You can stop waiting for a global financial crisis to happen. The truth is that one is happening right now. All over the world, stock markets are already crashing. Most of these stock market crashes are occurring in nations that are known as “emerging markets”. In recent years, developing countries in Asia, South America and Africa loaded up on lots of cheap loans that were denominated in U.S. dollars. But now that the U.S. dollar has been surging, those borrowers are finding that it takes much more of their own local currencies to service those loans. At the same time, prices are crashing for many of the commodities that those countries export. The exact same kind of double whammy caused the Latin American debt crisis of the 1980s and the Asian financial crisis of the 1990s.
As you read this article, almost every single stock market in the world is down significantly from a record high that was set either earlier this year or late in 2014. But even though stocks have been sliding in the western world, they haven’t completely collapsed just yet.
In much of the developing world, it is a very different story. Emerging market currencies are crashing hard, recessions are starting, and equity prices are getting absolutely hammered.
Posted below is a list that I put together of 23 nations around the world where stock market crashes are already happening. To see the stock market chart for each country, just click the link…
6. South Korea
Of course this is just the beginning. The western world is going to feel this kind of pain as well very soon. I want to share with you an excerpt from an article that just appeared in the Telegraph entitled “Doomsday clock for global market crash strikes one minute to midnight as central banks lose control“. You see, the Telegraph is not just one of the most important newspapers in the UK – it is truly one of the most important newspapers in the entire world. When it speaks on financial matters, millions of people listen very carefully. So for the Telegraph to declare that the countdown to a “global market crash” is “one minute to midnight” is a very, very big deal…
When the banking crisis crippled global markets seven years ago, central bankers stepped in as lenders of last resort. Profligate private-sector loans were moved on to the public-sector balance sheet and vast money-printing gave the global economy room to heal.
Time is now rapidly running out. From China to Brazil, the central banks have lost control and at the same time the global economy is grinding to a halt. It is only a matter of time before stock markets collapse under the weight of their lofty expectations and record valuations.
I encourage you to read the rest of that excellent article right here. It contains lots of charts and graphs, and it discusses many of the exact same things that I have been hammering on for months.
When one of the newspapers of record for the entire planet starts sounding exactly like The Economic Collapse Blog, then you know that it is late in the game.
Others are sounding the alarm about an imminent global financial crash as well. For example, just consider what Egon von Greyerz recently told King World News…
Eric, I fear that this coming September – October all hell will break loose in the world economy and markets. A lot of factors point to that, both fundamental and technical indicators and this indicates that we could have a number of shocks this autumn.
Sadly, most investors will hold stocks, bonds and property and will see any decline in value as an opportunity. It will be a long time and a very big fall before they realize that the system will not help them this time because the central bankers have run out of ammunition to save the global financial system one more time. Yes, we will see more massive money printing, but it will just make things worse. And at some stage, which could be quite soon, real fear will set in, a fear of a magnitude the world has not experienced before.
Hmm – there is another example of someone talking about September. It is funny how often that month keeps coming up.
And of course most of the major stock market crashes in U.S. history have been in the fall. Just go back and take a look at what happened in 1929, 1987, 2001 and 2008.
The “smart money” has been pulling their money out of stocks for quite a while now, and at this point a lot of others have hopped on the bandwagon. The following comes from CNBC…
The flight of investor money from U.S. stocks has turned into a stampede.
In fact, the $78.7 billion leaving domestic equity-focused funds has been worse in 2015 than it was even during the financial crisis years, when the S&P 500 tumbled some 60 percent, according to data released Friday by Morningstar. The total is the highest since 1993.
Domestic equity funds surrendered $20.4 billion in July alone and have seen $158.6 billion in redemptions over the past 12 months. Even a strong flow of money into passively managed exchange-traded funds has been unable to offset the stream to the exit among retail investors, who generally focus more on mutual funds than ETFs.
A global financial crisis has already begun.
So those that were claiming that one would not happen in 2015 are already wrong.
Over the coming months we will find out how bad it will ultimately be.
Sometimes I get criticized for talking about these things. There are a few people out there that don’t like all of the “doom and gloom” that I discuss on my website. Apparently it is a bad thing to talk about the things that really matter and we should all just be “keeping up with the Kardashians” instead.
I consider myself just to be another watchman on the wall. From our spots on the wall, watchmen such as myself all over the nation are sounding the alarm about what we clearly see coming.
If we saw what was coming and we did not warn the people, their blood would be on our hands. But if we do warn the people, then we have done our duty.
Every day I just do the best that I can with what I have been given. And there are many others just like me that are doing exactly the same thing.
Those that do not like the warning message are going to feel really stupid when things start falling apart all around them and they finally realize how wrong they truly were.
The numbers that you are about to see are likely to shock you. They prove that the global financial Ponzi scheme is far more extensive than most people would ever dare to imagine. As you will see below, the total amount of debt in the world is now more than three times greater than global GDP. In other words, you could take every single good and service produced on the entire planet this year, next year and the year after that and it still would not be enough to pay off all the debt. But even that number pales in comparison to the exposure that big global banks have to derivatives contracts. It is hard to put into words how reckless they have been. At the low end of the estimates, the total exposure that global banks have to derivatives contracts is 710 trillion dollars. That is an amount of money that is almost unimaginable. And the reality of the matter is that there is really not all that much actual “money” in circulation today. In fact, as you will read about below, there is only a little bit more than a trillion dollars of U.S. currency that you can actually hold in your hands in existence. If we all went out and tried to close our bank accounts and investment portfolios all at once, that would create a major league crisis. The truth is that our financial system is little more than a giant pyramid scheme that is based on debt and paper promises. It is literally a miracle that it has survived for so long without collapsing already.
When Americans think about the financial crisis that we are facing, the largest number that they usually can think of is the size of the U.S. national debt. And at over 17 trillion dollars, it truly is massive. But it is actually the 2nd-smallest number on the list below. The following are 12 numbers about the global financial Ponzi scheme that should be burned into your brain…
–$1,280,000,000,000 – Most people are really surprised when they hear this number. Right now, there is only 1.28 trillion dollars worth of U.S. currency floating around out there.
–$17,555,165,805,212.27 – This is the size of the U.S. national debt. It has grown by more than 10 trillion dollars over the past ten years.
–$32,000,000,000,000 – This is the total amount of money that the global elite have stashed in offshore banks (that we know about).
–$48,611,684,000,000 – This is the total exposure that Goldman Sachs has to derivatives contracts.
–$59,398,590,000,000 – This is the total amount of debt (government, corporate, consumer, etc.) in the U.S. financial system. 40 years ago, this number was just a little bit above 2 trillion dollars.
–$70,088,625,000,000 – This is the total exposure that JPMorgan Chase has to derivatives contracts.
–$71,830,000,000,000 – This is the approximate size of the GDP of the entire world.
–$75,000,000,000,000 – This is approximately the total exposure that German banking giant Deutsche Bank has to derivatives contracts.
–$100,000,000,000,000 – This is the total amount of government debt in the entire world. This amount has grown by $30 trillion just since mid-2007.
–$223,300,000,000,000 – This is the approximate size of the total amount of debt in the entire world.
–$236,637,271,000,000 – According to the U.S. government, this is the total exposure that the top 25 banks in the United States have to derivatives contracts. But those banks only have total assets of about 9.4 trillion dollars combined. In other words, the exposure of our largest banks to derivatives outweighs their total assets by a ratio of about 25 to 1.
–$710,000,000,000,000 to $1,500,000,000,000,000 – The estimates of the total notional value of all global derivatives contracts generally fall within this range. At the high end of the range, the ratio of derivatives exposure to global GDP is about 21 to 1.
Most people tend to assume that the “authorities” have fixed whatever caused the financial world to almost end back in 2008, but that is not the case at all.
In fact, the total amount of government debt around the globe has grown by about 40 percent since then, and the “too big to fail banks” have collectively gotten 37 percent larger since then.
Our “authorities” didn’t fix anything. All they did was reinflate the bubble and kick the can down the road for a little while.
I don’t know how anyone can take an honest look at the numbers and not come to the conclusion that this is completely and totally unsustainable.
How much debt can the global financial system take before it utterly collapses?
How recklessly can the big banks behave before the house of cards that they have constructed implodes underneath them?
For the moment, everything seems fine. Stock markets around the world have been setting record highs and credit is flowing like wine.
But at some point a day of reckoning is coming, and when it arrives it is going to be the most painful financial crisis the world has ever seen.
If you plan on getting ready before it strikes, now is the time to do so.
On the global financial stage, China is playing chess while the U.S. is playing checkers, and the Chinese are now accelerating their long-term plan to dethrone the U.S. dollar. You see, the truth is that China does not plan to allow the U.S. financial system to dominate the world indefinitely. Right now, China is the number one exporter on the globe and China will have the largest economy on the planet at some point in the coming years. The Chinese would like to see global currency usage reflect this shift in global economic power. At the moment, most global trade is conducted in U.S. dollars and more than 60 percent of all global foreign exchange reserves are held in U.S. dollars. This gives the United States an enormous built-in advantage, but thanks to decades of incredibly bad decisions this advantage is starting to erode. And due to the recent political instability in Washington D.C., the Chinese sense vulnerability. China has begun to publicly mock the level of U.S. debt, Chinese officials have publicly threatened to stop buying any more U.S. debt, the Chinese have started to aggressively make currency swap agreements with other major global powers, and China has been accumulating unprecedented amounts of gold. All of these moves are setting up the moment in the future when China will completely pull the rug out from under the U.S. dollar.
Today, the U.S. financial system is the core of the global financial system. Because nearly everybody uses the U.S. dollar to buy oil and to trade with one another, this creates a tremendous demand for U.S. dollars around the planet. So other nations are generally very happy to take our dollars in exchange for oil, cheap plastic gadgets and other things that U.S. consumers “need”.
Major exporting nations accumulate huge piles of our dollars, but instead of just letting all of that money sit there, they often invest large portions of their currency reserves into U.S. Treasury bonds which can easily be liquidated if needed.
So if the U.S. financial system is the core of the global financial system, then U.S. debt is “the core of the core” as some people put it. U.S. Treasury bonds fuel the print, borrow, spend cycle that the global economy depends upon.
That is why a U.S. debt default would be such a big deal. A default would cause interest rates to skyrocket and the entire global economic system to go haywire.
Unfortunately for us, the U.S. debt spiral cannot go on indefinitely. Our debt is growing far, far more rapidly than our GDP is, and therefore our debt is completely and totally unsustainable.
The Chinese understand what is going on, and when the dust settles they plan to be the last ones standing. In the aftermath of a U.S. collapse, China anticipates having the largest economy on the planet, more gold than anyone else, and a respected international currency that the rest of the globe will be able to use to conduct international trade.
And China is not just going to sit back and wait for all of this to happen. In fact, they are already doing lots of things to get the ball moving. The following are 9 signs that China is making a move against the U.S. dollar…
#1 Chinese credit rating agency Dagong has downgraded U.S. debt from A to A- and has indicated that further downgrades are possible.
#2 China has just entered into a very large currency swap agreement with the eurozone that is considered a huge step toward establishing the yuan as a major world currency. This agreement will result in a lot less U.S. dollars being used in trade between China and Europe…
The swap deal will allow more trade and investment between the regions to be conducted in euros and yuan, without having to convert into another currency such as the U.S. dollar first, said Kathleen Brooks, a research director at FOREX.com.
“It’s a way of promoting European and Chinese trade, but not doing it with the U.S. dollar,” said Brooks. “It’s a bit like cutting out the middleman, all of a sudden there’s potentially no U.S. dollar risk.”
#3 Back in June, China signed a major currency swap agreement with the United Kingdom. This was another very important step toward internationalizing the yuan.
#4 China currently owns about 1.3 trillion dollars of U.S. debt, and this enormous exposure to U.S. debt is starting to become a major political issue within China.
#5 Mei Xinyu, Commerce Minister adviser to the Chinese government, warned this week that if the U.S. government ever does default that China may decide to completely stop buying U.S. Treasury bonds.
#6 According to Yahoo News, China has already been looking for ways to diversify away from the U.S. dollar…
There have been media reports this week that China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange, the body that handles the country’s $3.66 trillion of foreign exchange reserve, is looking to diversify into real estate investments in Europe.
#7 Xinhua, the official news agency of China, called for a “de-Americanized world” this week, and also made the following statement about the political turmoil in Washington: “The cyclical stagnation in Washington for a viable bipartisan solution over a federal budget and an approval for raising debt ceiling has again left many nations’ tremendous dollar assets in jeopardy and the international community highly agonized.”
#8 Xinhua also said the following about the U.S. debt deal on Thursday: “[P]oliticians in Washington have done nothing substantial but postponing once again the final bankruptcy of global confidence in the U.S. financial system”. The commentary in the government-run publication also declared that the debt deal “was no more than prolonging the fuse of the U.S. debt bomb one inch longer.”
#9 China is the largest producer of gold in the world, and it has also been importing an absolutely massive amount of gold from other nations. But instead of slowing down, the Chinese appear to be accelerating their gold buying. In fact, money manager Stephen Leeb says that his sources are telling him that China plans to buy another 5,000 tons of gold. There are many that are convinced that China eventually plans to back the yuan with gold and try to make it the number one alternative to the U.S. dollar.
So exactly what would happen if the Chinese announced someday that they were going to back their currency with gold and would no longer be using the U.S. dollar in international trade?
It would change the face of the global economy almost overnight. In a previous article, I described some of the things that we could expect to see happen…
If China does decide to back the yuan with gold and no longer use the U.S. dollar in international trade, it will have devastating effects on the U.S. economy. Demand for the U.S. dollar and U.S. debt would drop like a rock, and prices on the things that we buy every day would soar. At that point you could forget about cheap gasoline or cheap Chinese imports. Our entire way of life depends on the U.S. dollar being the primary reserve currency of the world and being able to import things very inexpensively. If the rest of the world (led by China) starts to reject the U.S. dollar, it would result in a massive tsunami of currency coming back to our shores and a very painful adjustment in our standard of living. Today, most U.S. currency is actually used outside of the United States. If someday that changes and we are no longer able to export our inflation that is going to mean big trouble for us.
The fact that we get to print up giant mountains of money and virtually everyone around the world uses it has been a huge boon for the U.S. economy.
When that changes, the word “catastrophic” is not going to be nearly strong enough to describe what is going to happen.
According to a Rasmussen Reports survey that was released this week, only 13 percent of all Americans believe that the country is on the right track. But the truth is that these are the good times. The American people haven’t seen anything yet.
Someday people will look back and desperately wish that they could go back to the “good old days” of 2012 and 2013. This is about as good as things are going to get, and it is only downhill from here.
The cracks in the ice are getting bigger. At this point it is really hard to have much confidence in the global financial system at all. They told us that MF Global was an isolated incident. Well, the horrific financial scandal over at PFGBest is essentially MF Global all over again. They told us that we would not see a huge wave of municipal bankruptcies in the United States. Well, three California cities have declared bankruptcy in less than a month. They told us that we could have faith in the integrity of the global financial system. Well, now we are finding out that global interest rates have been fixed by insiders for years. They told us that Greece was an isolated problem and that none of the larger European nations would experience anything remotely similar. Well, what is happening in Spain right now looks like an instant replay of exactly what happened in Greece. So who are we supposed to believe? Why does it seem like nearly everything that “the authorities” tell us turns out to be a lie? What else haven’t they been telling us?
The following are four reasons to be even less optimistic about the global financial system than you were last month….
#1 PFGBest Is MF Global All Over Again
Do you remember that whole MF Global thing?
Do you remember how hundreds of millions of dollars of customer funds were “missing” due to “accounting irregularities”?
Well, it is happening again.
PFGBest is a brokerage firm in Cedar Falls, Iowa that mostly handles agricultural futures.
All hell broke loose when the National Futures Association discovered that a bank account that was supposed to be holding 225 million dollars of customer funds was only holding about 5 million dollars instead.
So where is the other 220 million dollars?
That is a very good question.
Of course it is not a promising sign that the head of PFGBest tried to commit suicide when this news came out.
A lot of PFGBest clients are going to be absolutely devastated by this scandal. The following is from a recent Reuters article….
Farmers on Tuesday fumed at the prospect of financial losses, or at a minimum a lengthy wait for the return of frozen funds, due to alleged mismanagement at brokerage PFGBest, and some said they had been burned for the last time.
The U.S. futures industry reeled as regulators accused Iowa-based PFGBest of misappropriating more than $200 million in customer funds for more than two years, a new blow to trader trust just months after MF Global’s collapse.
Centered in the heart of farm belt, the firm handled agricultural futures accounts for a number of clients who grow corn, soybeans and cotton.
But it is not just PFGBest clients that are going to feel the pain of this scandal.
The truth is that this is going to deeply shake confidence in the entire global financial system.
Many dismissed what happened at MF Global as an “isolated incident”.
But now it is happening again.
Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.
#2 A Third California City Goes Bankrupt In Less Than A Month
First it was Stockton.
Then it was Mammoth Lakes.
Now it is San Bernardino’s turn.
On Tuesday, the city council of San Bernardino, California voted to file for bankruptcy.
An article in the Los Angeles Times detailed the issues at the heart of San Bernardino’s financial problems….
The city’s fiscal crisis has been years in the making, compounded by the nation’s crushing recession and exacerbated by escalating pension costs, lucrative labor agreements, Sacramento’s raid on redevelopment funds and a city reserve that is tapped out, officials said.
While it would be easy to dump on the state of California (and that is something I have done quite often), the truth is that we are seeing municipal debt problems erupting all over the United States.
For example, the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania has such severe financial problems that the mayor of Scranton has ordered that all city employees be paid minimum wage until a solution to the crisis is found.
If this was television, Dwight Schrute would find a way to save the day for Scranton.
Unfortunately, this is real life and Dwight Schrute does not exist in real life.
#3 The Liborgate Scandal Keeps Getting Worse
We have been taught that we should all have faith in the integrity of the global financial system.
What a bunch of baloney that turned out to be.
It turns out that banksters have been colluding to fix global interest rates for years.
“Liborgate” is being called the biggest financial scandal in history. Libor is important because it is one of the key benchmarks used to set prices for hundreds of trillions of dollars of loans, securities and derivatives.
British banking giant Barclays has already admitted that they were involved in manipulating Libor.
Barclays has already agreed to pay $453 million in fines to British and U.S. authorities.
But the truth is that it would have been totally impossible for Barclays to have manipulated Libor by themselves.
So who else was involved?
That was a question that was discussed in a recent article in The Economist….
Over the past week damning evidence has emerged, in documents detailing a settlement between Barclays and regulators in America and Britain, that employees at the bank and at several other unnamed banks tried to rig the number time and again over a period of at least five years. And worse is likely to emerge. Investigations by regulators in several countries, including Canada, America, Japan, the EU, Switzerland and Britain, are looking into allegations that LIBOR and similar rates were rigged by large numbers of banks. Corporations and lawyers, too, are examining whether they can sue Barclays or other banks for harm they have suffered. That could cost the banking industry tens of billions of dollars. “This is the banking industry’s tobacco moment,” says the chief executive of a multinational bank, referring to the lawsuits and settlements that cost America’s tobacco industry more than $200 billion in 1998. “It’s that big,” he says.
As many as 20 big banks have been named in various investigations or lawsuits alleging that LIBOR was rigged. The scandal also corrodes further what little remains of public trust in banks and those who run them.
So what does all of this mean?
The Wall Street Journal says that the credibility of the entire global financial system is at stake….
At stake is both the integrity of the world’s financial system and the credibility of the U.K. authorities to police it. Long before the current scandal, many European policy makers had concluded that London during the boom was the Wild West, whose loose standards are a threat to European financial stability. The Libor scandal suggests U.S. regulators have reached similar conclusions. The Commodities Futures Trading Commission, the U.S. regulatory body that first started investigating rate-fixing, left little doubt how seriously it regards the abuses it uncovered.
Once faith is shattered, it is incredibly difficult to rebuild.
And right now it is really hard to come up with a decent argument why anyone should trust their money to such a corrupt system.
#4 Spain Is Turning Into Greece
A central government drowning in debt?
A banking system on the verge of collapse?
Politicians pushing a forced austerity program that includes much higher taxes, much lower government spending and greatly reduced pay for government workers?
Wild rioting in the streets by protesters?
Let’s see….where have we seen this before?
Can anyone still possibly deny that Spain is going down the exact same road that Greece has gone?
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is proposing a huge slate of tough austerity measures including a 3 point increase in the Value Added Tax on goods and services. If that 3 point hike is implemented, the Value Added Tax will rise to 21 percent.
Could you imagine going to the store and paying a 21 percent sales tax?
Rajoy is promising that these measures will get Spain back on the right track.
Of course we have already seen how well such austerity measures have worked in Greece.
The unemployment rate in Spain is already up to 24.4 percent, and now these austerity measures will slow the economy down even more.
No wonder there is rioting in the streets. You can see high quality footage of the rioting that has been going on in Spain this week right here. At one point police were seen firing rubber bullets at the protesters.
But of course the citizens of Spain could not live way above their means forever. At some point every debt bubble ends, and when that happens the results are often incredibly painful.
This is a lesson that the United States has not learned either. When we stop racking up more than a trillion dollars of additional government debt every year our “adjustment” will be exceedingly painful as well.
A little over a week ago, I wrote an article entitled “17 Reasons To Be EXTREMELY Concerned About The Second Half Of 2012“. I never imagined that things would get so much worse in just a week.
Everything seems to be accelerating these days.
That includes the decay that is happening in society. A few days ago I made a list of 25 signs that society is falling apart, but then another story came along after I had finished my article that topped all of the examples in my list. The following is how one man in West Virginia has been treating his wife….
During the conversation, according to the criminal complaint, Lizon’s wife told the woman that her husband had kept her chained up with metal padlocks and chains for about 10 years. The woman noticed scar tissue on the victim’s hands and ankles. Lizon’s wife told the woman that the scars were from the chains tearing into her skin.
Lizon’s wife told the woman that she and her husband were originally from Czechoslovakia, and that they live in Leroy, W.Va.
According to the complaint, the woman told investigators that the feet of Lizon’s wife were “mutilated and swollen,” one of which was missing a considerable amount of skin. Lizon’s wife told the woman that her husband smashed her foot with a bucket or scoop attachment of a farm tractor.
Lizon’s wife also told the woman Lizon called her his “slave,” and that whenever her husband entered the room she had to kneel down before him, according to the complaint.
Can you imagine anyone doing that?
Can you imagine any husband chaining his wife up for 10 years?
That is so sick that it is beyond words to describe it.
Unfortunately, that is not just one isolated incident of depravity in a world filled with goodness.
The truth is that the entire world system is saturated with depravity and corruption.
If anyone is willing to stand up for “the integrity of the global financial system”, I challenge you to leave a comment below explaining to the rest of us why we should still have blind faith in the system after everything that has happened.
I don’t imagine that too many people will even attempt to take me up on that challenge.
The summer of 2012 is shaping up to be very similar to the summer of 2008. Things look incredibly bleak for the global economy right now. Economic activity and lending are slowing down all over the planet, and fear is starting to paralyze the entire global financial system. Things did not look this bad back in the summer of 2011 and things certainly did not look this bad back in the summer of 2010. It is almost as if a “perfect storm” is brewing. Today, the global financial system is a finely balanced pyramid of risk, debt and leverage. Such a system requires a high degree of confidence and stability. But when confidence disappears and fear and panic take over, the house of cards can literally start collapsing at any time. Right now we are watching a slow-motion train wreck unfold and nobody seems to know how to stop it. Unless some kind of a miracle happens, things are going to look much different when we reach the start of 2013 than they do today.
The following are 21 signs that this could be a long, hot, crazy summer for the global financial system….
#1 There are rumors that major financial institutions are cancelling employee vacations in anticipation of a major financial crisis this summer. The following are a couple of tweets quoted in a recent article by Kenneth Schortgen Jr….
Todd Harrison tweet: Hearing (not confirmed) @PIMCO asked employees to cancel vacations to have “all hands on deck” for a Lehman-type tail event. Confirm?
Todd M. Schoenberger tweet: @todd_harrison @pimco I heard the same thing, but I also heard the same for “some” at JPM. Heard it today at a hedge fund luncheon.
As Schortgen points out, these are not just your average Twitter users….
Todd Harrison is the CEO of the award winning internet media company Minyanville, while Todd Shoenberger is a managing principal at the Blackbay Group, and an adjunct professor of Finance at Cecil College.
#2 The Bank for International Settlements is warning that global lending is contracting at the fastest pace since the financial crisis of 2008.
#3 Unemployment in the eurozone has hit a brand new all-time record high.
#4 The government of Portugal has just announced that it will be bailing out three major banks.
#5 Many U.S. banking stocks are being hit extremely hard. For example, Morgan Stanley stock has declined by 40 percent over the past four months.
#6 Yields on Spanish debt and yields on Italian debt have been absolutely soaring.
#7 10 year U.S. Treasury notes hit a record low on Friday because investors are scared and they are looking for safety. The following is from a recent USA Today article….
“Treasuries are at 1.46 because people are freaking out,” says Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo Economics.
#8 New orders for factory goods in the United States have declined three times in the last four months. That is a sign that the “economic recovery” in the U.S. has clearly stalled.
#9 U.S. job growth in May was well below expectations and the unemployment rate has increased to 8.2 percent.
#10 Economies all over the developed world are seriously slowing down right now. The following is from a recent article by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard….
Brazil wilted in the first quarter. India grew at the slowest pace in nine years. China’s HSBC manufacturing index fell further into contraction in May, with new orders dropping sharply and inventories rising.
#11 Stocks in Japan hit a 28 year low on Monday.
#12 Over the past five years, the stock markets of Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus have all fallen by more than 50 percent. Will we soon see similar results all over the rest of Europe?
#13 The Greek economy is literally shutting down. Just check out the chaos that unpaid bills are already causing….
And unpaid bills are now threatening Greece’s electricity supply. State-owned Electricity Market Operator (LAGIE), a clearing house for power transactions, hasn’t paid independent power producers for electricity it bought from them. They, in turn, haven’t paid their natural gas supplier, Public Gas Corporation (Depa), which now doesn’t have the money to pay its supplier. Payment is due on June 22. Alas, its supplier is Gazprom in Russia, and they insist on getting paid. If not, they will shut the valve, and Depa won’t get the gas to supply the independent producers, which will have to take their power plants off line, removing about a third of the country’s electricity production.
#14 It is estimated that there are 273 billion dollars of failed real estate loans in the Spanish banking system.
#15 In March, 66 billion euros was pulled out of Spanish banks and sent out of the country. That was an all-time record and that was before we even knew the results of the recent elections in Greece and France. The numbers for April and May will almost certainly be even worse.
#16 The unemployment rate in Spain is 24.4 percent and for those under the age of 25 it is over 50 percent.
#17 Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is warning that Italy may have to take drastic actions if something is not done soon….
“People are in shock. Confidence has collapsed. We have never had such a dark future,” he said. Indeed, the jobless rate for youth has jumped from 27pc to 35pc in a year. Terrorism has returned. Anarchists knee-capped the head of Ansaldo Nucleare last month. Italy’s tax office chief was nearly blinded by a letter bomb.
“If Europe refuses to listen to our demands, we should say ‘bye, bye’ and leave the euro. Or tell the Germans to leave the euro if they are not happy,” he said.
#18 It now looks like Cyprus is going to be the next European nation to need a bailout.
#19 Switzerland is threatening to implement capital controls in order to stop the massive flow of money that is coming in from banks around the rest of Europe.
#20 As I wrote about the other day, World Bank President Robert Zoellick is warning that “the summer of 2012” could end up being very similar to what we experienced back in 2008….
“Events in Greece could trigger financial fright in Spain, Italy and across the eurozone. The summer of 2012 offers an eerie echo of 2008.”
#21 Germany’s former vice-Chancellor, Joschka Fischer, is warning that the entire EU could fall apart over this crisis….
“Let’s not delude ourselves: If the euro falls apart, so will the European Union, triggering a global economic crisis on a scale that most people alive today have never experienced”
When was the last time that we saw so much bad economic news come out all at once?
We truly live in unprecedented times.
It will be exciting to watch what happens, but it is also important to keep in mind that the coming economic crisis will cause extreme pain for millions upon millions of people.
For example, the suicide of a mother and a son due to the deteriorating economy has absolutely shocked the entire nation of Greece….
A 60-year-old Greek musician and his 91-year-old mother jumped to their deaths from their 5th floor apartment, driven to despair by financial woes. This double death is the latest in a rising epidemic of crisis-induced suicides in Greece.
Witness accounts vary – some say the mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, jumped first, screaming a prayer as she plummeted to her death. Other neighbors say the mother and her son jumped together, holding hands.
But the one thing everyone seems to agree on is that the family had been struggling for a long time. The night before, Antonis Perris posted a suicide note of sorts on a popular Greek forum, saying he had no way of resolving the family’s financial issues.
“The problem is that I didn’t realize that I would need to have cash, because the economic crisis came so suddenly. Even though I have been selling our possessions, we have no cash flow, we have no money to buy food anymore and my credit card is maxed out with 22% interest rate.”
Perris continued to say that both his and his mother’s health deteriorated, and that he saw no solution to his most basic problems – getting food and medical help.
This is why it is so incredibly important to get prepared.
You don’t want something like that happening to you or anyone in your family.
When the economy of a nation collapses, almost everything changes. Unfortunately, most people have never been through anything like that, so it can be difficult to know how to prepare. For those that are busy preparing for the coming global financial collapse, there is a lot to be learned from the economic depression that is happening right now in Greece. Essentially, what Greece is experiencing is a low level economic collapse. Unemployment is absolutely rampant and poverty is rapidly spreading, but the good news for Greece is that the global financial system is still operating somewhat normally and they are getting some financial assistance from the outside. Things in Greece could be a whole lot worse, and they will probably get a whole lot worse before it is all said and done. But already things have gotten bad enough in Greece that it gives us an idea of what a full-blown economic collapse in the 21st century may look like. There are reports of food and medicine shortages in Greece, crime and suicides are on the rise and people have been rapidly pulling their money out of the banks. Hopefully this article will give you some ideas that you can use as you prepare for the economic chaos that will soon be unfolding all over the globe.
The following are 10 things that we can learn about shortages and preparation from the economic collapse in Greece….
#1 Food Shortages Can Actually Happen
Most people assume that they will always be able to run out to their local supermarket or to Wal-Mart and get all of the supplies they need.
Unfortunately, that is a false assumption. The truth is that our food distribution system is extremely vulnerable.
In Greece, many people are starting to totally run out of food. Even some government institutions (such as prisons) are now reporting food shortages. The following was originally from a Greek news source….
The financing for many prisons has decreased to a minimum for some months now, resulting in hundreds of detainees being malnourished and surviving on the charity of local communities.
The latest example is the prison in Corinth where after the supply stoppage from the nearby military camp, the prisoners are at the mercy of God because, as reported by prison staff, not even one grain of rice has been left in their warehouses. When a few days earlier the commander of the camp announced to the prison management the transportation stoppage, citing lack of food supplies even for the soldiers, he shut down the last source of supply for 84 prisoners. The response of some Corinth citizens was immediate as they took it upon themselves to support the prisoners, since all protests to the Justice ministry were fruitless.
#2 Medicine Is One Of The First Things That Becomes Scarce During An Economic Collapse
If you are dependent on medicine in order to survive, you might want to figure out how you are going to get by if your supply of medicine is totally cut off someday.
In Greece, medicine shortages have become a massive problem. The following is from a recent Bloomberg article….
Mina Mavrou, who runs a pharmacy in a middle-class Athens suburb, spends hours each day pleading with drugmakers, wholesalers and colleagues to hunt down medicines for clients. Life-saving drugs such as Sanofi (SAN)’s blood-thinner Clexane and GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK)’s asthma inhaler Flixotide often appear as lines of crimson data on pharmacists’ computer screens, meaning the products aren’t in stock or that pharmacists can’t order as many units as they need.
“When we see red, we want to cry,” Mavrou said. “The situation is worsening day by day.”
The 12,000 pharmacies that dot almost every street corner in Greek cities are the damaged capillaries of a complex system for getting treatment to patients. The Panhellenic Association of Pharmacists reports shortages of almost half the country’s 500 most-used medicines. Even when drugs are available, pharmacists often must foot the bill up front, or patients simply do without.
#3 When An Economy Collapses, So Might The Power Grid
Try this some time – turn off all power to your home for 24 hours and try to live normally.
Sadly, most people simply do not understand just how dependent we are on the power grid. Without power, all of our lives would change dramatically.
In Greece, authorities are warning of an impending “collapse” of the power grid. If it goes down for an extended period of time in Greece, the consequences would be catastrophic….
Greece’s power regulator RAE told Reuters on Friday it was calling an emergency meeting next week to avert a collapse of the debt-stricken country’s electricity and natural gas system.
“RAE is taking crisis initiatives throughout next week to avert the collapse of the natural gas and electricity system,” the regulator’s chief Nikos Vasilakos told Reuters.
RAE took the decision after receiving a letter from Greece’s natural gas company DEPA, which threatened to cut supplies to electricity producers if they failed to settle their arrears with the company.
#4 During An Economic Collapse You Cannot Even Take Water For Granted
If the power grid goes down, you will soon no longer have clean water coming out of your faucets. That is one of the reasons why it is absolutely imperative that the power grid stay operable in Greece.
Sadly, most people don’t understand just how vulnerable our water system is. In a previous article, I quoted from a report that discussed how rapidly our water supply would be in jeopardy in the event of a major transportation disruption….
According to the American Water Works Association, Americans drink more than one billion glasses of tap water per day. For safety and security reasons, most water supply plants maintain a larger inventory of supplies than the typical business. However, the amount of chemical storage varies significantly and is site specific. According to the Chlorine Institute, most water treatment facilities receive chlorine in cylinders (150 pounds and one ton cylinders) that are delivered by motor carriers. On average, trucks deliver purification chemicals to water supply plants every seven to 14 days. Without these chemicals, water cannot be purified and made safe for drinking. Without truck deliveries of purification chemicals, water supply plants will run out of drinkable water in 14 to 28 days. Once the water supply is drained, water will be deemed safe for drinking only when boiled. Lack of clean drinking water will lead to increased gastrointestinal and other illnesses, further taxing an already weakened healthcare system.
What will you do when clean water stops coming out of your faucets?
You might want to start thinking about that.
#5 During An Economic Crisis Your Credit Cards And Debit Cards May Stop Working
Most people have become very accustomed to using either debit cards or credit cards for almost everything.
But what would happen if the financial system locked up for a period of time and you were not able to use them?
This is something that the citizens of Greece are potentially facing in the coming months, and this is something that all of us need to start thinking about.
#6 Crime, Rioting And Looting Become Commonplace During An Economic Collapse
Big corporations are already making extensive plans for how to protect their stores in the event that Greece switches from the euro to the drachma.
The following is from a recent Reuters article….
British electrical retailer Dixons has spent the last few weeks stockpiling security shutters to protect its nearly 100 stores across Greece in case of riot.
The planning, says Dixons chief Sebastian James, may look alarmist but it’s good to be prepared.
Company bosses around Europe agree. As the financial crisis in Greece worsens, companies are getting ready for everything from social unrest to a complete meltdown of the financial system.
#7 During A Financial Meltdown Many Average Citizens Will Start Bartering
During this economic depression, alternative currencies have already been popping up in Greece.
When things fall apart on a global scale, will you have things to barter for the things that you need?
#8 Suicides Spike During An Economic Collapse
When you think of the Great Depression of the 1930s, what do you think of?
Many people think of images of people jumping out of buildings.
Well, something similar has been happening in Greece. Suicide statistics in Greece have been absolutely soaring during the last couple of years.
Once prosperity disappears, many people feel as though life is not worth living anymore.
#9 Your Currency May Rapidly Lose Value During An Economic Crisis
Just remember what happened in Germany during the Weimar Republic and what has happened recently in places like Zimbabwe.
The truth is that it can happen anywhere.
Right now, Greeks are pulling their money out of the banks because they are worried that their euros will be turned into drachmas which would rapidly lose value.
If I was living in Greece I would definitely be concerned about that. The return of the drachma seems to get closer with each passing day. Just check out these screenshots.
#10 When Things Hit The Fan The Government Will Not Save You
Has the government of Greece come to the rescue of all of those that are deeply suffering right now?
Of course not. The truth is that the Greek government can barely take care of itself at the moment.
History has shown us that governments simply cannot be counted on when things hit the fan.
Just remember what happened during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
In the end, the only one that can be counted on to take care of you and your family is you.
So you better start preparing.
Unfortunately, as I wrote about the other day, time is rapidly running out for the global financial system.
Even some of the top economic officials in the world are warning that another major crisis could be on the way.
Just check out what World Bank President Robert Zoellick said the other day….
“Events in Greece could trigger financial fright in Spain, Italy and across the eurozone. The summer of 2012 offers an eerie echo of 2008.”
He also compared a potential exit of Greece from the eurozone to the collapse of Lehman Brothers back during the last financial crisis….
“If Greece leaves the eurozone, the contagion is impossible to predict, just as Lehman had unexpected consequences.”
So what are some things that the average person can do to get prepared?
Well, a recent article on SHTFplan.com entitled “The List: A to Z Survival for the Abysmal Times Ahead” contains hundreds of ideas for preparing for the chaotic economic environment that we are heading into.
Preparation is going to look different for every family. No two situations are exactly the same.
But there are some practical steps that nearly all of us can take to better position ourselves for what is coming. Now is the time to get educated and now is the time to take action.
Or you could be like all of those that laughed at Noah while he was building that big boat.
In the end, things did not work out too well for those folks.
The global financial system is not a game of checkers. It is a game of chess. All over the world today, news headlines are proclaiming that this new Greek debt deal has completely eliminated the possibility of a chaotic Greek debt default. Unfortunately, that is simply not the case. Rather, the truth is that this new deal actually “sets the table” for a Greek debt default. When I was studying and working in the legal arena, I learned that sometimes you make an agreement so that you can get the other side to break it. That may sound very strange to the average person on the street, but this is how the game is played at the highest levels. It is all about strategy. And in this case, the new debt deal imposes such strict conditions on Greece that it is almost inevitable that Greece will fail to meet some of them. When Greece does fail, Germany and the other northern European nations may try to claim that they “did everything that they could” but that Greece just did not “live up to its obligations”. So does this mean that we will definitely see a chaotic Greek debt default? No. What this does mean is that the chess pieces are being moved into position for one.
The following are 8 reasons why the Greek debt deal may not stop a chaotic Greek debt default….
#1 Greece Is Being Set Up To Fail
The terms of this new debt deal impose some incredibly harsh austerity measures on Greece and from now on the Greek government will be subject to “permanent monitoring” by EU officials.
In other words, they will be under a microscope.
Any violation of the terms of the debt deal could be used as a pretext to bring down the hammer and cut off bailout funds. Potentially, this could even happen just a few weeks from now.
It has become obvious that there are many politicians in Europe that would very much like to kick Greece out of the euro. In a recent column, the International Business Editor of The Telegraph summed up the situation this way….
It is clear that Berlin, Helsinki, and the Hague have taken the decision to eject Greece from the euro whatever the country now does. Even if Greece complies to the letter with the impossible terms of the EU-IMF Troika, it will not make any difference. A fresh pretext will be found.
#2 The Next Greek Election Could Bring An End To The Bailout Deal Overnight
The next national Greek elections are scheduled for April. Political parties opposed to the bailout have been surging in recent polls. It is becoming increasingly likely that the next Greek government will abandon this new deal entirely.
The following is what hedge fund manager Dennis Gartman told CNBC about what is likely to happen after the next elections….
“A new government is going to come to power following elections that shall take place sometime this spring, and if anyone anywhere believes that the next Greek government shall do anything other than abrogate all the agreements made with the ‘troika,’ then we have a bridge we’d like to sell them at a very high price”
With each passing day anger and frustration inside Greece continue to rise, and those that are currently holding power in Greece are becoming very unpopular.
One current member of Greek Parliament recently talked about what he thinks will happen in the aftermath of the next election….
“If we achieve a Left-dominated government, we will politely tell the Troika to leave the country, and we may need to discuss an orderly return to the Drachma”
#3 This Bailout Deal Is Going To Make Economic Conditions In Greece Even Worse
In a previous article, I listed some of the new austerity measures that are being imposed on Greece by this new agreement….
The EU and the IMF are demanding that Greece fire 15,000 more government workers immediately and a total of 150,000 government workers by 2015.
The EU and the IMF are demanding that wages for government workers be cut by another 20 percent.
The EU and the IMF are demanding that the minimum wage be slashed by more than 20 percent.
The EU and the IMF are also demanding significant reductions in unemployment benefits and pension benefits.
The austerity measures that have already been implemented over the past few years have already pushed Greece into an economic depression.
These new austerity measures will deepen that depression.
At the moment, the Greek national debt is sitting at about 160 percent of GDP.
We are being told that these new austerity measures will reduce that ratio to 120 percent by 2020, but already there are many in the financial world that are calling such a goal “comical“.
Even with this new deal, the Greek national debt is still completely and total unsustainable. A “confidential report” produced by analysts from the European Central Bank, the European Commission, and the International Monetary Fund says the following about what this new debt deal is likely to accomplish….
There are notable risks. Given the high prospective level and share of senior debt, the prospects for Greece to be able to return to the market in the years following the end of the new program are uncertain and require more analysis. Prolonged financial support on appropriate terms by the official sector may be necessary. Moreover, there is a fundamental tension between the program objectives of reducing debt and improving competitiveness, in that the internal devaluation needed to restore Greece competitiveness will inevitably lead to a higher debt to GDP ratio in the near term. In this context, a scenario of particular concern involves internal devaluation through deeper recession (due to continued delays with structural reforms and with fiscal policy and privatization implementation). This would result in a much higher debt trajectory, leaving debt as high as 160 percent of GDP in 2020. Given the risks, the Greek program may thus remain accident-prone, with questions about sustainability hanging over it.
The GDP of Greece fell by 6.8 percent during 2011.
2012 was already expected to be even worse, and all of these new austerity measures certainly are not going to help things.
And every time the Greek economy contracts that makes a chaotic debt default even more likely.
#4 The Greek Parliament Must Still Vote On This Bailout Deal
It is anticipated that the Greek Parliament will vote on this new agreement on Wednesday.
It is expected to pass.
But when it comes to Greece these days, there are no guarantees.
#5 The Greek Constitution Must Still Be Modified
Under the terms of this new agreement, Greece is being required to change its constitution.
The following is how an article in The Economist describes this requirement….
Over the next two months Greece has promised to adopt legislation “ensuring that priority is granted to debt-servicing payments”, with a view to enshrining this in the constitution “as soon as possible”. These arrangements may not amount to the budget “commissar” once threatened by some creditors, but the effect may be pretty much the same.
So will this actually get done?
We will see.
Forcing a sovereign country to modify its constitution is a very serious thing. If I was a Greek citizen, I would be highly insulted by this.
#6 Several European Parliaments Still Need To Approve This Deal
The German Parliament still must approve this new agreement. This is also the case for the Netherlands and Finland as well.
Many politicians in all three nations have been highly critical of the Greek bailouts.
It is expected that all of these parliaments will approve this deal, but you just never know.
#7 Private Investors Still Have To Agree To This New Deal
Private investors are being asked to take a massive “haircut” on Greek debt. The following is how the size of the “haircut” was described by a USA Today article….
Banks, pension funds and other private investors are being asked to forgive some €107 billion ($142 billion) of the total €206 billion ($273 billion) in devalued Greek government bonds they hold.
There is absolutely no guarantee that a solid majority of private investors will agree to this.
In the end, probably the only thing that is guaranteed is that litigation regarding this “haircut” is likely to stretch on for many years to come.
#8 The Global Financial Community Still Expects Greece To Default
Almost all of the analysts that were projecting a chaotic Greek debt default are still projecting one today. Yes, many of them believe that “the can has been kicked down the road” for a few months, but most of them are still convinced that a default by Greece is inevitable.
The following comes from a Bloomberg article that was released after the Greek debt deal was announced….
“The danger of Greece saving itself into economic depression and having to default and exit the common currency zone remains substantial,” said Christian Schulz, an economist at Berenberg Bank in London. Jennifer McKeown of Capital Economics Ltd. repeated her forecast that Greece will quit the euro by the end of the year.
The odds that this agreement will survive for very long are not great.
It will be nearly impossible for Greece to meet all of the conditions being imposed upon it by this new deal. All of the politicians in northern Europe that are just itching to cut off aid to Greece will soon have the excuse that they need for doing so.
And the Greek people could decide to bring all of this to an end very quickly. If they elect a new government in April that does not support this bailout agreement, the game will be over.
So don’t be fooled by all the headlines.
A chaotic Greek debt default has not been averted.
The truth is that a chaotic Greek debt default is now closer than ever.
Over the past couple of weeks, George Soros, the IMF and the World Bank have all issued incredibly chilling warnings about the possibility of an impending economic collapse. Considering the power and the influence that Soros, the IMF and the World Bank all have over the global financial system, this is very alarming. So are they purposely trying to scare the living daylights out of us? Soros is even warning of riots in the streets of America. Unfortunately, way too often top global leaders say something in public because they want to “push” events in a certain direction. Do George Soros and officials at the IMF and World Bank hope to prevent a worldwide financial collapse by making these statements, or are other agendas at work? We may never know. But one thing is for sure – many of the top financial officials in the world are using language that is downright “apocalyptic”, and that is not a good sign for the rest of 2012.
Right now, George Soros is saying things that he has never said before. Just check out what George Soros recently told Newsweek….
“I am not here to cheer you up. The situation is about as serious and difficult as I’ve experienced in my career,” Soros tells Newsweek. “We are facing an extremely difficult time, comparable in many ways to the 1930s, the Great Depression. We are facing now a general retrenchment in the developed world, which threatens to put us in a decade of more stagnation, or worse. The best-case scenario is a deflationary environment. The worst-case scenario is a collapse of the financial system.”
Later on in that same article, Soros is quoted as saying that we could soon see the U.S. government using “strong-arm tactics” to crack down on rioting in the streets of major U.S. cities….
As anger rises, riots on the streets of American cities are inevitable. “Yes, yes, yes,” he says, almost gleefully. The response to the unrest could be more damaging than the violence itself. “It will be an excuse for cracking down and using strong-arm tactics to maintain law and order, which, carried to an extreme, could bring about a repressive political system, a society where individual liberty is much more constrained, which would be a break with the tradition of the United States.”
It almost sounds like George Soros is anticipating the same kind of a breakdown of society that many survivalists and preppers are getting ready for.
So how bad are things going to get?
Well, George Soros is publicly warning that the coming financial crisis could end up being even worse than 2008. Just check out the following quotes from him that appeared in a recent Businessweek article….
Billionaire investor George Soros said Europe’s sovereign-debt woes are “more serious” than the financial crisis of 2008 and that the world faces the prospect of a “vicious circle” of deflation.
“We have a more dangerous situation now than in 2008,” Soros, 81, said in response to a question at an event in the southern Indian city of Bangalore today. “The crisis in Europe is more serious than the crash of 2008.”
But George Soros is not the only one issuing these kinds of warnings.
Once again, the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, has made a speech in which she openly warned that we are heading for a repeat of the “1930s”.
She told an audience in Berlin on Monday that the globe is facing “a 1930s moment, in which inaction, insularity and rigid ideology combine to cause a collapse in global demand”.
During the speech she called for a trillion more dollars to support financially troubled governments, and she made the following statement….
“It is not about saving any one country or region. It is about saving the world from a downward economic spiral.”
As I wrote about the other day, the World Bank has also been using apocalyptic language about the global financial situation. In a shocking new report, the World Bank revised GDP growth estimates for 2012 downward very sharply, it warned that Europe could be facing financial collapse at any time, and it instructed the rest of the world to “prepare for the worst.”
The lead author of the report, Andrew Burns, said that the “importance of contingency planning cannot be stressed enough” and that if there is a major financial crisis in Europe the entire globe will be deeply affected….
“An escalation of the crisis would spare no-one. Developed- and developing-country growth rates could fall by as much or more than in 2008/09.”
So should we be alarmed that George Soros, the IMF and the World Bank are all proclaiming that a financial nightmare could be just around the corner?
Of course we should be.
Whether their motives are pure or not, they are telling the truth about the global financial situation in this case. As I have written about so frequently, there are a whole host of signs that indicate that we could be on the verge of a major global recession.
A lot of folks in the investment world are warning that hard times are about to hit us as well. For example, the following is what legendary investor Joseph Granville recently told Bloomberg Television….
Joseph Granville, whose “sell everything” call in 1981 sparked a decline in U.S. stocks, said the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU) will drop toward 8,000 this year because of waning momentum and volume.
“Volume precedes prices,” Granville, 88, a technical analyst who has been publishing the Granville Market Letter from Kansas City, Missouri for about 50 years, said in an interview on “Street Smart” on Bloomberg Television. “You are seeing much lower volume. That tells you that prices are going to go much lower, much lower than most people think possible and very few people have projected.”
Considering all of the warnings out there, it only seems prudent to prepare for the worst.
But unfortunately, a lot of people are just going to leave their holdings sitting out there like a dead duck, and they are going to be absolutely devastated by the coming financial tsunami.
Those that believe that the United States can somehow escape the coming financial storm don’t really know what they are talking about.
In fact, there was very troubling news for the U.S. dollar just the other day. It was announced that India will start paying for its oil from Iran in a currency other than U.S. dollars.
But this is just another sign that the rest of the world is starting to reject the U.S. dollar. For decades, the U.S. dollar has been the reserve currency of the world and this has given us a tremendous advantage. Unfortunately for us, that is now changing.
U.S. newspapers are not talking about what is going on, but mainstream newspapers in Europe are. Right now, some of the biggest countries in the world are working on plans to quit using U.S. dollars for the buying and selling of oil.
The following comes from a recent article in The Independent….
In the most profound financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning – along with China, Russia, Japan and France – to end dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar.
Secret meetings have already been held by finance ministers and central bank governors in Russia, China, Japan and Brazil to work on the scheme, which will mean that oil will no longer be priced in dollars.
The plans, confirmed to The Independent by both Gulf Arab and Chinese banking sources in Hong Kong, may help to explain the sudden rise in gold prices, but it also augurs an extraordinary transition from dollar markets within nine years.
This is a very big deal, and if this gets pulled off it is going to have devastating consequences for the U.S. dollar and for the U.S. economy.
But of course when it comes to troubles for the U.S. financial system, there are a whole host of issues that could be talked about.
An environment for a “perfect storm” is developing, and most Americans have absolutely no idea what is about to happen.
Fortunately, there are some researchers out there that are working hard to sound the alarm bells. For example, the following quote comes from a recent interview with Gerald Celente….
I believe that we have to watch out for something along the lines of an economic martial law. The European system is in collapse. The financial system in the United States is just as tenuous, if not more, and I believe they will not admit there will be a financial crash but rather they will use a geo-political issue to get the people in a state of fear and hysteria whereby they’ll then call a bank holiday or devaluation of the currency, or a hyperinflation of the currency, and blame it on somebody else.
It would be wise to listen to what experts such as Gerald Celente are saying.
Now is the time to take stock of where you are at and to make plans for the coming year.
Just because things have “always” been a certain way does not mean that they will continue to be that way.
Just because certain things have “always” worked in the past does not mean that they will continue to work in the future.
Our world is experiencing fundamental changes. It is changing at a faster pace than we have ever seen before. The way that we all live our lives five or ten years from now will be vastly different from how we live our lives today.
This will be a very challenging time to be alive, but it is also going to be a very exciting time to be alive.
So what do all of you think is going to happen in 2012?
Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below….
As a result of the absolutely stunning 29-23 overtime victory by the Denver Broncos over the Pittsburgh Steelers, it seems inevitable that “Tebow Time” will become a household phrase all over America. The string of last second victories that we have seen Tim Tebow pull out this season is unprecedented and we will probably never see anything quite like it again. Unfortunately, miracles don’t always happen in real life when we need them. Right now it is “Tebow Time” for the U.S. economy, the U.S. political system and the global financial system, and things look really bad. So will we see heroes rise up at this time to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, or will we see the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world implode and plunge the entire planet into a devastating economic depression? Most people have no idea how fragile the global economic system has become at this point. Global leaders are currently engaged in a frantic juggling act in a desperate attempt to keep all the balls in the air. One wrong move could unleash a financial panic that could potentially be even worse than what we saw in 2008.
It is Tebow Time for the global financial system.
Lately I have been spending a lot of time writing about Europe. Many Americans have not really been too interested in these articles because they only want to hear about what is happening in the United States.
But the truth is that what is happening in Europe is of the utmost importance. The EU actually has a larger economy than the United States does, and when the European financial system collapses it is going to dramatically affect the entire globe.
For those that have not seen my recent articles on Europe yet, you can find some of them here, here and here.
The euro continues to drop like a rock. As I write this, the EUR/USD is sitting at 1.2693. That is shockingly low, and in the weeks and months to come it is going to go even lower.
But I am not the only one warning about these things. Trends forecaster Gerald Celente recently told ABC Australia that he is more concerned about the global financial system today than he has ever been before….
“I would say, since I’ve been doing this work, over 30 years ago, I’ve never been more concerned than I am right now.”
Celente also told ABC Australia that many areas of Europe are already essentially experiencing an economic depression….
“If you live in Greece, you’re in a depression; if you live in Spain, you’re in a depression; if you live in Portugal or Ireland, you’re in a depression,” Celente said. “If you live in Lithuania, you’re running to the bank to get your money out of the bank as the bank runs go on. It’s a depression. Hungary, there’s a depression, and much of Eastern Europe, Romania, Bulgaria. And there are a lot of depressions going on [already].”
Yes, things are stable (and even slightly improving a bit) in the United States right now. But it won’t be long before the financial tsunami that is sweeping Europe hits us as well.
It is Tebow Time for U.S. consumers.
We should all be thankful that the employment situation in the U.S. has stabilized, but things are not as good as the mainstream media would have you to believe.
Instead of 8.5%, the “official” unemployment number put out by the federal government should be about 11 percent, and the “real” unemployment number is somewhere around 22 or 23 percent.
And if you take a long-term view of things, there is no reason to celebrate at all. The truth is that the middle class in America is being systematically destroyed and we won’t see much permanent improvement until this country fundamentally changes direction.
Right now, there are tens of millions of Americans that can’t find a decent job. A lot of people are sitting at home as you read this staring blankly at the television as they wonder why nobody will hire them.
Once in a while, a little bit of this despair leaks into the mainstream media. The following comes from a CNBC article that was posted on Saturday….
Despite an upswing in hiring during 2011, the jobs crisis could last many more years as millions of Americans struggle to find work.
In Orlando, Florida, Brenda Solomon lost her retail job last May at a department store and was unable to find even temporary work during the holiday season.
“I’ve tried and tried and tried,” Solomon, 58, said on Friday while visiting a job center.
As they struggle to make ends meet each month, millions upon millions of U.S. consumers continue to run up even more debt as an article posted on CNBC recently detailed….
During the third fiscal quarter of 2011, U.S. consumers added $17 billion in new credit card debt, wiping out what remained of a $33 billion first-quarter pay down and putting us on pace for a $64 billion net gain in credit card debt during 2011, according to a Card Hub study.
It is Tebow Time for the Republican Party.
America desperately needs a fundamental change of direction, but right now a candidate heavily backed by the Wall Street banks is threatening to run away with the Republican nomination.
Mitt Romney is a politician in the worst sense of the word. He just wouldn’t be a bad president. He would be an absolute disaster. In fact, if Romney gets elected, it will basically guarantee a Democratic victory in 2016 (could be Hillary) and the Republican Party will be so damaged that they may never have another shot at turning this country around.
When it comes to evaluating Mitt Romney, do not listen to what he says. The reality is that what he says changes a little bit every single day. His flip-flopping is legendary.
No, when it comes to evaluating Mitt Romney, it is absolutely imperative to look at his record.
And when you look at his record (what he has actually done), it quickly becomes clear that he is basically just a more experienced version of Barack Obama.
When the mainstream media says that Mitt Romney has the best chance of beating Barack Obama, that is because they feel as though he is the candidate that is most like Barack Obama.
If it is Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney in the general election, we are basically guaranteed four more years of establishment rule. Yes, there will be some minor changes, but everything will pretty much continue running the way that it is now no matter which one wins.
And please don’t believe that Mitt Romney will get government spending and government debt under control. According to a recent article in the Washington Post, the Romney tax plan would add 600 billion dollars to the federal budget deficit in 2015.
Mitt Romney is not going to fix any of our fundamental problems. If he was a master at “job creation”, then Massachusetts would not have been 47th in the nation at creating jobs while he was governor.
If Mitt Romney gets the nomination, it will just be another indication that the Republican Party is bought and paid for by the establishment.
Just check out who is giving money to Romney. Did you know that Goldman Sachs is his biggest donor? The following numbers come from opensecrets.org….
Goldman Sachs $367,200
Credit Suisse Group $203,750
Morgan Stanley $199,800
HIG Capital $186,500
Kirkland & Ellis $132,100
Bank of America $126,500
EMC Corp $117,300
JPMorgan Chase & Co $112,250
The Villages $97,500
Vivint Inc $80,750
Marriott International $79,837
Sullivan & Cromwell $79,250
Bain Capital $74,500
UBS AG $73,750
Wells Fargo $61,500
Blackstone Group $59,800
Citigroup Inc $57,050
Bain & Co $52,500
But the numbers above are nothing compared to the money being poured into the “Super PACs” that are backing Romney. The financial elite are dumping tens of millions of dollars into these “Super PACs”, and these “Super PACs” are playing a huge role in this campaign.
The following comes from an article posted on Economic Policy Journal….
The New York Times reports that New York hedge-fund managers and Boston financiers contributed almost $30 million to “Restore Our Future” before the Iowa caucuses. And “Restore Our Future“‘s faux independence has allowed Romney to publicly distance himself from them, their money, and the dirty work that their money has bought.
More than anyone else running for president, Mitt Romney personifies the top 1 percent in America — actually, the top one-tenth of one percent. It’s not just his four homes and estimated $200 million fortune, not just his wheeling and dealing in leveraged-buyouts and private equity, not even the jobless refugees of his financial maneuvers that makes him the Gordon Gekko of presidential aspirants.
It’s his connections to the epicenters of big money in America — especially to top executives and financiers in the habit of investing for handsome returns.
The way the political game is played in America today, the candidate with the most money almost always wins.
Mitt Romney and the organizations that are supporting Mitt Romney are sitting on gigantic mountains of cash.
Can any of the other Republican candidates overcome that disadvantage?
History would tell us no.
That is why it is Tebow Time for the Republican Party.
It is late in the game and things look desperate.
And if we don’t turn the country in a different direction in 2012, we may not get another chance.
Right now, the U.S. debt crisis is getting worse by the day. To get an idea of just how bad the U.S. national debt has become, just check out the infographic that is posted right here.
If we do not get our financial house in order and fundamentally change our economic policies, we are absolutely doomed.
If Barack Obama or Mitt Romney is elected in 2012, that is pretty much going to seal our fate.
Before you cast a vote this year, please read “The Top 100 Statistics About The Collapse Of The Economy That Every American Voter Should Know“. That article covers dozens of our economic problems and it shows why we are at such an important junction in American history.
2012 is going to be a huge turning point for us.
Right now, it looks like we are going to make a wrong turn.
It truly is Tebow Time, and we really need a miracle.
Can you hear that? It almost sounds like a little bit of peace and quiet. This year, the holiday season has been fairly uneventful, and for that we should be very grateful. But it isn’t going to last long. 2012 is going to be a much more difficult year for the U.S. economy and the global financial system than 2011 has been. So if things are going well for you right now, enjoy this little bubble of peace and tranquility while you can. Because while things may look calm on the surface right now, the truth is that this is a very scary Christmas for financial professionals and world leaders. Most of them know how fragile the global financial system is at the moment. Most of them know that we are living in the greatest bubble of debt, leverage and financial risk that the world has ever seen. As I wrote about the other day, world leaders would not be throwing huge bailouts around like crazy if everything was going to be just fine. The truth is that we are rapidly approaching another financial crisis that may end up being even worse than the horrific crash of 2008.
Despite unprecedented efforts by the European Central Bank, the yield on 10 year Italian bonds is nearly up to 7 percent again.
Keep an eye on the yield on 10 year Italian bonds. That is going to be one of the most important financial numbers in the world in the coming months.
But Italy is not the only problem. The reality is that several European governments are teetering on the verge of default right now. Meanwhile, confidence in the European financial system has been absolutely shattered and a devastating credit crunch has set in. Nobody (other than the ECB) wants to loan money to the banks and the banks are massively cutting back on loans to businesses and consumers. This is causing the money supply to fall. The ECB is trying to hold things together with chicken wire and duct tape, but it isn’t going to work.
In major financial centers such as the City of London, this is a very scary Christmas and the outlook for the new year looks very frightening. Because financial activity has dried up so dramatically, a number of firms are already shutting down. The following comes from a recent Bloomberg article….
London’s stockbrokers are shrinking as Europe’s sovereign debt crisis and competition from international firms squeezes revenue and fees.
“This isn’t just a blip, this is much worse,” said Tim Linacre, who is stepping down as chief executive officer of Panmure (PMR) Gordon & Co., a 135-year-old brokerage. “It’s a desert for activity, which is why you are seeing some firms throw in the towel.”
In the past month, Altium Capital closed its securities unit. Evolution Group Plc (EVG), Merchant Securities Group Plc, Arbuthnot Securities Ltd. and Collins Stewart Hawkpoint Plc have all accepted takeover offers from larger competitors.
“It feels worse than any other time,” said Lorna Tilbian, an executive director at Numis Corp. who began her career in 1984. “All I hear about is people putting up a white flag.”
Many out there are wondering if we are about to face another crisis like the one we saw back in 2008.
Unfortunately, none of the underlying problems that caused that crisis were ever really fixed.
We did not learn from history so now we are in for another round of pain.
In fact, Chris Martenson believes that this next crisis will be even worse than 2008….
There are clear signs of a liquidity crunch in the asset markets right now, and the question I keep hearing is, Is this 2008 all over again?
No, it’s worse. Much worse.
In 2008 there was a lot more faith and optimism upon which to draw. But both have been squandered to significant degrees by feckless regulators and authorities who failed to properly address any of the root causes of the first crisis even as they slathered layer after layer of thin-air money over many of the symptoms.
Anyone who has paid attention knows that those “magic potions” proved to be anything but. Not only are the root causes still with us (too much debt, vast regional financial imbalances, and high energy prices), but they have actually grown worse the entire time.
A couple of months ago, I wrote about the coming derivatives crisis that could potentially wipe out the entire global financial system.
When the next great financial crisis strikes, there is going to be a lot of focus on derivatives once again.
Top global financial authorities such as Ben Bernanke continue to insist that derivatives are perfectly safe.
But there are other voices in the financial world that are warning that we are heading for financial armageddon. For example,just check out what Mark Faber is saying….
“I am convinced the whole derivatives market will cease to exit. Will become zero. And when it happens I don’t know: you can postpone the problems with monetary measures for a long time but you can’t solve them… Greece should have defaulted – it would have sent a message that not all derivatives are equal because it depends on the counterparty.”
That is very strong language.
Faber also believes that the stock market is going to get hit really, really hard during the coming crisis….
“I am ultra bearish. I think most people will be lucky if they still have 50% of their money in 5 years time. You have to have diversification – some real estate in the countryside, some gold and some equities because if you think it through, say Germany 1900 to today, we had WWI, we had hyperinflation, WWII, cash holders and bondholders they lost everything 3 times, but if you owned equities you’d be ok. In equities in general you will not lose it all, it may not be a good investment, unless you put it all in one company and it goes bankrupt.”
Some of the top financial officials in the entire world have also used some very scary language in recent weeks.
The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christian Lagarde, recently stated that we could soon see conditions “reminiscent of the 1930s depression” and that no country on earth “will be immune to the crisis”….
“There is no economy in the world, whether low-income countries, emerging markets, middle-income countries or super-advanced economies that will be immune to the crisis that we see not only unfolding but escalating”
But most people are so busy opening up the cheap plastic presents under their Christmas trees (that were mostly made overseas) that they aren’t even paying attention to these warnings.
Look, when the money supply falls significantly it is almost impossible to avoid a recession. Just look at the historical numbers.
Unfortunately, money supply numbers all over Europe are falling dramatically right now as an article in the Telegraph recently noted….
All key measures of the money supply in the eurozone contracted in October with drastic falls across parts of southern Europe, raising the risk of severe recession over coming months.
Confidence in the banking system in Europe has never been this low in the post-World War II era. Sadly, most people simply do not understand how bad things have gotten for major European banks. One Australian news source recently put it this way….
“If anyone thinks things are getting better, they simply don’t understand how severe the problems are,” a London executive at a global bank said. “A major bank could fail within weeks.”
Others said many continental banks, including French, Italian and Spanish lenders, were close to running out of the acceptable forms of collateral, such as US Treasury bonds, that could be used to finance short-term loans.
Some have been forced to lend out their gold reserves to maintain access to US dollar funding.
The outlook is very ominous.
Financial professionals all over the globe are telling us what is coming if we are willing to listen.
The following comes from a report recently produced by Credit Suisse’s Fixed Income Research unit….
“We seem to have entered the last days of the euro as we currently know it. That doesn’t make a break-up very likely, but it does mean some extraordinary things will almost certainly need to happen – probably by mid-January – to prevent the progressive closure of all the euro zone sovereign bond markets, potentially accompanied by escalating runs on even the strongest banks.”
The first six months of 2012 are going to be a very key time. National governments and big European banks are scheduled to roll over huge mountains of debt. But if they can’t find any takers that could bring the global financial system to a moment of great crisis very quickly.
The following is how former hedge fund manager Bruce Krasting recently described the problem that Italy is facing….
At this point there is zero possibility that Italy can refinance any portion of its $300b of 2012 maturing debt. If there is anyone at the table who still thinks that Italy can pull off a miracle, they are wrong. I’m certain that the finance guys at the ECB and Italian CB understand this. I repeat, there is a zero chance for a market solution for Italy.
But even if we don’t see a formal default by a major European nation such a Italy, that doesn’t mean that major European banks are going to make it through the crippling recession that has now begun in Europe.
Charles Wyplosz, a professor of international economics at Geneva’s Graduate Institute, is absolutely convinced that we are going to see some major European banks collapse….
“Banks will collapse, including possibly a number of French banks that are very exposed to Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain.”
Authorities in Europe are saying the “right things” publicly, but privately they are preparing for the worst.
As the Telegraph recently reported, the British government is now making plans based on the assumption that a collapse of the euro is only “just a matter of time”….
A senior minister has now revealed the extent of the Government’s concern, saying that Britain is now planning on the basis that a euro collapse is now just a matter of time.
Yes, we are heading for a huge financial collapse and massive economic trouble.
So enjoy the good times while we still have them.
They are not going to last too much longer.