We haven’t seen this kind of a bloodbath on Wall Street since the great financial crisis of 2008. Prior to this week, the largest single day decline for the Dow Jones industrial average that we had ever seen was 777 points. That record was absolutely shattered on Monday when the Dow fell 1,175 points, and on Thursday the Dow dropped another 1,032 points. This was the third decline greater than 500 points within the last five trading days, and the Dow is poised to post its worst week since the dark days of October 2008. So is this just a “correction”, or has the financial crisis of 2018 officially arrived?
At this point, many of the experts are pointing to the bond market as the primary reason why stock prices are crashing. The following comes from CNBC…
There’s a not-so-quiet rebellion going on in the bond market, and it threatens to take 10-year yields above 3 percent much faster than expected just a few weeks ago.
As a result, the bumpy ride for stocks could continue for a while.
And without a doubt, analysts such as Jeff Gundlach clearly warned that there would be big trouble for stocks as bond yields rose…
Gundlach had correctly predicted that if the 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield went above 2.63 percent, U.S. stock investors would be spooked.
“Clearly, the market gets shaky when the 10-year hits 2.85 percent,” Gundlach said. “Just look at this week, and today. Makes one consider what could be coming if 10s push over 3 and 30s (30-year Treasury bond) over 3.22 percent.”
The 10-year yield is currently trading around 2.83 percent. Gundlach said it is “hard to love bonds at even a 3 percent” yield. “Rising interest rates are a problem and the U.S. is in debt and there is massive bond supply,” Gundlach said.
Moving forward, it will be important to keep a close eye on bond yields. Every time they start going back up, we are likely to see stock prices go down…
“We’re in a vicious cycle here. If the yields go up, you have to sell stocks. If you sell stocks, and they crash, yields come back down,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR.
The bond market’s struggle to price in higher interest rates has been kneecapped each time the stock market reacts and sells off. Strategists expect the two markets to ultimately find an equilibrium but not without more sharp swings.
This is one of the reasons why the budget deal going through Congress right now is such a bad idea. Hundreds of billions of dollars of additional spending on top of what we are already doing is going to push up bond yields, and that is just going to make the pressure on Wall Street even worse.
Of course the folks over at the Federal Reserve could intervene, but they don’t seem inclined to do that at this point. Late last year the Fed finally removed artificial life support from the financial system, and at first everything seemed to be going well. But now a new crisis is brewing, and we shall see if the Fed still remains determined to keep raising rates. The following comes from Peter Schiff…
“The Fed were dragging their feet in raising rates while Obama was president. They talked about raising rates but at the end of the day, they barely moved them up. The pace of hikes has increased since Trump was elected, but part of the reason for that…I mean, the media is not talking down the economy; if anything they’re overhyping the economy. Everybody’s talking about how strong the economy is, how everything is great. Everybody is taking credit for this great economy. The Fed wants to take credit for it, Trump wants to take credit for it, so if everybody wants to talk about how great the economy is, the Fed doesn’t have any excuse if it doesn’t raise rates…in order to keep up the pretense that the economy is as strong as everybody thinks, the Fed is in this box where it has to raise rates.
But they [the Fed] can’t tell the truth that it’s really a bubble, and if we raise rates, we’re gonna prick it, so they’re kinda in this bind. And they are still telegraphing that they’re gonna raise rates three or four times this year. And that is the problem.“
It has been my contention for a very long time that the greatest financial bubble in human history would not be able to continue without artificial support from the Fed and other global central banks.
Once the Fed finally ended their artificial support for the markets late last year, I anticipated that there would be trouble, but stock prices continued to rise through the holiday season.
But now reality is setting in, and investors are rushing like mad for the exits. I really like how Brandon Smith described the current state of affairs in his recent article…
After I predicted the election of Donald Trump, I also predicted that central banks would begin pulling the plug on life support for equities markets. This did in fact take place with the Fed’s continued program of interest rate increases and the reduction of their balance sheet, which effectively strangles the flow of cheap credit to banking and corporate institutions that fueled stock buybacks for years. Without this constant and ever expansionary easy fiat, there is nothing left to act as a crutch for stocks except perhaps blind faith. And blind faith in the economy always ends up being smacked down by the ugly realities of mathematics.
Without artificial support, gravity will try to pull stock valuations back to their long-term averages. That would mean a decline for the Dow of at least 10,000 more points, but major financial institutions are so highly leveraged and Wall Street has become such a giant casino that our system literally cannot handle that sort of a decline.
The only way that the game can continue is for the Fed and other global central banks to intervene and prop up the absurd financial bubble that they originally created.
Absent that, this crisis is likely to go from bad to worse, and we may soon find ourselves facing a financial panic unlike anything that we have ever seen before.
Seriously? We were expecting that Tuesday would be an unusual day on Wall Street, and that was definitely the case. At the low point, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 567 points, but at the closing bell it was up 567 points. That is a swing of more than 1000 points, but what is more surprising is the exact symmetry of those numbers. Is this just some sort of bizarre coincidence?
At the opening bell, stock prices collapsed and many were concerned that we were heading for another really bad day for investors. According to CNBC, the Dow was down 567 points at the lowest point…
The Dow Jones industrial average opened with a big whoosh lower, then rallied all the way back. As of 3:41 p.m. ET, the Dow is 600 points higher and trading at a new session high. At its session low it was down by 567 points.
But then momentum shifted and the Dow soared. By the end of the Day, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 567 points. The following comes from CNN…
The Dow plunged 567 points at the open on Tuesday and briefly sank into correction territory — a drop of 10% from its record high. But those losses quickly vanished, and the index ended the day up 567.
It was the Dow’s biggest point gain since August 2015 and the fourth-largest in history. The percentage gain of 2.3% is the biggest since January 2016.
It is not unusual to see market swings of this magnitude during times of high volatility. Even during times of panic, at some point the sellers get exhausted and investors looking for buying opportunities come surging in. On Tuesday, this shift in momentum came almost immediately after the opening…
“I thought we were going to see the bottom within five minutes of when we opened. I think that’s basically what we’re seeing,” said Ed Keon, portfolio manager at QMA, the quantitative and dynamic asset allocation business of PGIM. “At these levels, stocks represent pretty good value and we’re adding to equity exposure.” Keon said it’s too early to call a bottom but he expects that the worse is over.
But just because the Dow was up more than 500 points today does not mean that the crisis is over.
It is important to remember that there are wild swings both ways during any market crisis. For example, 9 of the 20 best days in stock market history were right in the middle of the financial crisis of 2008. So if a new financial crisis is indeed brewing, we would certainly expect to see days when the Dow rises dramatically.
Markets tend to do well when things are calm, and they tend to go down when things get choppy. So the fact that there was such volatility on Wall Street today is not a good sign.
Hopefully things will settle down, because the markets will not be able to handle too much more shaking. There is so much leverage on Wall Street today, and as Carl Icahn recently told CNBC, one of these days all of this leverage is “going to blow up the market”…
Billionaire Carl Icahn told CNBC on Tuesday there are too many exotic, leveraged products for investors to trade, and one day these securities are going to blow up the market.
The market is a “casino on steroids” with all these exchange-traded funds and exchange-traded notes, he said.
These funds, especially the leveraged ones, are the “fault lines” that will eventually lead to an earthquake on Wall Street, he said. “These are just the beginnings of a rumbling.”
Wednesday will be a key day. If the markets are nice and calm, that will be a really good sign.
But if we see tremendous movement in one direction or the other, that could indicate that more shaking is on the way.
In any event, the absurdly inflated stock prices of today are simply not sustainable. Stock valuations always return to their long-term averages eventually, and that will be true in this case as well.
What goes up must come down, and we have certainly witnessed this with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies lately. As far as stocks are concerned, the best that we can hope for in the long-term is a soft landing, but history tells us that is usually not how giant financial bubbles come to an end.
The mainstream media seems so surprised that the stock market is crashing, but the truth is that it isn’t a surprise at all. In fact, this crash is way, way overdue. If the Dow Jones industrial average fell another 10,000 points, stock prices would still be overvalued. I have been warning and warning and warning that this would happen, because stock valuations always return to their long-term averages eventually. On Monday, the Dow was down a staggering 1,175 points, which was the largest single day decline that we have ever seen by a very wide margin. In fact, it shattered the old record by nearly 400 points.
Shortly after 3 PM, all hell broke loose on Wall Street. The Dow dropped by more than 800 points in just 10 minutes. At one point on Monday, the Dow was down nearly 1,600 points, but a brief rally cut those losses roughly in half. However, the rally did not last long and stock prices collapsed hard as the market closed. At this moment, the Dow is already down more than 2,200 points from the peak of the market, and we are not too far from officially entering “correction” territory.
Once stocks start falling, it can trigger a massive rush for the exits, and that is what happened on Monday. In particular, investors started to panic once the Dow broke through the 50-day moving average…
“As soon as we broke the 50-day moving average … we saw volatility spike,” said Jeff Kilburg, CEO of KKM Financial. “It’s just been downhill from there.”
Other waves of selling were triggered once the 25,000 and 24,000 barriers on the Dow were breached. In order to protect against losing too much money, many investors have stop losses set at psychologically-important levels. The following comes from MarketWatch…
Amplifying the slump was computer-programmed trade set to dump shares at certain levels. According to traders, the Dow DJIA, -4.60% was set to trigger trades once it fell below 25,000 and 24,000, for example, and 2,700 for the S&P 500.
Markets almost always go down faster than they go up, and once panic begins to spread on Wall Street it doesn’t take much to create a massive stampede.
In the end, this next financial crisis will be far worse than it should have been. The Federal Reserve and other global central banks have endlessly manipulated the financial markets, and they created the biggest financial bubble in human history.
When an irrational financial bubble is growing, it can seem like things are wonderful. But all such bubbles eventually burst, and the bursting of the bubble often does far more damage than the good that was accomplished by the manipulation of the markets.
So was there anything specific that caused the panic on Wall Street on Monday?
Yes, interest rates are rising, but as Bloomberg has noted, there wasn’t really anything noteworthy in the news that triggered the selling…
While Friday’s market rout came amid U.S. wage data on Friday that pointed to quickening inflation, which would lead to higher rates and, in turn, rising borrowing costs for companies, the selling Monday came amid few major data points.
“I think sentiment was a little too optimistic,” said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network. “What was driving the market up in January? It wasn’t the fundamentals, as good as they were, it was excessive confidence.”
Ultimately, time simply runs out on all irrational financial bubbles. It is interesting to note that the Tulip price index began to crash on this exact date in 1637, and we may look back and point to February 5th as the key moment when the “financial crisis of 2018” started.
Once again, let us hope for some type of a bounce tomorrow. Often stock prices do rebound quite a bit after an enormous decline, and many are hoping that stock prices will soar on Tuesday.
But so far the news after the market closed in New York has all been bad. For example, CNBC is reporting that XIV has fallen more than 80 percent after hours…
An exchange-traded security which is supposed to be a bet on calm markets was collapsing after hours.
And as I write this article, it looks like markets all over Asia are going to be way down at the opening.
If stock prices keep collapsing, it could actually cause a major financial crisis. So many financial institutions are deeply leveraged today, and many of them simply would not be able to handle a stock market decline of 30, 40 or 50 percent.
In particular, if things start to really unravel it will be important to pay special attention for any mention of “derivatives” in the financial news. Once those dominoes start falling, we will see financial pain on a scale unlike anything that we have ever seen before in U.S. history.
Also, let us not forget that trouble signs continue to emerge for the “real economy”. Just today, we learned that another major retail chain has filed for bankruptcy…
Bon-Ton Stores, the corporate parent of several department store chains, tumbled into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as the company seeks a fresh lease on life.
Bon-Ton, whose brands include Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman and Younkers, had been on a fast track toward bankruptcy court after it recently announced plans to close 47 of its 260 stores.
I cannot stress enough that what happened on Monday is not a surprise. The only surprise is that it took this long to happen.
Stock valuations need to fall another 40 or 50 percent just to get back to their long-term averages, and whether that happens very rapidly or takes an extended period of time, the truth is that stock valuations will return to those long-term averages.
Unfortunately for us, the central banks have created a bubble of such enormity that it could potentially collapse the entire global financial system when it finally fully bursts.
Let us hope for calmer markets on Tuesday, but let us also be mindful that at some point we are going to pay an exceedingly great price for years and years of horribly foolish decisions.
On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 666 points (665.75 points to be precise), and many are pointing out that this was the 6th largest single day crash that we have ever seen. This decline happened on the 33rd day of the year, and it was the worst day for the stock market by far since President Trump entered the White House. I have been repeatedly warning that we are way overdue for a stock market crash, and many are concerned that we may be on the precipice of another great financial crisis. We shall see what happens on Monday, because that will set the tone for the rest of the week. If we see another huge decline early Monday morning, that could easily set off full-blown panic selling on Wall Street.
Rising interest rates appear to have been the trigger for the enormous market drop on Friday. The following comes from the New York Post…
“We all know that many bull markets have ended by the Federal Reserve as they raise the rates to the point of slowing the economy down perhaps too much,” Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial, told The Post.
“It’s come on quickly and it caught the market off guard,” Krosby said.
The Dow sell-off brought it below the 26,000 plateau — to 25,520.96 — the biggest points drop since Dec. 1, 2008.
It is quite rare for the market to drop this much in a single day. The largest single daily decline was a 777 point drop in 2008, and overall the Dow has fallen by more than 600 points less than 10 times throughout history…
The index posted a loss of nearly 666 points, its sixth-worst decline ever on a points basis.
The last time the index posted a drop of more than 600 points was June 24, 2016, the day after the Brexit vote.
The eight other times the Dow closed more than 600 points lower all took place in the last 18 years. Half occurred during the financial crisis in 2008.
My readers have heard me explain over and over that markets tend to go down a lot faster than they go up.
Once a market landslide begins, the movement can be absolutely breathtaking. But none of this should come as any sort of a surprise, because even the Washington Post admits that “speculation of a market pullback” has been seemingly everywhere in recent days…
The airwaves and online chatter have been flooded in recent weeks with speculation of a market pullback like the one that thundered in on Friday.
“It looks like the beginning of a market correction,” said Luke Tilley, chief economist at Wilmington Trust, the wealth and investment advisory arm of M&T Bank. “It’s not something that is very surprising, given the low volatility that we saw in 2017.”
Right now we are in the terminal phase of a historic “double bubble” in both stocks and bonds. Many times we will see one or the other get clobbered on a particular day, but Friday was a “bloodbath” for all asset classes…
Yesterday’s US equity market collapse and simultaneous bond market bloodbath was the biggest combined loss since December 2015, but perhaps more ominously, the week’s combined loss in bonds and stocks was the worst since Feb 2009.
So what will next week bring?
Hopefully things will settle down and we will see the markets start to bounce back. After a huge decline, that is often what happens.
But it would be foolish to ignore the fear that appears to be growing on Wall Street. At this point, even Bloomberg is openly wondering if this “is the start of something big?”…
Looking at the week’s drumbeat, you can’t help but wonder, is this the start of something big? Warnings about valuations have been pouring forth from bears for so long that barely anyone listens anymore. With the S&P 500 up almost 50 percent in less than two years, some see the end of the blissfully easy money that equities have spewed out for 13 straight months.
“It’s the turning point of volatility,” said Jeffrey Schulze, chief investment strategist at Clearbridge Investments, which manages $137 billion. “We were all very fortunate to go through a year like 2017. But there’s a number of different dynamics this year that will make volatility more part of the equation than it has been in quite some time.”
If the stock market does crash in 2018, it will not be a surprise.
The only surprise will be that it took this long to happen.
As I have stated over and over again, stock prices would need to fall by at least 40 or 50 percent just to get valuations back to their long-term averages, and stock prices always return to their long-term averages eventually.
Hopefully our day of reckoning has not arrived and this financial bubble can continue for a little while longer.
But if financial markets do begin to crash horribly this year, nobody will be able to say that they were not warned well ahead of time.
It isn’t going to be a surprise when U.S. stock prices fall 50, 60 or 70 percent from where they are today. The only real surprise is that it took this long for it to happen. Even after falling 362 points on Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average is still ridiculously high. In fact, the only two times in our entire history when stocks have been this overvalued were right before the stock market crash of 1929 and right before the dotcom bubble burst. Not even before the financial crisis of 2008 were stock valuations as absurd as they are right now.
At one point on Tuesday, the Dow had declined by more than 400 points, and we have not seen this sort of panic in the stock market in a very long time. In fact, we have to go all the way back to June 24, 2016 to find the last time that the Dow fell by at least this much. The Dow has dropped by triple digits on back to back days for the first time since last April, and a lot of analysts are wondering what is coming next.
Of course most in the financial community have been waiting for some sort of a decline, because even mainstream analysts are openly admitting that what we have been witnessing is “not sustainable”…
“We’ve had a unilateral move higher [in stocks] to start things off and people are realizing this is not sustainable,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR. “You’re also seeing some cracks in the global story with interest rates rising.”
Howard Marks warned investors about investing more funds in the stock market at its current level.
“We are living in a low return world, characterized by significant uncertainty,” Marks said on CNBC’s “Halftime Report” Tuesday. “This is not the time to take on more risk. Things have been going awful well for almost 10 years. That’s not the time to turn up the wick.”
And then there are the bears such as John Hussman that are warning that we are on the precipice of one of the worst stock market crashes in American history…
I expect the S&P 500 to lose approximately two-thirds of its value over the completion of this cycle. My impression is that future generations will look back on this moment and say “… and this is where they completely lost their minds.”
I agree with John Hussman’s assessment. Stock prices would need to decline by at least 50 percent from current levels in order for stock valuations to get back to their long-term averages.
And even though it may take a while, stock prices always return to their long-term averages.
Nothing about the long-term outlook has changed. I have been warning about a devastating stock market crash for a very long time, and I will continue to warn my readers about one. Because whether it happens next week, next month or next year, the reality of the matter is that all throughout our history stocks have always crashed after stock valuations have soared to these kinds of irrational levels.
On a personal note, I want to apologize for not writing very much this month. I just returned from a very long campaign trip, and our hard work on the campaign trail has prevented me from getting much work done.
The good news is that the campaign is going incredibly well. We are far ahead of where we thought we would be at this point, and with less than four months to go the race is incredibly close.
On Sunday, the very first debate was held in Coeur d’Alene, and all of the candidates were there. To say that the fireworks were flying would be a major understatement. If you have not seen the debate yet, you can watch it on YouTube right here.
The overwhelming consensus was that we were the hands down winner of this six-way debate. Here are some of the comments that were made by people that were watching the debate online as it was happening…
-“Michael was leaps and bounds set apart from the herd of politicians on that panel”
-“Michael has been more knowledgeable, pro-active and touched more people with his conservative message than everyone else up there combined”
-“Michael outshines them all! It is not about the money! it is about the power of people and the deplorables are WIDE AWAKE these days and we want the the right leaders in Congress to support our President!!!!”
-“Michael Snyder was the hands down Winner!! Great Job!!”
-“Michael Snyder was full of fervor and he spoke from the spirit! He is not an established candidate, he’s a true statesman!”
There were dozens more like that, but I think that you get the point. It was exceedingly difficult to get all of the candidates to agree to come to this event, because there were some that were afraid that this sort of thing might happen, and now it will be even harder to get all of them to come out for similar events in the future.
The bad news is that a couple of my opponents are better funded than we are, and we need to close that gap. Thanks to a tremendous surge in interest in our campaign, we desperately need to print up more campaign materials. If you would like to help us print up more signs, more brochures and more mailers, you can contribute online right here…
May 15th is right around the corner, and if we all pull together we can win this race. We need more people praying, more people volunteering, and more people donating. This is our opportunity to take our government back, and if you believe in our positive conservative message, I truly hope that you will join our team.
Did you know that the sixth largest bank in Spain failed in spectacular fashion just a few days ago? Many are comparing the sudden implosion of Banco Popular to the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, and EU regulators hastily arranged a sale of the failed bank to Santander in order to avoid a full scale financial panic. Sadly, most Americans have no idea that a new financial crisis is starting to play out over in Europe, because most Americans only care about what is going on in America. But we should be paying attention, because the EU is the second largest economy on the entire planet, and the euro is the second most used currency on the entire planet. The U.S. financial system is already teetering on the brink of disaster, and this new financial crisis in Europe could turn out to be enough to push us over the edge.
If EU regulators had not arranged a “forced sale” of Banco Popular to Santander, we would probably be witnessing panic on a scale that we haven’t seen since 2008 in Europe right about now. The following comes from the Telegraph…
Spanish banking giant Santander has stepped in to the rescue ailing rival Banco Popular by taking over the failing lender for €1 in a watershed deal masterminded by EU regulators to avoid a damaging collapse.
Santander will tap its shareholders for €7bn in a rights issue to raise the capital needed to shore-up Popular’s finances in a dramatic private sector rescue of Spain’s sixth-largest lender.
It will inflict losses of approximately €3.3bn on bond investors and shareholders but crucially will avoid a taxpayer bailout.
But now that a “too big to fail” bank like Banco Popular has failed, investors are immediately trying to figure out which major Spanish banks may be the next to collapse. According to Wolf Richter, many have identified Liberbank as an institution that is highly vulnerable…
After its most tumultuous week since the bailout days of 2012, Spain’s banking system is gripped by a climate of fear, uncertainty and distrust. Rather than allaying investor nerves, the shotgun bail-in and sale of Banco Popular to Santander on Tuesday has merely intensified them. For the first time since the Global Financial Crisis, shareholders and subordinate bondholders of a failing Spanish bank were not bailed out by taxpayers; they took risks in order to make a buck, and they bore the consequences. That’s how it should be. But bank investors don’t like not getting bailed out.
Now they’re worrying it could happen again. As Popular’s final days showed, once confidence and trust in a bank vanishes, it’s almost impossible to restore them. The fear has now spread to Spain’s eighth largest lender, Liberbank, a mini-Bankia that was spawned in 2011 from the forced marriage of three failed cajas (savings banks), Cajastur, Caja de Extremadura and Caja Cantabria.
On Thursday, shares of Liberbank dropped by an astounding 20 percent, and that was followed up by another 19 percent decline on Friday.
But we haven’t seen this kind of chaos in European financial markets in a very long time.
Meanwhile, Nick Giambruno is sounding the alarm about a much bigger bubble. At this moment, more than a trillion dollars worth of Italian government bonds have negative yields…
Over $1 trillion worth of Italian bonds actually have negative yields.
It’s a bizarre and perverse situation.
Lending money to the bankrupt Italian government carries huge risks. So the yields on Italian government bonds should be near record highs, not record lows.
Negative yields could not exist in a free market. They’re only possible in the current “Alice in Wonderland” economy created by central bankers.
You see, the European Central Bank (ECB) has been printing money to buy Italian government bonds hand over fist. Since 2008, the ECB and Italian banks have bought over 88% of Italian government debt, according to a recent study.
The moment that the ECB stops wildly buying Italian bonds, the party will be over and the Italian financial system will crash. Unfortunately for Italy, the Germans are pressuring the ECB to quit printing so much money, and the Germans usually get their way in these things.
But if the Germans get their way this time, we could be facing a complete and utter nightmare very quickly. Here is more from Nick Giambruno…
Once the ECB—the only large buyer—steps away, Italian government bonds will crash and rates will soar.
Soon it will be impossible for the Italian government to finance itself.
Italian banks—which are already insolvent—will be decimated. They hold an estimated €235 billion worth of Italian government bonds. So the coming bond crash will pummel their balance sheets.
It’s shaping up to be a lovely train wreck.
And all of this is happening in the context of a global economy that appears to be headed for a major downturn.
From peak to trough the deceleration in global credit growth is now approaching that during the global financial crisis (-6% of global GDP), even if the dispersion of the decline is much narrower. Currently 55% of the countries in our sample have experienced a -0.3 standard deviation deterioration in their credit impulse (median over 12 months) compared to 77% of countries in Dec ’09 when the median decline was -1.4 stdev.”
Of course the last time global credit growth decelerated this dramatically, global central banks intervened on a scale that was unlike anything that we had ever seen before.
More importantly, back in 2009, not only China, but the Fed and other central banks unleashed the biggest injection of credit, i.e. liquidity, the world has ever seen resulting in the biggest asset bubble the world has ever seen. And, this time around, the Fed is set to hike for the third time in the past year, even as the ECB and BOJ are forced to soon taper as they run out of eligible bonds to monetize. All this comes at a time when US loan growth is weeks away from turning negative.
As such, what “kickstarts” the next spike in the credit impulse is unclear. What is clear is that if the traditional 3-6 month lag between credit inflection points, i.e. impulse, and economic growth is maintained, the global economy is set for a dramatic collapse some time in the second half.
There are so many experts that are warning about big economic trouble in our immediate future. I would like to say that all of the experts that are freaking out are wrong, but I can’t do that.
I have not seen an atmosphere like this since 2008 and 2009, and everything points to an acceleration of the crisis as we enter the second half of this year.
S&P 500 tech stocks have now fallen for 9 days in a row. The last time tech stocks declined for so many days in a row was in 2012, and that was the only other time in history when we have seen such a long losing streak. As I have stated before, the post-election “Trump rally” is officially done, and the market is starting to roll over as investors begin to realize that all of the buying momentum has completely evaporated. Tech stocks tend to be particularly volatile, and so the fact that they are starting to lead the way down should definitely be alarming to many in the investing community.
Of course it isn’t just tech stocks that are falling. The Dow was down another 59 points on Wednesday, and the S&P 500 has closed beneath its 50 day moving average for the very first time since the election. For those that have been waiting for a key technical signal before getting out of the market, there is one for you.
The price of gold was up again, and that is definitely not surprising in this geopolitical environment. The closer we get to war the higher gold and silver prices will go, and if we actually get into a major conflict we will see them blast into the stratosphere.
Another key indicator that I am watching very closely is the VIX. On Wednesday it shot up above 16 for the very first time since the day after Trump’s election victory, and many believe that it could soon go much higher. The following is an excerpt from a CNBC report…
The VIX measures the size of the S&P 500’s expected moves over the next 30 days, and consequently tends to run just a bit hotter than volatility over the past 30 days. Yet one-month realized volatility is just 6.7, meaning the VIX is at a roughly 9-point premium, which Chintawongvanich calls “highly unusual.”
That said, he notes that implied volatility was also at a large premium preceding the U.K. referendum to leave the EU and the U.S. presidential election. The obvious conclusion is that the market is now similarly preparing itself for the French presidential election, which is set to be held on April 23. Some fear that a populist candidate could prevail, which may cause more problems for the European Union and thus for economic stability.
As noted in that excerpt, the upcoming French election is absolutely huge. If the election goes “the wrong way” according to the globalists, it could literally mean the end of the European Union as it is configured today.
And of course of even greater concern is the global march toward war. It is being reported that North Korea is on the verge of a major nuclear weapons test, and such an act of defiance could be enough to push Donald Trump into conducting a major military strike.
But if Trump does hit North Korea, it is quite likely that North Korea will hit back. The North Koreans are promising to use nuclear weapons in any conflict with the United States, and if Trump bungles this thing we could easily be looking at a scenario in which millions of people end up dead.
Things also continue to get more tense in the Middle East. The Russians and the Iranians are promising to respond to any additional U.S. strikes “with force”, and on Wednesday Trump declared that our relationship with Russia “may be at an all-time low”.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian President Vladimir Putin held more than two hours of “very frank” talks Wednesday in the Kremlin amid tensions over a U.S. airstrike against a Syria air base blamed for last week’s deadly chemical attack.
In remarks to reporters after the meeting, Tillerson said he told the Russian leader that current relations between the two countries are at a “low point.”
If the Trump administration conducts any more strikes on Syria, it is quite likely that the Russians and Iranians will make good on their threats and will start firing back.
And once U.S. aircraft or U.S. naval vessels come under fire, the calls for war in Washington will become absolutely deafening.
Unfortunately, Trump is not likely to back down any time soon because the recent missile strike in Syria has dramatically boosted his popularity. According to every recent survey, the American people overwhelmingly approve of what Trump did…
A Morning Consult/Politico poll released Wednesday found that 57% of Americans supported airstrikes in Syria, 58% supported establishing a no-fly zone over parts of Syria including strikes against Syria’s air-defense systems, and 63% of Americans thought the US should do more to end the Syrian conflict. Even more, 66% of respondents said they supported the Trump administration’s strike last week specifically.
Sadly, this is a time when the majority is dead wrong. Many of those that are supporting military action against Syria now were vehemently against it when Barack Obama was considering it.
Even Donald Trump spoke out very strongly against military intervention in Syria in 2013, and he was quite right to do so, and so what has suddenly changed that now makes it okay?
There is nothing to be gained in Syria, but we could very easily end up in a direct military conflict with Russia, Iran and Hezbollah which could ultimately prove to be the spark that sets off World War III.
And of course a military strike on North Korea could also potentially spark a global war. The first Korean War resulted in a direct military conflict between the United States and China, and the second Korean War could easily result in the exact same thing happening again.
Do the American people really want war with both Russia and China at the same time?
It has been said that you should be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.
Donald Trump could have the election legally stolen from him on either December 19th when the Electoral College casts their votes or on January 6th when a joint session of Congress gathers to count those votes. The establishment is in full-blown panic mode at this point, and they seem to have settled on “Russian interference in the election” as the angle that they plan to use to try to deny Trump the presidency. As you will see below, there is an all-out effort to try to persuade members of the Electoral College that are supposed to be committed to Donald Trump to cast their votes for someone else instead. And if that doesn’t work, the groundwork is being laid for the Electoral College votes to potentially be invalidated when a joint session of Congress meets to count those votes on January 6th. I will explain how that would work later on in this article, but first let’s take a look at 14 signs that indicate that there is a plot to use Russia as an excuse to steal the presidency from Donald Trump…
#1 A group of 10 presidential electors has sent a letter to National Intelligence Director James Clapper asking to be briefed on Russian efforts to interfere in the election in November. This group is being led by Nancy Pelosi’s daughter Christine.
#2 The Clinton campaign is publicly supporting the effort to arrange for the members of the Electoral College to be given an “intelligence briefing” on Russian interference in the election before they cast their votes.
#4 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced that he supports an investigation into “Russian election interference”.
#5 On Sunday, U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer, Jack Reed, John McCain and Lindsey Graham announced that they very much desire to see an investigation into Russian interference in the election.
#6 U.S. Representative David Cicilline is urging electors to consider the “extent that foreign interference in the United States presidential elections may have influenced the final result” before they cast their votes.
#8 Time Magazine is openly lobbying for members of the Electoral College to vote for someone other than Donald Trump on December 19th.
#9 The former acting director of the CIA has boldly proclaimed that Russian attempts to alter the outcome of the election in November were “the political equivalent of 9/11”.
#10 Former CIA agent Bob Baer recently went on CNN and publicly called for a new election if it can be shown that the first election was not legitimate due to Russian interference.
#11 Former CIA operative and erstwhile presidential candidate Evan McMullin says that Donald Trump is “not a loyal American” because his views are not anti-Russian enough.
#12 The Huffington Post is touting a 1995 federal court ruling as a precedent that could be used to take the presidency from Donald Trump and hand it to Hillary Clinton if a court finds that Russian interference altered the outcome of the election.
#13 Hillary Clinton’s Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri is now claiming that a “foreign state” tried to hack her Gmail account just days before the election.
#14 Barack Obama has ordered the intelligence community to gather all of the evidence that it can find of Russian interference in the election and to deliver that evidence to him before he leaves office.
Most Trump supporters do not realize how very serious this is. The establishment absolutely hates Trump and wants to find a way to keep him from taking office. Now that they have gained traction with this “Russian hacking” angle, they plan to push this as hard as they can. An article that was just posted by Time Magazine explained why this issue could potentially cause some members of the Electoral College to change their votes…
And still further, we now learn that the Russians played a significant role in manipulating information available to the American people in a concerted effort to bring about the election of Trump. Even if this was not Trump’s doing, is it not the duty of the members of the Electoral College to consider whether the 2016 presidential election was undermined by a foreign power? And mustn’t it matter that the foreign power did so in order to bring about the election of a particular candidate? As Alexander Hamilton made clear, this was, one of the chief concerns of the Framers. As Hamilton explained in The Federalist Papers, a primary reason for the Electoral College was the need to protect our nation against “the desire of foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils . . . by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union.”
Of course this is completely and utterly ridiculous, but this is the kind of mental gymnastics that they are going through right now. They want to feel justified in denying Donald Trump the presidency, and so they are going to make this “Russian interference in the election” into the biggest issue that they possibly can.
Which is ironic, because as Paul Joseph Watson has pointed out, foreigners have been influencing our elections and we have been influencing foreign elections for many, many years…
Isn’t it funny how all you democrats who cry over foreign influence had no objection whatsoever to Saudi Arabia bankrolling Hillary’s campaign. You had no problem taking all that George Soros money, did you? You had no problem with the Obama State Department overthrowing the government of Ukraine. You had no problem with Obama interfering in the U.K.’s referendum on leaving the EU.
But ultimately this is not about Russian interference in our election.
Rather, this is all about the elite doing whatever is necessary to stop Donald Trump. The elite are going to fight against him every step of the way, and they are never, ever going to give up. This is a point that I made during an interview with Alex Jones on Monday…
The next key date that we need to be watching for is December 19th.
On Monday, members of the Electoral College will gather in Washington D.C. and in all 50 state capitols to cast their votes. We know that at least one Republican elector that is supposed to be pledged to Trump will not be voting for him, and that elector claims that there are others that also will not be voting for Trump.
If 37 Republican electors can be persuaded to cast their votes for someone other than Trump, that would throw the election into the House of Representatives, and it is unclear what the House would do in that scenario.
If Trump is not stopped at the Electoral College, there is also the possibility that he could be derailed when a joint session of Congress gathers to count the Electoral votes on January 6th.
As I discussed yesterday, all it takes to force a vote on the validity of Electoral College votes is an objection in writing that is signed by at least one member of the House and one member of the Senate. As the official House.gov website explains, if both the House and the Senate vote to approve the objection, the votes covered by the objection are not counted…
Since 1887, 3 U.S.C. 15 sets the method for objections to electoral votes. During the Joint Session, Members of Congress may object to individual electoral votes or to state returns as a whole. An objection must be declared in writing and signed by at least one Representative and one Senator. In the case of an objection, the Joint Session recesses and each chamber considers the objection separately in a session which cannot last more than two hours with each Member speaking for no more than five minutes. After each house votes on whether or not to accept the objection, the Joint Session reconvenes and both chambers disclose their decisions. If they agree to the objection, the votes in question are not counted. If either chamber does not agree with the objection, the votes are counted.
In both the Senate and the House, there are anti-Trump Republicans that would absolutely cherish the opportunity to deny him the presidency.
I don’t know if it will happen, but this Russian interference issue is the kind of thing that could be used to justify taking this kind of action.
Of course if the election was stolen from Donald Trump that would likely throw the entire nation into a state of chaos, but I think that at this point the elite would be willing to risk just about anything to keep Donald Trump out of the White House.
What would happen if some sort of major national emergency caused a massive transportation disruption that stopped trucks from running? The next time you talk to a trucker, please thank them for their service, because without their hard work none of our lives would be possible. In America today, very few of us live a truly independent lifestyle, and that means that we rely on the system to provide what we need. Most of us take for granted that there will always be plenty of goods at Wal-Mart and at the grocery store whenever we need more “stuff”, and most of us never give a second thought to how all of that “stuff” gets there. Well, the truth is that most of it is brought in by trucks, and if the trucks stopped running for some reason the entire country would devolve into chaos very rapidly.
Earlier today, I came across a quote from Alice Friedemann that detailed what we would be facing during a major national transportation disruption very nicely…
Within a week, in roughly this order, grocery stores would be out of dairy and other items that are delivered many times a day. And by the week, the shelves would be empty.
Hospitals, pharmacies, factories, and many other businesses also get several deliveries a day, and they’d be running out of stuff the first day.
And the second day, there’s be panic and hoarding. And restaurants, pharmacies would close. ATM’s would be out of money. Construction would stop. There’d be increasing layoffs. Increasing enormous amounts of trash not getting picked up, 685,000 tons a day. Service stations would be closed. Very few people would be working. And the livestock would start to be hungry from lack of feed deliveries.
Then within two weeks, clean water supplies would run out. Within four weeks to eight weeks, there wouldn’t be coal delivered to power plants and electricity would start shutting down. And when that happened, about a quarter of our pipelines use electricity, and so natural gas plants wouldn’t be fed natural gas and they’d start shutting down.
There is so much infrastructure that we take for granted that would suddenly become very vulnerable in this type of scenario. There are countless numbers of workers out there that never get any glory that do the hard work of maintaining our nuclear power plants, our natural gas pipelines, our electrical grid, etc. If they suddenly were not able to do their jobs, the consequences would be absolutely catastrophic. The following comes from Tess Pennington…
They rarely mention the dozens of nuclear power plants that litter the United States. If no one is there to operate them, how long before they melt down and bury millions of survivors under a radioactive cloud?
Then there are the 12,000 facilities around the country that store large quantities of toxic or flammable chemicals, and reside close to residential areas. 2,500 of these sites contain chemicals in quantities that, if a catastrophic accident were to occur, could affect 10,000 to 1 million people each. And let’s not forget the 2.5 million miles of oil and gas pipelines that can be found in every state. They suffer hundreds of leaks and ruptures every year, and are much more likely to explode when they aren’t maintained. That detail seems to be conveniently forgotten by post-apocalyptic films.
And finally, most post-apocalyptic movies will forget to mention what happens when there aren’t any functional fire departments. Aside from the obvious consequences, like whole neighborhoods routinely burning to the ground, who’s going to put out landfill fires that are occasionally radioactive?
For most Americans, a major national emergency of this magnitude may seem unimaginable right now. But the truth is that it isn’t difficult to see how this kind of scenario could happen. The Yellowstone supervolcano is becoming increasingly active, a single large asteroid could change all of our lives in a single moment, a crippling pandemic could bring normal life in America to a complete standstill, a terror attack involving weapons of mass destruction would spread panic and fear like wildfire, and a historic earthquake along the New Madrid fault, the Cascadia Subduction zone or any of the major faults in California could literally change the geography of our entire continent.
In addition, a massive EMP burst from a nuclear weapon or from the sun could fry our power grid and send us back into the stone age in a single moment. This is something that I have written about extensively, and those that want to minimize this threat simply don’t know what they are talking about.
And an electromagnetic pulse is not even required to cause very serious problems with our electrical grid. For instance, just consider what happened in Ukraine toward the end of last year…
On December 23rd, 2015, the Prykarpattyaoblenergo power distribution station in Ukraine was hit by a carefully coordinated cyber-attack that was months in the making. The technicians lost control of their cursors as they watched hackers open breakers and take circuit after circuit offline, plunging 230,000 residents into darkness.
The hackers took backup power of the stations offline, plunging the electrical workers into darkness too, and worse yet, they even rewrote the low-level firmware that controls the electrical transformers. The attack had come after months of careful infiltration and planning by a dedicated team of elite cyber-warfare specialists and the result was devastating.
Even months later, technicians struggled to regain full capacity in the electrical grid due to the overwriting of firmware. With Ukrainian moves to nationalize power companies, it is possible that the powerful and Putin-connected Russian oligarchs who own large parts of Ukraine’s infrastructure were sending a message: we can shut down the system anytime we want.
The truth is that we are far more vulnerable than most of us would like to admit.
So what would you do if “normal life” suddenly came to an end and you no longer had access to food, water or power?
How would you and your family respond?
Hopefully you would continue to act in a civilized manner, but history has shown that many people would not.
Before long, getting mugged or being a victim of some type of crime is as unpredictable and as common as a car accident. You’ll realize everyone in the neighborhood has now beefed up security on their homes. All your family, friends, and coworkers have experienced a mugging, carjacking, or worse.
You’ll have no choice but to accept this new way of life and count on basic safety measures (a form of passive denial) or further learn to defend yourself and remain in a constant state of alert (a very stressful state over time). It’s difficult emotionally, mentally, and physically to remain on high alert 24/7 for any length of time. Most people will revert to a form of passive denial until the next incident happens to them or a family member.
And even though things may seem relatively stable for the moment, concern about what is coming is one of the factors that has led an increasing number of Americans to arm themselves. According to a brand new study from the Pew Research Center, 44 percent of all American homes now have a gun. Just two years ago, a different study found that number was sitting at just 31 percent.
The way that we are living our lives right now will not last indefinitely.
At some point a major national emergency will strike, and when that day arrives we could suddenly be facing major power grid and transportation disruptions.
Are you prepared for that?
If not, you might want to do so while you still have time.
One day in the not too distant future, a major emergency will strike this nation, and that will set off a round of hoarding unlike anything we have ever seen before. Just think about what happens when a big winter storm or a hurricane is about to hit one of our major cities – inevitably store shelves are stripped bare of bread, milk, snow shovels, etc. Even though winter storms and hurricanes are just temporary hurdles to overcome, they still cause many people to go into panic mode. So what is going to happen when we have a real crisis on our hands?
We can get some clues about which items will disappear first during a major national emergency by taking a look at where such a scenario is already playing out. One recent survey found that over 80 percent of all basic foodstuffs are currently unavailable in Venezuela, and about half the country can no longer provide three meals a day for their families. Thankfully, some stores still have a few things that they are able to offer, but other key items are completely gone. The following comes from USA Today…
Oh, there are some things to buy. Besides salt, there are fresh vegetables and fruits, dairy products but no milk, some cereal, lots of snacks and a few canned goods.
The only meat is sausages; there are three kinds of cheese. The only problem: A kilogram of each costs more than a fourth of our monthly minimum wage of 15,050 bolivars.
But basic foodstuffs – the things most Venezuelans want to eat such as corn meal, wheat flour, pasta, rice, milk, eggs, sugar, coffee, chicken, mayonnaise, margarine, cooking oil and beef – are conspicuous by their absence. And there is no toilet paper, no sanitary napkins, no disposable baby diapers, no shampoo, no toothpaste, no hand soap and no deodorant.
Do you have plenty of the items in bold above stored up?
If not, you may want to stock up while you still can.
Someday similar things will happen in the United States and Europe too.
When that day arrives, will you be prepared?
One of the things that got my attention from the article quote above was the lack of milk. My wife is always telling me that we should store up more dried milk, and I believe that she is right.
Just imagine not having any milk and not being able to get any more.
What would you do?
Another thing that really stood out to me in the article was the fact that there is a severe shortage of personal hygiene items. Most people don’t really think of those as “prepper goods”, but the truth is that life will become very uncomfortable without them very rapidly.
What would you do if there was no more toilet paper?
And if you have a little one, how are you going to manage without any diapers?
In general, it is wise to always have an extra supply of just about everything that you use on a daily basis stored away somewhere in your home. The generation that went through the Great Depression of the 1930s understood this concept very well, but most of us that are younger have had it so good for so long that we don’t even really grasp what a real crisis looks like.
Another thing that we are seeing happen right now in Venezuela is the rise of a barter economy…
Many of my urban friends are now planting vegetables in their outdoor spaces – if they have any – or in pots. Another friend, who is a hairdresser, is charging clients food to do their hair. For a shampoo and dry, she charges a kilo of corn meal, saying that she doesn’t have time to stand in line like some of her clients.
As you prepare for what is ahead, you may want to consider stocking up on some items that would specifically be used for bartering in a crisis situation.
For example, you may not drink coffee, but there are millions upon millions of people that do. In a crisis situation, there will be many that will be extremely desperate to get their hands on some coffee, and so any coffee that you store away now may become a very valuable asset.
We live in a world where one out of every eight people already goes to bed hungry each night, and where one out of every three children is underweight. As global weather patterns become more extreme, as natural disasters continue to become more frequent and more intense, and as terror and war continue to spread, it is inevitable that the stress on the global food system is going to continue to grow.
Today you can waltz into Wal-Mart and buy giant cartloads of very inexpensive food, but it will not always be that way.
Unfortunately, more than half the country is currently living paycheck to paycheck, and most Americans do not have any emergency food stored up at all.
In addition to food and personal hygiene supplies, here are some other items that are likely to disappear very rapidly during a major national emergency…
-Anything Related To Self-Defense
-First Aid Kits
So in addition to food and personal hygiene items, you may want to do an inventory of the items that I have listed above and see where you may have some holes in your preparation plans.
I understand that there will be some people that will read this article and think that all of us “preppers” are being just a tad ridiculous.
But when a major emergency strikes this nation and you haven’t done anything to prepare, you will dearly wish that you had bothered to take action while there was still time remaining to do so.