Housing Armageddon: 12 Facts Which Show That We Are In The Midst Of The Worst Housing Collapse In U.S. History

We are officially in the middle of the worst housing collapse in U.S. history – and unfortunately it is going to get even worse.  Already, U.S. housing prices have fallen further during this economic downturn (26 percent), then they did during the Great Depression (25.9 percent).  Approximately 11 percent of all homes in the United States are currently standing empty.  In fact, there are many new housing developments across the U.S. that resemble little more than ghost towns because foreclosures have wiped them out.  Mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures reached new highs in 2010, and it is being projected that banks and financial institutions will repossess at least a million more U.S. homes during 2011.  Meanwhile, unemployment is absolutely rampant and wage levels are going down at a time when mortgage lending standards have been significantly tightened.  That means that there are very few qualified buyers running around out there and that is going to continue to be the case for quite some time to come.  When you add all of those factors up, it leads to one inescapable conclusion.  The “housing Armageddon” that we have been experiencing since 2007 is going to get even worse in 2011. (Read More...)

The Internet Kill Switch – One Of The Favorite New Tools Of Tyrannical Governments All Over The Globe

This past week was a perfect example of how the “Internet kill switch” is rapidly becoming one of the favorite new tools of tyrannical governments all over the globe. Once upon a time, the Internet was a bastion of liberty and freedom, but now nation after nation is cracking down on it. In fact, legislation has been introduced once again in Congress that would give the president of the United States an “Internet kill switch” that he would be able to use in the event of war or emergency. Of course there would be a whole lot of wiggle room in determining what actually constitutes a true “emergency”. The members of Congress that are pushing this “Internet kill switch” bill want the U.S. to become more like China in this regard. In China, the Internet is highly controlled, highly regulated and highly censored. In fact, China has shut down the Internet in entire regions when they have felt it necessary. So what Egypt did in shutting down the Internet this past week is not unprecedented – but it was quite shocking. (Read More...)

The Riots In Egypt And The Price Of Oil

As if the world economy did not have enough problems already, now the riots in Egypt threaten to send the price of oil soaring into the stratosphere.  On Friday, the price of U.S. crude soared 4 percent.  A 4 percent rise in a single day is pretty staggering.  The price of Brent crude in London closed just under the magic $100 a barrel mark at $99.42.  The incredibly violent riots in Egypt have financial markets all over the globe on edge right now.  Any time there is violence or war in the Middle East it has a dramatic impact on financial markets, but this time things seem even more serious than usual.  Many believe that we could see an entirely new Egyptian government emerge out of this crisis, and the uncertainty that would bring would make investors all around the globe nervous.  Financial markets like predictability, peace and security.  If Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s 30 year reign is brought to an end, it will severely shake up the entire region, and that will not be good news for the global economy. (Read More...)

Warning Signs

Do you see all of the warning signs that are flashing all around you?  These days it seems like there is more bad economic news in a single week than there used to be in an entire month.  2011 is already shaping up to be a very dark year for the world economy.  The price of food is shooting through the roof and we have already seen violent food riots in countries like Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia.  World financial markets are becoming increasingly unstable as the sovereign debt crisis continues to get worse.  Meanwhile, the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits is up, foreclosures are up and poverty continues to spread like a plague throughout the United States.  What we are starting to see around the globe is a lot like the “stagflation” of the 1970s.  All of the crazy money printing that has been going on is overheating prices for agricultural commodities and precious metals, but all of this new money is not doing much to help the average man or woman on the street. (Read More...)

Shut Down The Federal Reserve, Break Up The Big Banks And 16 Other Ideas Barack Obama Could Have Proposed If He Actually Wanted To Fix The Economy

How do we fix the economy?  That is a question that tens of millions of Americans are asking right now.  Republicans are harshly criticizing the empty economic proposals being put forward by Barack Obama and the Democrats, but the Republicans don’t seem to have any real solutions either.  There is talk of cutting taxes a little bit more, reducing federal spending a little bit and getting rid of a few useless federal regulations but doing any of those things would essentially be like spitting into Niagara Falls – the effect would not really be noticeable at all.  As this column has documented over and over and over, the economic and financial problems that we are facing are so enormous that radical solutions are needed.  In essence, what we need is not an “economic bandage” or two – what we need is major reconstructive surgery.  If dramatic action is not taken, our economy is going to completely collapse. (Read More...)

Empty Promises: 5 Reasons Why Barack Obama’s State Of The Union Address Was Completely Wrong About The Economy

Barack Obama’s State of the Union address sure sounded good, didn’t it?  There were lots of solemn promises, lots of stuff about America’s “bright future” and a line about how we are now facing this generation’s “Sputnik moment” that will surely make headlines all over the globe.  But we all knew that Barack Obama could give a good speech.  That has never been the issue.  What the American people really need are some very real answers to some very real problems.  So were there any real answers in Barack Obama’s State of the Union address?  Well, Barack Obama promised that America will “out-innovate, out-educate and out-build” the rest of the world.  He also pledged that America will become “the best place in the world to do business” and that the government must “take responsibility” for our deficit spending.  But does all of this rhetoric mean anything or is all this just another batch of empty promises to add to the long list of empty promises that Barack Obama has already made and broken? (Read More...)

Paper Money Madness: Inflation-Fueled Economic Growth Does Not Indicate That An Economy Is Getting Stronger

If the U.S. economy “grows” by 4 percent in 2011, but by the end of the year we are paying $3.00 for a loaf of bread, $4.00 for a gallon of milk and $5.00 for a gallon of gasoline are the American people going to be better off economically or worse off?  The answer is obvious, but most “experts” in the mainstream media continue to insist that as long as U.S. GDP is increasing and as long as the stock market is going up that our economy is improving.  But that is just not the case.  If the amount of money in circulation was relatively constant, those measurements would be helpful, but unfortunately the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve are dramatically pumping up the money supply right now.  Just because larger amounts of paper money are changing hands does not mean that the economy is getting stronger.  Of course GDP is going to rise when there is much more money in the system.  But economic growth that is fueled by inflation is just an illusion and it is not an indicator of economic health at all. (Read More...)

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