The Beginning Of The End
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China And Russia Are Ruthlessly Cutting The Legs Out From Under The U.S. Dollar

The mainstream media in the United States is almost totally ignoring one of the most important trends in global economics.  This trend is going to cause the value of the U.S. dollar to fall dramatically and it is going to cause the cost of living in the United States to go way up.  Right now, the U.S. dollar is the primary reserve currency of the world.  Even though that status has been chipped away at in recent years, U.S. dollars still make up more than 60 percent of all foreign currency reserves in the world.  Most international trade (including the buying and selling of oil) is conducted in U.S. dollars, and this gives the United States a tremendous economic advantage.  Since so much trade is done in dollars, there is a constant demand for more dollars all over the globe from countries that need them for trading purposes.  So the Federal Reserve is able to flood our financial system with dollars without it causing a tremendous amount of inflation because the rest of the world ends up soaking up a lot of those dollars.  But now that is changing.  China and Russia have been spearheading a movement to shift away from using the U.S. dollar in international trade.  At the moment, the shift is happening gradually, but at some point a tipping point will come (for example if Saudi Arabia were to declare that it will no longer take U.S. dollars for oil) and the entire global financial system is going to change.  When that tipping point comes the global demand for U.S. dollars is going to absolutely plummet and nightmarish inflation will come to the United States.  If such a scenario sounds far out to you, then you have not been paying attention.  In fact, China and Russia have been working very hard to move us toward exactly such a scenario.

China and Russia are not the “buddies” of the United States.  The truth is that they are both ruthless competitors of the United States and leaders from both nations have been calling for a new global currency for years.

They don’t like that the United States has a built-in advantage of having the reserve currency of the world, and over the past several years both countries have been busy making international agreements that seek to chip away at that advantage.

Just the other day, China and Germany agreed to start conducting an increasing amount of trade with each other in their own currencies.

You would think that a major currency agreement between the 2nd and 4th largest economies on the face of the planet would make headlines all over the United States.

Instead, the silence in the U.S. media was deafening.

At least there were some reports in the international media about this.  The following is from a Reuters article about this very important deal….

Germany and China plan to conduct an increasing amount of their trade in euros and yuan, the two nations said in a joint statement after talks between Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing on Thursday.

“Both sides intend to support financial institutions and companies of both countries in the use of the renminbi and euro in bilateral trade and investments,” said the text of the statement.

By itself, this deal would not be that alarming.

However, the truth is that both Russia and China have been making deals like this all over the globe in recent years.  I detailed 11 more major agreements like the one that China and Germany just made in this article: “11 International Agreements That Are Nails In The Coffin Of The Petrodollar“.

In that article I listed a few of the things that will likely happen when the petrodollar dies….

-Oil will cost a lot more.

-Everything will cost a lot more.

-There will be a lot less foreign demand for U.S. government debt.

-Interest rates on U.S. government debt will rise.

-Interest rates on just about everything in the U.S. economy will rise.

So enjoy going to “the dollar store” while you can.

It will turn into the “five and ten dollar store” soon enough.

Okay, so if you are China and Russia and you are working hard to undermine the dollar, how do you get prepared for the fiat currency crisis that your hard work will eventually create?

You guessed it.  You hoard gold and other precious metals.

And that is exactly what China and Russia has been doing.

A recent MarketWatch article detailed the massive hoarding of gold that Russia has been doing….

I can’t imagine it means anything cheerful that Vladimir Putin, the Russian czar, is stockpiling gold as fast as he can get his hands on it.

According to the World Gold Council, Russia has more than doubled its gold reserves in the past five years. Putin has taken advantage of the financial crisis to build the world’s fifth-biggest gold pile in a handful of years, and is buying about half a billion dollars’ worth every month.

Of course Russia is not alone in hoarding gold.  According to Zero Hedge, China has quietly been importing gigantic mountains of gold….

In July, Chinese gold imports from HK, after two months of declines, have picked up once more and hit a 3-month high of 75.8 tons. While it is notable that this number is double the 38.1 tons imported a year prior, and that year-to-date imports are now a record 458.6 tons, well over four times greater than the seven month total in 2011 which was 103.9 tons, what is far more important is that in the first seven months of 2012 alone China has imported nearly as much gold as the total holdings of the hedge fund at the heart of the Eurozone, elsewhere known simply as the European Central Bank, and just as importantly considering the import run-rate has hardly slowed down in August, which data we will have in a few weeks, it is now safe to say that in 2012 alone China has imported more gold than the ECB’s entire official 502.1 tons of holdings.

And all over the world Chinese companies are buying up gold producers.  China National Gold Group Corporation has put in a $3.9 billion bid to buy African Barrick Gold PLC, but that is only one example.

A recent Fox Business article listed a bunch of other similar transactions that have taken place recently….

Zijin Mining Group Co. (2899.HK), China’s second-largest gold producer by output, said last week that its subsidiary has acquired more than 50% of Kalgoorlie’s Norton Gold Fields (NGF.AU).

That deal gives it a foothold in the Australian market, the world’s second-largest source of gold output after China itself. In 2011, Zijin bought 60% of Kazakhstan-based miner Altynken, which has access to a gold mine in Kyrgyzstan.

Since 2008, Chinese companies have completed 10 US$20-million-plus acquisitions of Australian gold assets, worth a combined $1.6 billion, according to Dealogic. Half were initiated since last year.

In November, Shandong Gold-Mining Co. (600547.SH) launched a bid to acquire Brazilian gold miner Jaguar Mining Inc. (JAG.T) for $1 billion.

You would have to be blind to not see what is happening.

Other big names have been hoarding gold as well.  In a previous article I detailed how George Soros, John Paulson and central banks all over the planet have been hungrily accumulating gold.

So what does all of this mean for the price of gold?

That’s right – it is likely to keep heading up.

In fact, Citi analyst Tom Fitzpatrick believes that the price of gold will likely hit $2500 within 6 months.

Personally, I believe that there will be times when precious metals both fall and rise in price dramatically.  It is going to be a wild ride.  But in the long-term I believe that all precious metals will be going up as fiat currencies such as the U.S. dollar fail.

Sadly, most Americans have no idea just how incredibly vulnerable the U.S. dollar really is.

The following is an excerpt from a recent piece by investigative journalist Bob Woodward.  It shows just how worried our leaders are about a crash of U.S. Treasuries….

Another possible outcome, Geithner said, was perhaps worse. “Suppose we have an auction and no one shows up?”

The cascading impact would be unknowable. The world could decide to dump U.S. Treasuries. Prices would plummet, interest rates would skyrocket. The one pillar of stability, the United States, the rock in the global economy, could collapse.

What happens someday if the rest of the world decides to reject our currency and our debt?

Right now we are able to trade our dollars for the things that we “need” such as oil from the Middle East and cheap plastic consumer products from China.

But what happens if the Federal Reserve keeps printing and printing and printing and the rest of the world eventually decides that the U.S. dollar is not even worth the paper it is printed on?

The truth is that the amount of printing the Federal Reserve has been doing and the amount of borrowing the federal government has been doing are both completely and totally unsustainable.

At this point, Moody’s is threatening to cut the credit rating of the federal government if a deal is not reached soon to reduce our debt to GDP ratio.

And Moody’s is not the only one concerned about our exploding debt.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble recently stated that he believes that “there is great uncertainty about the course American politics will take in dealing the U.S. government’s debts, which are much too high”.

Just because the economy is relatively stable right now does not mean that it is always going to be that way.

If we keep debasing our currency like this, at some point the rest of the world is going to decide that China and Russia have been right all along and that we need a new global reserve currency.

That day is coming.  It might not come tomorrow or next week or next month but it is definitely coming.

Once the U.S. dollar loses reserve currency status, that will be a major turning point in the history of our country.  We will never fully recover from that, and we will never get back to the same level of prosperity that we are enjoying today.

So enjoy spending those dollars while you can.  The party is almost over.

11 International Agreements That Are Nails In The Coffin Of The Petrodollar

Is the petrodollar dead?  Well, not yet, but the nails are being hammered into the coffin even as you read this.  For decades, most of the nations of the world have used the U.S. dollar to buy oil and to trade with each other.  In essence, the U.S. dollar has been acting as a true global currency.  Virtually every country on the face of the earth has needed big piles of U.S. dollars for international trade.  This has ensured a huge demand for U.S. dollars and U.S. government debt.  This demand for dollars has kept prices and interest rates low, and it has given the U.S. government an incredible amount of power and leverage around the globe.  Right now, U.S. dollars make up more than 60 percent of all foreign currency reserves in the world.  But times are changing.  Over the past couple of years there has been a whole bunch of international agreements that have made the U.S. dollar less important in international trade.  The mainstream media in the United States has been strangely quiet about all of these agreements, but the truth is that they are setting the stage for a fundamental shift in the way that trade is conducted around the globe.  When the petrodollar dies, it is going to have an absolutely devastating impact on the U.S. economy.  Sadly, most Americans are totally clueless regarding what is about to happen to the dollar.

One of the reasons the Federal Reserve has been able to get away with flooding the financial system with U.S. dollars is because the rest of the world has been soaking a lot of those dollars up.  The rest of the world has needed giant piles of dollars to trade with, but what is going to happen when they don’t need dollars anymore?

Could we see a tsunami of inflation as demand for the dollar plummets like a rock?

The power of the U.S. dollar has been one of the few things holding up our economy.  Once that leg gets kicked out from under us we are going to be in a whole lot of trouble.

The following are 11 international agreements that are nails in the coffin of the petrodollar….

#1 China And Russia

China and Russia have decided to start using their own currencies when trading with each other.  The following is from a China Daily article about this important agreement….

China and Russia have decided to renounce the US dollar and resort to using their own currencies for bilateral trade, Premier Wen Jiabao and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin announced late on Tuesday.

Chinese experts said the move reflected closer relations between Beijing and Moscow and is not aimed at challenging the dollar, but to protect their domestic economies.

“About trade settlement, we have decided to use our own currencies,” Putin said at a joint news conference with Wen in St. Petersburg.

The two countries were accustomed to using other currencies, especially the dollar, for bilateral trade. Since the financial crisis, however, high-ranking officials on both sides began to explore other possibilities.

#2 China And Brazil

Did you know that Brazil conducts more trade with China than with anyone else?

The largest economy in South America has just agreed to a huge currency swap deal with the largest economy in Asia.  The following is from a recent BBC article….

China and Brazil have agreed a currency swap deal in a bid to safeguard against any global financial crisis and strengthen their trade ties.

It will allow their respective central banks to exchange local currencies worth up to 60bn reais or 190bn yuan ($30bn; £19bn).

The amount can be used to shore up reserves in times of crisis or put towards boosting bilateral trade.

#3 China And Australia

Did you know that Australia conducts more trade with China than with anyone else?

Australia also recently agreed to a huge currency swap deal with China.  The following is from a recent Financial Express article….

The central banks of China and Australia signed a A$30 billion ($31.2 billion) currency-swap agreement to ensure the availability of capital between the trading partners, the Reserve Bank of Australia said.

“The main purposes of the swap agreement are to support trade and investment between Australia and China, particularly in local-currency terms, and to strengthen bilateral financial cooperation,” the RBA said in a statement on its website. “The agreement reflects the increasing opportunities available to settle trade between the two countries in Chinese renminbi and to make RMB-denominated investments.”

China has been expanding currency-swap accords as it promotes the international use of the yuan, and the accord with Australia follows similar deals with nations including South Korea, Turkey and Kazakhstan. China is Australia’s biggest trading partner and accounts for about a quarter of the nation’s merchandise sales abroad.

#4 China And Japan

The second and third largest economies on the entire planet have decided that they should start moving toward using their own currencies when trading with each other.  This agreement was incredibly important but it was almost totally ignored by the U.S. media.

According to Bloomberg, it is anticipated that this agreement will strengthen ties between these two Asian giants….

Japan and China will promote direct trading of the yen and yuan without using dollars and will encourage the development of a market for companies involved in the exchanges, the Japanese government said.

Japan will also apply to buy Chinese bonds next year, allowing the investment of renminbi that leaves China during the transactions, the Japanese government said in a statement after a meeting between Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing yesterday. Encouraging direct yen- yuan settlement should reduce currency risks and trading costs, the Japanese and Chinese governments said.

China is Japan’s biggest trading partner with 26.5 trillion yen ($340 billion) in two-way transactions last year, from 9.2 trillion yen a decade earlier.

#5 India And Japan

It is not just China making these kinds of currency agreements.  According to Reuters, India and Japan have also agreed to a very large currency swap deal….

India and Japan have agreed to a $15 billion currency swap line, Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said on Wednesday, in a positive move for the troubled Indian rupee, Asia’s worst-performing currency this year.

#6 “Junk For Oil”: How India And China Are Buying Oil From Iran

Iran is still selling lots of oil.  They just aren’t exchanging that oil for U.S. dollars as much these days.

So how is Iran selling their oil without using dollars?

A Bloomberg article recently detailed what countries such as China and India are exchanging for Iranian oil….

Iran and its leading oil buyers, China and India, are finding ways to skirt U.S. and European Union financial sanctions on the Islamic republic by agreeing to trade oil for local currencies and goods including wheat, soybean meal and consumer products.

India, the second-biggest importer of Iran’s oil, has set up a rupee account at a state-owned bank to settle as much as much as 45 percent of its bill, according to Indian officials. China, Iran’s largest oil customer, already settles some of its oil debts through barter, Mahmoud Bahmani, Iran’s central bank governor, said Feb. 28. Iran also has sought to trade oil for wheat from Pakistan and Russia, according to media reports from the two countries.

#7 Iran And Russia

According to Bloomberg, Iran and Russia have decided to discard the U.S. dollar and use their own currencies when trading with each other….

Iran and Russia replaced the U.S. dollar with their national currencies in bilateral trade, Iran’s state-run Fars news agency reported, citing Seyed Reza Sajjadi, the Iranian ambassador in Moscow.

The proposal to switch to the ruble and the rial was raised by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in Astana, Kazakhstan, of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the ambassador said.

#8 China And Chile

China and Chile recently signed a new agreement that will dramatically expand trade between the two nations and that is also likely to lead to significant currency swaps between the two countries….

The following is from a recent report that described this new agreement between China and Chile….

Wen called on the two nations to expand trade in goods, promote trade in services and mutual investment, and double bilateral trade in three years.

The Chinese leader also said the two countries should enhance cooperation in mining, expand farm product trade, and promote cooperation in farm product production and processing and agricultural technology.

China would like to be actively engaged in Chile’s infrastructure construction and work with Chile to promote the development of transportation networks in Latin America, said Wen.

Meanwhile, Wen suggested that the two sides launch currency swaps and expand settlement in China’s renminbi.

#9 China And The United Arab Emirates

According to CNN, China and the United Arab Emirates recently agreed to a very large currency swap deal….

In January, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the United Arab Emirates and signed a $5.5 billion currency swap deal to boost trade and investments between the two countries.

#10 China And Africa

Did you know that China is now Africa’s biggest trading partner?

For many years the U.S. dollar was dominant in Africa, but now that is changing.  A report from Africa’s largest bank, Standard Bank, says the following….

“We expect at least $100 billion (about R768 billion) in Sino-African trade – more than the total bilateral trade between China and Africa in 2010 – to be settled in the renminbi by 2015.”

#11 Brazil, Russia, India, China And South Africa

The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) continue to become a larger factor in the global economy.

A recent agreement between those nations sets the stage for them to increasingly use their own national currencies when trading with each other rather than the U.S. dollar.  The following is from a news source in India….

The five major emerging economies of BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — are set to inject greater economic momentum into their grouping by signing two pacts for promoting intra-BRICS trade at the fourth summit of their leaders here Thursday.

The two agreements that will enable credit facility in local currency for businesses of BRICS countries will be signed in the presence of the leaders of the five countries, Sudhir Vyas, secretary (economic relations) in the external affairs ministry, told reporters here.

The pacts are expected to scale up intra-BRICS trade which has been growing at the rate of 28 percent over the last few years, but at $230 billion, remains much below the potential of the five economic powerhouses.

So what does all of this mean?

It means that the days of the U.S. dollar being the de facto reserve currency of the world are numbered.

So why is this important?

In a previous article, I quoted an outstanding article by Marin Katusa that detailed many of the important benefits that the petrodollar system has had for the U.S. economy….

The “petrodollar” system was a brilliant political and economic move. It forced the world’s oil money to flow through the US Federal Reserve, creating ever-growing international demand for both US dollars and US debt, while essentially letting the US pretty much own the world’s oil for free, since oil’s value is denominated in a currency that America controls and prints. The petrodollar system spread beyond oil: the majority of international trade is done in US dollars. That means that from Russia to China, Brazil to South Korea, every country aims to maximize the US-dollar surplus garnered from its export trade to buy oil.

The US has reaped many rewards. As oil usage increased in the 1980s, demand for the US dollar rose with it, lifting the US economy to new heights. But even without economic success at home the US dollar would have soared, because the petrodollar system created consistent international demand for US dollars, which in turn gained in value. A strong US dollar allowed Americans to buy imported goods at a massive discount – the petrodollar system essentially creating a subsidy for US consumers at the expense of the rest of the world. Here, finally, the US hit on a downside: The availability of cheap imports hit the US manufacturing industry hard, and the disappearance of manufacturing jobs remains one of the biggest challenges in resurrecting the US economy today.

So what happens when the petrodollar dies?

The following are some of the things we are likely to see….

-Oil will cost a lot more.

-Everything will cost a lot more.

-There will be a lot less foreign demand for U.S. government debt.

-Interest rates on U.S. government debt will rise.

-Interest rates on just about everything in the U.S. economy will rise.

And that is just for starters.

As I wrote about earlier today, the Federal Reserve is not going to save us.  Ben Bernanke is not somehow going to pull a rabbit out of a hat that will magically make everything okay.  Fundamental changes to the global financial system are happening right now that are impossible for Bernanke to stop.

We should have never gone into so much debt.  Up until now we have gotten away with it, but when demand for U.S. dollars and U.S. debt dries up we are going to experience a massive amount of pain.

Keep your eyes and ears open for more news stories like the ones referenced above.  The end of the petrodollar is going to be a very significant landmark on the road toward the total collapse of the U.S. economy.

So what do you think the fate of the U.S. dollar is going to be in the years ahead?

Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….

47 Signs That China Is Absolutely Destroying America On The Global Economic Stage

Have you ever watched a football game or a basketball game where one team dominates the other team so badly that calling it a “blowout” would be a huge understatement?  Well, that is what China is doing to the United States.  China is absolutely destroying America on the global economic stage.  Once upon a time, the Chinese economy was a joke and the U.S. economy was the most powerful the world had ever seen.  But over the past couple of decades the U.S. economy has decayed and declined while the Chinese economy has skyrocketed.  Today, China makes more steel, more automobiles, more beer, more cotton, more coal and more solar panels than we do.  China has the fastest train in the world, the fastest computer in the world and they export twice as much high-tech equipment as we do.  In 2011, our trade deficit with China was the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world, and China has now accumulated more than 3 trillion dollars in foreign currency reserves.  Every single day, we lose more jobs, more businesses and more of our national wealth to China.  In technical economic terms, China has “taken us out behind the woodshed” and has beaten the living daylights out of us.  Unfortunately, most Americans are so addicted to entertainment that they don’t even realize what is happening.

If you do not believe that China is wiping the floor with America in front of the rest of the world, just keep reading.  The following are 47 signs that China is absolutely destroying America on the global economic stage….

#1 Back in 1998, the United States had 25 percent of the world’s high-tech export market and China had just 10 percent. Today, China’s high-tech exports are more than twice the size of U.S. high-tech exports.

#2 America has lost more than a quarter of all of its high-tech manufacturing jobs over the past ten years.

#3 The Chinese economy has grown 7 times faster than the U.S. economy has over the past decade.

#4 In 2010, China produced more than twice as many automobiles as the United States did.

#5 In 2010, China produced 627 million metric tons of steel.  The United States only produced 80 million metric tons of steel.

#6 In 2010, China produced 7.3 million metric tons of cotton.  The United States only produced 3.4 million metric tons of cotton.

#7 China produced 19.8 percent of all the goods consumed in the world during 2010.  The United States only produced 19.4 percent.

#8 During 2010, we spent $365 billion on goods and services from China while they only spent $92 billion on goods and services from us.

#9 In 1985, the U.S. trade deficit with China was 6 million dollars for the entire year.  The final U.S. trade deficit with China for 2011 will be very close to 300 billion dollars.  That will be the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world.

#10 The U.S. trade deficit with China is now 28 times larger than it was back in 1990.

#11 Since China entered the WTO in 2001, the U.S. trade deficit with China has grown by an average of 18% per year.

#12 According to the New York Times, a Jeep Grand Cherokee that costs $27,490 in the United States costs about $85,000 in China.

#13 According to the Economic Policy Institute, America is losing half a million jobs to China every single year.

#14 The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.

#15 The United States had been the leading consumer of energy on the globe for about 100 years, but during the summer of 2010 China took over the number one spot.

#16 15 years ago, China was 14th in the world in published scientific research articles.  But now, China is expected to pass the United States and become number one very shortly.

#17 China is also expected to soon become the global leader in patent filings.

#18 In 2009, the United States ranked dead last of the 40 nations examined by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation when it came to “change” in “global innovation-based competitiveness” over the previous ten years.

#19 China now awards more doctoral degrees in engineering each year than the United States does.

#20 China now possesses the fastest supercomputer on the entire planet.

#21 China now has the world’s fastest train and the world’s most extensive high-speed rail network.

#22 The construction of the new $200 million African Union headquarters was funded by China.

#23 Today, China produces nearly twice as much beer as the United States does.

#24 85 percent of all artificial Christmas trees are made in China.

#25 Amazingly, China now consumes 53 percent of the world’s cement.

#26 There are more pigs in China than in the next 43 pork producing nations combined.

#27 China is now the number one producer of wind and solar power on the entire globe.

#28 Chinese solar panel production was about 50 times larger in 2010 than it was in 2005.

#29 Right now, China is producing more than three times as much coal as the United States does.

#30 China controls over 90 percent of the total global supply of rare earth elements.

#31 China is now the number one supplier of components that are critical to the operation of U.S. defense systems.

#32 According to author Clyde Prestowitz, China’s number one export to the U.S. is computer equipment.  According to an article in U.S. News & World Report, during 2010 the number one U.S. export to China was “scrap and trash”.

#33 The United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

#34 Back in the year 2000, more than 20 percent of all jobs in America were manufacturing jobs.  Today, only about 5 percent of all jobs in America are manufacturing jobs.

#35 Between December 2000 and December 2010, 38 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Ohio were lost, 42 percent of the manufacturing jobs in North Carolina were lost and 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Michigan were lost.

#36 The average household debt load in the United States is 136% of average household income.  In China, the average household debt load is 17% of average household income.

#37 The new World Trade Center tower is going to be made with imported glass from China.

#38 The new MLK memorial on the National Mall was made in China.

#39 A Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted a while back found that 61 percent of all Americans consider China to be a threat to our jobs and economic security.

#40 According to U.S. Representative Betty Sutton, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day closed down in the United States during 2010.

#41 Overall, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have shut down since 2001.

#42 According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent out of the country over the next two decades.

#43 Over the past several decades, China has been able to accumulate approximately 3 trillion dollars in foreign currency reserves, and the U.S. government now owes China close to 1.5 trillion dollars.

#44 According to the IMF, China will pass the United States and will become the largest economy in the world in 2016.

#45 According to one prominent economist, the Chinese economy already has roughly the same amount of purchasing power as the U.S. economy does.

#46 According to Stanford University economics professor Ed Lazear, if the U.S. economy and the Chinese economy continue to grow at current rates, the average Chinese citizen will be wealthier than the average American citizen in just 30 years.

#47 Nobel economist Robert W. Fogel of the University of Chicago is projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040 if current trends continue.

If the global economy was a game, America would be losing very badly and China would have all the momentum.

Unfortunately, the global economy is not a game.  Very real businesses and very real jobs are affected by this every single day.

Barack Obama keeps talking about how “the economy is improving“, but the reality is that we have never even gotten close to where we were back before the financial crisis of 2008.

The following chart (which I pulled off a Fed website today) shows the average duration of unemployment in America.  Does this look like an economic recovery to you?….

The Obama administration tells us that the official unemployment rate is only 8.5 percent, but that is a joke.  Even the Congressional Budget Office admits that the official unemployment rate should actually be somewhere up around 10 percent.

But the real story is the number of long-term unemployed workers we have in America today.

According to the Hamilton Project, approximately 53 percent of all unemployed workers in the state of Florida were out of work for more than six months during 2011.

But Barack Obama seems absolutely amazed that there are still so many unemployed people out there during his “economic recovery”.   Just check out the following interaction that took place between Obama and one concerned wife during a recent appearance by Obama on Google+….

“Can I ask you what kind of engineer your husband is?,” Obama said to the wife of the unemployed engineer.

“He’s a semiconductor engineer,” she responded.

“It is interesting to me — and I meant what I said if your send me your husband’s resume, I’d be interested in finding out exactly what’s happening right there because the word that we’re getting is that somebody in that type of high-tech field, that kind of engineer, should be able to find something right away.”

Obama does not realize that it is not so simple to “find something right away” in this economy.

We have been shipping high-tech jobs overseas at a blistering pace.  The jobs simply are not there anymore.

In Europe, unemployment is even worse.  Just check out this chart which shows what has been happening to youth unemployment in Europe recently.

In both the United States and Europe, a great disconnect has taken place.  Just because big corporations in the U.S. and in Europe are doing well, that does not mean that they are going to provide good jobs for workers in the U.S. and in Europe.

These days, it is way too easy for big corporations to ship jobs over to places like China where it is perfectly legal to pay workers slave labor wages.

So unless something changes, that means that from now on there will be chronic structural unemployment problems in the United States.

That also means that the number of Americans dependent on the government is going to continue to increase.

And unfortunately, there are signs that the economy is about to experience another downturn.  Consumer confidence in the U.S. is falling once again.  The Baltic Dry Index, which is often used as a measure of the health of the world economy, has fallen more than 60 percent since October.

Perhaps most importantly of all, Europe is heading into a recession and several European nations are already experiencing depression-like conditions.

Considering the fact that half of all global trade involves Europe in some manner, that is not a good thing for us.

So if you have a job right now, you might want to hold on to it tightly.  Jobs are precious commodities at the moment, and they are going to become even more scarce in the years ahead.

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