americans were living paycheck to paycheck even during “the good times”, and so now that disaster has struck there will be millions upon millions of people that will not be able to pay their mortgages.

It is being projected that up to 30 percent of all mortgages could eventually default, and when you add the fact that millions upon millions of Americans will be deferring payments thanks to the CARES Act, it all adds up to big trouble for the mortgage industry

A broad coalition of mortgage and finance industry leaders on Saturday sent a plea to federal regulators, asking for desperately needed cash to keep the mortgage system running, as requests from borrowers for the federal mortgage forbearance program are pouring in at an alarming rate.

The Cares Act mandates that all borrowers with government-backed mortgages—about 62% of all first lien mortgages according to Urban Institute—be allowed to delay at least 90 days of monthly payments and possibly up to a year’s worth.

Needless to say, many in the mortgage industry are absolutely furious with the federal government for putting them into such a precarious position, and one industry insider is warning that we could soon see the “collapse” of the mortgage market

“Throwing this out there without showing evidence of hardship was an outrageous move, outrageous,” said David Stevens, who headed the Federal Housing Administration during the subprime mortgage crisis and is a former CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association. “The administration made a huge mistake bringing moral hazard in and thrust extraordinary risk into the private sector that could collapse the mortgage market.”

Of course a lot of other industries are heading for immense pain as well.

At this point, even JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is admitting that the U.S. economy as a whole is plunging into a “bad recession”

Jamie Dimon said the U.S. economy is headed for a “bad recession” in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but this time around his company is not going to need a bailout. Instead, JPMorgan Chase is ready to lend a hand to struggling consumers and small businesses.

“At a minimum, we assume that it will include a bad recession combined with some kind of financial stress similar to the global financial crisis of 2008,” Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, said Monday in his annual letter to shareholders.

And the longer this coronavirus shutdown persists, the worse things will get for our economy.

In fact, economist Stephen Moore is actually predicting that we will be “facing a potential Great Depression scenario” if normal economic activity does not resume in a few weeks…

Sunday on New York AM 970 radio’s “The Cats Roundtable,” economist Stephen Moore weighed in on the potential impact of the coronavirus to the United States economy.

Moore warned the nation could be “facing a potential Great Depression scenario” if the United States stays on lockdown much past the beginning of May, as well as an additional amount of deaths caused by the raised unemployment rate.

The good news is that the “shelter-in-place” orders all over the globe appear to be “flattening the curve” at least to a certain extent.

The bad news is that we could see another huge explosion of cases and deaths once all of the restrictions are lifted.

And the really bad news is that what we have experienced so far is nothing compared to what is coming.

But in the short-term we should be very thankful that the numbers around the world are starting to level off a bit.

Of course that is only happening because most people are staying home, but having people stay home is absolutely killing the economy.

And if people stay home long enough, a lot of them will no longer be able to pay the mortgages on those homes.

Our leaders are being forced to make choices between saving lives and saving the economy, and those choices are only going to become more painful the longer this crisis persists.

Let us pray that they will have wisdom to make the correct choices, because the stakes are exceedingly high.

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

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