A Plague Of “Billions” Of Locusts Threatens To Create A Horrific End Times Famine All Over Africa

Billions of locusts are eating everything in sight in east Africa right now, and every single day many more farms are being completely wiped out.  Unfortunately, authorities are telling us that what we have seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg.  In fact, if extreme measures are not implemented immediately, authorities are claiming that this locust plague could literally get “500 times” worse in a few months.  But it is difficult to imagine conditions getting any worse than they are at this moment.  Ravenous locust swarms that are “the size of cities” are consuming crops at a staggering pace, and this could potentially cause famine on the African continent that is unlike anything we have ever seen before.

It can be difficult to imagine a plague of “billions” of locusts.  After all, there are only about 7 billion people living on the entire planet.

But this is actually happening.  Right now “billions of locusts” are absolutely devastating east Africa, and each one can eat “its own weight in food every day”…

Billions of locusts swarming through East Africa could prove disastrous for a region still reeling from drought and deadly floods, experts have warned, amid increasing calls for international help.

Dense clouds of the ravenous insects, each of which consumes its own weight in food every day, have spread from Ethiopia and Somalia into Kenya, in the region’s worse infestation in decades.

It would be hard to overstate what this is going to mean for the region.  According to the FAO, this plague is an “unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods in the Horn of Africa”…

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation has described the situation as “extremely alarming,” representing an “unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods in the Horn of Africa.”

We have seen starvation in Africa before.  In fact, there was a time when our airwaves were filled with images of starving African children.

But if this plague continues to get even worse, the stage is being set for a famine that is far greater than anything that any of us have ever witnessed.

The density of some of these locust swarms is absolutely crazy.  According to officials, a single locust swarm can have “up to 150 million locusts per square kilometer”

“A typical desert locust swarm can contain up to 150 million locusts per square kilometer,” the East African regional body, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, has said. “Swarms migrate with the wind and can cover 62 to 93 miles in a day. An average swarm can destroy as much food crops in a day as is sufficient to feed 2,500 people.”

And it is important to note that some of these swarms are many times that size.

In fact, one of the largest swarms in northeastern Kenya was measures to be “60 kilometers long by 40 kilometers wide”.

In other words, that swarm was far larger than any major city on the entire planet.

Spraying these locusts only has limited effectiveness, but it is one of the only things that can be done at this point.

Unfortunately, Kenya only has four planes currently flying, and the same goes for Ethiopia.

The UN is going to step in with 10 million dollars of additional funding, but that won’t really go too far…

The UN on Wednesday allocated $10 million for aerial spraying, with humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock saying families across the region “now face the prospect of watching as their crops are destroyed before their eyes.”

The truly frightening part of this story is that we are being told that the worst is yet to come.

If you can believe it, and I know that this sounds absolutely nuts, but UN officials are actually warning that this plague of locusts could get “500 times” larger when warmer weather arrives…

When rains arrive in March and bring new vegetation across much of the region, the numbers of the fast-breeding locusts could grow 500 times before drier weather in June curbs their spread, the United Nations says.

If what the UN is telling us is accurate, and I have no reason to believe that it isn’t, then Africa is facing a nightmare of almost unbelievable proportions.  Yes, I keep warning that “the perfect storm” is here, but the scale of the plague that Africa is potentially facing is very hard to imagine.

With hundreds of billions of locusts potentially eating crops all across Africa, what will be left for people to eat?

Needless to say, many relief organizations are fearing the worst

Save the Children’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, Ian Vale, said in a statement that their staff in Kenya are battling swarms so thick they can barely see through them.

“The impact on crops and pastureland will be severe. We are very concerned that this will place vulnerable children even closer to the brink of starvation,” he said.

Even before 2020 began, millions upon millions of Africans were dealing with “acute hunger”, and the outlook for the coming year was grim.

But now nobody has any idea how there will possibly be enough food for everyone.

1.2 billion people live in Africa.  That is a lot of mouths to feed, and right now the locusts are stripping farm after farm completely bare.

I know that I have been writing about the coronavirus outbreak a lot in recent days, but this crisis could potentially kill far more people.  We have reached a time when global events have really started to accelerate, and the months ahead promise to be quite challenging for all of us.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

Over And Over Again The Mainstream Media Hasn’t Been Telling Us The Truth About This Coronavirus Outbreak

Ever since this coronavirus outbreak first began, the mainstream media has been feeding us fake news over and over again.  Initially, we were repeatedly told that there was very little to be concerned about because it was very unlikely that human to human transmission was happening.  But now we know that this virus spreads very, very easily between people.  Another thing that we were repeatedly told by the mainstream media was that a victim had to start showing symptoms before they could spread the disease.  Unfortunately, now we know that is completely and totally false.  As you will see below, Chinese officials have confirmed that even those showing no symptoms at all can spread the disease.  But perhaps the biggest fraud of all has been the “official numbers” that the Chinese government has been putting out.  According to the latest count, there are now 2,051 confirmed cases and the death toll has risen to 56, but at this point it has become clear that those numbers are completely divorced from reality.

Over the past several days, thousands upon thousands of very sick people have been absolutely overwhelming the hospitals in Wuhan, China.  In some cases people have literally had to wait in line for two days to see a doctor, and in other cases people have not been able to see a doctor at all.  In fact, one 36-year-old woman has taken her very sick husband to multiple hospitals and they still haven’t been able to see a doctor.  The following comes from the South China Morning Post

One 36-year-old, speaking by phone outside a major hospital in the city, said she had spent the past week taking her sick husband from hospital to hospital in a vain attempt to get him tested for the virus, which has already killed 41 people and infected hundreds more.

“I have nothing. No protective clothing, only a raincoat, and I am standing outside the hospital in the rain,” said the woman, who gave her name as Xiaoxi.

“I am desperate, I have lost count of time and days. I don’t know if we will both live to see the new year.”

Her husband first developed a fever 10 days ago and he has been coughing up blood, but he wasn’t tested for the virus at any of the four hospitals that they visited.

At one point they even called an ambulance, and that didn’t even work.

Sadly, the truth is that there are hordes of very sick people in Wuhan that are not showing up in the official numbers because there are not enough medical personnel to test them all.

And many of the medical personnel that are working endless hours to fight this outbreak end up getting the virus themselves.  In fact, one heroic doctor in Wuhan passed away on Saturday morning

A doctor working at a hospital in Wuhan, China — treating patients stricken with the coronavirus — died Saturday morning.

Liang Wudong, 62, died after he was infected with Wuhan coronavirus.

In addition to not being able to test everyone that is sick, the Chinese have also been purposely suppressing the death toll by falsely categorizing the deaths of many of the victims…

A 53-year-old fitness trainer died on Wednesday after checking into a hospital in Wuhan a little more than a week earlier, said his niece. His family had expected the death certificate to reflect the deadly coronavirus, because as his condition deteriorated, his doctors told his family he was suffering from an untreatable virus in his lungs.

Instead, it recorded “severe pneumonia” as the cause of death, she said. The relatives of two other people who died in separate hospitals in Wuhan this week also described similar situations, saying the causes of death had been given as “viral pneumonia.”

So what would the real numbers look like if we were being told the truth?

We don’t really know, but experts at Lancaster University believe that “there may already be 11,000 people infected in Wuhan”

A sobering assessment last week by experts at Lancaster University estimated there may already be 11,000 people infected in Wuhan – and that only one in 20 infections has come to medical attention.

The experts calculated the number could grow to 190,000 by February 4.

If that estimate is anywhere close to reality, that would be really, really bad.

But a video that claims to be from a nurse in Wuhan claims that things are even worse than that.

According to her, there are already 90,000 cases of the coronavirus in China…

A nurse wearing a protective suit and face mask treating the sick in Wuhan has claimed that 90,000 people have already been infected by the coronavirus in China – far more than the figure of just 1,975 issued by government officials.

Her warning from the heart of the outbreak emerged as the Chinese government faced accusations of censoring criticism of its handling of the disease in order to play down the crisis.

It is important to note that what she is reporting is entirely unconfirmed, and at this point there doesn’t seem to be any way to confirm her claims.

But what Chinese officials are now confirming is that this virus can be spread by victims without any symptoms at all

China’s health minister Ma Xiaowei made a startling statement Sunday about the Wuhan coronavirus: He said people can spread it before they become symptomatic.

“This is a game changer,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a longtime adviser to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This is completely contrary to what we were told previously.

And we were also previously told that the incubation period was a week or less, but now we are being told that the incubation period can last for as long as 14 days

China’s National Health Commission Minister Ma Xiaowei said the incubation period for the virus can range from one to 14 days, during which infection can occur, which was not the case with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

That means that there could be thousands upon thousands of people that aren’t exhibiting any symptoms at all that are spreading this virus around like wildfire all over the globe right at this moment.

Why didn’t they just tell us the truth right from the beginning?

If they didn’t know what was happening, it would have been okay for them to admit that.  Instead, they fed us bad information that turned out to be completely false.

Chinese officials are assuring us that they have everything under control because they have now locked down a whole bunch of major cities.

But that isn’t going to stop the spread of the virus.  Millions of people left Wuhan before that city was quarantined, and many others have been able to skirt around the travel restrictions quite easily.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

Yet, but… there is just one problem: the much needed quarantine and lockdown were far too late, because as Wuhan’s mayor Zhou Xianwang revealed on Sunday during a press conference, about 5 million residents had already left Wuhan before the lockdown because of the deadly coronavirus epidemic and the Spring Festival holidayAs the SCMP reports, many of Wuhan’s residents had already left the city for the holiday, while others rushed out after the lockdown was announced on Wednesday night.

As a result, only 9 million people were remaining in the city after the lockdown, with roughly a third of it, including countless cases of coronavirus, having already spread across China.

This extremely deadly coronavirus, wherever it originally came from, is now out of the bag.

With each passing hour more cases are being confirmed all over the world, and there are now five confirmed cases in the United States.

Life is so fragile, and as the whole world just witnessed, it can end way too soon.  The time of “the perfect storm” is here, and the headlines are only going to become more alarming in the days ahead.

But this is not a time for fear or panic.

Yes, things are going to get a lot worse.

And yes, a lot more people are going to die.

But those that are level-headed have the best chance of making it through any crisis, and giving in to fear or panic is not going to help matters at all.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

A ‘High-Level Exercise’ Conducted 3 Months Ago Showed That A Coronavirus Pandemic Could Kill 65 Million People

Just over three months ago, a “high-level pandemic exercise” entitled “Event 201” was held in New York City.  On October 18th the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in conjunction with the World Economic Forum and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, brought together “15 leaders of business, government, and public health” to simulate a scenario in which a coronavirus pandemic was ravaging the planet.  The current coronavirus outbreak that originated in China did not begin until December, and so at that time it was supposedly just a hypothetical exercise.  The following comes from the official page for this event

The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosted Event 201, a high-level pandemic exercise on October 18, 2019, in New York, NY. The exercise illustrated areas where public/private partnerships will be necessary during the response to a severe pandemic in order to diminish large-scale economic and societal consequences.

I find it quite interesting that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was involved, because they are also financial backers of the institute that was granted a U.S. patent for “an attenuated coronavirus” in November 2018.

It appears that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been quite interested in the threat posed by coronaviruses for quite some time.

Eric Toner, a researcher at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, spearheaded putting “Event 201” together.  In his scenario, a coronavirus outbreak had begun on Brazil’s pig farms

Toner’s simulation imagined a fictional virus called CAPS. The analysis, part of a collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, looked at what would happen if a pandemic originated in Brazil’s pig farms.

Even though the outbreak was quite limited at first, Toner’s scenario ultimately showed that a coronavirus pandemic could kill 65 million people

The pretend outbreak started small: Farmers began coming down with symptoms that resembled the flu or pneumonia. From there, the virus spread to crowded and impoverished urban neighborhoods in South America.

Flights were canceled, and travel bookings dipped by 45%. People disseminated false information on social media.

After six months, the virus had spread around the globe. A year later, it had killed 65 million people.

Let us certainly hope that this current outbreak does not evolve into that sort of a nightmare.

According to Reuters, there are now more than 800 confirmed cases, and the death toll has shot up to 25…

China confirmed 830 cases of patients infected with the new coronavirus as of Jan. 23, while the death toll from the virus has risen to 25, the National Health Commission said on Friday.

But many are skeptical that the official figures are accurate.  Because the images coming out of Wuhan are extremely alarming

Disturbing images of Wuhan residents dropping unresponsive to the floor have emerged on Instagram following the diseased Chinese city’s coronavirus lockdown.

Wuhan has been branded a “zombieland” by frantic locals after Chinese authorities told residents they are not allowed to leave yesterday morning.

Pictures from inside the city paint an apocalyptic picture as medics patrol in hazmat suits and gas masks.

Over the past 48 hours, numerous videos have been posted on social media that supposedly show violently sick people that have literally collapsed in the streets of Wuhan.  Here is just one example.

And in another video, hundreds of mask-wearing Chinese citizens are crammed into the hallways of a hospital in Wuhan as they wait to see a doctor.

This is something that I wrote about yesterday, and even though I documented my claims, I don’t think that a lot of people believed me.

In fact, when I told my wife what was happening at the hospitals even she didn’t believe me at first.

But this is actually happening, and one video from a Wuhan hospital even shows a patient that collapsed on the ground as he waited to see a doctor…

If people are literally dropping where they stand, that would seem to indicate that we aren’t being told the full truth about this virus.

Chinese authorities are trying to keep everyone calm, but they are definitely treating this like it is no ordinary outbreak.  For example, one airline passenger that was suspected of having the virus was actually “wheeled out of an airport in a quarantine box”

Footage has emerged showing an airline passenger with suspected SARS-like coronavirus being wheeled out of an airport in a quarantine box.

The man inside the box is wearing a protective suit, a mask and gloves after he reportedly showed possible symptoms, including a fever, during screening and was isolated from other travellers.

The box is surrounded by staff wearing blue masks as it is wheeled to a waiting ambulance outside a terminal at the airport in Fuzhou in south-eastern China.

The whole world was stunned when it was announced that the entire city of Wuhan would be facing a quarantine, but now seven other Chinese cities are also being locked down.

In addition, big cities all over China are canceling festivities for the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday…

Major Chinese cities, including Beijing and quarantine-blocked Wuhan, banned all large gatherings over the coming Lunar New Year festival, the most important holiday on the Chinese calendar, in an expanding effort to contain a rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak.

The announcement Thursday came as authorities expanded travel restrictions imposed on Wuhan to surrounding municipalities, shutting down travel networks and attempting to quarantine about 25 million people – more than the population of Florida.

We have never seen anything like this before in the entire modern history of China.

Would Chinese officials really take such dramatic measures if the threat was not real?

Of course here in the United States the CDC is assuring us that we don’t have anything to be concerned about

“We don’t want the American public to be worried about this because their risk is low,” says Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “On the other hand, we are taking this very seriously and are dealing very closely with Chinese authorities.”

Hopefully they are correct, and hopefully this outbreak will blow over sooner rather than later.

But a virologist that played a key role in identifying SARS in 2003 insists that what we have seen so far is just the beginning

“A bigger outbreak is certain,” said Guan Yi, a virologist who helped identify severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003. He estimated – “conservatively,” he said – that this outbreak could be 10 times bigger than the SARS epidemic because that virus was transmitted by only a few “super spreaders” in a more defined part of the country.

“We have passed through the ‘golden period’ for prevention and control,” he told Caixin magazine from self-imposed quarantine after visiting Wuhan. “What’s more, we’ve got the holiday traffic rush and a dereliction of duty from certain officials.”

And if that wasn’t enough to send a chill down your spine, just check out what else he had to say

“I’ve seen it all: bird flu, SARS, influenza A, swine fever and the rest. But the Wuhan pneumonia makes me feel extremely powerless,” he told Caixin. “Most of the past epidemics were controllable, but this time, I’m petrified.”

The next week or two will be an absolutely critical time.

If authorities are able to stop the number of cases from rising at an exponential rate, and if there are able to keep it mostly confined to just a few areas of China, we may have a chance to prevent a global pandemic.

But if not, we may be facing a worst case scenario.

And according to “Event 201”, a worst case scenario could potentially mean tens of millions of dead people.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

Not Ready For Economic Collapse: Only 41 Percent Of Americans Have $1000 To Cover An Emergency

We better hope that the U.S. economy holds together in 2020, because if there is any sort of major economic crisis much of the country is going to be broke almost immediately.  Today, close to half of all Americans are living on the edge financially.  For many, it is out of necessity, but for others it is a conscious choice.  Way too many people out there see no need to build up a substantial financial cushion because they have a tremendous amount of faith in the system.  They don’t think that things will ever get too bad in this country, and so there is no urgency to put funds away for a rainy day.  But even if authorities could somehow prevent an economic downturn from ever happening again, individual emergencies are taking place all around us on a constant basis.  Cars break down, people get sick, and accidents happen.  Unfortunately, most Americans are completely unprepared for some sort of an emergency to strike.  In fact, a brand new survey has discovered that just 41 percent of Americans could cover a $1,000 emergency expense using their current savings…

Bankrate’s January Financial Security Index survey reveals that just four in 10 U.S. adults (41 percent) would cover the cost of a $1,000 car repair or emergency room visit using savings. The findings echo what previous Bankrate studies and others — including the Federal Reserve and the Pew Charitable Trusts — have found about Americans’ lack of rainy-day savings.

So where would everyone else get the money for an emergency?

Well, most of them would either borrow the money or get it from a relative.

And usually an emergency costs a lot more than $1,000.  Here is more from the Bankrate survey

Emergencies often aren’t cheap. Among survey respondents who said they or their family members dealt with an unexpected expense in the past 12 months, the median amount of the largest expense was $1,750.

Three in 10 adults (29 percent) said they or their family members spent at least $5,000 in the past year to cover an unanticipated cost.

The bottom line is that most of the country is living paycheck to paycheck, and most Americans are just one small step away from financial disaster.

Back in 2008, millions of Americans suddenly lost their jobs, and because so many of them were living on the edge financially a lot of them suddenly couldn’t pay their mortgages.

You would think that we would have learned something from that very painful experience, but we didn’t.

So we better hope that the U.S. economy remains relatively stable, because a serious downturn would be very ugly.

Unfortunately, an increasing number of experts are warning that our luck is about to run out.  In fact, the head of the IMF recently warned that we could potentially be facing another “Great Depression”

The head of the International Monetary Fund has warned that the global economy risks a return of the Great Depression, driven by inequality and financial sector instability.

Speaking at the Peterson Institute of International Economics in Washington, Kristalina Georgieva said new IMF research, which compares the current economy to the “roaring 1920s” that culminated in the great market crash of 1929, revealed that a similar trend was already under way.

That certainly doesn’t sound good at all.

Here in the United States, most people have been choosing to ignore all the signs that the economy is starting to really slow down.

But as stores and businesses continue to close down all over the nation, it is going to become very difficult to ignore all of the empty buildings.

For example, Macy’s just announced that they will be closing nearly 30 stores

Macy’s is closing roughly more than two dozen stores as troubles mount for the storied retailer.

The company confirmed to CNN Business that it’s shuttering 28 Macy’s locations and one Bloomingdale’s location in the coming months. Closures affect locations in several states, including Florida, California and Georgia, according to lists compiled from various media reports.

And one of the most prominent mall retailers in the entire country has just announced that they will be closing 91 stores

Fashion retailer Express plans to close 91 stores as part of a “fleet rationalization” after a sales slump during the holidays.

The move comes amid a rash of store closures following the holiday shopping season.

Of course I could go on and on all day.  Here are just a couple more examples of major retailers that are closing down stores

Bed Bath & Beyond is closing 60 locations, with the list being revealed Tuesday. And Schurman Retail Group plans to close its Papyrus and American Greetings stores, totaling about 254 locations, within the next four to six weeks.

But despite all of the evidence to the contrary, the irrational optimists would still have us believe that America has entered a new era of tremendous economic prosperity.

I actually wish that was true.

Sadly, decades of exceedingly bad decisions are catching up with us in a major way, and instead of changing course we continue to steamroll toward a date with destiny.

Right now I am going to share with you the number one piece of advice that I give to everyone who asks about preparing for the great storm that is ahead.

Build up a financial cushion.

When things get bad, you are going to need money.

I know that sounds exceedingly simple, but obviously most of the country is choosing not to do this.

Instead, most of the country is surviving from month to month with barely any money in their bank accounts, and so when disaster strikes they are going to be looking for someone else to rescue them.

We have had more than a decade since the crisis of 2008 to prepare for the next one, but most people are acting as if the next one will never arrive.

Unfortunately, the truth is that the next crisis has already started, and businesses all over the nation are going bankrupt.

But most Americans won’t realize what is happening until things really start getting out of hand, and by then it will be far too late to make any sort of preparations.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

A State Of Panic Hits The Globe As Cases Of China’s New Mystery Virus Rise Exponentially

This is already becoming the worst public health scare that we have seen in many years, and experts are warning that we are still in the very early chapters of this crisis.  Officials are fairly certain that the spread of this mysterious new coronavirus began in the Chinese city of Wuhan, and as you will see below, measures are now being implemented to try to isolate that city from the rest of China.  But it is already too late, because cases have already been reported in other major Chinese cities, and the virus has also already traveled to a whole bunch of foreign countries via airplane.  Cases have been reported in Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, Australia and now there has even been one case in the United States.  It is being estimated that this virus has an incubation period of about a week, and so the truth is that countless others could be spreading it around right now without even realizing it.

There is so much that we still don’t know about this disease, but what we do know is that there were 48 confirmed cases on January 17th and now there are 440

Chinese officials have just held a press conference that was anything but the usual CDC “everything’s ok” statement. The particularly ominous warning that the virus is mutating and spreading is perhaps due to the poor handling of the SARS breakout in 2002/3 which was marked by cover-ups and official reluctance to share information.

Li Bin, vice head of China’s National Health Commission, confirmed there are 440 confirmed coronavirus cases in this new outbreak and there have been 9 deaths. Some 1,394 patients are under medical observation.

What this means is that the number of confirmed cases has gotten nine times higher in just four days.

Needless to say, this is creating a tremendous amount of panic.  In China, a lot of people are completely shying away from public places at this point…

“I don’t really dare to go to the airport right now, or even to the movie theater,” said Xie Jing, 33, who works in advertising in Shanghai, where there have been two confirmed cases of coronavirus. She canceled her planned trip home to Sichuan, where two cases are suspected.

“Everyone is being very careful at the moment in Shanghai. Everyone is wearing masks on the streets,” Xie said.

Sadly, the demand for masks is far greater than the supply, and some sellers have decided to make a quick profit by selling them “for more than 10 times their original price”

Several unscrupulous sellers who bought up masks en bulk are now managing to sell them for more than 10 times their original price. Some retailers were selling the masks for as much as 40 yuan ($7), a more than 10-fold mark-up. Users of Weibo, a Chinese social network similar to Twitter, warned anybody planning to travel to instead consider staying home, and repeatedly washing their hands.

According to certain sites that track prices of Chinese goods, the masks typically sell for 53 cents.

We haven’t seen this sort of panic since the days of the bird flu scare, and Chinese citizens are demanding action.

Unfortunately, there isn’t that much that can be done at this point.  Chinese officials are taking some steps to try to isolate Wuhan from the rest of the country, but many are skeptical that these measures will really make that much of a difference…

Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus was first detected, announced a series of new measures Tuesday, including the cancellation of upcoming Lunar New Year celebrations, which had been expected to attract hundreds of thousands of people.

Tour agencies have been banned from taking groups out of Wuhan and the number of thermal monitors and screening areas in public spaces will be increased. Traffic police will also conduct spot checks on private vehicles coming in and out of the city to look for live poultry or wild animals, after the virus was linked to a seafood and live animal market, according to a report by state media outlet the People’s Daily, citing Wuhan’s Municipal Health Commission.

There are about 11 million people living in and around Wuhan.  Cancelling a few events and performing sporadic “spot checks” is not going to keep this virus from spreading.

And of course the fact that this virus has already spread to a bunch of other countries is really alarming officials all over the globe.  North Korea has already “closed its borders to foreign tourists”, and other nations may soon follow suit.

In addition, airports all over the world are stepping up their screening efforts

Authorities in several countries, including Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan have stepped up screening of air passengers from Wuhan. US authorities last week announced similar measures at airports in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. They have now announced plans to introduce similar measures at airports in Chicago and Atlanta this week.

Unfortunately, this virus has already arrived in the United States via airplane.  A resident of Washington state brought it back from China on January 15th, and he didn’t contact a health professional until January 19th

U.S. officials said the man, a resident of Snohomish County, Wash., returned Jan. 15 from a trip to the region around Wuhan. Shortly after arriving at Seattle’s international airport, he began feeling ill and reached out to his health-care provider on Sunday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Monday the man had the coronavirus – which has sickened more than 400 people in China and others in Thailand, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

During the intervening days, how many others caught this virus from that particular individual?

And are they now spreading it to those that they are interacting with?

According to the director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, “we should expect to see additional cases in the U.S. and certainly around the world” in the days ahead.

In other words, you better buckle up because this crisis is going to get worse.

2020 was already promising to be a major turning point, and now we potentially have a very serious worldwide health crisis to contend with.

Global events are really starting to accelerate, and I have a feeling that a whole lot more drama is on the way.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

The Mainstream Media Admits We Are In “An Auto Recession” – And It Just Continues To Get Worse

Quite a few of the most important sectors of the global economy are already “in a recession”, and yet somehow we are still supposed to believe that the economic outlook for the rest of 2020 is a positive one.  I am not buying it, and I know that a lot of other people aren’t buying it either.  The global economic slowdown that began last year is really picking up pace here in early 2020, and global financial markets are perfectly primed for a meltdown of epic proportions.  Unfortunately, most people simply do not understand how badly the global economy has been deteriorating.  For example, global auto sales have now fallen for two years in a row, and even CNN is admitting that the global auto industry has been in a “recession” for some time…

The global auto industry plunged deeper into recession in 2019, with sales dropping more than 4% as carmakers struggled to find buyers in China and India. The pain is likely to continue this year.

The number of vehicles sold across major global markets dipped to 90.3 million last year, according to analysts at LMC Automotive. That’s down from 94.4 million in 2018, and well below the record 95.2 million cars sold in 2017.

Here in the United States, people keep trying to tell us that the economy is in good shape, but last year auto sales fell here too

Nonseasonally adjusted passenger car sales in the U.S. for 2019 declined 10.9% to 4.7 million units, versus 5.3 million units in 2018, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis.

Sales of trucks, minivans and SUVs for the year totaled 12.2 million units, up 2.8% from the 2018 figure of 11.9 million units.

The overall nonseasonally adjusted U.S. vehicle sales for the period fell 1.4% to 17.0 million units, versus 17.2 million units a year ago.

Very few analysts are expecting these trends to turn around in 2020.

And considering how important the auto industry is to the global economy as a whole, that has very serious implications for all of us

Recession comes with big ramifications for the global economy. According to the International Monetary Fund, the car industry accounts for 5.7% of economic output and 8% of goods exports. It is the second largest consumer of steel and aluminum.

Meanwhile, we are experiencing a very deep transportation recession in the United States as well.  The following comes from Wolf Richter

Shipment volume in the US by truck, rail, air, and barge plunged 7.9% in December 2019 compared to a year earlier, according to the Cass Freight Index for Shipments. It was the 13th month in a row of year-over-year declines, and the steepest year-over-year decline since November 2009, during the Financial Crisis

How in the world can the U.S. economy possibly be in “good shape” with absolutely horrific numbers like that?

When the amount of goods being shipped around the country by truck, rail and air is steadily falling, that is a crystal clear indication that economic conditions are slowing down.

And one of the biggest reasons why a transportation recession is upon us is because it looks like we are in a “manufacturing recession” too.

In fact, the manufacturing numbers for December were simply abysmal

US manufacturing took a turn from lousy to worse in December, according to the Manufacturing ISM Report On Business, released today, with employment, new orders and new export orders, production, backlog of orders, and inventories all contracting.

The overall Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) dropped 0.9 percentage points from November to 47.2% in December 2019, the fifth month in a row of contraction, and the fastest contraction since June 2009.

Overall, 2019 was the worst year for U.S. industrial production since 2015.

Across the Atlantic, things are even worse in Europe.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

The manufacturing downturn across Europe deepened in the last month of 2019 according to the latest survey data released on Thursday.

IHS Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI lost momentum last month, printing at 46.3, down from 46.9 in November, if modestly above the 45.9 expected. The PMI averaged 46.4 in 4Q, a seven-year low.

When will global authorities finally admit that we have a real problem on our hands?

How much worse do the numbers have to get?

This month, the Baltic Dry Index has been plunging dramatically.  For those that don’t know, the Baltic Dry Index is a key indicator of where global trade is heading, and on Monday it plummeted to a nine-month low

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index hit a nine-month low on Monday, dragged down by falling rates of capesize and panamax segments as world trade continues to slump.

The Baltic Dry Index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels that ferry dry bulk commodities across the world, dropped 25 points, or 3.3%, to 729 (according to Refinitiv data), the lowest level since April 2019

This is not what a healthy global economy looks like.

Of course many of those in positions of authority will continue to insist that everything is just fine for as long as possible.

In fact, back in 2008 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke kept telling us that a recession wasn’t going to happen even after the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression had already started.

Just like back then, all of the hard economic numbers that we have are all saying the same thing.

Both the U.S. economy and the global economy as a whole have been slowing down for quite a while, and it looks like big trouble is ahead of us.

That means that now is not the time to be spending lots of money, making big financial commitments or going into debt.

Those that are wise will be positioning themselves to survive the coming economic storm, but unfortunately most people are paying no heed to the warning signs.

Just like last time around, most people have tremendous faith in the system, and so they will be absolutely blindsided by the crisis that is coming.

In the end, multitudes will be expecting the government to bail them out somehow, but considering the fact that we are already 23 trillion dollars in debt that simply is not going to be possible.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

The Biggest Stock Market “Melt Up” In U.S. History Has Pushed Stock Prices To The More Overvalued Levels Ever

Over the past several months, we have witnessed one of the greatest stock market rallies in American history.  The S&P 500 has gone 70 days in a row without a 1 percent loss, and most weeks we have seen one daily surge after another.  If stock prices were exploding because the underlying U.S. economy was performing extremely well, we would have reason to celebrate.  Unfortunately, that is not the case at all.  In fact, last week I shared 12 signs that the economy is actually slowing down substantially.  Instead, this stock market “melt up” is being largely fueled by reckless intervention by the Federal Reserve.  The Fed’s balance sheet has been ballooning once again, and investors know that stock prices tend to go up significantly when that is happening.  So right now Wall Street is in the midst of a raucous party, and everything will be wonderful as long as stock prices continue to move in the right direction.

Unfortunately, no stock market rally lasts forever, and a day of reckoning is coming.  At this point, stock prices have become so absurd that even the New York Times is saying that we should “worry” about what is ahead.

We also witnessed dramatic stock market “melt ups” prior to the stock market crash of 1929, prior to the bursting of the dotcom bubble, and prior to the financial crisis of 2008.

If you are not familiar with the term “melt up”, here is a pretty good definition from Investopedia

A melt up is a dramatic and unexpected improvement in the investment performance of an asset class, driven partly by a stampede of investors who don’t want to miss out on its rise, rather than by fundamental improvements in the economy. Gains that a melt up creates are considered to be unreliable indications of the direction the market is ultimately headed. Melt ups often precede melt downs.

That definition accurately describes what we are witnessing on Wall Street right now.  There has been so much euphoria, and of course many of the wild-eyed optimists seem to think that it can last indefinitely.

But how much higher can stock prices possibly go?  After all, they are already the most overvalued that they have ever been in all of U.S. history.

A very simple way to judge whether stock prices are overvalued or undervalued is to look at the price-to-sales ratio for the S&P 500 as a whole.  During the best of times, it should be somewhere between 1.0 and 1.5, but thanks to the absurd rally that Wall Street has been enjoying the price-to-sales ratio for the S&P 500 has now been pushed above 2.4.  If you would like to see what this looks like for yourself, just check out this chart from Zero Hedge.

Stock prices should have never, ever gotten to this point without sufficient underlying sales to justify such high valuations.  If the S&P 500 were to fall 50 percent from the current level, that would put us at a point that is relatively “normal” for good economic times.

But of course our financial markets would not be able to handle a 50 percent decline in stock prices because the system is so highly leveraged.  It would be a disaster unlike anything we have seen before, and so the Federal Reserve feels as though there is no other alternative other than to continue to pump up this absolutely absurd bubble.

Another very simple indicator that shows that stocks are now more overvalued than ever before is “the Buffett Indicator”.  As Harry Dent has pointed out, the ratio of total market capitalization to U.S. GDP has never been higher than it is currently.  You can see this for yourself by looking at this chart.  The stock market would have to fall by a third just to get back to the ridiculous level we witnessed just prior to the financial crisis of 2008.  We truly are in unprecedented territory, and every other stock market bubble of this nature in our entire history has ended very, very badly.

If you want to blame someone for getting us into such a precarious position, you should blame the Federal Reserve.  And at this point, even Fed officials are acknowledging what is going on.  For example, just check out what Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan recently said

It was at the very least, a little refreshing to hear Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan openly talked about this in an interview Wednesday. Although he did couch it in terms that implied it was a matter of some concern to him. But, of course, he went on to say, “we’ve done what we need to do up until now.”

“My own view is it’s having some effect on risk assets,” Kaplan said. “It’s a derivative of QE when we buy bills and we inject more liquidity; it affects risk assets. This is why I say growth in the balance sheet is not free. There is a cost to it.”

The Fed is desperately trying to keep control of interest rates, but in the process they are creating ideal conditions for a stock market crash.

As 2019 rolled to an end, even Wolf Richter admitted that “there has never been a better setup” for a major market meltdown…

In my decades of looking at the stock market, there has never been a better setup. Exuberance is pandemic and sky-high. And even after today’s dip, the S&P 500 is up nearly 29% for the year, and the Nasdaq 35%, despite lackluster growth in the global economy, where many of the S&P 500 companies are getting the majority of their revenues.

Mega-weight in the indices, Apple, is a good example: shares soared 84% in the year, though its revenues ticked up only 2%. This is not a growth story. This is an exuberance story where nothing that happens in reality – such as lacking revenue growth – matters, as we’re now told by enthusiastic crowds everywhere.

Meanwhile, the real economy has just continued to deteriorate.

While stock prices were soaring in December, U.S. freight volume was actually plummeting

Shipment volume in the US by truck, rail, air, and barge plunged 7.9% in December 2019 compared to a year earlier, according to the Cass Freight Index for Shipments. It was the 13th month in a row of year-over-year declines, and the steepest year-over-year decline since November 2009, during the Financial Crisis

As I have warned so many times, stock prices have become completely divorced from economic reality, and this is setting us up for a major financial crisis.

But for the moment, the party continues to roll on and the wild-eyes optimists are telling us that this is just the beginning of a golden new age of prosperity.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

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