Worse Than 2008: We Are Being Warned That The Coronavirus Shutdown “Could Collapse The Mortgage Market”

The cascading failures that have been set into motion by this “coronavirus shutdown” are going to make the financial crisis of 2008 look like a Sunday picnic.  As you will see below, it is being estimated that unemployment in the U.S. is already higher than it was at any point during the last recession.  That means that millions of American workers no longer have paychecks coming in and won’t be able to pay their mortgages.  On top of that, the CARES Act actually requires all financial institutions to allow borrowers with government-backed mortgages to defer payments for an extended period of time.  Of course this is a recipe for disaster for mortgage lenders, and industry insiders are warning that we are literally on the verge of a “collapse” of the mortgage market.

Never before in our history have we seen a jump in unemployment like we just witnessed.  If you doubt this, just check out this incredible chart.

Millions upon millions of American workers are now facing a future with virtually no job prospects for the foreseeable future, and former Fed Chair Janet Yellen believes that the unemployment rate in the U.S. is already up to about 13 percent

Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told CNBC on Monday the economy is in the throes of an “absolutely shocking” downturn that is not reflected yet in the current data.

If it were, she said, the unemployment rate probably would be as high as 13% while the overall economic contraction would be about 30%.

If Yellen’s estimate is accurate, that means that unemployment in this country is already significantly worse than it was at any point during the last recession.

And young adults are being hit particularly hard during this downturn…

As measures to slow the pandemic decimate jobs and threaten to plunge the economy into a deep recession, young adults such as Romero are disproportionately affected. An Axios-Harris survey conducted through March 30 showed that 31 percent of respondents ages 18 to 34 had either been laid off or put on temporary leave because of the outbreak, compared with 22 percent of those 35 to 49 and 15 percent of those 50 to 64.

As I have documented repeatedly over the past several years, most Americans were living paycheck to paycheck even during “the good times”, and so now that disaster has struck there will be millions upon millions of people that will not be able to pay their mortgages.

It is being projected that up to 30 percent of all mortgages could eventually default, and when you add the fact that millions upon millions of Americans will be deferring payments thanks to the CARES Act, it all adds up to big trouble for the mortgage industry

A broad coalition of mortgage and finance industry leaders on Saturday sent a plea to federal regulators, asking for desperately needed cash to keep the mortgage system running, as requests from borrowers for the federal mortgage forbearance program are pouring in at an alarming rate.

The Cares Act mandates that all borrowers with government-backed mortgages—about 62% of all first lien mortgages according to Urban Institute—be allowed to delay at least 90 days of monthly payments and possibly up to a year’s worth.

Needless to say, many in the mortgage industry are absolutely furious with the federal government for putting them into such a precarious position, and one industry insider is warning that we could soon see the “collapse” of the mortgage market

“Throwing this out there without showing evidence of hardship was an outrageous move, outrageous,” said David Stevens, who headed the Federal Housing Administration during the subprime mortgage crisis and is a former CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association. “The administration made a huge mistake bringing moral hazard in and thrust extraordinary risk into the private sector that could collapse the mortgage market.”

Of course a lot of other industries are heading for immense pain as well.

At this point, even JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is admitting that the U.S. economy as a whole is plunging into a “bad recession”

Jamie Dimon said the U.S. economy is headed for a “bad recession” in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but this time around his company is not going to need a bailout. Instead, JPMorgan Chase is ready to lend a hand to struggling consumers and small businesses.

“At a minimum, we assume that it will include a bad recession combined with some kind of financial stress similar to the global financial crisis of 2008,” Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, said Monday in his annual letter to shareholders.

And the longer this coronavirus shutdown persists, the worse things will get for our economy.

In fact, economist Stephen Moore is actually predicting that we will be “facing a potential Great Depression scenario” if normal economic activity does not resume in a few weeks…

Sunday on New York AM 970 radio’s “The Cats Roundtable,” economist Stephen Moore weighed in on the potential impact of the coronavirus to the United States economy.

Moore warned the nation could be “facing a potential Great Depression scenario” if the United States stays on lockdown much past the beginning of May, as well as an additional amount of deaths caused by the raised unemployment rate.

The good news is that the “shelter-in-place” orders all over the globe appear to be “flattening the curve” at least to a certain extent.

The bad news is that we could see another huge explosion of cases and deaths once all of the restrictions are lifted.

And the really bad news is that what we have experienced so far is nothing compared to what is coming.

But in the short-term we should be very thankful that the numbers around the world are starting to level off a bit.

Of course that is only happening because most people are staying home, but having people stay home is absolutely killing the economy.

And if people stay home long enough, a lot of them will no longer be able to pay the mortgages on those homes.

Our leaders are being forced to make choices between saving lives and saving the economy, and those choices are only going to become more painful the longer this crisis persists.

Let us pray that they will have wisdom to make the correct choices, because the stakes are exceedingly high.

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 BlogEnd 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 EndGet 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. 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.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

Food Banks Warn They Will Soon Run Out Of Food As Economic Suffering Explodes All Over America

What are hungry Americans going to do when the food banks don’t have any more food for them?  Over the past couple of weeks, we have witnessed the largest spike in unemployment in all of U.S. history.  Since most of those workers did not have any sort of a cushion to fall bank on, a lot of of them have been forced to seek out emergency assistance for themselves and their families almost immediately.  Of course our national network of food banks was not built to handle this sort of a scenario, and as you will see below, many of them are already starting to run out of food.  But if things are this bad at the very beginning of this new economic downturn, what are things going to look like a few months from now?

It is imperative for people to understand that we are now in uncharted territory.  At this point, even the head of the IMF is warning that this new economic crisis will be “way worse” that the last recession…

The coronavirus pandemic has created an economic crisis “like no other” — one that is “way worse” than the 2008 global financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund’s top official said Friday.

“Never in the history of the IMF have we witnessed the world economy come to a standstill,” Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF, said at a news conference.

And of course we are already seeing economic numbers in the United States that absolutely blow away anything that we witnessed back in 2008 and 2009.  I don’t know that any of us ever anticipated seeing a single week when 6.6. million Americans would file new claims for unemployment benefits.

As this “coronavirus shutdown” continues all over the nation, U.S. economic numbers will continue to be nightmarish for the foreseeable future.  In fact, what Morgan Stanley is projecting for the second quarter is nothing short of terrifying

Following Friday’s report, Ellen Zentner, chief U.S. economist at the New York-based investment bank Morgan Stanley, lowered her growth forecast for second-quarter gross domestic product to -38 percent on an annualized basis. She says the U.S. economy will lose 21 million jobs, running the unemployment rate up to 15.7 percent, a level not seen since the Great Depression.

Of course the people that are going to feel the most pain are those on the lowest rungs of the economic food chain.

According to Bloomberg, “bread lines are forming” even in some of the wealthiest areas of the country…

With more than 10 million people across the nation suddenly unemployed, bread lines are forming in the shadows of privileged enclaves like this one in Florida.

For the past two weeks, the kitchen staff at Howley’s has been cooking up free meals—the other day it was smoked barbecue chicken with rice and beans, and salad—for thousands of laid off workers from Palm Beach’s shuttered restaurants and resorts. The rows of brown-bag lunches and dinners are an early warning that the country’s income gap is about to be wrenched wider as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, and the deep recession it has brought with it.

Elsewhere, vehicles are lining up at the crack of dawn at food banks all across the United states.

Feeding America is the largest food bank network in the nation, and the demand that they are seeing right now is unprecedented

Millions of people newly unemployed mean food banks, food pantries and soup kitchens are seeing a flood of new clients appearing at their doors, just as supplies are dwindling because of growing demand from consumers stuck at home.

Food banks are reporting a 40% increase in demand, on average, said Katie Fitzgerald, chief operating officer at Feeding America, a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs nationwide. Some say they are seeing double to quadruple the number of people asking for help.

Unfortunately, this is happening at the same time that donations to food banks are way, way down.  Feeding America locations are usually heavily supplied by major retailers, and right now those retailers are having a really difficult time keeping their own shelves stocked.

As a result, Fitzgerald is warning that some Feeding America locations may soon “not have enough food to distribute”

“Food banks could very well get so low on their inventories that they would not have enough food to distribute,” she said.

Louisiana has become one of the national hotspots of the coronavirus outbreak, and things there are particularly dire.

In fact, the head of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank says that his facility only has “a few weeks left of food”

Mike Manning, president of the food bank, said its usual sources of food for the needy in 11 parishes are drying up, as residents stock up their refrigerators and shelves at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our inventory is down significantly,” Manning said Thursday. “We’re looking at a few weeks left of food, unless we can find relief from the federal government and Feeding America,” a national network of more than 200 food banks.

But at least they haven’t had to turn anyone away yet.

At the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, hundreds of vehicles have been turned away in recent days…

The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank provided food to about 4,000 vehicles at three recent events, but had to turn hundreds away. Traffic was backed up for miles, said Lisa Scales, the agency’s CEO.

On Monday, 40 cars had already lined up by 9 am ET, even though distribution didn’t start until noon. More than 800 vehicles ended up receiving boxes of groceries.

The longer this “coronavirus shutdown” lasts, the deeper the desperation is going to become.

And even once the “shelter-in-place” orders have finally been lifted, one recent survey found that most Americans plan to continue to hunker down

A majority of Americans are hunkering down and say they will continue to social distance or stay at home even if lockdown orders are lifted, according to a new poll.

While 87% of the American public is staying home — regardless of whether or not it’s mandated by state or local municipalities — most plan on continuing to do so for all of April, according to the poll taken by the Huffington Post/YouGov survey.

So the truth is that there will not be a return to “normal” any time soon.

As long as a substantial portion of the population is afraid of the coronavirus, economic behavior is simply not going to go back to old patterns.

And the same survey that I just quoted found that a staggering 62 percent of all Americans believe that this pandemic will have “lasting effects on the nation”

“Only about one-quarter of Americans say they expect things will soon go back to normal in the country, with 62% foreseeing lasting effects on the nation. The rest are unsure what will happen.”

In the days ahead, there will be economic ups and downs, and financial markets will continue to fluctuate wildly, but the truth is that the “good times” are gone for good.

And remember, this coronavirus is just the beginning, and a lot more challenges are on the way.

As “the perfect storm” unfolds, please don’t forget those that warned you about all of these things in advance.

These are truly unprecedented times, and the level of economic suffering that we are already witnessing is off the charts.

Sadly, the pain for ordinary Americans in only just getting started, and that is going to have enormous implications for our society as a whole.

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 BlogEnd 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 EndGet 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. 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.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

This Is What Economic Collapse Looks Like

Approximately ten million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the past two weeks.  To put that in perspective, the all-time record for a single week before this coronavirus pandemic hit was just 695,000.  So needless to say, 6.6 million claims in a single week puts us in uncharted territory.  Just check out this chart.  We have never seen a week like this before, and we may never see a week quite this bad again.  Of course millions more jobs will be lost in the months ahead as this pandemic stretches on, but it is hard to imagine another spike like we just had.  When you add the last two weeks together, somewhere around 10 million Americans have filed new unemployment claims during that time period…

The torrent of Americans filing for unemployment insurance skyrocketed last week as more than 6.6 million new claims were filed, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That brings to 10 million the total Americans who filed over the past two weeks.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had expected 3.1 million for last week, one week after 3.3 million filings in the first wave of what has been a record-shattering swelling of the jobless ranks. The previous week’s total was revised higher by 24,000.

As I have documented repeatedly in my articles, survey after survey has shown that most Americans were living paycheck to paycheck even during the “good times”.

Now that those paychecks aren’t coming in anymore for millions of Americans, a lot of bills aren’t going to get paid.

Just like we witnessed in 2008, mortgage defaults are about to skyrocket, and Wall Street is bracing for the worst

Borrowers who lost income from the coronavirus, which is already a skyrocketing number as the 10 million new jobless claims in the past two weeks attests, can ask to skip payments for as many as 180 days at a time on federally backed mortgages, and avoid penalties and a hit to their credit scores. But as Bloomberg notes, it’s not a payment holiday and eventually homeowners they’ll have to make it all up.

According to estimates by Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi, as many as 30% of Americans with home loans – about 15 million households – could stop paying if the U.S. economy remains closed through the summer or beyond.

As I noted yesterday, the St. Louis Fed expects the unemployment rate to eventually hit 32 percent.  That won’t happen immediately, but if we do get there it will be worse than anything that we witnessed during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Because of all the shutdowns that have been instituted nationwide, economic activity has already dropped to levels that we have never seen before in our entire history.

Personally, I was absolutely astounded when the latest box office numbers were released

The Domestic Box office (movie theaters) brought in a whopping $5,179 for the week of Mar 20-26. Down 100% from $204,193,406 the same week a year ago… These numbers are just incredible.

And even once all the “shelter-in-place” orders have finally been lifted, a substantial portion of the population will not want to go to movie theaters anymore due to fear of catching the virus.

Many movie theaters that have closed down will simply never open up again.

Another thing that has really surprised me is how rapidly many Americans have run out of food.  A Daily Mail article that documented a line of vehicles a half mile long at a church in Orlando that was giving out food received a lot of attention today…

Today, the hundreds of families flocking to a church parking lot across town from Orlando’s iconic resorts and theme parks are here for a starkly different reason: survival.

‘In the amusement parks, the purpose or the outcome is about having joy or a thrill,’ says mom-of-three Glenda Hernandez, winding down her window to speak with a DailyMail.com reporter.

‘This is about having a child’s belly full for the night or the next couple of nights on whatever they give us.’

How is it possible that so many families are out of food already?

And apparently charities and food banks all over the country are seeing similar surges in demand.  Here are just a few examples that were shared by the Guardian

  • In Amherst, home to the University of Massachusetts’ largest campus, the pantry distributed 849% more food in March compared with the previous year. The second-largest increase in western Massachusetts was 748% at the Pittsfield Salvation Army pantry.
  • The Grace Klein community food pantry in Jefferson county, which has the largest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Alabama, provided 5,076 individuals with food boxes last week – a 90% increase on the previous week.
  • In southern Arizona, demand has doubled, with pantries supplying groceries to 4,000 households every day – double the number supplied in March 2019. “We saw an increase during the federal government shutdown but nothing as rapid, massive or overwhelming as this,” said Michael McDonald, CEO of the Community Food Bank of South Arizona.

If things are this bad already, how much worse will the suffering be a month or two down the road?

Meanwhile, U.S. farmers are facing problems of their own.

Because of all the shutdowns, it has been difficult for farmers to get enough workers into their fields.  The following comes from CNN

April and May are critical planting and harvesting times for many US farmers. They need skilled laborers to work their fields, and a reliable supply chain to deliver their goods. And they don’t have any time to waste.

If farmers can’t find enough workers or if their farming practices are disrupted because of the pandemic, Americans could have less or pricier food this summer. And because international farmers and their supply chains face similar problems, we could receive fewer food imports, potentially limiting supply and driving up prices.

Of course the main thing that is going to drive up prices is the fact that the system is being absolutely flooded with new money.  Many Americans have applauded the recent moves by the Federal Reserve, and just about everyone seems thrilled that big government checks are coming, but they won’t be so thrilled when a loaf of bread costs five dollars and a gallon of milk costs ten dollars.

As the virus spreads, many are concerned that it will sweep through low wage communities particularly hard, and that is a huge problem because low wage workers are absolutely vital all along the food chain

By law, food manufacturers must prevent anyone who is sick or has a communicable disease from handling, processing or preparing food for human consumption. But much of the food supply chain is staffed by low-wage workers, many of them undocumented immigrants with limited ties to health services.

So what are we going to do if there are not enough healthy workers to get our food from the farms to our dinner tables?

Already, confirmed cases are starting to pop up at quite a few food production facilities

The first case of a worker at a major U.S. meat producer testing positive for the virus was reported last week at poultry giant Sanderson Farms Inc. Since then, infections have cropped up everywhere from JBS SA plants in Iowa to Harmony Beef in Alberta.

While scattered factories have closed temporarily or cut output, generally companies are keeping plants running when workers get sick. Rather than shutting entire plants, they’ve focused on identifying areas where infected people have had direct contact.

Fear of the coronavirus is going to paralyze even “essential” industries such as food production.

We are now being told that authorities hope that cases peak in April and that this crisis will hopefully be behind us by June.  Let us pray that is true, but what most Americans don’t realize is that this pandemic is just the beginning.

Even before any of us ever heard of “COVID-19”, our world was already descending into madness, but now this pandemic has certainly accelerated things.

Millions of Americans have already lost their jobs, and the days ahead are going to be exceedingly challenging.

This is what an economic collapse looks like, and it is just getting started.

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 BlogEnd 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 EndGet 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. 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.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

What Is America Going To Look Like With Tens Of Millions Of Unemployed Workers?

In all of U.S. history, we have never seen a spike in unemployment like we are witnessing right now.  Last Thursday it was announced that more than 3.2 million Americans had filed new claims for unemployment benefits during the previous week, and many believe that the number that will be announced this Thursday will be even larger.  By the way, the previous all-time record for a single week was just 695,000.  So what is happening right now is absolutely nuts.  49 percent of U.S. companies anticipate conducting layoffs within the next 3 months, and the St. Louis Fed is projecting that the unemployment rate in this country will soon rise to 32 percent.  Before the coronavirus pandemic started shutting virtually everything down, approximately 158 million Americans were employed, and so we could soon have tens of millions of unemployed workers on our hands if the St. Louis Fed’s projection is accurate.

How are we possibly going to take care of them all?

To call this a “tsunami of unemployment” would be a massive understatement.  According to California Governor Gavin Newsom, more than 1.6 million residents of his state have filed for unemployment in recent weeks

It took the coronavirus pandemic less than a month to triple California’s unemployment rolls and plunge the state’s economy into a tailspin comparable to the Great Recession.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, in his daily update on the fight against COVID-19 on Tuesday, said “well over 1.6 million Californians” have filed for unemployment. A record 150,000 Californians filed claims Monday alone, he said.

Over on the east coast, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is claiming that there are times when “hundreds of thousands of people” are trying to access his state’s unemployment website simultaneously…

New Yorkers are struggling to file claims for unemployment benefits, as applications have inundated the state’s Department of Labor. At a news conference Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, acknowledged the state is having problems processing claims.

“I apologize for the pain—it must be infuriating to deal with,” he said. “The site is so deluged that it keeps crashing because you literally have hundreds of thousands of people at any time trying to get on the site.”

It is hard to imagine things “getting back to normal” in New York any time for the foreseeable future.  The number of cases in the state continues to explode, and this is starting to really affect even basic social services.  For example, more than 15 percent of all police officers in New York City “were out sick on Tuesday”

The novel coronavirus outbreak in New York City has taken a major toll on workers in health care, mass transit, and public safety, including the New York City Police Department.

The department reported on Tuesday that 1,048 uniformed members and 145 civilian employees have tested positive for the coronavirus. More than 5,600 officers (about 15.6% of its uniformed workforce) were out sick on Tuesday—more cops than serve in the entire Houston Police Department.

And the death toll is rising so rapidly in New York City that they are actually using a forklift to lift dead bodies into refrigerated trucks…

On Tuesday, a forklift was used to help lift dead bodies onto a refrigerated truck outside the Brooklyn Hospital Center. The COVID-19 death toll in the city is 1,139 and 47,439 confirmed cases and hospitals have been using bed sheets to wrap bodies because they no longer have body bags.

There is no way that America is going to “open for business again” as long as this virus continues to spread so rapidly.

The total death toll in the United States just crossed the 5,000 mark, and President Trump says that it could go as high as 240,000.  So it looks like we may have a long way to go before this pandemic is finally behind us.

Meanwhile, more Americans are losing their jobs with each passing day.  In fact, a brand new survey just discovered that 28 percent of Americans have already “lost wages or other personal income” during this crisis…

More than a quarter of Americans say they’ve already lost wages as the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic broadens, according to a new Grinnell College poll released Wednesday.

Twenty-eight percent of those surveyed said they’d already “lost wages or other personal income.” Another 16 percent said they were laid off or furloughed from work, and an additional 28 percent said they lost what they considered a “substantial amount” from a retirement account.

Without a doubt, the number that we are going to get from the Labor Department on Thursday is going to be bad.

Could it be even worse than the number that we saw last week?  Apparently that is what quite a few of the “experts” are anticipating

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg estimate a Labor Department report Thursday morning will show 3.5 million Americans filed initial applications for unemployment insurance last week, up from the record 3.3 million who sought benefits the prior week.

Some economists expect a far bigger total. Nomura forecasts 4.1 million; Morgan Stanley, 4.5 million; and Bank of America, 5.5 million. Such first-time jobless claims represent the best measure of layoffs across the country.

And it appears that we could keep getting more bad numbers for many weeks to come as vast portions of the country remain shut down.

At this point, some of our biggest corporations are bracing for a very, very long pause in operations.  This week, we learned that Ford has decided to keep their North American factories closed indefinitely

With what are sure to be ugly March sales numbers looming, Ford has now decided it is cancelling plans to re-start production in the U.S. and Mexico over the next two weeks. 

Citing risks associated with the coronavirus, the automaker has said the the suspension is “indefinite” and has not set a timeline to bring its facilities back online, according to Bloomberg. The company is currently working with the UAW to establish new guidelines for safety procedures before re-opening.

Of course someday those factories will come back to life, and someday the entire country will try to resume normal activities.

But when that happens, it is likely that we could see another new wave of coronavirus cases.  Just look at what is happening over in China.  For a while they have been claiming to have the virus under control, but this week they had to put an entire county in lockdown mode

A Chinese county that was largely unscathed by the novel COVID-19 coronavirus went into lockdown Wednesday, signaling fears of a possible second wave in the country where the virus originated, The South China Morning Post reports.

The county of Jia in Henan province, home to 600,000 people, is now in lockdown after infections reportedly spread at a local hospital. There were previously only 12 confirmed cases in Henan, despite it being situated just north of Hubei province, where China’s epicenter, Wuhan, is located. However, U.S. intelligence reportedly believes China under-reported the actual number of cases.

Officials all over the world are going to be balancing the need to protect life with the need to resume economic activity for a long time to come.

But even if every “shelter-in-place” order was immediately lifted all across America, a large portion of the population would still be deathly afraid of the coronavirus and economic activity would still be greatly depressed from previous levels.

Everyone needs to understand that the unsustainable debt-fueled prosperity that we were enjoying is not coming back, and our day of reckoning has finally arrived.

The “everything bubble” has finally burst, and Egon von Greyerz is warning that we are heading straight into “a collapse”…

I have for years warned about the enormous risks in the financial system that inevitably would lead to a collapse. As the bubble continued to grow for over ten years since the 2006-9 crisis, very few understood that the last crisis was just a rehearsal with none of the underlying problems resolved. By printing and lending $140 trillion since 2006, the problem and risks weren’t just kicked down the road but made exponentially greater.

So here we are in the spring of 2020 with debts, unfunded liabilities and derivatives of around $2.5 quadrillion. This is a sum that is impossible to fathom but if we say that it is almost 30x global GDP, it gives us an idea what the world and central banks will have to grapple with in the next few years.

All of the dominoes are going to be falling, and we are going to see financial chaos like we have never seen before.

We could have avoided this scenario if we had learned our lessons from the last financial crisis and had fundamentally rebuilt our financial system from the ground up using sound economic principles.

But instead our authorities simply inflated all of the bubbles far larger than before, and now we will all have to live with the consequences.

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 BlogEnd 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 EndGet 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. 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.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

49 Percent Of U.S. Companies Expect Layoffs “In The Next Three Months” As Unemployment Heads To Great Depression Levels

If the U.S. economy remains in shutdown mode for the next several months, we are going to witness layoffs like we have never seen before in U.S. history.  Of course what we have already witnessed is difficult to believe.  Last week more than 3.2 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment benefits, and that was more than four times higher than the previous all-time record.  This week another massive surge is expected, and we will continue to see lots more layoffs for as long as this pandemic persists.  It is going to be a very challenging time for the country as a whole, because we haven’t seen anything like this since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Yes, shutting down most of the nation is saving lives, but it is also absolutely crippling our economy.  According to a survey that was conducted from March 20th to March 26th by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, almost half of all U.S. companies say that it is likely that they will be conducting layoffs at some point “in the next three months”

Forty-nine percent of companies told Challenger, Gray & Christmas they are very or somewhat likely to conduct layoffs in the next three months, while 11% reported they have conducted permanent layoffs; another 7% have conducted temporary layoffs.

If that actually happens, can you imagine what that will do to our unemployment rate?

I know that this may sound really crazy, but at this point the St. Louis Fed is projecting that we will soon see a 32 percent unemployment rate

Millions of Americans already have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus crisis and the worst of the damage is yet to come, according to a Federal Reserve estimate.

Economists at the Fed’s St. Louis district project total employment reductions of 47 million, which would translate to a 32.1% unemployment rate, according to a recent analysis of how bad things could get.

Could things really get that bad so quickly?

If we do see a number that high, it would surpass even the highest unemployment rates that we witnessed during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The only way to avoid this sort of a nightmare scenario would be to put America back to work as quickly as possible, but that is simply not going to happen.  President Trump just extended the federal coronavirus guidelines until at least April 30th, and that means that it is exceedingly unlikely that any state will end their lockdowns before then.

And actually more states continue to join the “shelter-in-place” party.  For example, check out what just happened in Arizona

Gov. Doug Ducey is ordering all Arizona residents to remain in their homes for the next month except for essential needs to limit the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 1,000 people in the state.

The “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” executive order is set to take effect Tuesday at 5 p.m. and remain in place at least until April 30.

It would be wonderful if the pandemic had subsided so much by April 30th that most Americans would be able to get back to work, but many states are already anticipating that this crisis will run much longer than that.

Officials in New York City are warning that the city may stay closed down for the next two months, and in Virginia the current “shelter-in-place” order doesn’t expire until June 10th

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued a statewide stay-at-home order that’s effective immediately and will remain in place until June 10, unless the governor amends or rescinds it.

In the end, officials will be watching the raw numbers in order to determine when it is finally safe to resume normal activity.

Right now, the number of confirmed cases and the number of deaths is still increasing, but at least the rate at which they are rising is starting to slow down.

Hopefully that means that the “shelter-in-place” orders are having a positive effect.

But if everyone is allowed to resume normal activity a couple of months from now, we could see a “second wave” erupt as the number of cases starts to explode once again.

The only way to truly defeat this virus would be to conduct a complete and total nationwide lockdown for at least 28 days at the same time that the rest of the world is also conducting simultaneous lockdowns, and there is no way that is going to happen.

So it looks like we will be dealing with this virus for a long, long time to come.

As Americans brace for the economic collapse that is now unfolding all around us, they are hoarding cash “at the fastest pace since Y2K”, and retailers are boarding up their stores all over the country

High-end stores across the country have been boarding up their stores in anticipation of civil unrest due to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.

In Beverly Hills, the Pottery Barn and West Elm stores near Rodeo Drive were spotted with boards across the windows according to TMZ.

Meanwhile, stores in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Paris, Vancouver and elsewhere were similarly boarded up.

If I was in their shoes, I would probably be doing the same thing.  As unemployment soars and people get sick and tired of being confined to their own homes, it is probably only a matter of time before we see civil unrest, rioting, looting, and an unprecedented spike in the crime rate.

Of course there are still a lot of people out there that are hoping for a “V shaped recovery” once this pandemic begins to fade, but I wouldn’t count on that happening.

Scientists are warning that there could be multiple “waves” during this pandemic, and fear of this coronavirus is going to persist for a very long time to come.  And now that all of the economic bubbles are starting to burst, experts such as Egon von Greyerz are convinced that “there will be no recovery at all”

No one should believe for one moment that once CV is gone we will experience a V shaped recovery. There will be no V, there will be no U and nor will we see a hockey stick recovery. What few people understand, including the so called experts, is that there will be no recovery at all. An extremely rapid decline of the world economy has just started and will be devastating in the next 6-12 months, whether CV ends soon or not.

Personally, I do believe that there will be ups and downs throughout this process, but overall we are facing a “great unraveling” that will be more painful than most Americans would dare to imagine.

This coronavirus is not going to be the only challenge that we will have to face.  We have entered a time when there will be one crisis after another, and there will be no way to reinflate the bubbles this time.

Sadly, so many Americans today have come to take such great pride in our debt-fueled “national prosperity”, and now that prosperity is going to be smashed into a thousand pieces.

Our day of reckoning has finally arrived, and it is going to be really, really painful for the American 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 BlogEnd 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 EndGet 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. 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.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

The Economic Depression Of 2020: Many Of The Restaurants, Bars And Retailers That Have Closed Will Never Open Again

It appears that we are heading into the worst economic downturn of the post-World War II era, and that is going to be true no matter how this coronavirus pandemic ultimately plays out.  There are some that believe that this virus will only kill thousands, and there are others that are warning that it could kill millions, but everyone can agree that this outbreak is causing an unprecedented amount of fear.  And even once this pandemic starts to fade, a certain percentage of the population will continue to be afraid to go to restaurants, bars and other small businesses that are open to the public.  Of course many restaurants, bars and small businesses were just barely scraping by during the “good times”, and so many of them will simply not be be able to survive if a substantial portion of the population is literally petrified to step through their doors for the foreseeable future.

As long as fear of the coronavirus persists, the U.S. economy is going to be in for a world of hurt, and it looks like we may still be in the very early stages of this pandemic.

In fact, we are now being told that the death toll in the U.S. “could reach 100,000 or more”

President Donald Trump acknowledged Sunday for the first time that deaths in the United States from coronavirus could reach 100,000 or more, adding that if the death toll stays at or below 100,000, “we all together have done a very good job.”

Trump’s assertion came after he was asked about comments the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, made earlier Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that based on models, 100,000 Americans or more could die from the virus.

Of course the death toll could ultimately be much lower than that if effective treatments are made widely available to the general public.

We shall have to wait and see if that actually happens.

But meanwhile, fear of the coronavirus is absolutely devastating the economy.  According to the National Restaurant Association, our restaurant industry has lost 25 billion dollars in sales so far this month…

The U.S. restaurant industry has lost $25 billion in sales since March 1, according to a survey of 5,000 owners by the National Restaurant Association. Nearly 50,000 stores of major U.S. retail chains have closed, according to the companies.

An estimated $20 billion in monthly retail real estate loans are due as early as this week, according to Marcus & Millichap, a commercial real-estate services and consulting firm. Many retailers and restaurants have said they are not going to pay their April rents, which in turn poses a threat to the $3 trillion commercial mortgage market.

As this crisis stretches on, all of the dominoes in the commercial mortgage market are going to begin to fall.

What we are watching is deeply tragic, because those that work in our restaurants are some of the hardest working people in the entire country.  At this point, 3 percent of our restaurants “have already permanently closed”, and another 11 percent “anticipate they will permanently close within 30 days”

Three percent of restaurants have already permanently closed due to the coronavirus crisis, according to research from the National Restaurant Association. Forty-four percent of operators have temporarily closed their restaurants, and 11% anticipate they will permanently close within 30 days.

Can you imagine that?

By the end of next month, 14 percent of all restaurants in America could be gone for good.

And the longer this pandemic lasts, the higher that number will go.

We didn’t see anything like this back in 2008.  What we are now facing is truly unprecedented, and there is going to be a whole lot of vacant buildings in the days ahead.

Of course it isn’t just restaurants that are being hit extremely hard.  According to the Wall Street Journal, a wide variety of businesses all over the country are already in very serious trouble…

Companies of all sizes are feeling the squeeze, especially retailers and restaurants that have closed their doors during the outbreak. Nike Inc. is asking to pay half its rents. TJ Maxx is delaying payments to its suppliers. Victoria’s Secret and Men’s Wearhouse have furloughed thousands of workers. Cheesecake Factory Inc. closed 27 of the company’s locations and furloughed 41,000 hourly workers, nearly 90% of its total staff.

Even if all of the lockdowns all over the U.S. were immediately lifted, economic activity would not return to “normal”, because millions upon millions of Americans would still be deeply afraid of the virus.

And that isn’t going to happen anyway.  In fact, President Trump just extended the national “social distancing guidelines” through April 30th

President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that the White House would be extending its social distancing guidelines through April 30 – a month longer than an initial 15-day timeline when they were implemented on March 16.

“The peak in death rate is likely to hit in two weeks,” Trump said. “Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won.”

So that means that it is probably unlikely that any of the lockdowns on the state level that we have witnessed will be lifted before April 30th.

Across the Atlantic, citizens of the United Kingdom are being warned that life may not get back to normal “for six months or even longer”

Britons should not expect to get back to ‘normal life’ for six months or even longer, the government’s deputy chief medical officer warned today.

Dr Jenny Harries told a Downing Street press conference that people should not be viewing the coronavirus crisis as something that will blow over soon.

Would they really try to keep people inside for that long?

I can promise you that people do not have that much patience.

If you doubt this, just look at what is happening in China

Angry crowds rioted near the Chinese city of Wuhan after the region’s two-month coronavirus lockdown was lifted but residents were told they could not travel elsewhere in China.

Shocking footage showed a mob overturning a police van on a bridge linking Wuhan, which is the capital of Hubei Province, and neighbouring Jiangxi.

Here in the U.S., I have been seeing people all over social media clamoring for a return to normalcy.

Sadly, that is simply not going to happen for the foreseeable future, and the consequences for the U.S. economy are going to be extremely, extremely bitter.

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 BlogEnd 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 EndGet 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. 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.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

A Massive Surge Of Unemployment Like America Has Never Seen Before

The pace at which Americans are losing their jobs is absolutely breathtaking.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the largest number of new claims for unemployment benefits ever recorded in a single week prior to this year was 695,000 during the week that ended October 2nd, 1982.  So that means that what we are now witnessing is completely unprecedented.  About half the country is currently under some sort of a “shelter-in-place” order, and there has never been a nationwide shutdown of businesses anything like what we are currently experiencing.  Many are hoping that America will be able to “get back to normal” soon, but that all depends on the progression of this pandemic.  The number of newly confirmed cases in the U.S. spiked by more than 11,000 on Wednesday, and the number of new deaths continues to escalate at a very alarming rate.  Until those numbers start to improve, life is definitely not going to “get back to normal”.

In recent days, so many newly unemployed Americans have been trying to file for unemployment benefits that it has been crashing websites all over the country.  For example, a newly unemployed worker in Michigan named Aaron Garza never was able to file for benefits through Michigan’s unemployment website although he kept on trying throughout Monday and Tuesday

When Aaron Garza was dismissed this week from his job as a parts specialist at a Toyota dealership in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he joined a tidal wave of unemployed people swamping systems to help them and straining state finances to the breaking point.

On Monday, Garza went to Michigan’s unemployment website and tried logging on to apply for benefits electronically. After 30 minutes, he was able to sign on, but by the time a verification code was sent to his phone 25 minutes later, he had already given up. As of Tuesday afternoon, he still hadn’t been able to get through.

Last week, 108,000 workers filed for unemployment benefits in the state of Michigan.

That is 20 times more than normal.

Ouch.

In Louisiana, things are even worse.  If you can believe it, the number of people filing for unemployment benefits is more than 40 times higher than usual

In Louisiana alone, 71,000 people filed new unemployment applications last week, compared to the usual 1,400 or 1,500 people per week, said state labor secretary Ava Dejoie.

Louisiana has one of the highest per capita counts of coronavirus cases in the U.S. Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards has ordered nonessential businesses to close, limited restaurants to takeout and delivery, banned gatherings over 10 people and directed residents to remain at home.

And in California, Governor Gavin Newsom says that a million residents of his state have filed for benefits “just since March 13”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday that the state has seen 1 million unemployment claims in less than two weeks as the coronavirus pandemic has led to businesses being shut down across the state.

“We just passed the 1 million mark, in terms of the number of claims, just since March 13,” Newsom said.

On Thursday, we will get the latest weekly total for the nation as a whole.

At this point nobody is quite sure what to expect, but most forecasts are ranging between one million and four million

Economists have issued widely varying estimates of Thursday’s jobless claims total based on anecdotal reports by about 40 states to news outlets for the first few days of last week. Goldman Sachs estimated the national count will be about 2.25 million but said it could be as low as slightly more than 1 million. Morgan Stanley reckons about 3.4 million. Oxford Economics says about 4 million.

If we even hit the lowest edge of that range, it will absolutely shatter the old record that was set back in 1982.

Of course similar things are happening all over the world.  Approximately one-third of the entire population of the globe is currently under some sort of a lockdown order, and that means that hundreds of millions of workers are sitting at home not working.

Here in the United States, so many people are already absolutely sick and tired of being idle at home, but the truth is that it looks like this pandemic is just getting started.

In fact, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio believes that more than half of the residents of his city will eventually get the virus

More than half of New York City’s population can expect to be infected by the coronavirus, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Most will suffer only a “mild experience,” but many will become very sick, and “we are going to lose some people,” he said. April will be tough and May tougher before the virus crisis eases, he said. The city has seen 192 deaths so far, and there are more than 17,000 confirmed cases of the virus.

“The world we knew is gone,” de Blasio said in a social media post. “And it’s not coming back, not for the next few months. That’s the blunt truth.”

If his projection is even close to accurate, that means that we are in for a very, very long battle with COVID-19.

A lot of people out there are still trying to downplay this pandemic, and that is a huge mistake.  The dead bodies are starting to pile up just like we saw in China, Iran and Italy, and already “New York City’s morgues are nearing capacity”

The Department of Homeland Security has been briefed that New York City’s morgues are nearing capacity, according to a department official and a second person familiar with the situation.

Officials were told that morgues in the city are expected to reach capacity next week, per the briefing. A third person familiar with the situation in New York said some of the city’s hospital morgues hit capacity in the past seven days. And a FEMA spokesperson told POLITICO that New York has asked for emergency mortuary assistance. Hawaii and North Carolina have asked for mortuary help as well, and the disaster response agency is currently reviewing the requests, according to the spokesperson.

You may have noticed that I have not said too much about what Congress is doing, and that is because any “stimulus package” is really not going to make that much of a difference.

Congress is not going to be able to make this pandemic go away, and they aren’t going to be able to convince people that are deathly afraid to leave their own homes to go out and spend money normally.

But thanks to Congress there will be a lot more money chasing a rapidly dwindling pool of goods and services in the days ahead, and that will eventually cause very painful inflation.

And if they are going to start handing out giant checks to everyone, they better keep on doing it all throughout this crisis.  Because as Gerald Celente has warned, what we are heading for is “the Greatest Depression”

“People are going to go bankrupt. You are going to see suicide rates increase. You are going to see crime escalate and people OD’ing on drugs because of depression…

Our leaders are totally closing down the economy. Again, this has never been done before. It’s not only Wall Street going down, Main Street went down simultaneously. That is unprecedented. Usually, the markets go down and then the ripple effects start hitting Main Street. This time–boom, they are both down…

It’s going to be worse than the Great Depression. It’s going to be the Greatest Depression.”

Sadly, one element of Celente’s warning is already coming to pass.  It is being reported that calls to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline have risen 300 percent

Isolation and anxiety over the coronavirus pandemic are taking a toll, with calls to a National Suicide Prevention Hotline call center rising 300 percent, KVLY reports.

Other suicide prevention services across the United States also have seen spikes in calls since the COVID-19 virus threw everyday life askew for millions.​​​​​

In this hour, people are going to need hope.

But trying to convince them that this virus does not exist is not giving them hope.

And those that are boldly proclaiming that this virus will magically go away very quickly are only giving people false hope.  When they later realize that they were lied to, that false hope will give way to even deeper depression and despair.

This virus is very real, and we are going to be battling this pandemic for an extended period of time.  But God knew all about this in advance, He is in control, and He will accomplish His purposes.

And God specifically has a plan for you and your family, but you have got to be willing to embrace it.  Your future is likely to look far different than you originally imagined, but with God’s help it can also be far greater than you originally imagined as well.

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 BlogEnd 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 EndGet 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. 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.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

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