Uh Oh – Please Tell Me That The U.S. Is Not About To Go To War With Venezuela…

Is the United States about to be dragged into another pointless war that will drag on for years?  Have we learned nothing form the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq?  When Juan Guaido boldly declared himself the new leader of Venezuela during an opposition rally on January 23rd, everybody realized that something was up.  There is no way that he ever would have done that unless he knew in advance that the United States was going to publicly back him.  And when John Bolton appeared at a White House briefing with “5,000 troops to Colombia” scribbled on a yellow note pad, it became exceedingly clear what was about to happen.  Diplomatic pressure would be used to try to force Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro from power, but if that didn’t work then regime change would be achieved by force.

Maduro has seen this playbook before, and he has told the Venezuelan people that if “the North American empire attacks us, we will have to defend ourselves”.  He is officially freaked out, and for good reason.

The push toward war is officially on, and over the weekend Donald Trump told CBS reporter Margaret Brennan that sending U.S. troops to Venezuela is “an option” that is being considered…

MARGARET BRENNAN: What would make you use the U.S. military in Venezuela? What’s the national security interest?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, I don’t want to say that. But certainly it’s something that’s on the – it’s an option.

Yes, Nicolas Maduro is an absolutely horrible leader, but do we get to overthrow the governments of other countries just because we don’t like who is in charge?

And how would you feel if somebody else decided to attack us because they don’t like who is in the White House?

The U.S. was the first major power to recognize Juan Guaido as the “legitimate” president of Venezuela, and now the UK and most other European nations have also backed Guaido.

But Russia and China continue to back Maduro, and so that sets up a very interesting situation.

Will the western powers go ahead with their plans for regime change even though the international community is divided?

In particular, Russia has a very strong incentive to keep Maduro in power.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

“Russia is now so deeply invested in the Maduro regime that the only realistic option is to double down,” writes senior fellow at the Carnegie Moscow Center Alexander Gabuev.

He details in a Financial Times op-ed that Moscow-based state oil giant Rosneft owns two offshore gas fields in Venezuela and further has “stakes in assets boasting more than 20m tonnes of crude.” But as embattled President Nicolas Maduro faces US-led efforts to oust him in favor of opposition leader Juan Guaido, billions are on the line for Moscow making its interest in preserving the regime run deep.

So just like in Syria and Ukraine, the U.S. and Russia once again find themselves on opposite sides in a very tense conflict.

This crisis could end very quickly if Maduro steps down, but that isn’t going to happen.  In fact, he was quite defiant when the major European powers decided to recognize Guaido…

He also rejected European calls for elections, saying: “We don’t accept ultimatums from anyone. I refuse to call for elections now – there will be elections in 2024. We don’t care what Europe says.”

And he warned Trump that this will be a war that “will leave the presidency stained with blood”

“Stop. Stop, Trump! Hold it right there! You are making mistakes that will leave your hands covered in blood and you will leave the presidency stained with blood,” Maduro warned during a combative interview with the Spanish journalist Jordi Évole. “Why would you want a repeat of Vietnam?

That certainly doesn’t sound like someone that intends to throw in the towel.  Maduro has the Venezuelan military and the Venezuelan police solidly behind him, and former State Department official Eric Farnsworth thinks that it is unlikely that Maduro will leave without violence…

“If people are not prepared to take steps designed to support the nascent Guaido government, this could flop and that would be a huge setback,” Farnsworth said. “Does that mean the ultimate answer is U.S. troops? I don’t think that’s a healthy conversation to have. If Maduro wants to have U.S. troops at his doorstep, he’ll start targeting U.S. citizens.”

Farnsworth said the only scenario where Maduro is pressured to leave without violence involves Russia and China becoming convinced that Maduro’s potential successor would be better for them than the status quo and working with the international community on a transition plan. Russia and China continue to recognize Maduro, and Russia has sent aircraft to Venezuela amid reports that Maduro is looking to remove gold reserves from the country.

If the U.S. wants Guaido to be successful, he is going to need military help, and that would mean a full-blown invasion of Venezuela.

A full-blown invasion of Venezuela would be an ugly, bloody war.  Without a doubt, the U.S. would ultimately win, but global opinion would turn against us very rapidly just like it did during the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.

We live at a time of wars and rumors of wars, and hopefully this will just turn out to be one of those rumors.

Because going to war with Venezuela is one of the stupidest ideas that I have heard in a very long time, and President Trump must not do it.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.  His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News.  From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the nation.  If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so.  The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

The Trump Administration Is Warning That The U.S. Economy May Not Grow At All During The First Quarter Of 2019

This government shutdown is really starting to take a toll on the U.S. economy.  On Wednesday, the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers made an absolutely stunning admission.  We all knew that the global economy was slowing down, and we all knew that U.S. economic activity was beginning to sputter, but up until this week the Trump administration had always insisted that we are not heading for a recession.  Well, all of that changed on Wednesday when Kevin Hassett publicly admitted that we could end up with zero GDP growth during the first quarter of 2019

A top economic adviser to President Donald Trump told CNN on Wednesday that the US economy may show no growth in the first quarter if the federal government shutdown lasts much longer.

White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett said in an interview with CNN’s Poppy Harlow that he was not overly worried about the long-term effects of a government shutdown. But after Harlow asked him if the United States could wind up with zero GDP growth this quarter, he conceded that it was possible. “We could, yes,” he said.

With much of the government currently closed, and with no end to the shutdown in sight, it is inevitable that the economic numbers for the first quarter are not going to look as good as they could have been.

But if this shutdown lasts for the entire quarter, that could easily push us into an economic contraction, and that would send shockwaves all over the planet.

And at this point there is definitely a possibility that this shutdown could go on for a couple more months.  Neither side intends to give in, and things are starting to get very personal.  On Wednesday, Nancy Pelosi made it exceedingly clear that she will not allow President Trump to deliver the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol until the shutdown ends under any circumstances…

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dug in Wednesday on her call to delay the State of the Union address even after President Trump vowed to proceed with the speech next week, sending a curt letter making clear she will not allow the event to take place during the government shutdown.

Reacting to Pelosi’s letter, Trump told reporters at the White House “we’ll do something in the alternative,” suggesting a speech of some kind will still happen next week.

This truly is unprecedented.

Donald Trump is the very first president in all of U.S. history to be “disinvited” from delivering the State of the Union address.

And the hundreds of thousands of federal workers that are not receiving paychecks right now are really starting to get restless.  A lot of them have been living paycheck to paycheck, and so missing a couple of paychecks is a really, really big deal to those people.  As Marketwatch recently noted, some of them are actually “turning to food banks to feed their families”…

Within just a few weeks into the government shutdown, people are struggling to cope. We hear stories about people turning to food banks to feed their families. We hear stories about people who are in dire straits because they can’t get loans. We hear stories about people who can’t pay their mortgages. That’s not even one month into the shutdown.

If something this minor can cause such widespread pain and suffering, what would we see if a real crisis actually hit this nation?

Of course the truth is that most Americans are simply not prepared to handle much of anything, and this is a point that Mac Slavo made quite well in one of his most recent articles

Almost 60% of Americans have less than $1000 in savings for a rainy day fund or an immediate emergency. It’s been ten years since the Great Recession left many Americans jobless with no money, and it appears most have learned nothing. The government shutdown serves as a painful warning and preview for what will happen once unemployment rises from 50-year lows.  Americans are far too dependent on others, including the government, for their survival.

For now, many that are struggling financially due to this shutdown are trying to bridge the gap by going into more debt.

And if the shutdown doesn’t last too much longer, that might work for a lot of people.

But it is very dangerous to go into too much debt, and a large portion of the country has already crossed that line.  For example, one recent survey discovered that approximately a third of all Americans are “afraid they’ll max out their credit card when making a large purchase”

Despite the dangers of high-interest loans, more consumers are testing the limits of plastic.

To that point, more than 1 in 3 people —or 86 million Americans — said they’re afraid they’ll max out their credit card when making a large purchase, according to a new WalletHub credit cards survey. (Most of those polled considered a large purchase as anything over $100.)

The only easy way out of this government shutdown would be for one of the two sides to completely fold, and that would be politically disastrous for whoever decides to do that.

The battle lines have been drawn, and this political game of chicken is going to go on until somebody blinks.

And if nobody blinks for a couple more months, the economic consequences of this government shutdown are likely to be quite severe.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.  His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News.  From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the nation.  If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so.  The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Is The Federal Reserve Actually TRYING To Cause A Stock Market Crash?

The Federal Reserve has decided not to come to the rescue this time.  All of the economic numbers tell us that the economy is slowing down, and on Wednesday Fed Chair Jerome Powell even admitted that economic conditions are “softening”, but the Federal Reserve raised interest rates anyway.  As one top economist put it, raising rates as we head into an economic downturn is “economic malpractice”.  They know that higher rates will slow down the economy even more, but it isn’t as if the Fed was divided on this move.  In fact, it was a unanimous vote to raise rates.  They clearly have an agenda, and that agenda is definitely not about helping the American people.

Early on Wednesday, Wall Street seemed to believe that the Federal Reserve would do the right thing, and the Dow was up nearly 400 points.  But then the announcement came, and the market began sinking dramatically.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 720 points in just two hours, and the Dow ended the day down a total of 351 points.  This is the lowest that the Dow has been all year, 60 percent of the stocks listed on the S&P 500 are in bear market territory, and at this point approximately four trillion dollars of stock market wealth has been wiped out.

We haven’t seen anything like this since the last financial crisis.  This is officially the worst quarter for the stock market since the fourth quarter of 2008, and it is the worst December that Wall Street has experienced since 1931.

It is insanity to raise interest rates when stocks are already crashing, but the Federal Reserve did it anyway.

They knew what kind of reaction this would cause on Wall Street and in other global markets, but that didn’t stop them.  The financial world is in utter turmoil, and this move by the Fed has definitely added fuel to the fire.

Could it be possible that they actually want a stock market crash?

Some are suggesting that the reason why the vote was unanimous was because they wanted to send a “strong signal” to President Trump.  He has been extremely critical of the Federal Reserve in recent weeks, and this could be a way for the Fed to show Trump who is really in charge.

They are calling this “the Trump economy”, but that is simply not true.  And when Barack Obama was in the White House, it wasn’t “the Obama economy” either.  Ultimately, it is the Federal Reserve that is running the economy, and they fiercely guard their independence and their authority.

President Trump knows that the only way that he is going to win in 2020 is if the economy is doing well, and he also understands that higher interest rates will slow the economy down.

So essentially the Federal Reserve has a tremendous amount of political power in their hands.

During the Obama era, the Fed pushed interest rates all the way to the floor and kept them there for many years.

But now the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates seven times since Donald Trump took office, and four of those rate hikes have been under current Fed Chair Jerome Powell.

Needless to say, it certainly doesn’t take a lot of imagination to figure out how Donald Trump is feeling about Powell at this moment.

Meanwhile, we continue to get more indications that the U.S. economy is heading for difficult times.  Just consider the following news about FedEx

FedEx shares are plunging after what Morgan Stanley called a “jarring” cut to its annual forecasts, suggesting global growth is slowing far more than most expect – in fact, the bank hinted at the possibility of a “severe recession” unfolding – and prompting expectations of an “uber-dovish hike” by the Fed.

The global logistics bellwether slashed its outlook just three months after raising the view, reflecting an unexpected and abrupt change in the company’s view of the global economy amid rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Not only were the cuts were deeper than the Street expected according to Morgan Stanley analyst Ravi Shanker, but everyone is pointing to the following comment from the press release: “Global trade has slowed in recent months and leading indicators point to ongoing deceleration in global trade near-term.”

To see the term “severe recession” used in such a context is more than just a little bit alarming.

The last time the U.S. economy went through a recession, millions of Americans lost their jobs and we saw a wave of mortgage defaults unlike anything we had ever seen before in modern American history.

Are we about to go through something similar?

Earlier today, a CNN article also used the term “recession”, and it discussed the fact that investors now want big corporations to focus on paying down their debts instead of buying back shares of stock…

Fears of an economic slowdown — or even recession — have turned a spotlight on the debt that businesses piled up during the past decade, when borrowing costs were historically low.

For the first time since the Great Recession, investors want companies to prioritize paying down debt rather than investing in the future or share buybacks and dividends, according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch survey of global fund managers.

But stock buybacks are one of the only things that has been propping up the stock market.  The only way for the bubble to continue is for corporations to go into dizzying amounts of debt in order to fund massive stock buybacks, because the Federal Reserve clearly does not intend to support the markets right now.

At least for the short-term, the Federal Reserve could have calmed the markets and encouraged economic activity by leaving interest rates alone.

In the end, they decided not to do that, and that makes one wonder what they are really trying to achieve.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.  His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News.  From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites.  If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so.  The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Top Economist: “If The Fed Raises Interest Rates Tomorrow They Should All Be Fired For Economic Malpractice”

The Federal Reserve is responsible for creating the stock market boom that we have witnessed in recent years.  Are they now also setting the stage for a stock market bust?  After hitting an all-time high earlier this year, the Dow has plunged more than 3,000 points from the peak of the market, and it would appear that it would be extremely irresponsible for the Fed to raise interest rates in such a chaotic environment.  In addition, evidence continues to mount that the U.S. economy is slowing down, and everyone knows that raising interest rates tends to depress economic activity.  So it would seem that it would not be logical for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates at this time.  In fact, economist Stephen Moore told Fox Business that if the Fed raises interest rates “they should all be fired for economic malpractice”

“The Fed has been way too tight. They made a major blunder three months ago with raising the rates. It’s caused a deflation in commodity prices. And I will say this, David, if the Fed raises interest rates tomorrow they should all be fired for economic malpractice.”

If the Federal Reserve raises interest rates and indicates that more rate hikes are coming in 2019, it is quite likely that the markets will throw another huge temper tantrum.

But as Jim Cramer has noted, if the Federal Reserve make the right choice and leaves rates where they currently are, we could potentially see a significant market rally…

“Today was a dress rehearsal for the kind of rally we can get if the Fed does the right thing tomorrow and repudiates the idea that we need a series of rate hikes in 2019, not just one more tomorrow,” Cramer said Tuesday. “If we get the Fed on board, expect more positive action like we had this morning before the market gave up much of its gains.”

Unfortunately, there is a factor that is complicating things.

In recent weeks, President Trump has been extremely critical of the Federal Reserve and Fed Chair Jerome Powell.  If the Fed decides to leave interest rates where they are, that could be interpreted as them giving Trump exactly what he wants, and it is likely that they do not want to be viewed as siding with Trump.

This is yet another reason why we need to end the Fed.  The Fed has become just another player in the game of politics, and the truth is that the Federal Reserve is a deeply un-American institution.  Our founders intended for us to have a free market capitalist system, but instead we have an unelected panel of central planners setting our interest rates and running our economy.

Since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, there have been 18 major economic downturns, and now we are heading into another one.  Central banking manipulation endlessly causes boom and bust cycles, and hopefully this time around the American people will finally decide that enough is enough.

As losses on Wall Street mount, hedge funds are starting to go down like dominoes, and that is going to cause huge problems for some of our largest financial institutions.  For example, we just found out that Citigroup could potentially lose 180 million dollars due to bad loans that it made to a prominent Asian hedge fund

It’s not just hedge funds that are blowing up left and right: so are the banks that are lending them money.

Citigroup is facing losses of up to $180 million on loans made to an unnamed Asian hedge fund which saw major losses on its FX trades Bloomberg reports citing a person briefed on the matter. The hedge fund and Citi “are in discussions on the positions and how they should be valued” which is usually a bad sign as when it comes to FX the mark to market is, at least, instantaneous. Bloomberg adds that the situation is fluid and the eventual losses may end up being smaller depending on how the trades are unwound.

We haven’t seen anything like this in 10 years, and if the Fed raises interest rates this new financial crisis could begin to escalate quite rapidly.

At this point, even former Fed chair Alan Greenspan is urging investors to “run for cover”

The former Federal Reserve chairman who famously warned more than two decades ago about “irrational exuberance” in the stock market doesn’t see equity prices going any higher than they are now.

“It would be very surprising to see it sort of stabilize here, and then take off,” Greenspan said in an interview with CNN anchor Julia Chatterley.

He added that markets could still go up further — but warned investors that the correction would be painful: “At the end of that run, run for cover.”

The markets were calmer on Tuesday because everyone was kind of waiting to see what the Fed would do on Wednesday.

The decision should be obvious, but unfortunately things are never that simple.

We live in very uncertain times, and the shaking of our financial system has begun.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.  His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News.  From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites.  If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so.  The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Democrats Are Drooling With Glee Over 2 New Legal Developments That They Believe Could End The Trump Presidency

There never was any “collusion with Russia”, but the Mueller investigation opened the door for investigators to keep turning over rocks, and it was inevitable that they were eventually going to find something.  In America today, we are governed by literally millions of laws, rules and regulations, and nobody has more laws that they must follow than the president of the United States.  So if the Deep State really wants to get the resident of the White House, there are lots of ways that they can do it.  Over the past several days, there have been a couple of new legal developments that potentially represent great threats to the Trump presidency, and Democrats are drooling with delight.

The first development involves a potential violation of campaign finance laws.  In August, lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to arranging payments to two women “at the direction” of Donald Trump.  A $130,000 payment was made through a shell company to Stormy Daniels, and it was arranged that a $150,000 payment would be made to former Playboy model Karen McDougal through American Media Inc., which is the parent company of the National Enquirer.  It was ruled that these payments were made “for the principal purpose of influencing” the election, and it is one of the reasons why Michael Cohen is going to prison for three years.

Personally, I am quite skeptical that these hush money payments constitute “campaign expenses” which must be reported, but this is the interpretation that is being pushed by the Deep State, and it is being widely accepted by the mainstream media and by members of both political parties.

In August 2015, there was a meeting between Michael Cohen, American Media Inc. CEO David Pecker and “at least one other member of the campaign” during which a plan to “catch and kill” negative stories about Trump was discussed.  According to NBC News, it has been confirmed that the “other member” in the room was Trump himself…

As part of a nonprosecution agreement disclosed Wednesday by federal prosecutors, American Media Inc., the Enquirer’s parent company, admitted that “Pecker offered to help deal with negative stories about that presidential candidate’s relationships with women by, among other things, assisting the campaign in identifying such stories so they could be purchased and their publication avoided.”

The “statement of admitted facts” says that AMI admitted making a $150,000 payment “in concert with the campaign,” and says that Pecker, Cohen and “at least one other member of the campaign” were in the meeting. According to a person familiar with the matter, the “other member” was Trump.

With Cohen and Pecker now both cooperating with federal investigators, Trump could potentially be in a huge amount of trouble, and the left is loving it.

As a former assistant U.S. attorney explained to NBC News, it would essentially be a slam dunk to prove “a conspiracy to commit campaign finance fraud”…

Daniel Goldman, an NBC News analyst and former assistant U.S. attorney said the agreement doesn’t detail what Trump said and did in the meeting. “But if Trump is now in the room, as early as August of 2015 and in combination with the recording where Trump clearly knows what Cohen is talking about with regarding to David Pecker, you now squarely place Trump in the middle of a conspiracy to commit campaign finance fraud.”

But once again, that is only true if the hush money payments actually constituted “campaign expenses”, and it is my opinion that they do not.

Meanwhile, federal authorities have also opened up a new investigation into potential corruption by President Trump’s inauguration committee.  The following comes from USA Today

The investigation is being led by federal prosecutors in Manhattan and is examining whether donors gave money in return for access to Donald Trump and his administration, the Wall Street Journal and CNN reported.

The Journal, citing unnamed officials, reports the probe is in its early stages but aims to determine whether some of the donors to Trump’s $107 million inauguration fund attempted to gain influence within the administration on policy decisions, something that could violate federal corruption laws.

This new investigation never would have occurred if federal authorities had not already been investigating Michael Cohen.

Reportedly, they came across some potentially incriminating information when they raided his home, office and hotel room in April

During the April raids on Cohen’s home, office, and hotel room, federal investigators discovered a taped conversation between Cohen and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who worked with the inaugural committee, the WSJ reported.

The contents of the recording are unclear but Wolkoff, according to the Journal, voiced concerns over how some of the inaugural funds were being spent.

During the Nixon administration, the Department of Justice ruled that a sitting president could not be indicted, but now there are quite a few Democrats that are calling for that ruling to be “reevaluated”.  One of those Democrats is Representative Adam Schiff

‘I think the Justice Department needs to re-examine that OLC opinion, the Office of Legal Counsel opinion, that you cannot indict a sitting president under circumstances in which the failure to do so may mean that person escapes justice,’ Schiff told CNN on Wednesday, hours after Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to breaking campaign finance laws and other matters.

In the short-term, it is probably unlikely that Trump will be indicted, and so if Democrats want to get rid of him they will need to go down the road of impeachment.

Now that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats have taken control of the House, they could probably pull off a vote to impeach Trump.  But the tricky part would be the Senate, because the Republicans still have a majority there.

But it is a very small majority, and it would only take a handful of Republican votes to remove Trump from office.

Let us hope that the Democrats do not decide to pursue impeachment, because that would only create even more division in a country that is already greatly divided.

We live in very troubled times, and unfortunately things are likely to become even more troubled in 2019.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Wall Street Seems To Believe That Endless Gridlock And Political Turmoil Will Be Good For America

It is difficult not to admire the relentless optimism on Wall Street.  A divided Congress is going to guarantee two years of gridlock and political turmoil in Washington, but many in the financial community are choosing to interpret the election results as a positive sign.  They remember the “gridlock” during the Obama years, and they are hopeful that the next couple of years will be at least somewhat similar.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average shot up 545 points on Wednesday, and that was the largest post-midterm rally that we have seen in 36 years.  Stock prices normally go up the day after midterm elections, but Wednesday’s rally was definitely unusual

Wednesday’s post-midterms rally was larger than the average gain that follows the contests. Goldman Sachs noted the S&P 500 has averaged a gain of 0.7 percent from the day before the elections to the day after midterms. Wednesday marked the biggest post-midterms gain for both the Dow and S&P 500 since the day after the 1982 contests, when the indexes surged 4.3 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively.

To a certain extent, it is likely that investors were greatly relieved that the worst case scenario did not play out.  As I noted on Monday, a blue wave that would have resulted in Democrats taking control of both houses of Congress would have meant big trouble for Wall Street, and many are very thankful that we were able to avoid that outcome

Investors also avoided the most-feared Wall Street outcome, a so-called “blue wave,” or Democratic sweep of both chambers of Congress. That could have put the president’s economic policies under assault and boosted the odds of a Democratic House pushing for Trump’s impeachment.

“Everything played out according to script,” Stephen Innes, head of Asia trading at Oanda, told USA TODAY. “The Trump agenda is not in serious jeopardy.”

But are Tuesday’s results actually good news for Wall Street?

The optimists are pointing to history as evidence that gridlock in Washington is typically good for investors…

Legislative gridlock has historically been good for financial markets. In fact, in years with a Republican president and a Republican-controlled Senate and Democrat-run House in place, the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index has posted average gains of 10.8 percent, according to data from Strategas Research Partners.

“A split Congress means that gridlock is more likely, and that’s been fine for markets in the past,” says Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones.

Unfortunately, that is not a fair comparison.

The times that we are moving into are not going to be anything like the “gridlock” that we witnessed during the Reagan, Clinton and Obama presidencies.

During the Obama era, Republican leadership got along with the White House fairly well.  And even though there was often some wrangling, Republicans almost always gave Obama most of what he wanted when it came to budget deals and other critical pieces of legislation.

Sadly, the next two years are going to be much different.  It will be the political equivalent of trench warfare, and the carnage is going to be off the charts.

Top Democrats in the House are already threatening to hit the Trump administration with a wave of subpoenas, and Trump is warning that if that happens he will adopt a “war posture”.  Throughout his career, Trump’s philosophy has always been that if somebody hits him he is going to hit them back even harder.

I want you to imagine the most graphic battle scene that you have ever watched on television, because that is what the coming years will be like.  There will be an all-out attempt to take down Trump and everyone around him, and Trump will respond by going after everyone that he perceives to be an enemy.  In the end, a lot of politicians are not going to make it, and our system of governance will be badly damaged.

And the truth is that we aren’t going to have to wait long for things to erupt.  According to the Baltimore Sun, “political war” has already erupted…

Washington plunged into political war on Wednesday in the wake of a split decision by voters in the midterm elections, with President Donald Trump ousting his attorney general and threatening to retaliate against Democrats if they launch investigations into his personal conduct and possible corruption in the administration.

The rapid shift to battle stations signaled the start of what is likely to be two years of unremitting political combat as Trump positions himself for reelection. For the first time, Trump will be forced to navigate divided government as Democrats who won the House pledge to be a check on his power and face pressure from their liberal base to block him at every turn.

The left has been holding back for months so that they would not alienate any potential voters, but now that the midterm elections are over they are free to start causing chaos again.

If you do not believe that we are headed for great political conflict, I would like for you to consider what has already happened within the past 24 hours…

-Major progressive groups such as MoveOn.Org announced that they are organizing “response events” in 900 U.S. cities on Thursday to protest the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

-The White House pulled CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press credentials.

-DC Antifa published the home addresses of Tucker Carlson, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity and other prominent conservatives.

-A mob showed up outside Tucker Carlson’s home and warned him that they “know where you sleep at night” and ordered him to “leave town”.

As I have warned so many times, hatred and anger are growing to unprecedented levels in America.

Many had been hoping that the midterm elections would resolve much of the political tension in this country, but instead it looks like things are going to continue escalating quickly.

And it isn’t going to take very much at all to unleash major civil unrest.  The left already hates Trump more than any other president in American history, and one really bad move could set off an explosion of anger unlike anything we have ever seen before.

My friends, these are dark times, and I have a feeling that they are about to get a whole lot darker.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots.  It is a premium members-only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically.  The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

 

Teetering On The Brink Of Disaster: 14 Of 19 Bear Market Signals Have Now Been Triggered

October 2018 is turning out to be a lot like October 2008.  The S&P 500 has now fallen for 12 of the last 14 trading days, and it is on pace for its worst October since the last financial crisis.  But the U.S. is actually in much better shape than the rest of the world at this point.  Even though they have fallen precipitously in recent days, U.S. stocks are still up 3 percent for the year overall.  On the other hand, global stocks (excluding the U.S.) are now down more than 10 percent for the year, and they are down more than 15 percent from the peak of the market in January.  All it is going to take is a couple more really bad trading sessions to push global stocks into bear market territory.

And even though U.S. stocks are still outperforming the rest of the world, many are anticipating that the U.S. is definitely heading for a bear market as well.

According to Bank of America, 14 out of their 19 “bear market indicators” have now been triggered

“Expect a long bout of volatility,” Bank of America strategists led by Savita Subramanian wrote in a report published on Sunday.

Bank of America keeps a running tally of “signposts” that signal looming bear market. The bad news is that 14 of these 19 indicators, or 74%, have been triggered. Two more were toppled earlier this month: the VIX volatility index (VIX) climbed above 20 and a growing number of Americans expect stocks to go up.

Of course not all 19 indicators need to be triggered in order for a bear market to happen.  These indicators are simply signposts, and what they are telling us is that big trouble could be brewing for the financial markets.

And Tuesday was certainly another chaotic day for Wall Street.  The Russell 2000 experienced another extremely disappointing day, and it is now officially red for the year

Small-cap stocks erased all of their gains for the year on Tuesday, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average at one point was not be too far behind.

The Russell 2000, composed of publicly traded companies with a market capitalization between $300 million and about $2 billion, shed 0.8 percent on Tuesday, putting it into the red for 2018, down 0.6 percent.

The number of stocks that are at 52-week lows far outnumbers those that are at 52-week highs, but a handful of big name stocks has been keeping the market from plummeting too dramatically.

In the short-term, we should expect some more wild swings up and down, but meanwhile we continue to receive more troubling news about the real economy.

For example, we recently learned that existing home sales were down once again last month

The metric of interest today is existing home sales. The reading came in at 5.15m units, which was well below the estimated 5.3m units and 4.1% below year ago levels. As the chart below shows, existing home sales have been falling all year long, and year-over-year growth rates have been mostly negative since September, 2017.

And auto sales are way down all over the country

A growing number of auto dealers around the country is seeing a noticeable drop in retail sales and customer traffic in showrooms, raising the possibility that a long-anticipated slowdown in auto sales has arrived.

“We are definitely seeing business pull back,” said Scott Adams, the owner of a Toyota dealership in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, just outside Kansas City. “September was off some, but this month our car sales are down 12 percent and our truck sales are down 23 percent.”

These things would not be happening if the economy was in good shape.

Every time the Federal Reserve goes through an interest rate hiking cycle it causes big problems for the economy, and this is something that President Trump alluded to during an interview with the Wall Street Journal

In an interview Tuesday with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Trump acknowledged the independence the Fed has long enjoyed in setting economic policy, while also making clear he was intentionally sending a direct message to Mr. Powell that he wanted lower interest rates.

“Every time we do something great, he raises the interest rates,” Mr. Trump said, adding that Mr. Powell “almost looks like he’s happy raising interest rates.” The president declined to elaborate, and a spokeswoman for the Fed declined to comment.

No matter what President Trump does, disaster is inevitable if the Federal Reserve continues to raise rates.  The Federal Reserve has far more control over the economy than Trump does, and that is why many of his supporters are hoping that Trump adopts Ron Paul’s “End the Fed” message for the 2020 presidential campaign.

Speaking of the Federal Reserve, former Fed chair Paul Volcker is saying that the U.S. is facing “a hell of a mess”

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who has reached legend status in the world of central banking, isn’t optimistic about current conditions.

When Volcker looks around now, he sees “a hell of a mess in every direction,” including a lack of basic respect for government institutions, a current Fed that seems to be following a completely arbitrary benchmark and a “swamp” in Washington run by plutocrats.

Without a doubt, it is most definitely true that we are facing “a hell of a mess”, but most Americans are entirely clueless about what is coming.

In the aftermath of the 2008 crisis, the economy stabilized and global central banks were able to inflate the biggest financial bubble in human history.

Once this bubble bursts, there won’t be a similar “recovery” this time around.

Along with the rest of the world, the U.S. is headed for an unprecedented period of chaos and pain.  We should be thankful for each day of relative stability that we are still able to enjoy, because time is rapidly running out.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots.  It is a premium members-only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically.  The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

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