Bad Economic News

It seems like almost everywhere you turn these days there is bad economic news.  Foreclosures are setting records, unemployment remains depressingly high, poverty is exploding, U.S. government debt is wildly out of control and Europe is on the verge of an economic collapse that could send the entire globe into a devastating financial panic.  If all that wasn’t enough, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has destroyed the seafood and tourism industries along the Gulf coast and threatens to push that entire region into a depression for years to come.  The truth is that the more you look at the economic statistics coming in from around the globe the more it becomes obvious that we are headed for a complete and total economic nightmare. 

Just consider some of the most recent economic news…. 

*The number of U.S. home foreclosures set a record for the second consecutive month in May.  How can the U.S. housing industry be recovering when the number of Americans being foreclosed on continues to set all-time records?

*As of March, U.S. banks had an inventory of approximately 1.1 million foreclosed homes, up 20 percent from a year ago.  Instead of working their way through the huge backlog of unsold homes, U.S. banks continue to pile up a massive inventory of foreclosed homes at a staggering pace.

*According to figures from the U.S. Commerce Department, housing starts in the United States fell 10 percent in May, the biggest decline since March 2009.  The data also revealed that single-family home starts suffered the biggest drop since 1991.  There is already a massive glut of unsold homes on the market, so builders simply do not think it is profitable to build many new homes right now.

*Officials now tell us that the cost of “fixing” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-backed mortgage companies that last year bought or guaranteed the vast majority of all U.S. home loans, will be at least $160 billion and could grow as high as $1 trillion.  The twin pillars of the U.S. mortgage industry have become financial black holes that the U.S. government endlessly pours massive amounts of cash into.  That is not a good sign.

*Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are to be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange because their stock prices have been trading under $1 per share for more than 30 trading days.  The truth is that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would have completely imploded by now if the U.S. government had not decided to step in and bail them out.

*The average duration of unemployment in the United States has risen to an all-time high.  Not only are a ton of Americans out of work, they can’t find work for a very, very long time once they are unemployed.

*For Americans younger than 25 years of age, the unemployment rate is 18.8%.  But even those young Americans that can find employment often find themselves working in very low paying service jobs.

*Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says that the U.S. unemployment rate is likely to stay “high for a while”.  Considering how badly Bernanke has been doing his job, it would be really nice if we could add just one more person to the unemployment rolls.

*According to one new study, approximately 21 percent of children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 – the highest rate in 20 years.  There are hundreds of thousands of American children on the streets each night, and yet we continue to insist that we are the greatest country in the world. 

*For the first time in U.S. history, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011.  How many tens of millions of Americans have to be on food stamps before we officially say that we are in a depression?

*According to the Wall Street Journal, the debates have begun inside the Fed about what it should do in the event of a “double dip” recession.  If they are already debating what to do during the next economic downturn that means it is probably a foregone conclusion. 

*If you were alive when Christ was born and spent one million dollars every single day from then until now, you still would not have spent one trillion dollars by now.  But somehow the U.S. government is now over 13 trillion dollars in debt.  According to a U.S. Treasury Department report to Congress, the U.S. national debt will top $13.6 trillion this year and climb to an estimated $19.6 trillion by 2015

*It is being projected that the U.S. national debt will grow to surpass our gross domestic product in 2012.  Needless to say, that is a really, really bad sign.

*The total of all government, corporate and consumer debt in the United States is now equal to 360 percent of GDP.  At no point during the Great Depression did we ever even come close to such a figure.

But things may be even worse in Europe right now.  Unfortunately for the U.S., when Europe experiences an economic collapse it will devastate the American economy as well. 

The economic news coming out of Europe lately has been extremely alarming….

*George Soros says that a European recession next year is “almost inevitable”.  Considering how much access George Soros has to inside information, the fact that he is so pessimistic about Europe is a very troubling thing indeed.

*A report by the Bank for International Settlements says that the debt crisis hitting southern Europe resembles the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis.  Is history about to repeat itself?

*Moody’s has downgraded Greece government bond ratings into junk territory, citing the risks inherent in the rescue package that the rest of the eurozone has put together for them.  Soon Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Romania and a number of other European nations could have their debt downgraded as well. 

*The U.K.’s  new Office for Budget Responsibility has announced that the U.K. economy was more damaged by the recent financial crisis than previously admitted, and that it may never fully recover.  But the same could be said for many other nations across the world as well.

*21.5% of all working-age people in the U.K. do not have a job.  It seems like almost every country has a shortage of jobs these days.

*New U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron is warning that Britain’s “whole way of life” is about to be significantly disrupted for years by the most drastic public spending cuts in a generation.  In fact, severe austerity measures being implemented all across Europe could make this one of the most “interesting” European summers in ages.

*Spanish banks are borrowing record amounts of money from the European Central Bank as Spain’s financial institutions are finding it increasingly difficult to acquire funds in international capital markets.  But the truth is that it isn’t just Spanish banks that are facing a liquidity squeeze – the entire world is heading for a massive credit crunch.

But the biggest piece of bad economic news of all is the nightmare that is unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico.  There is no way that the southeast United States is going to be the same after this.  Hordes of businesses and entire industries have been literally destroyed over the past two months.  The total economic damage from this unprecedented disaster will easily run into the hundreds of billions of dollars.  This is an economic blow that the teetering U.S. economy simply could not afford right now.  Once the oil finally stops flowing the crisis will not be over.  In fact, the aftermath from this oil spill could end up echoing for decades.

So are things bad out there?  Yes, things are incredibly bad and they are about to get a whole lot worse.  In fact, there are so many cancers eating away at the U.S. economy that it would take an entire book to detail them all. 

What we are dealing with is not “just another recession” or “just another economic downturn”.  What we are witnessing is the fundamental unraveling of the monstrous debt spiral that our economy is based upon.  Any economy that is built on a foundation of debt and paper money is inevitably doomed.

So yes, the bad economic news is going to continue.  Things may get better for a while here and there, but the truth is that we are caught in a long-term spiral of economic decline from which there is no escape.

So what do you think?  Do you believe that there is hope for the U.S. economy?  Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion….

The Depression Of 2011? 23 Economic Warning Signs From Financial Authorities All Over The Globe

Could the world economy be headed for a depression in 2011?  As inconceivable as that may seem to a lot of people, the truth is that top economists and governmental authorities all over the globe say that the economic warning signs are there and that we need to start paying attention to them.  The two primary ingredients for a depression are debt and fear, and the reality is that we have both of them in abundance in the financial world today.  In response to the global financial meltdown of 2007 and 2008, governments around the world spent unprecedented amounts of money and got into a ton of debt.  All of that spending did help bail out the global banking system, but now that an increasing number of governments around the world are in need of bailouts themselves, what is going to happen?  We have already seen the fear that is generated when one small little nation like Greece even hints at defaulting.  When it becomes apparent that quite a few governments around the globe cannot handle their debt burdens, what kind of shockwave is that going to send through financial markets?

The truth is that we are facing the greatest sovereign debt crisis in modern history.  There is no way out of this financial mess that does not include a significant amount of economic pain.

When you add mountains of debt to paralyzing fear to strict austerity measures, what do you get?

What you get is deflationary pressure and financial markets that seize up.

Some of the top financial authorities in the world are warning us that unless something substantial is done, that is exactly what we are going to be seeing as 2010 turns into 2011.

Of course some governments around the world could try to put these economic problems off for a while by printing and borrowing even more money, but we all know by now that only makes the long-term problems even worse.

For now, however, it seems as though most governments are opting for the austerity measures that the IMF seems determined to cram down the throats of everyone.

So what will austerity measures mean for the global economy?

Think “stimulus” in reverse.

Yes, things are going to get messy.

It looks like there is going to be a great deal of economic fear and a great deal of economic pain in 2011 and the years beyond that.

So are we headed for “the depression of 2011”?

Well, let’s hear what some of the top financial experts in the world have to say….

#1) Economist Nouriel Roubini:

“We are still in the middle of this crisis and there is more trouble ahead of us, even if there is a recovery. During the great depression the economy contracted between 1929 and 1933, there was the beginning of a recovery, but then a second recession from 1937 to 1939. If you don’t address the issues, you risk having a double-dip recession and one which is at least as severe as the first one.”

#2) Bank of England Governor Mervyn King:

“Dealing with a banking crisis was difficult enough, but at least there were public-sector balance sheets on to which the problems could be moved. Once you move into sovereign debt, there is no answer; there’s no backstop.”

#3) German Chancellor Angela Merkel:

“The current crisis facing the euro is the biggest test Europe has faced for decades, even since the Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957.”

#4) Paul Donovan, the Senior Economist at UBS:

“Now people are questioning if the euro will even exist in three years.”

#5) Michael Pento, Chief Economist at Delta Global Advisors:

“The crisis in Greece is going to spread to Spain and it’s going to be very difficult to deal with. They are bailing out debt with more debt and it isn’t sustainable. It’s a wonderful scenario for gold.”

#6) LEAP/E2020:

“LEAP/E2020 believes that the global systemic crisis will experience a new tipping point from Spring 2010. Indeed, at that time, the public finances of the major Western countries are going to become unmanageable, as it will simultaneously become clear that new support measures for the economy are needed because of the failure of the various stimuli in 2009, and that the size of budget deficits preclude any significant new expenditures.”

#7) Telegraph Columnist Edmund Conway:

“Whatever yardstick you care to choose – share-price moves, the rates at which banks lend to each other, measures of volatility – we are now in a similar position to 2008.”

#8) Peter Morici, an Economics Professor at the University of Maryland:

“The next financial tsunami is emerging and will ripple to America.”

#9) Bob Chapman of the International Forecaster:

“The green shoots of recovery have now turned into poison ivy. The abyss has again been filled with more debt and more fiat currency. In the process the Fed and now the ECB have lost all credibility.”

#10) Telegraph Columnist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard:

“The M3 money supply in the United States is contracting at an accelerating rate that now matches the average decline seen from 1929 to 1933, despite near zero interest rates and the biggest fiscal blitz in history.”

#11) Professor Tim Congdon from International Monetary Research:

“The plunge in M3 has no precedent since the Great Depression. The dominant reason for this is that regulators across the world are pressing banks to raise capital asset ratios and to shrink their risk assets. This is why the US is not recovering properly.”

#12) Reuters Columnist Iliana Jonas:

“The default rate for commercial mortgages held by banks in the first quarter hit its highest level since at least 1992 and is expected to surpass that by year-end and peak in 2011, according to a study by Real Capital Analytics.”

#13) Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize-winning Economist:

“It’s not hard to see Japan-style deflation emerging if the economy stays weak.”

#14) Stan Humphries, Chief Economist for Zillow.com:

“Anyone expecting a robust rebound in the housing market … will be sorely disappointed.”

#15) Fox News:

“As the national debt clock ticked past the ignominious $13 trillion mark overnight, Congress pressed to pass a host of supplemental spending bills.”

#16) Bloomberg:

“The U.S. government’s Aaa bond rating will come under pressure in the future unless additional measures are taken to reduce projected record budget deficits, according to Moody’s Investors Service Inc.”

#17) Peter Schiff:

“When creditors ultimately decide to curtail loans to America, U.S. interest rates will finally spike, and we will be confronted with even more difficult choices than those now facing Greece. Given the short maturity of our national debt, a jump in short-term rates would either result in default or massive austerity. If we choose neither, and opt to print money instead, the run-a-way inflation that will ensue will produce an even greater austerity than the one our leaders lacked the courage to impose. Those who believe rates will never rise as long as the Fed remains accommodative, or that inflation will not flare up as long as unemployment remains high, are just as foolish as those who assured us that the mortgage market was sound because national real estate prices could never fall.”

#18) The National League of Cities:

“City budget shortfalls will become more severe over the next two years as tax collections catch up with economic conditions.  These will inevitably result in new rounds of layoffs, service cuts, and canceled projects and contracts.”

#19) Dan Domenech, Executive Director of the American Association of School Administrators:

“Faced with continued budgetary constraints, school leaders across the nation are forced to consider an unprecedented level of layoffs that would negatively impact economic recovery and deal a devastating blow to public education.”

#20) Mike Whitney:

“Without another boost of stimulus, the economy will lapse back into recession sometime by the end of 2010.”

#21) Kevin Giddis, Managing Director of Fixed Income at Morgan Keegan:

“There is big money making big bets that at a minimum we we’ll have a recession if not a depression that could last for years.”

#22) John P. Hussman, Ph.D.:

“In my estimation, there is still close to an 80% probability (Bayes’ Rule) that a second market plunge and economic downturn will unfold during the coming year. This is not certainty, but the evidence that we’ve observed in the equity market, labor market, and credit markets to-date is simply much more consistent with the recent advance being a component of a more drawn-out and painful deleveraging cycle.”

#23) Richard Russell, the Famous Author of the Dow Theory Letters:

“Do your friends a favor. Tell them to “batten down the hatches” because there’s a HARD RAIN coming. Tell them to get out of debt and sell anything they can sell (and don’t need) in order to get liquid. Tell them that Richard Russell says that by the end of this year they won’t recognize the country. They’ll retort, “How the dickens does Russell know — who told him?” Tell them the stock market told him.”

Are We About To Witness The Greatest Banking Consolidation In U.S. History?

As the number of bank failures in the United States continues to accelerate, many analysts are warning that we could soon see unprecedented changes in the U.S. banking industry.  In fact, there are some economists that are warning that we could be about to witness the greatest banking consolidation in U.S. history.  As dozens of small and medium size banks have failed, the megabanks have systematically been gobbling up larger and larger slices of market share.  In fact, if current trends continue, it doesn’t take much imagination to foresee a future where the entire U.S. banking industry has been consolidated down to between 5 and 10 “superbanks”.  So would that be so bad?  Well, yes it would.  It would represent a massive shift in financial power away from the American people to big, global corporate banks.  But if you happen to be a fan of big, global corporate banks perhaps you will really love what is about to happen to the U.S. banking industry.

On Friday, federal regulators seized Pinehurst Bank, which brought the total number of U.S. banks closed this year to 73.  At this point in 2009, only 36 banks had failed.

That means that the number of bank failures has doubled compared to the same time period a year ago.

Is that a good trend?

Well, it is a good trend if you are one of the megabanks that is gobbling up the remnants of these banks that were “small enough to fail”.

And the sad thing is that we are likely to see dozens and dozens more small and medium size banks fail in the coming months.

The FDIC recently announced that the number of banks on its “problem list” climbed to 702 at the end of 2009.  That is extremely alarming considering the fact that only 552 banks were on the problem list at the end of September 2009 and only 252 banks that were on the problem list at the end of 2008.

In fact, the FDIC is expecting so many banks to fail that they are opening up new offices just to handle all the expected failures.  The FDIC has opened a massive 100,000 square foot satellite office near Chicago that will house up to 500 temporary staffers and contractors to manage receiverships and liquidate assets from what they are expecting will be a gigantic wave of failed Midwest banks.  Not only that, but the FDIC has also opened similar offices in Irvine, California and Jacksonville, Florida.

But can the FDIC realistically handle all of these bank failures?

No.

The FDIC is backing 8,000 banks that have a total of $13 trillion in assets with a deposit insurance fund that is basically flat broke.

So if the FDIC completely runs out of money, where will all the necessary funds come from?

From U.S. taxpayers of course.

It seems that we are the ultimate bailout machine.

Meanwhile, the biggest U.S. banks are hoarding cash in preparation for hard times.  In fact, the biggest banks in the United States cut their collective small business lending balance by another 1 billion dollars in November 2009.  That drop was the seventh monthly decline in a row.

The truth is that in 2009, the biggest U.S. banks posted their sharpest decline in lending since 1942.

So what were they doing with their money?

Well, thanks to the Federal Reserve, the megabanks were using the U.S. Treasury carry trade to make huge gobs of cash.  In fact, the little game that they are playing with U.S. Treasuries is working so well that four of the biggest U.S. banks (Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup) had a “perfect quarter” with zero days of trading losses during the first quarter of 2010.

The truth is that the game is rigged to benefit the largest financial institutions, and they are slowly but surely gobbling up the entire U.S. banking market.

Back in 2000, the “Big Four” U.S. banks – Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo – held approximately 22 percent of all deposits in FDIC-insured institutions.  As of June 30th of last year that figure was up to 39 percent.

The Founding Fathers of this country warned us of the danger of big banks getting too much power, but we have not listened to their warnings.

Now we have monolithic global banks that are so immense in size that we seem almost powerless to control them.

In fact, the six biggest banks in the United States (Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo) now possess assets equivalent to 60 percent of America’s gross national product.

And there is every indication that they are only going to get bigger and more dominant – especially if there is a major economic downturn ahead.

Unfortunately, that is what a number of respected economists are forecasting.

For example, Bob Chapman of the International Forecaster recently warned his readers that things could get really, really bad by the end of 2010….

It should interest you to know that my Intel source inside the Fed says absolutely no later than November the banking system should implode. Presently 75% of banks have problems and that the top 5 banks will take over all the others in a general nationalization. There is tremendous fear and uneasiness in the banking world.

Now, let us hope that Bob Chapman’s source is wrong.  Certainly the U.S. banking system is in a state of complete and total chaos, but hopefully we can make it into 2011 without a complete implosion of the banking industry.

However, Bob Chapman has been in the industry for decades and he would not have put out a warning like this without good reason.  Let us just pray that what this source is warning of does not actually come to pass.

But Bob Chapman is not the only one warning of difficult times ahead.

CNBC recently quoted Brian Kelly, the founder of Kanundrum Capital, as saying that the chances of a global depression breaking out have increased dramatically in recent days….

“Two weeks ago I would give the global depression scenario a one percent chance, but the chances have increased to 10 percent today.”

In fact, world famous economist Nouriel Roubini is absolutely convinced that there is a good deal of economic trouble ahead of us….

“We are still in the middle of this crisis and there is more trouble ahead of us, even if there is a recovery. During the great depression the economy contracted between 1929 and 1933, there was the beginning of a recovery, but then a second recession from 1937 to 1939. If you don’t address the issues, you risk having a double-dip recession and one which is at least as severe as the first one.”

So will the end of 2010 be a very difficult time for the U.S. economy?

Only time will tell.

But what does seem certain is that small and medium size banks will continue to fail in large numbers, and the big dominant banks will continue to gobble up market share.

We are witnessing a dramatic consolidation of the U.S. banking industry, and the only question seems to be how fast it is all going to play out.

The Declining Value Of Work

One of the great joys that men in free societies have long enjoyed is the ability to earn an honest wage for an honest day of work.  In particular, the amazing capitalist engine that powered the U.S. economy for decade after decade greatly rewarded the incredible hard work and industriousness of the American people.  America was known as the land of opportunity, and we built the largest middle class in the history of the world by working incredibly hard.  But today, all of that is fundamentally changing.  Thanks to rapid advances in technology, and thanks to the globalization of the work force, the labor of American workers is rapidly losing value.  Automation, robotics and computers have made many jobs obsolete.  Today one man can do the work that a hundred men used to do.  Not only that, but today American workers literally have to compete against workers from all over the globe.  Global corporations often find themselves having to choose whether to build a factory in the United States or in the third world.  But in the third world workers often earn less than 10% of what American workers earn, corporations are often not required to provide any benefits to workers, and there are usually hardly any oppressive government regulations.  How can American workers compete against that?

The truth is that labor is now a global commodity.  How can an American worker compete against a desperate, half-starving worker in the third world that will work like mad for a dollar an hour?

But this is what we get for letting the politicians push “free trade” down our throats.

Most American workers had no idea that free trade would mean that they would suddenly be competing for jobs against workers in the Philippines and Malaysia.

But that is the cold, hard reality of globalism.

All of this free trade has been very hard on American workers as factory after factory has closed, but it has allowed the big corporations to get exceedingly wealthy.

The top executives at the big global corporations are certainly enjoying all of this free trade.  Their salaries have soared.

In 1950, the ratio of the average executive’s paycheck to the average worker’s paycheck was about 30 to 1.  Since the year 2000, that ratio has ranged between 300 to 500 to one.

The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.

That is what globalism is all about.

The elite make out like bandits as they exploit third world labor pools, while the American middle class finds itself slowly being crushed out of existence.

According to the United Nations Gini Coefficient (which measures distribution of income), the United States has the highest level of inequality of all of the highly industrialized nations.

Increasingly, all of the rewards are going to those at the top, while the vast majority of Americans are left wondering why things just don’t seem to work out for them.

According to economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, two-thirds of income increases between 2002 and 2007 went to the wealthiest 1% of Americans.

Life is good if you are in the top one percent.

Unfortunately, that does not include any of us.

Instead, the American middle class is gradually being pushed into lower paying service jobs.  But it is really hard to feed a family by cutting hair or by greeting the folks who come walking into the local Wal-Mart.

If you talk to many Americans, they just can’t seem to figure out why they can’t make things work out even though they are working as hard as they can.  Millions of Americans have found themselves taking on second (and in many cases third) jobs in an attempt to provide for their families.

But what they don’t understand is that the global elite have turned labor into a globalized commodity.

American workers are not faced with a level playing field.  Just check out some of the pay levels around the world that American workers must compete against….

In Bangladesh, a garment worker makes 22 cents an hour. The wage in Cambodia is 33 cents an hour; in Pakistan, 37 cents an hour; in Vietnam, 38 cents; in Sri Lanka, 43 cents; Indonesia, 44 cents; India, 55 cents; China, 86 cents; the Philippines, $1.07; and Malaysia, $1.18.

Do any of you want to work for $1.18 an hour with no benefits?

But that is your competition.

Wages are being driven down and big global corporations are loving it.

This isn’t capitalism.

This is the global elite pushing us into a cruel system of economic slavery where they control all of the wealth and the rest of us struggle to survive as we work our tails off for them.

Already we are seeing large numbers of Americans becoming absolutely desperate to get even a low paying job.

For example, over one three day period, approximately 10,000 people showed up to apply for 90 jobs making washing machines in Kentucky for $27,000 a year.

Can your family live on $27,000 a year?

But that is considered a good wage now.

Actually, the folks who are making really good wages now are those who work for the U.S. government.

Yes, life is good if you are a servant of the system.

Today, the average federal worker now earns about twice as much as the average worker in the private sector.

Of course government employees basically produce next to nothing except red tape.

The U.S. government doesn’t seem to care if they are productive or not.  They just keep borrowing more money and getting us into even more financial trouble.

But at least there is somewhere for middle class families to get decent jobs.

In fact, it is getting really hard to live a middle class lifestyle in America without relying on the government in some way.

The truth is that good jobs are becoming increasingly scarce.

That is why it is absolutely imperative for all of us to try to become as independent as possible.

That means getting out of debt.

That means starting our own businesses.

That means learning how to grow a garden.

Many of those who continue to blindly rely on the system to provide them with a “job” (“just over broke”) will end up bitterly disappointed in the end.

Millions of Americans have already lost their jobs and millions more Americans will lose their jobs as we move along through the next few years.

In fact, with all of the amazing advances in technology that we have seen over the past couple of decades, the global elite are starting to realize that they really don’t need 6 billion workers after all.

Instead, those among the global elite are increasingly viewing all of us as a burden.  They openly ask why they should have to take care of so many “useless eaters”.  After all, if the system does not need all of us to keep functioning, then what good are we to them?

So these days you are starting to hear a lot about the dangers of “overpopulation” and the need to control population growth.

In fact, just over one year ago Bill Gates, David Rockefeller, Warren Buffett, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, Ted Turner, Oprah Winfrey and other very wealthy power brokers held a clandestine meeting in New York.

So what was the topic?

Population control.

One anonymous attendee of the meeting was quoted in a U.K. newspaper as saying that overpopulation “is something so nightmarish that everyone in this group agreed it needs big-brain answers.”

Are you starting to get the idea?

Instead of being viewed as valuable workers, now we are being viewed by the elite as pests that have multiplied to the point where we are now out of control.

What a strange world we live in now.

We need to get back to the America where good workers are valued and where hard work is rewarded.

We need to get back to the America where having a large middle class is an important national goal.

We need to get back to the America where we build American businesses, where we hire American workers and where we buy American products.

But unless the American people wake up, American workers are going to continue to be devalued.

Are we actually going to sit back and let American living standards decline to third world standards?

It is up to this generation to reject globalism and to reclaim the great free enterprise principles that this nation was founded on.

If someday our children and grandchildren exist in a world where they are considered just another part of the third world labor pool they will know who to blame.

Get Ready To Taste The Bitter Side Of Keynesian Economics

Most Americans have no idea what the term “Keynesian economics” means, but the truth is that it has been deeply influencing U.S. economic policy for decades.  Essentially, it is an economic theory that originated with a 20th century British economist named John Maynard Keynes, and it advocates government intervention in the economy in order to smooth out economic cycles.  The general idea was that lower interest rates and increased government spending could be used to increase aggregate demand when the economy was experiencing a downturn, thus increasing economic activity and reducing unemployment.

And you know what?

To a certain degree, Keynesian economic theory actually does work.

Increased government spending DOES stimulate the economy.

But the problem is that governments all over the world decided that they would just run constant budget deficits and stimulate the economy all the time.

All of this debt has brought a temporary prosperity to many of the nations around the globe, but there is one huge problem with debt.

It has to be paid back eventually.

With interest.

So what happens when nations have to start spending huge chunks of their national budgets just to service all the debt that they have piled up?

Well, that is when they taste the bitter side of Keynesian economics.

In fact, we see that starting to happen all over the world right now.

All of a sudden, governments all over the globe are talking about huge budget cuts, pay decreases, and higher taxes.

We all know about what is going on in Greece right now, but suddenly it seems like “austerity measures” are being implemented all over the place.  Just consider the following examples….

*Portugal has pledged to impose fresh austerity measures that include much higher taxes and dramatic budget cuts.

*Barack Obama is personally pressuring Spain to make severe austerity cuts.

*It’s not just Southern Europe that is facing these austerity measures either.  It is being reported that Germans are bracing themselves for a “bitter” round of budget cuts.

*The exploding debt situation in the U.K.was a major issue in the most recent election.  Bank of England governor Mervyn King has even gone so far as to warn that public anger over the “austerity measures” that soon must be implemented in the U.K. will be so painful that whichever party is seen as responsible will be out of power for a generation.

*Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says that United States citizens will soon have to make difficult choices between higher taxes and reduced government spending.

*California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is reportedly planning to seek “terrible cuts” to eliminate an $18.6 billion budget deficit facing the most-populous U.S. state through June 2011.

*In fact, many U.S. states are getting ready for their biggest budget cuts in decades.

Austerity measures for everyone?

That is the way it is shaping up.

So what happens when austerity measures are implemented?

Well, just as Keynesian economics correctly predicts that economic growth goes up when government spending increases, it also correctly tells us that economic growth goes down when government spending decreases.

So all of these austerity measures are going to mean economic pain for a whole lot of people.

Not only that, but there are now whispers that this European debt crisis could potentially cause the break up of the euro.

Whether or not that is actually the case, officials in Europe are sure seizing on this crisis to advocate for increased centralization of power in the EU.

For example, senior administrators of the European Union are proposing that they be given unprecedented power to scrutinize the spending plans of member countries before national parliaments can vote on those budgets.

Talk about a loss of sovereignty.

But not only that, the Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, has come right out and said that he believes that the European Union must become a federalized fiscal union if it is to survive.

Doesn’t it seem like whenever there is a crisis the solution that is always being proposed is to give centralized institutions even more power?

There has also been talk that nations such as Greece could end up being ejected from the euro, but the reality is that such a scenario is not very likely.

For one thing, the ECB has already come out and said that under current EU law, ejection of a nation from the monetary union is “legally next to impossible”.

In addition, leaders throughout Europe realize that if the euro fails then the entire EU may fail as well.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel made this very clear when she recently warned that if the euro collapses, “then Europe and the idea of European union will fail.”

For many in Europe that would seem like a disaster, but the truth is that it would be a wonderful, wonderful thing if the euro failed.

Why?

Because it would represent a major defeat for those who are seeking to drag us towards a “world currency” and a “global government”.

It would also be a huge victory for those who still believe in national sovereignty and the decentralization of economic power.

So let us hope that the euro breaks up.

But don’t count on it.

Meanwhile, the one thing that we can count on is all of the economic pain that all of these new austerity measures are going to bring.

Will The U.K. Be The Next European Nation To Experience A Massive Debt Crisis?

Now that the Greek debt crisis has been “fixed” by a gigantic pile of more debt, many are wondering which European nation will be next to experience a massive debt crisis.  Increasingly, all eyes are turning to the U.K. and their public debt that is spiralling out of control.  The U.K. government’s deficit is projected to be approximately 13 percent of GDP in 2010, which is even worse than Greece’s 12.5 percent figure.  Right now the public debt of the U.K. is “only” at 68 percent of GDP, but three years ago it was sitting at about 40 percent, so as you can see the national debt of the U.K. is absolutely exploding in size.  In fact, it is now being projected that the public debt of the U.K. will exceed 100 percent of GDP within the next three years.  Considering the fact that citizens of the U.K. are some of the most highly taxed people in the world already, there just is not much room for raising more revenue.

So obviously there is a problem.

A massive, unchecked, out of control problem that threatens to blow out the entire U.K. economy.

And considering the fact that it took just about everything that Europe could muster to bail out poor little Greece, how in the world is Europe going to be able to bail out the U.K. when their debt crisis violently erupts?

If Greece almost brought down the euro and the financial system of Europe, then what would a financial implosion in the U.K. do?

Considering the fact that the Greek economy is approximately 16% the size of the U.K. economy, it is very sobering to think what a “Greek style” debt crisis in the U.K. would mean for the entire world.

But if something is not done rapidly it will happen.

Just consider the following charts….

Now how in the world do you go from a deficit that is between 2 and 3 percent of GDP in 2007 to one that is above 11 percent in 2009?  That takes some serious financial mismanagement.  Not only that, but as we mentioned earlier, this year the deficit is projected to be approximately 13 percent of GDP.  That is a level that is catastrophic.

Kornelius Purps, the fixed income director of Europe’s second largest bank is very open about the fact that he believes that the U.K. is likely the next European nation that will face a very serious debt crisis….

“Britain’s AAA-rating is highly at risk. The budget deficit is huge at 13% of GDP and investors are not happy. The outgoing government is inactive due to the election. There will have to be absolute cuts in public salaries or pay, but nobody is talking about that.”

In fact, Morgan Stanley has already warned that there is a very strong probability that some of the rating agencies may remove the U.K.’s AAA status before 2010 is over.

If that happened, it would make the crisis that we just saw in Greece look like a Sunday picnic.

So what must be done?

Well, already world financial authorities are calling for “austerity measures” and deep budget cuts to be implemented in the U.K., but the reality is that those moves will cause deep economic pain.

In fact, Bank of England governor Mervyn King recently warned that public anger over the “austerity measures” that soon must be implemented in the U.K. will be so painful that whichever party is seen as responsible will be out of power for a generation.

The cold, hard reality is that the U.K. is in for economic pain in any event.  Either they cut the budget and implement severe “austerity measures” which will hit people really hard economically, or they continue on the current course and risk a much worse version of what just happened in Greece.

Not that the rest of the world should be gloating about what is going on in the U.K. either.

The financial situation in Japan is even worse than what the U.K. is dealing with, and the United States is going to have the biggest economic downfall of them all one of these days.

As we wrote about yesterday, the sad truth is that the governments of the world are rapidly running out of money and are drowning in debt.  It is a gigantic mess, and the term “sovereign debt crisis” is going to pop up in the news very regularly from now on.

You see, it is not just the financial systems of the U.S. and the U.K. that are broken.  The entire world financial system is fundamentally flawed and is doomed to failure.

Right now the central banks of the world can do their best to try to hold things together with a tsunami of debt and paper money, but they are not going to be able to keep up this balancing act forever.

When it does all start coming apart and the dominoes do start falling, it is going to be a complete and total nightmare.  Paper currencies around the globe will lose value at breathtaking speeds as central banks flood economies with cash in an attempt to stop the madness.

But more debt and more paper never solves anything.  All it does is make the long-term problems even worse.

When the tipping point comes, things are going to move fast.  Let’s just hope that we all have a good bit more time to prepare before that happens.

The Juice Lady

“The World Has No Money, And The Emperor Has No Clothes”

Most of us are aware of the very old fairly tale by Hans Christian Andersen in which two weavers promise an emperor the finest suit of clothes imaginable, but from a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position or “just hopelessly stupid”.  Well, in the fairy tale it turns out that nobody wants to admit that they are “unfit” or “stupid”, so when the emperor parades before his subjects in his imaginary new suit of clothes, it takes a child to cry out: “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!”  Well, many of us have been declaring that the world economy “has no clothes” for some time now, but when the anchor of NBC News declares it on national television it gets a bit more attention.  During his recent appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, NBC’s Brian Williams was asked about the world financial situation.  His answer included this shocking statement: “The world has no money, and the Emperor has no clothes.”

During the interview, it was readily apparent that Williams was honestly shaken up by what had happened last Thursday in the stock market.  But who can blame him?  After all, most of us who watch the markets were totally stunned when the stock market dropped almost 1000 points exactly in less than an hour.

Normally a network news anchor is much more guarded and is much more careful about what is revealed to the public.  But on Letterman’s show, Williams gave us a glimpse of what he really thinks about the world economic situation….

“If I wasn’t a tad too close to this, I’d probably not leave the house.  But that’s how bad it is.”

A video clip that includes these jaw dropping comments by Williams is posted below….

So why did the U.S. stock market plunge so rapidly last Thursday?

Well, many have blamed the episode on a “bad trade” or a “computer glitch”.  Others claim that the Greek debt crisis caused a brief panic.  There are yet others who see something more insidious going on – such as Goldman Sachs seeking to remove their name from the financial headlines, or the Federal Reserve sending a message that S. 604 (the bill to audit the Federal Reserve) should not be passed.

The truth is that we will probably never know what actually caused the market to fall through the floor that afternoon.

But it did pave the way for more bailouts.

Over the weekend, European policy makers unveiled an unprecedented loan package worth almost $1 trillion and a program of bond purchases designed to stop the sovereign debt crisis that threatened to shatter confidence in the euro.

The Federal Reserve got into the act as well.  Over the weekend the Fed promised to flood the international financial system with U.S. dollars.  This was seen in the markets as a sign of “resolve” meant to keep doubt about the European economy from turning into a global crisis of confidence.

So on Monday, investors responded to these bailouts with exuberance.  The Dow Jones industrial average gained 405 points that day, which was the average’s biggest one day point gain since March 23rd, 2009.

But are more bailouts, more debt and a flood of paper money really something to celebrate?

No.

The truth is that debt and paper money that continually declines in value are some of the chief causes of the financial mess that the world is now in.

In fact, Congressman Ron Paul is warning that the European bailout that was just announced will just lead to even larger financial problems in the future….

And Ron Paul is right – all of these bailouts and all of this debt will eventually cause all of the major paper currencies (including the U.S. dollar) to collapse.

The funny thing about these bailouts is that they never seem to help the average people on the street.  Just take a look at the U.S. economy.  We are told that Wall Street has recovered and that things are getting back to normal, and yet more Americans than ever find themselves dependent on the U.S. government for their survival.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced that 39.68 million people, or 1 out of every 8 Americans, were enrolled in the food stamp program during February, an increase of 260,000 from the previous month.

Nearly 40 million Americans on food stamps?

How in the world did that happen?

Once upon a time, the old timers would tell us that one day things would get so bad that we would all have to stand in bread lines.

Well, today food stamps are the new bread lines.

If you have to rely on the government for the very bread that you eat, what kind of a position does that put you in?

The truth is that the once great American middle class is allowing the system to slowly keep grinding them into oblivion.

Like never before in our lifetimes, wealth is being concentrated in the hands of the “lucky one percent”, while the rest of us are rapidly being marginalized.

Do you ever stop to wonder why it seems like almost everyone is either broke or up to their eyeballs in debt?

That even goes for the major governments of the world.  The U.S. government (the “wealthiest” nation on the globe) has piled up the biggest mountain of debt in world history.

You see, Brian Williams was actually chillingly accurate when he declared that “the world has no money”.

So if the world doesn’t have any money, then who does have it?

The international bankers.

But, shhhhh, don’t tell anybody.

Just keep quietly clapping as the emperor walks down the street with no clothes on.

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