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Will You Turn Away Family, Friends And Neighbors At Your Door When America’s Day Of Disaster Arrives?

How will you handle all of the people that will show up at your door when a major crisis strikes because they haven’t been making any preparations of their own?  Earlier today somebody asked me about this on Facebook, and I thought that it was a very good question, because thousands of my readers will be faced with this precise dilemma at some point.  When America’s day of disaster arrives, it is inevitable that most of us that are prepping will have family, friends and neighbors showing up at our door asking for help.  When that happens, what will you do?

There are some people out there that are very honest about the fact that they do not plan to share what they have stored up with anyone, and that even close family members will be greeted with a shotgun if they show up unannounced.

Personally, I could never do that.  My wife and I have always had the philosophy that we need to work extra hard to prepare because there will be people that need to depend on us when times get really hard.  And turning away those that are in desperate need would go against everything that we stand for.  After all, I am even writing a book that is all about the true meaning of love, and so it would be quite hypocritical of me to turn away those that I care about when they need me the most.

And even if I wanted to be cold-hearted, my wife would never let me get away with it.  She has such a soft heart that she literally can’t bear to even see a bug die.  We often have spiders invade our place, and when she sees one she gently captures it and sets it free outside.  I tell her that they will just breed and come back in even bigger numbers, but that doesn’t seem to matter to her.  So needless to say we are going to have to find a non-violent way to deal with our spider problem.

But I certainly understand the frustrations of those that have been trying to warn family and friends about what is coming for years and they never seem to listen.

And it is true that resources are limited.  For the vast majority of us, there is only so much money and energy that we can put into prepping, and so why should those that have refused to listen to the warnings and prepare in advance be able to benefit from all of our hard work?

Unfortunately, life is not always fair.  And we also need to realize that there is a tremendous amount of deception going on out there these days.  Some of the deceptions that are currently circulating are very strong, and it can be very easy to be sucked into them.  So we need to have compassion for those that have been led into confusion.

Look, there are literally thousands of watchmen all across this country that have never wavered from warning America about what is coming even for a moment.  That is because they are standing on the truth and not on wishful thinking that is the product of overactive imaginations.

The ingredients for the “perfect storm” that so many watchmen have been warning about for ages are starting to come together right before our eyes.  We are closer to World War III than we have been in decades, our politicians are openly admitting that our relations with Russia are at “an all-time low”, the federal government is 20 trillion dollars in debt, our nation is on the verge of being torn apart by strife and civil unrest, the financial markets are primed for a crash of epic proportions, there are mass die-offs of animals all over the globe, and natural disasters are happening with frightening regularity as the crust of our planet rattles and shakes.

But we are somehow supposed to believe that “everything is going to be wonderful” even though we continue to kill babies on an industrial scale, just about every form of sexual immorality that you can possibly imagine is exploding all around us, our “entertainment” industry is an open sewer, and we lead the world in both legal and illegal drug use.

I’ve got dozens more facts that I could quote regarding our moral decay, but I think that you get the point.

If we actually changed our behavior, I could understand why it would make sense for America to be blessed.

But we haven’t changed our behavior, and there are no signs that this is going to happen any time soon.

As humans, we have the freedom to choose, but those choices inevitably have consequences.

The same thing is true for our nation as a whole.  We have made a whole bunch of exceedingly bad choices, and those choices are going to result in some incredibly painful consequences.

So you can do whatever you want, but my wife and I are going to continue to get prepared.  America is headed for a date with disaster, and those that are suggesting otherwise are not being honest with you.

After Dramatic Obamacare Failure, Trump Now Faces A Looming Government Shutdown He May Not Be Able To Prevent

If you thought that the Obamacare debacle was bad, just wait until you see what happens next.  The continuing resolution that is currently funding the government expires on April 28th, and if a new funding agreement is not reached prior to that time, there will be a government shutdown like we witnessed in 2013 starting on April 29th.  Unfortunately, as I will explain below, if a government shutdown happens it may go for a lot longer than just a couple of weeks this time around.

April 28th may sound like it is quite some time away, but because the congressional calendar has so many “holes” in it, there is actually not very much time for Congress to act.

If you can believe it, there are only 12 “legislative days” between now and April 28th, and if something is not done on one of those 12 days the government will shut down on April 29th.

Needless to say, a government shutdown would greatly rattle the financial markets.  Thanks to the Obamacare disaster, the Dow has now experienced its longest losing streak in six years, and another down day for the Dow on Tuesday would make it the longest losing streak since 1978.

With the Republicans in control of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives, you would think that a government shutdown would be unlikely.

Sadly, that is not the case.  In fact, political reporter Mike Allen says that a “top Republican” told him that a government shutdown on April 29th is “more likely than not”…

A top Republican with close ties to the White House tells me that after the GOP failure on healthcare, a government shutdown — looming when a continuing resolution runs out April 28 — is “more likely than not… Wall Street is not expecting a shutdown and the markets are unprepared.”

And Chris Krueger of Cowen Washington Research Group today will warn financial clients: “Hello April 29 government shutdown.”

That’s Day 100 of the Trump presidency, by the way.

During a government shutdown, essential government services continue to operate, but everything else ceases.  Huge numbers of government employees are temporarily furloughed, government parks are closed, and some government agencies pretty much quit functioning at all.  The last time this actually happened was in 2013

The issue confronting Trump is similar to the one that President Obama and then-House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio faced in 2013: a block of conservative Republicans who are willing to vote ‘No’ instead of bowing to pressure from the White House, Wall Street, and even powerful establishment interest groups.

But unlike then, a single party holds all three major levers of power in government.

The government shut down for more than two weeks in 2013 after Tea Party members refused to backdown and tried to use the leverage of a shutdown to defund Obamcare.

So why would conservative members of Congress want to force a government shutdown in 2017?

Well, for one thing we continue to add more than a trillion dollars a year to the national debt.  During the Obama era, the U.S. national debt rose from 10.6 trillion dollars to just under 20 trillion dollars.

In a just society, the politicians that have been stealing trillions of dollars from future generations of Americans would be put in prison, but instead we have just come to accept that selling our children and our grandchildren into debt slavery is normal.

We have got to quit going into so much debt, and so someone needs to take a stand, and it is becoming clear that it won’t be President Trump.

Just a few weeks ago, Trump made his intentions crystal clear during a conversation with New York Times Magazine contributor Robert Draper

When I spoke with Trump, I ventured that, based on available evidence, it seemed as though conservatives probably shouldn’t hold their breath for the next four years expecting entitlement reform. Trump’s reply was immediate. “I think you’re right,” he said. In fact, Trump seemed much less animated by the subject of budget cuts than the subject of spending increases. “We’re also going to prime the pump,” he said. “You know what I mean by ‘prime the pump’? In order to get this” — the economy — “going, and going big league, and having the jobs coming in and the taxes that will be cut very substantially and the regulations that’ll be going, we’re going to have to prime the pump to some extent. In other words: Spend money to make a lot more money in the future. And that’ll happen.” A clearer elucidation of Keynesian liberalism could not have been delivered by Obama.

In other words, Trump wants to take government spending to an even higher level than Obama did.

And Trump is certainly correct that this would help the economy in the short-term, but it would also be extremely destructive to the bright future that our children and our grandchildren were supposed to have.

In addition to addressing our exploding national debt, conservatives in Congress are going to want to tie defunding Planned Parenthood to any agree to continue funding the government…

  • The current continuing resolution to fund the government expires on April 28.
  • The conservative House Freedom Caucus — the group Trump blamed on Twitter this morning for killing his Obamacare replacement bill — will almost certainly make defunding the women’s health group and country’s biggest abortion provider a non-negotiable condition for it to support the government funding bill.
  • That’s a big problem. There’s no way a bill that defunds Planned Parenthood gets 60 votes in the Senate.

This is the issue that could force a government shutdown to last for an extended period of time.

Today the Republicans control the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives.  If Planned Parenthood is not going to be defunded now, it never will be.

If I was a member of the Freedom Caucus, I would make defunding Planned Parenthood my line in the sand.  These butchers systematically kill millions of American babies, they auction off the body parts to the highest bidders, and the federal government gives them approximately 500 million dollars a year to keep operating.

If President Trump and Paul Ryan choose to fight the Freedom Caucus over defunding Planned Parenthood, any agreement to fund the government will not have enough Republican votes in the House.  But any bill which defunds Planned Parenthood will get filibustered by Democrats in the Senate.

There is always the possibility that President Trump could turn his back on the conservatives in Congress and try to make a deal with the Democrats, but then he would have to get that deal passed by a Republican-controlled House and a Republican-controlled Senate.

To me, it is worth forcing a government shutdown in order to defund Planned Parenthood.

If Donald Trump decides that he wants to do a deal that includes continued funding for Planned Parenthood that is not okay.

Let me repeat – that is not okay.

If Donald Trump or any other Republican member of Congress agrees to a deal that includes continued funding for Planned Parenthood, that will mean that the blood of all the children that are murdered by Planned Parenthood from that day forward will be on their hands too.

Most people don’t realize this, but this is actually one of the most critical moments in American history.

If President Trump and the Republicans defund Planned Parenthood, that will be an exceptionally good thing for our country.

But if President Trump and the Republicans choose not to do this, there will be no more excuses left to offer, and I believe that the consequences for our nation will be far more severe than most people would dare to imagine.

President Oprah? Speculation Rises That The 2020 Election Will Feature An Epic Battle Between Donald Trump And Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey_receives_2013_Presidential_Medal_of_Freedom - Public DomainWhen Donald Trump originally announced that he was going to run for president, he said that his ideal choice for a running mate was Oprah Winfrey, but now he may be actually running against her in the 2020 election.  A recent episode of The David Rubenstein Show that featured an interview with Oprah Winfrey is creating a tremendous amount of buzz that Oprah Winfrey may throw her hat into the ring during the next election cycle.  This particular episode was taped back on December 12th, but it didn’t actually get aired on Bloomberg TV until last Tuesday.  You can see the portion of the interview in which Oprah is asked about her presidential aspirations on YouTube right here, and as you can see, she definitely sounds like someone that is very seriously thinking about running…

Prior to this last election, Oprah says that she never even considered the possibility of running, but Donald Trump’s victory in November made her realize that maybe she could do it too.  The following summary of the most important moments from the interview comes from Charisma News

“I actually never thought—never considered the question, even the possibility,” she said while smiling coyly. “I just thought, ‘Oh. Oh.'”

“Because it’s clear you don’t need government experience to be elected president of the United States,” Rubenstein interjected.

“That’s what I thought,” she replied. “I thought, Oh gee, I don’t have the experience, I don’t know enough. Now I’m thinking, Oh. Oh.”

When Oprah made these statements, she had to know that they would create a firestorm.

And that is definitely what is happening.  People are going absolutely crazy on Twitter at the thought that we could have “President Oprah” in 2020, and Matt Drudge is extremely enthusiastic about a Trump vs. Oprah race

In a tweet sent Wednesday morning, the reclusive journalist who broke the Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal said such a race would be one for the ages.

“Trump vs Oprah would be the most epic race in American history. MAKE THIS HAPPEN…” Drudge tweeted to his nearly half a million followers.

And this is certainly not the first time that it has been suggested that Oprah should run for president.  Just one week after the election, political activist Michael Moore mentioned her as a potential candidate

Democrats would be better off if they ran Oprah or Tom Hanks … why don’t we run beloved people?” Moore told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”

“We have so many of them,” he said. “The Republicans do this — they run Reagan and the Terminator and other people.” It was a reference to former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as former President Ronald Reagan.

“Why don’t we run somebody that the American people love and are really drawn to, and that are smart and have good politics and all that?” Moore said.

Needless to say, Oprah would make a horrible president.  Her political views are ultra-liberal, and she has no practical political experience whatsoever.

However, if she did run she would definitely be the front-runner for the Democratic nomination.  At the moment, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren are considered to be the most likely opponents for Trump, and Oprah would almost certainly trounce either of them.

But will she actually do it?  Oprah’s friend Gayle King is saying that it is not going to happen

“I was in the audience that day and it was clearly a joke when she was playing with David because they have such a great rapport,” said Winfrey’s close pal and CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King early Thursday of a recent interview Oprah gave suggesting she was finally thinking of running for President. “But I also heard on the Oprah Winfrey show over the years you always have the right to change your mind but I would bet my first, second born and any unborn children to come, that ain’t never happening,” King emphatically added.

And hopefully it will not happen.

But the ironic thing is that the very first person that Donald Trump suggested as a potential running mate when he announced his candidacy in 2015 was Oprah Winfrey.  The following comes from the New York Post

Real estate mogul-turned-celebrity TV star Donald Trump already had an “Aha!” moment about his 2016 running mate.

After declaring his run for the White House Tuesday, Trump appeared on ABC and said Oprah Winfrey would complete his presidential dream ticket.

“I think Oprah would be great. I’d love to have Oprah,” Trump said. “I think we’d win easily, actually.”

I’ll bet you don’t remember that, do you?

And in his new book entitled “The Making of the President 2016“, Roger Stone reminds everyone that Trump actually floated the idea of Oprah as his running mate all the way back in 1999 during an interview with Larry King.  The following is an excerpt from Roger Stone’s new book that was posted on Infowars

Early in the interview, Trump dropped Bombshell Number One: “So I am going to form a presidential exploratory committee, I might as well announce that on your show, everyone else does, but I’ll be forming that and effective, I believe, tomorrow,” Trump told the crusty interviewer. “And we’ll see. I mean, we’re going to take a very good, strong look at it.”

And just minutes later, Larry went for it and asked him if he had a vice presidential candidate in mind. Trump hesitated briefly as if to ponder his answer and then stunned everyone including King – and no doubt Oprah herself. “Oprah. I love Oprah,” Trump said. “Oprah would always be my first choice. She’s a terrific woman. She is somebody that is very special. If she’d do it, she’d be fantastic. I mean, she’s popular, she’s brilliant, she’s a wonderful woman.” The following day the newspapers and TV news were filled with talk of Trump and Oprah.

I honestly don’t know what Trump was thinking, because Oprah Winfrey definitely does not belong in politics.

Even if Oprah does not run for president, Trump’s victory has a lot of other celebrities thinking that they could do the same thing that he did.  Other big names that have been floated as potential candidates in 2020 include Mark Zuckerberg, Kanye West, Mark Cuban and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

As you can see, we have entered a strange new era in American politics, and there is no telling what craziness we may see during the next election cycle.

This Is One Of The Big Reasons Why So Many Families Are Feeling Extreme Financial Stress

Inflation Blackboard - Public DomainWhen the cost of living rises faster than paychecks do year after year, eventually that becomes a very big problem.  For quite some time I have been writing about the shrinking middle class, and one of the biggest culprits is inflation.  Every month, tens of millions of American families struggle to pay the bills, and most of them don’t even understand the economic forces that are putting so much pressure on them.  The United States never had a persistent, ongoing problem with inflation until the debt-based Federal Reserve system was introduced in 1913.  Since that time, we have had non-stop inflation and the U.S. dollar has lost more than 98 percent of its value.  If our paychecks were increasing faster than inflation this wouldn’t be a problem, but in recent years this has definitely not been the case for most Americans.

And unfortunately inflation is starting to accelerate once again.  In fact, it is being reported that inflation rose at the fastest pace in four years in January…

The prices Americans pay for goods and services surged in January by the largest amount in four years, mostly reflecting a rebound in the cost of gasoline that’s taking a bigger chunk out of household incomes.

The consumer price index, or cost of living, rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.6% in January, the government said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, our incomes have been incredibly stagnant.   In fact, we just learned that median household income did not go up at all during 2016.

This is one of the reasons why we consistently see families fall out of the middle class month after month.  Even if you keep the same job year after year, your standard of living is going to steadily go down unless your pay goes up.

The things that we all spend money on month after month just keep going up in price.  I am talking about food, housing, medical care and other essentials.  If there is one thing that we can always count on, it is the fact that things are going to cost more tomorrow than they do today.

Let’s talk about food for a moment.  Whenever I go to the grocery store, I am almost always shocked.  I still remember a time when I could get everything that I needed for an entire week for about 20 bucks, but these days you can’t even fill up one cart for 100 dollars.

That is because food prices have been rising aggressively for many years.  The following is a list that was posted on The Economic Policy Journal that shows how much some food and grocery items have increased over the past decade…

1. Tobacco and smoking products

-Price increase: 90.4%

2. Margarine

-Price increase: 63.6%

3. Uncooked ground beef

-Price increase: 46.3%

4. Shelf stable fish and seafood
-Price increase: 45.0%

5. Prescription drugs
-Price increase: 43.5%

6. Rice, pasta, cornmeal
-Price increase: 40.3%

7. Bread
-Price increase: 38.9%

8. Snacks
-Price increase: 38.4%

9. Miscellaneous poultry including turkey
-Price increase: 37.0%

10. Apples
-Price increase: 36.6%

11. Frankfurters
-Price increase: 35.8%

12. Canned vegetables
-Price increase: 35.3%

13. Salt and other seasonings and spices
-Price increase: 34.0%

14. Miscellaneous fats and oils including peanut butter
-Price increase: 34.0%

15. Miscellaneous processed fruits and vegetables including dried
-Price increase: 33.7%

16. Bacon and related products
-Price increase: 33.2%

17. Fresh whole chicken
-Price increase: 32.5%

18. Cakes, cupcakes, and cookies
-Price increase: 32.1%

19. Flour and prepared flour mixes
-Price increase: 32.1%

20. Canned fruits
-Price increase: 32.0%

And thanks to out of control government spending and reckless manipulation by the Federal Reserve, we have come to a time when inflation is starting to accelerate once again.

According to John Williams of shadowstats.com, if honest numbers were being used the government would be telling us that inflation is rising at a 6 percent annual rate for the first time since 2011.

At the same time, evidence is mounting that U.S. consumers are simply tapped out.  Previously, I have explained that interest rates are going up, consumer bankruptcies are rising, and lending standards for consumers are really tightening up.

All of those are things we would expect to see if a new recession was starting.

And today we learned that the number of Americans refinancing their homes has fallen to the lowest level that we have seen since 2009

A slowdown in refinancing pulled down the total mortgage application volume last week as changes to certain government-loan programs made refinances less lucrative. Refinance volume now stands at its lowest level since June 2009.

If you will remember, we also saw a slowdown in mortgage refinancing just before the great financial crisis of 2008.

For mortgage applications overall, they are now down almost 31 percent from where they were a year ago…

Total mortgage application volume fell 3.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis last week from the previous week, and are nearly 31 percent lower than the same week a year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

A 31 percent decline in a single year is catastrophic.

If this continues, it won’t be too long before everyone is talking about a new housing crash.

And we also learned this week that FHA mortgage delinquencies increased during the fourth quarter “for the first time since 2006”

Federal Housing Administration mortgage delinquencies jumped in the fourth quarter for the first time since 2006, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday. The FHA insures low down-payment loans and is a favorite among first-time homebuyers.

The seasonally adjusted FHA delinquency rate increased to 9.02 percent in the fourth quarter from 8.3 percent in the third quarter, MBA data show.

So many things are happening right now that we have not seen happen in many years, but most people are choosing not to see the red flags that are popping up all around us.

None of our long-term economic problems have been fixed.  And even though Donald Trump won the election, the truth is that our economy is in the worst shape it has been since the last financial crisis.  I continue to encourage all of my readers to get prepared for very hard times, but just like back in 2007 we are experiencing a wave of tremendous optimism right now and most people think that the party can somehow continue indefinitely.

Whether Donald Trump won the election or not, the truth is that a major economic downturn was going to come anyway.  You see, Donald Trump is not some magician that can just wave a wand and somehow make the consequences of decades of very foolish decisions instantly disappear.

We have been on the biggest debt binge in human history, and there is going to be a great price to pay when this immense debt bubble finally bursts.

Unfortunately, most people are not going to acknowledge the truth until it is too late.

Why Donald Trump Needs The Next Recession To Start As Quickly As Possible

Donald Trump Accepts The Nomination - Public DomainA new recession is coming, and Donald Trump needs it to begin sooner rather than later.  As I explained last week, most American voters tend to care about their pocketbooks more than anything else.  If the next recession were to officially start during the first quarter of 2017, it would be very easy for Trump to blame it on Obama, and then he could portray himself as the one that pulled the U.S. economy out of recession in time for the 2020 election.  But if the next recession does not begin until 2018 or 2019, everybody is going to blame it on Trump even if it is not his fault.  In politics, who gets the blame for whatever goes wrong is often the most important thing, and if Trump wants to avoid blame for the next recession he needs for it to start as quickly as possible.

For most of 2016, the mainstream media was warning that a new recession was probably coming no matter who won the election.  For one example, just check out this Bloomberg article.

And for once, the mainstream media was precisely correct.  Barack Obama left us with an enormous economic mess, and it would take an economic miracle of unprecedented proportions to keep the U.S. economy from going into a recession at this point.

During the Obama years, the U.S. went on a debt binge unlike anything we have ever seen before.

The U.S. national debt almost doubled.  During Obama’s time in the White House, it increased from 10.6 trillion dollars to nearly 20 trillion dollars, and that means that over 9 trillion dollars of future consumption was brought into the present.  That incredible boost to spending would have shot U.S. economic growth into the stratosphere during normal times, but because we were struggling so much all we got out of it was eight years of economic stagnation.

In fact, Barack Obama was the only president in modern American history never to have a single year when the U.S. economy grew by at least 3 percent, and he had two terms to try to accomplish that goal.

And remember, Obama also had the benefit of doctored economic numbers.  John Williams of shadowstats.com tracks what the figures would look like if honest numbers were being used, and according to his calculations the U.S. economy has actually continually been in a recession since 2005.

In addition to government debt, other forms of debt are way out of control as well.  The total amount of consumer debt in the United States has now hit 12 trillion dollars, and corporate debt has approximately doubled since the last recession.

When levels of debt grow much, much faster than the overall economy, it is inevitable that a crash will come.

If you look back throughout history, I don’t know if you can find a single example where debt has grown this quickly and a crash has not happened afterwards.

By some miracle if we are able to avoid a major economic downturn this time, we will literally be defying the laws of economics.

The employment crisis also threatens to get a lot worse in the months ahead.  The mainstream media keeps trying to tell us that we are almost at “full employment”, but the truth is that more than 100 million Americans do not have a job right now.

Yes, there are a few areas of the country where jobs appear to be plentiful, but there are many more areas where they are not.

For example, you will never, ever be able to convince 23-year-old Tyler Moore that the job market is good

Tyler Moore’s late-December drive to Louisville, Ky., was one of desperation. He was headed four hours west on Interstate 64 to interview for a job. Even if he landed the position, filling his gas tank had left him with $8 to his name. He would have to sleep at a friend’s place until he could earn enough to pay rent.

The 23-year-old had run out of options. He’d applied for dozens of jobs within an hour and a half of his hometown of Lovely, once a coal-mining stronghold. Instead of opportunities, he had found waiting lists.

“Minimum-wage jobs, fast-food restaurants, Wal-Mart, anything like that, a lot of them has already been took,” he says in an Appalachian drawl, explaining that the backlog just to interview was as long as a year. “There are no jobs.”

If the U.S. economy is in “good shape”, then why can’t people like Moore find a job?

Yes, there is a tremendous amount of optimism in the financial markets right now and the stock market has been soaring.

But the exact same things were true in 2007, and we remember how that turned out.

There is no possible way that the S&P 500 can continue to generate an 18% annual return without corresponding economic growth.  The following comes from David Stockman

Altogether the S&P 500 now stands at 3.4X its post-crisis low, having generated an 18% annual return (including dividends) for nearly eight years running.

To be sure, in an honest free market that very fact would be a flashing red light, warning that exceptionally high gains over an extended period necessitate a regression to the mean in the period ahead.

A lot of people get caught up in trying to predict exactly when the stock market will crash, but what everybody should be able to agree on is that it will crash.

There is no possible way that stocks can stay at such ridiculously overpriced levels indefinitely.

Throughout history, stocks have always moved back in the direction of the long-term averages, and this time will be no exception.

And just like last time, the beginning of a new recession will likely be accompanied by a major financial correction.

In recent articles, I have been highlighting some of the reasons why it appears that a new recession is imminent…

-Federal tax receipts have gone negative for the first time since the last recession.

-Job growth at S&P 500 companies has gone negative for the very first time since the last recession.

-The U.S. trade deficit in 2016 was the largest in four years.

-Lending standards have tightened up for medium and large sized firms for six quarters in a row.

-Lending standard are also tightening up for consumers.

-We just saw the largest percentage decline in average weekly hours since the recession of 2008.

-Gross private domestic investment is down.

-Consumer bankruptcies are rising.

-Commercial bankruptcies are rising.

All of this is not necessarily bad news for Trump.

A horrible recession started during the early years of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, but the U.S. economy turned around later in his first term and that momentum helped propel him to an easy victory in 1984.

Similarly, Trump could actually take advantage of the coming economic downturn as long as he is able to pin all of the blame for it on the previous administration.

If there is one thing that is true about U.S. voters, it is the fact that they tend to care about their own economic well-being more than anything else.

If you doubt this, just check out the results of a recent Fox News poll

The latest Fox News Poll also asks, what defines the American Dream today? At the top, according to the national survey released Wednesday, is “retiring comfortably.” Some 88 percent feel that is extremely or very important to realizing the dream.

Next, 76 percent say “having a successful career” is important. That’s followed by “raising a family” (74 percent) and “making a valuable contribution” to their community (74 percent).

“Owning a home” is seen as a big part of achieving the dream for nearly 7 in 10 (69 percent). About 6 in 10 say “graduating college” (61 percent) and “being better off” than their parents (57 percent).

To most Americans, being “successful in life” comes down to how much money they have.

That should not be true, but it is.

And this is ultimately what Trump will be judged on.

If the economy is improving by 2020, voters will tend to evaluate him favorably.  But if the economy is faltering during the next election season, it will be more difficult for him to get a second term.

So what Trump and all those that support Trump should want is for the coming recession to begin and end as quickly as possible.

However, there is also the possibility that the next recession may be a particularly bad one.  Because we are in the midst of the biggest debt bubble in human history, any major downturn could ultimately spiral completely out of control.  In other words, we may be facing the kind of crisis from which we never quite recover.

One expert that is warning about such a scenario is legendary investor Jim Rogers

…get prepared because we’re going to have the worst economic problems we’ve had in your lifetime or my lifetime and when that happens a lot of people are going to disappear.

In 2008 Bear Stearns disappeared, Bear Stearns had been around over 90 years. Lehman Brothers disappeared. Lehman Brothers had been around over 150 years. A long, long time, a long glorious history they’ve been through wars, depression, civil war they’ve been through everything and yet they disappear.

So the next time around it’s going to be worse than anything we’ve seen and a lot of institutions, people, companies even countries, certainly governments and maybe even countries are going to disappear. I hope you get very worried.

when you start having bear markets as you I’m sure well know one bad thing happens and another bad thing happens and these things snowball just like in bull markets good news comes out then more good news comes out the next thing you know you’re five or six or seven years into a bull market.

Well bear markets do the same thing and so we have a lot of bad news on the horizon. I haven’t even gotten to war. I haven’t even gotten to trade war or anything like that but you know things do go wrong.

If it is as bad as Rogers is suggesting, it wouldn’t be too long before conditions in America would begin to resemble those portrayed in my novel.

Let’s hope that does not turn out to be the case.

Let’s hope that the next recession begins and ends as quickly as possible and that the U.S. economy is on a solid upswing by 2020.

And if you are a Trump supporter, don’t be too dismayed if the U.S. economy takes a major downturn in 2017.  As I discussed above, it could actually be just the thing that Trump needs to set the stage for another election victory in 2020.

Obama Betrays Israel At The United Nations – Is America’s Reprieve Now Over?

un-security-council-meeting-public-domainBarack Obama actually did it.  Despite enormous pressure from the government of Israel, President-elect Donald Trump and members of his own party in Congress, Barack Obama decided to stick a knife in Israel’s back at the United Nations.  On Friday, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution that calls for a “two-State solution based on the 1967 lines” and that shockingly states that “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity”.  This resolution was approved by a vote of 14 to 0, and the U.S. abstained from voting.  But essentially the outcome of the vote was going to be determined by Barack Obama.  For decades, the U.S. veto power on the UN Security Council has shielded Israel from these types of resolutions, but this time around Obama decided to betray Israel by allowing this vote to pass.  Needless to say, this vote is going to have enormous implications for Israel, for the United States, and for the entire globe.

Just five days ago, I published one of the most important articles that I have ever written.  It was entitled “The Real Reason Why America Has Been Given A Reprieve“, and in that article I explained why the U.S. has experienced a season of blessing since blocking a potential UN Security Council resolution that France wanted to introduce that would have formally divided the land of Israel in September 2015.  If you have not read that article yet, please go back and read it, because it will be of great aid in understanding why this new UN Security Council resolution is so incredibly important.

As I stated in that previous article, it is my contention that the reason why things have gone so well for the United States over the past 16 months is because Barack Obama made the right decision in September 2015 and chose to protect the land of Israel from being divided.

But now that Barack Obama has reversed course and has greatly betrayed Israel, is America’s reprieve now over?

For months, I have been warning that Barack Obama may do something like this at the UN during the waning days of his presidency.  You can see some examples of my previous warnings here, here and here.  And I have also been warning about the severe consequences that the United States would face if our government did ultimately decide to betray Israel.

This UN Security Council resolution that was passed on Friday was originally going to be put up for a vote on Thursday.  But after enormous pressure from the government of Israel and from President-elect Donald Trump, Egypt decided to withdraw the resolution that they had proposed at the last moment.

When that happened, it looked like everything was going to be okay.

However, temporary members of the UN Security Council New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal immediately objected to Egypt’s move, and they indicated that they would submit the resolution for a vote if Egypt would not.

So on Friday a vote took place, and Obama did what many had been fearing.  The following comes from the New York Times

Defying extraordinary pressure from President-elect Donald J. Trump and furious lobbying by Israel, the Obama administration on Friday allowed the United Nations Security Council to adopt a contentious resolution that condemned Israeli settlement construction.

The administration’s decision not to veto the measure broke a longstanding American tradition of serving as Israel’s sturdiest diplomatic shield.

President-elect Trump publicly said that he would have vetoed this resolution, but now it will be virtually impossible for him to reverse it.

Another vote of the UN Security Council would be necessary to reverse it, and the votes simply would not be there.  And even if they were, either Russia or China could use the veto power that they possess to block it.

So this resolution is going to be permanent, and it is considered to be legally binding on both Israel and the Palestinians.

It seems fitting that Barack Obama is vacationing in Hawaii while all of this drama is playing out.  Perhaps while he is on the golf course he is enjoying a good laugh about how he really stuck it to his long-time nemesis Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Needless to say, the Israeli government is absolutely furious that Obama has betrayed them.  The following comes from U.S. News & World Report

An Israeli official on Friday accused President Barack Obama of colluding with the Palestinians in a “shameful move against Israel at the U.N.” after learning the White House did not intend to veto a Security Council resolution condemning settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem the day before.

“President Obama and Secretary Kerry are behind this shameful move against Israel at the U.N.,” the official said. “The U.S administration secretly cooked up with the Palestinians an extreme anti-Israeli resolution behind Israel’s back which would be a tail wind for terror and boycotts and effectively make the Western Wall occupied Palestinian territory,” he said calling it “an abandonment of Israel which breaks decades of US policy of protecting Israel at the UN.”

You can read the full text of the UN Security Council resolution that was just adopted right here.  These are some of the highlights that I pulled out of the document…

-It refers to Israel as “the occupying Power”

-It calls for a “two-State solution based on the 1967 lines”

-It speaks of a Middle East “where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders”

-It demands “the dismantlement of all settlement outposts erected since March 2001”

-To me, the following is the key paragraph in the entire resolution…

Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace

-It stipulates “that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem”

-It states that the UN Security Council “will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations”

-It expresses a belief that “the cessation of all Israeli settlement activities is essential for salvaging the two-State solution, and calls for affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground that are imperilling the two-State solution”

-It calls on all UN member states “to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967”

This is the most anti-Israel resolution that the UN Security Council has ever passed, and it never would have happened without Barack Obama’s approval.

The Israeli government and the Obama administration have had a very strained relationship for years, and this moment represents the culmination of tensions that have been building for a very long time.

But does this resolution actually represent the “division of the land of Israel” at the United Nations that so many have been waiting for?

I don’t know if I have a definitive answer to that question for you today.  The language of this resolution does not directly give formal recognition to a Palestinian state, but it does speak of a “democratic state” of “Palestine”, and it does speak of “Palestinian territory”.  It calls Israel “the occupying Power”, and it does say that all Israeli settlements in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem are illegal.  And on top of everything else, the UN Security Council clearly stated that it “will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations”.

So it seems clear that the UN Security Council has affirmed three major points that we have been watching for…

#1 A Palestinian state exists.

#2 The 1967 ceasefire lines represent the borders between the state of Israel and Palestine, but future negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians could alter these borders.

#3 East Jerusalem belongs to the Palestinians.  This resolution does not refer to East Jerusalem as the future capital of Palestine, but that is obviously what is intended.

But perhaps another resolution will come later which will give official UN Security Council recognition to a Palestinian state.

At this point, we just don’t know.

However, what we do know is that for decades whenever the U.S. has taken steps toward dividing the land of Israel it has resulted in dramatic consequences for our nation.

It is my contention that this betrayal of Israel at the United Nations by Barack Obama represents a major turning point.  I believe that America’s reprieve is now over, and that many of the things that people have been anticipating since September 2015 will start happening.

Barack Obama just made the worst decision of his entire presidency, and from this point forward nothing is ever going to be the same again.

The Real Reason Why America Has Been Given A Reprieve

america-has-been-given-a-reprieve-public-domainThis is one of the most important articles that I have written in a long time.  The strange events of the past year and a half have befuddled and mystified many, and in this article I am going to explain why America has been given a temporary reprieve.  If you go back to June 2015, I warned my readers that major financial problems were imminent, and sure enough in August 2015 we witnessed the greatest financial shaking that we had seen in seven years.  I remember getting emails from my readers applauding me for absolutely nailing that prediction, but we were all concerned about what was coming next in September.  If you will recall, there was more buzz about September 2015 than any other month that I can ever recall.  That was the month of the last blood moon, the end of the Shemitah year and the Pope’s visit to the United States among other things.  There was a tremendous amount of anticipation that the crisis that had begun in August 2015 would greatly accelerate in September and lead us into a period of cataclysmic global chaos.  But that did not happen.  Instead, U.S. financial markets calmed down and eventually recovered.  There was a shift in the political realm as well, as the second half of 2015 marked the rise of Donald Trump.  During those key months, Trump miraculously built a commanding lead in the race for the Republican nomination that none of his opponents were ever able to overcome.  And now that Trump has won the election, an economic surge appears to be happening that is unlike anything that we have witnessed in many years.

Compared to much of the rest of the world, America appears to have been blessed over the past year and a half.  Our financial markets have performed extremely well, the U.S. dollar is the strongest that is has been in over a decade, and jobs are coming back to the United States.

None of this was supposed to happen.  In fact, our financial system was in such bad shape a year and a half ago that it was being projected that the U.S. would be on the bleeding edge of the next crisis.  But instead here we stand safe, prosperous and seemingly secure.

How in the would can we explain this?

What I am about to share with you I have previously shared on national television down at Morningside, but it has been brought to my attention that I have never shared this with my readers on The Economic Collapse Blog.  I apologize for this, because the past year and a half doesn’t make any sense until you understand these things.

When people look back at September 2015, they always forget the most critical event.  In addition to everything else that was going on that month, France had a UN Security Council resolution all ready to go that would have permanently divided the land of Israel, that would have given formal UN Security Council recognition to a Palestinian state for the very first time, and that would have given East Jerusalem to the Palestinians as the capital of their new state.

The rest of the UN Security Council was ready to go along with the French resolution, but there was just one country standing in the way.

The United States has veto power on the UN Security Council, and so the Obama administration had the power to potentially block the resolution.  After carefully considering the matter, the Obama administration decided that it was not the time for such a resolution, and so France never submitted it for a vote.

Just about everything else that Barack Obama did throughout his entire presidency was bad, but in this instance he got something completely right.  The decision whether or not to divide the land of Israel was in his hands, and he made the right call.

Once this decision was made, it was almost as if someone hit a “pause button”.  None of the bad things that people were forecasting ending up happening, and since that decision America has been blessed compared to the rest of the world.

And this is perfectly consistent with what God said that He would do.  Starting in Genesis 12 and continuing all throughout the Scriptures, God promises to bless those that bless Israel and to curse those that curse Israel.

In this case, Barack Obama blessed Israel by preventing the UN Security Council from dividing the land, and so we were blessed as a result.

But of course there have been many other instances over the past several decades when we have been cursed as a nation for attempting to take steps toward the division of the land of Israel.  One of the most notable instances took place in 1991 when George H. W. Bush got the Israelis and the Palestinians together for the very first time to discuss the dividing of the land of Israel into two states…

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At that conference, the New York Times reported that Bush told Israel that “territorial compromise is essential for peace”.  Needless to say, this upset a lot of people…

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At the exact same time that conference was going on, the “Perfect Storm” was raging in the North Atlantic.  Three major storms merged together, and instead of canceling one another out, they formed the kind of storm that is normally only seen once in a lifetime.  If you will remember, Hollywood made a big blockbuster with George Clooney that was based on this storm.  This gigantic storm went 1000 miles the wrong direction and slammed directly into the home of George H. W. Bush while he was at the Madrid conference talking about the need to divide the land of Israel…

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Another very notable example of this phenomenon came in 2005.  At that time, George W. Bush (the son of George H. W. Bush) had convinced Israel that it should pull all of the settlers out of Gaza and turn it entirely over to the Palestinians.  According to the New York Times, the last of the settlers was evacuated on August 23, 2005…

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On that exact same day, a little storm that came to be known as Hurricane Katrina formed over the Bahamas.  It shocked forecasters by turning directly toward New Orleans, and it ultimately became the costliest natural disaster in all of U.S. history up until that time.

There are dozens more examples like this, and men like John McTernan, William Koenig and David Brennan have done a great job documenting them.

Today, 137 nations have already recognized a Palestinian state.  The holdouts are mostly in North America and Europe…

michael-snyder-israel-6

France and most of the rest of Europe have been eager and ready to recognize a Palestinian state for quite a while now, but they don’t really want to move forward without the United States.

And of course they can’t officially do anything at the UN Security Council without U.S. approval.

Barack Obama had been hoping to achieve something through direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but those totally broke down and there is no hope that there will be any new negotiations any time soon.

So Barack Obama knows that his only shot at “leaving a legacy” in the Middle East is at the United Nations, and earlier this year he said that a UN Security Council resolution that would recognize a Palestinian state was “on the table” for the very first time…

michael-snyder-israel-8

At that time he did not indicate which way that he would go, and although there have been rumblings that something might happen, he has not taken any action yet.

But now time is running out for Obama, because his term is scheduled to end on January 20th.  The advocates of a “two state solution” are becoming increasingly desperate, because they know that Donald Trump has already promised not to support a UN Security Council resolution that would divide the land of Israel.  So they know that if something is going to be done, it has got to be done now.

A UN Security Council resolution would be legally binding on both the Israelis and the Palestinians, and it would be something that Donald Trump would not be able to undo.  Another vote of the UN Security Council would be required to revoke a resolution once it has been passed, and the votes would not be there to do that.

So the next month is absolutely critical.  The UN Security Council still has time to take action while Obama is still in office, and we know that such a move is actively being considered.  For much, much more on this, please see the following articles that I have recently authored…

-“Jimmy Carter Urges Barack Obama To Divide The Land Of Israel At The United Nations Before January 20th

-“John Bolton Warns That Obama May Divide The Land Of Israel At The UN Before The Inauguration

-“The Danger Zone: Why Israel Greatly Fears Barack Obama’s Last Few Months In Office

-“The New York Times Calls For Obama To Support A UN Resolution That Would Divide The Land Of Israel

If we can get to January 20th and the land of Israel has not been divided by the UN Security Council and Donald Trump successfully takes office, perhaps our reprieve will be extended for a while.

But if Barack Obama very foolishly allows the land of Israel to be divided at the UN Security Council before January 20th, the “pause button” will be unpaused, our blessing will be turned into a curse, and all hell will break loose in America.

Trumphoria: Americans Are More Optimistic About The Economy Than They Have Been Since Obama’s Win In 2008

donald-trump-accepts-the-nomination-public-domainOptimism about the future of the U.S. economy has not been this strong since Barack Obama’s first presidential election victory in 2008. Donald Trump promised us an economic resurgence, and what is not to like so far? As I discussed earlier this week, stocks are soaring, businesses are already announcing that they are bringing jobs back to the United States, and the U.S. dollar has been lifted to levels that we haven’t seen in many years. Many are referring to this post-election surge as “Trumphoria”, and I think that is quite appropriate. Personally, I couldn’t imagine financial markets behaving this way if Hillary Clinton had won the election. Right now tens of millions of Americans are feeling deeply optimistic about the future for the first time in a very long time, and this is clearly reflected in the results of the most recent CNBC All-America Economic Survey

The CNBC All-America Economic Survey for the fourth quarter found that the percentage of Americans who believe the economy will get better in the next year jumped an unprecedented 17 points to 42 percent, compared with before the election. It’s the highest level since President Barack Obama was first elected in 2008.

The surge was powered by Republicans and independents reversing their outlooks. Republicans swung from deeply pessimistic, with just 15 percent saying the economy would improve in the next year, to strongly optimistic, with 74 percent believing in an economic upswing. Optimism among independents doubled but it fell by more than half for Democrats. Just 16 percent think the economy will improve.

It is funny how our political perspectives so greatly shape our view of the future. Because Trump won, Democrats now have an extremely dismal opinion of where the economy is heading, while Republicans suddenly believe that happy days are here again.

Of course the truth is that the president has far less power to influence the economy than the Federal Reserve does, and so most Americans greatly overestimate what a president can do to alter our economic trajectory.

But for now most Americans (excluding Democrats) are feeling really good about where things are headed. In fact, we just learned that the University of Michigan consumer confidence survey has soared to the highest level that we have seen since 2005.

And of course the financial markets continued to roll onward and upward on Friday. The Dow was up another 142 points, and it is now less than 250 points away from the magic number of 20,000.

I never thought that we would actually get to 20,000, but thanks to “Trumphoria” we may actually get there before the wheels start coming off.

This post-election run has really been unprecedented. The following comes from CNBC

All major indexes have been hitting record highs since the election. In fact, the Dow has notched 14 record closes since then and gains in 20 of the past 24 sessions.

The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq also did something they haven’t done in more than five years: all three rose each day of this trading week. The last time all three rose every day during the same trading week was September 2011.

Wouldn’t it be great if every month during Trump’s presidency was like the last 30 days?

Trump promised that we would start winning so much that we would actually start getting tired of winning, and so far we are off to a tremendous start.

As I discussed yesterday, some of the biggest winners from “Trumphoria” have been the big banks

The shares of Wells Fargo, the most hated bank in America these days, soared 28% over the past 30 days, Citigroup 25%, JP Morgan 26%, Goldman Sachs, which is successfully placing its people inside the Trump administration, 37%.

But is this momentum in the financial markets sustainable?

Of course not.

There are signs of emerging economic trouble all around us. For instance, Sears just announced that it lost 748 million dollars last quarter and that it plans to liquidate even more stores.

How in the world do you lose three-quarters of a billion dollars in a single quarter? If you had employees in every store literally flushing dollar bills down the toilet all day I don’t think you could lose money that quickly.

And the moment that Trump takes office, he may immediately be faced with a major financial crisis in Europe which has been sparked by the meltdown of large Italian banks. The following comes from a Forbes article entitled “Italy’s Banking Crisis Is Nearly Upon Us“…

There is a high degree of probability (approaching 90%, I’d say) that Italy will experience a severe banking crisis in the next few quarters. Perhaps they can stave off the problem for a year, but something will have to be done about the banks.

Unfortunately, it looks like things are about to get very real for Italian banking giant Monte dei Paschi di Siena. According to Reuters, the European Central Bank has turned down their request for more time to raise needed capital…

The European Central Bank has rejected a request by Italy’s Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI) for more time to raise capital, a source said on Friday, a decision that piles pressure on the Rome government to bail out the lender.

Italy’s third-largest bank, and the world’s oldest, had asked for a three-week extension until January 20 to try to wrap up a privately funded, 5 billion euro ($5.3 billion) rescue plan in the face of fresh political uncertainty.

The ECB’s supervisory board turned down the request at a meeting on Friday on the grounds that a delay would be of little use and that it was time for Rome to step in, the source said.

But most Americans have no idea what is unfolding in Europe right now.

As Americans, we tend to be largely oblivious to what is going on in the rest of the world, and at this moment “Trumphoria” has gripped our nation.

It is certainly not wrong to celebrate the fact that we are getting Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton, but let us also not lose sight of the fact that we are likely to be facing some tremendous challenges very early in 2017.

Are We Being Set Up For A Crash? Stocks Hit A Level Only Seen During The Bubbles Of 1929, 2000 And 2007

stock-market-overvalued-public-domainWill the financial bubble that has been rapidly growing ever since Donald Trump won the election suddenly be popped once he takes office?  Could it be possible that we are being set up for a horrible financial crash that he will ultimately be blamed for?  Yesterday, I shared my thoughts on the incredible euphoria that we have seen since Donald Trump’s surprise victory on November 8th.  The U.S. dollar has been surging, companies are announcing that they are bringing jobs back to the U.S., and we are witnessing perhaps the greatest post-election stock market rally in Wall Street history.  In fact, the Dow, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 all set new all-time record highs again on Thursday.  What we are seeing is absolutely unprecedented, and many believe that the good times will continue to roll as we head into 2017.

What has been most surprising to me is how well the stocks of the big Wall Street banks have been doing.  It is no secret that those banks poured a tremendous amount of money into Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and Donald Trump had some tough things to say about them leading up to election day.

So you wouldn’t think that it would be particularly good news for those banks that Trump won the election.  However, we seem to be living in “Bizarro World” at the moment, and in so many ways things are happening exactly the opposite of what we would expect.  Since Trump’s victory, all of the big banking stocks have been skyrocketing

Financial stocks in particular have been on fire. Citigroup (C) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) are up about 20% since Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton — and that makes them laggards!

Morgan Stanley (MS) has gained more than 25%. So has troubled Wells Fargo (WFC), despite the lingering fallout from its fake account scandal. Bank of America (BAC) is up more than 30%.

And so is Goldman Sachs (GS) — the former employer of both Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin and Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon.

But are these stock prices justified by the fundamentals?

Of course not, but during times of euphoria the fundamentals never seem to matter much.  Stocks were incredibly overvalued before the election, and now they are ridiculously overvalued.

Earlier today, a CNBC article pointed out that the cyclically-adjusted price to earnings ratio has only been higher than it is today at three points in our history…

“The cyclically adjusted P/E (CAPE), a valuation measure created by economist Robert Shiller now stands over 27 and has been exceeded only in the 1929 mania, the 2000 tech mania and the 2007 housing and stock bubble,” Alan Newman wrote in his Stock Market Crosscurrents letter at the end of November.

Newman said even if the market’s earnings increase by 10 percent under Trump’s policies “we’re still dealing with the same picture, overvaluation on a very grand scale.”

And of course a historic stock market crash immediately followed each of those three bubbles.

So are we being set up for a huge crash in early 2017?

There are some out there that believe that this is purposely being orchestrated.  For example, Mike Adams of Natural News believes that the markets “will be deliberately and destructively imploded under President Trump”

Right now, the U.S. stock market is surging, with the Dow leaping toward 20,000, a number rooted in fiscal insanity and delusional expectations. There are no fundamentals that support a 20,000 Dow, but fundamentals have long since ceased to matter in a financial world hyperventilating on debt fumes while hallucinating about utopian economic models that will soon prove to generate fools instead of real wealth.

Today I’m going on the record with a prediction that I’ll offer with near absolute certainty: The rigged markets that now seem to defy gravity will be deliberately and destructively imploded under President Trump for all the obvious reasons. There will be financial chaos like we’ve never seen before: Investors leaping off tall buildings, banks declaring extended “holidays” that freeze transactions, and California pensioners slitting their wrists after they discover their promised pension funds were just vaporized by incompetent bureaucrats.

On the other hand, there are others that believe that Trump is just walking into a very bad situation and that a crash would be inevitable no matter who was president.

History tells us that there is no possible way that stock prices can stay at this irrational level indefinitely.  But for now a wave of optimism is sweeping the nation, and many of those that are caught up in it will get seriously angry with you if you try to inject a dose of reality into the conversation.

But like I said yesterday, let’s hope that the optimists are correct.  A survey that was just taken of 600 business executives found that 62 percent of them were optimistic about the U.S. economy over the next 12 months.

Incredibly, that number was sitting at just 38 percent the previous quarter.

For the moment, business leaders seem to be quite thrilled that we have a business executive in the White House.

Hopefully Donald Trump’s business experience will translate well to his new position.  And it is certainly my hope that he is as successful as possible.

But even during the campaign Trump talked about how stocks were in a giant bubble, and the euphoria that we have seen since his election victory has just made that bubble even larger.

Throughout U.S. history, every giant financial bubble has always ended very badly, and this time around will not be any exception.

Trump may get the blame for it when it bursts, but the truth is that the conditions for the coming crisis have been building for a very, very long time.

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