Has the post-election stock market crash already begun?

Is this rush for the exits going to turn into a stampede?  Stock prices have been plummeting in recent days, and most of the talking heads on television have been blaming the declines on the COVID-19 pandemic.  Yes, it is true that the number of confirmed cases in the United States is spiking again, but I don’t think that alone is enough to account for what we have been witnessing.  Instead, I believe that the primary reason why stocks have been tumbling is because there is so much uncertainty about what is going to take place next week.  Investors hate uncertainty, and it appears that many of them would prefer to be on the sidelines rather than gamble on the outcome of this election.

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down another 943 points, and that was the worst day that we have seen since June 11th

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 943.24 points, or 3.4%, to 26,519.95, posting its fourth straight negative session. The S&P 500 slid 3.5%, or 119.65 points, to 3,271.03, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 3.7%, or 426.48 points, to 11,004.87. The Dow and the S&P 500 both suffered their worst day since June 11.

Overall, stock prices have now fallen for four trading sessions in a row.

Will Thursday make it five?

I just can’t see a whole lot of investors wanting to jump into the market right before Election Day.  Many have warned that an extended period of time when we don’t know the winner of the presidential election would be a “nightmare scenario” for investors, and right now it appears to be quite likely that we are headed for just such a scenario.

Yes, it is still possible that we could witness a landslide victory for either Joe Biden or Donald Trump that would bring the race to a conclusion very rapidly, and such an outcome would be greatly welcomed by the financial markets.

Unfortunately, it is probably much more likely that the election results will be bitterly contested, and the counting of mail-in ballots and legal fights over which votes to count could take weeks to resolve.

And when it is all over, that is when things could get really interesting.  There will be tens of millions of Americans that will be extremely upset no matter which side wins, and we could very easily see a massive national temper tantrum.

In the past, presidential elections have often resulted in significant stock market rallies, but this time around I think that it is quite likely that the opposite will be true.  Chaos in the streets is likely to be accompanied by chaos in the financial markets, and once stock prices start falling they could potentially tumble quite a long way.

Meanwhile, health authorities are telling us that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is starting to rise aggressively, and this is creating a whole lot of fear

For the first time since the pandemic began, the United States added more than half a million coronavirus cases in a week, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. This is the third day in a row the U.S. set a record for how many coronavirus cases it reported over the previous seven days.

In particular, many investors are deeply concerned that a new wave of lockdowns could crush the U.S. economy once again.  According to CNBC’s Jim Cramer, more lockdowns without more stimulus money from the federal government would be disastrous for the financial markets

Appearing on CNBC’s Squawk Box Wednesday, Cramer said he believes that restrictive measures such as those announced Tuesday in Chicago are on the horizon, and that without a stimulus deal, the implications for the market may be dire.

“I just think that there’s going to be a call for lockdowns the likes of which we’ve seen in Chicago,” Cramer said. “And I think that the lockdowns without the stimulus equals what we’re seeing,” he added — referring to the market’s freefall this week.

Of course the real economy has never recovered from the lockdowns that were instituted earlier this year.

For example, Boeing just announced that they will be laying off more workers than originally projected

Boeing will cut more jobs as it continues to bleed money and its revenue fades during a pandemic that has smothered demand for new airline planes.

The company said Wednesday that it expects to cut its workforce to about 130,000 people by the end of next year, or 30,000 fewer than it began with in 2020. That is a far deeper cut to its workforce than the 19,000 jobs the company said it planned to trim just three months ago.

And small businesses continue to suffer greatly all over the country as well.

If you can believe it, one recent survey found that a whopping 34 percent of all small businesses in America were not able to pay all of their rent for the month of October

Eight months into this devastating pandemic, more than one-third of small businesses are still having trouble paying their rent, according to our latest Alignable Pulse Poll of 7, 726 small business owners taken last week.

Right now, 34% of our small business owners report that they were NOT able to pay full rent in October.

There is no way that anyone should be using the word “recovery” to describe what we are witnessing.  When a third of all small businesses cannot even pay rent, that indicates that we are in a full-blown economic depression.

Earlier this year, the Federal Reserve pulled out all the stops in order to support the financial markets and the economy, but now even CNBC is admitting that the Fed is just about out of ammunition…

While no Fed official ever would acknowledge that monetary policy ammunition is running low, and in fact would insist to the contrary, there appear to be few weapons left in the Fed arsenal.

“What they have left is really on the margin,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “They just don’t have much room to maneuver with regard to monetary policy. I don’t really see what more they can do. That’s why they’ve been so explicit in telling fiscal policymakers to do more, because they know they can’t help.”

So what is the Fed going to do if there is another huge wave of lockdowns all across the nation?

And what is the Fed going to do if there is another huge wave of rioting, looting and violence like we are currently witnessing in Philadelphia?

This election has the potential to be the spark that begins a very dark chapter in our history.

If things take a really bad turn, a stock market collapse may end up being among the least of our problems.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

Wall Street Is Bracing For A “Nightmare Scenario” To Unfold On November 3rd…

Did you watch the presidential debate?  All over America people are still buzzing about it, because it was definitely unlike any presidential debate that we have ever seen before.  But despite all the chaos, the debate gave us tremendous clarity on one very important issue.  Unless there is a blowout of historic proportions, it is exceedingly unlikely that either side will be willing to concede on the night of the election or any time shortly thereafter.  In other words, the winner of the election may not be known until a long time after November 3rd, and this is being called “the nightmare scenario Wall Street wants to avoid”

The winner may not be known for days or weeks — and even then, the election could be contested. That’s the nightmare scenario Wall Street wants to avoid.

“It was chaos,” Kristina Hooper, chief investment strategist at Invesco, said of the debate. “I walked away from last night thinking there is an even greater chance of a contested election.”

The election of 2016 was very close, but Hillary Clinton conceded fairly rapidly because enough votes had been counted to make it clear that she was not going to be able to get enough electoral votes to win.

But this time around it is being projected that up to 40 percent of the population will vote by mail, and counting votes that are sent in by mail is a very slow process.

And many of the votes that are sent in by mail will not even be received until a number of days after the election, and that will just prolong the period of uncertainty that we are potentially facing…

One of the major uncertainties is how long it will take to count the surge of mail-in ballots that is expected because of the pandemic. Some states don’t even begin that process until Election Day. Others accept mail-in ballots received after Election Day if they are postmarked by a certain date.

Both sides have recruited vast armies of lawyers, and it is very difficult to imagine either President Trump or Joe Biden rushing to concede the race.

Instead, it is much more likely that what we will go through will be “Bush v. Gore on steroids”, and many on Wall Street are anticipating a violent stock market decline if that happens.

But of much greater concern is what is happening to the real economy.  It appears that a new wave of corporate layoffs has begun, and that means that it will be a very bitter holiday season for millions of Americans.

At this point, even some of our most monolithic institutions are letting people go.  When I heard that Goldman Sachs was eliminating 400 jobs, I thought that there must be some mistake.

But there is no mistake.  They are making cuts because times are hard and will only be getting harder.

If even “the Vampire Squid” is laying workers off, what hope is there for the rest of us?

On Wednesday we also learned that approximately 9,000 employees of Shell will be losing their jobs

Royal Dutch Shell announced on Wednesday plans to cut up to 9,000 jobs, or over 10% of its workforce, as part of a major overhaul to shift the oil and gas giant to low-carbon energy.

Shell, which had 83,000 employees at the end of 2019, said that the reorganisation will lead to additional annual savings of around $2 billion to $2.5 billion by 2022 beyond cost cuts of $3 to $4 billion announced earlier this year.

If the U.S. economy really was in the process of “turning around”, would we be seeing layoff announcements like this day after day?

I don’t think so.

And it is those at the bottom of the economic food chain that have been hit the hardest

The economic collapse sparked by the pandemic is triggering the most unequal recession in modern U.S. history, delivering a mild setback for those at or near the top and a depression-like blow for those at the bottom, according to a Washington Post analysis of job losses across the income spectrum.

Recessions often hit poorer households harder, but this one is doing so at a scale that is the worst in generations, the analysis shows.

Prior to this crisis, most Americans were living paycheck to paycheck, and many of them have families to support.

So what do you do when your income is gone but the expenses are still there?

Yesterday, I discussed the fact that 100,000 airline industry employees could soon lose their jobs.  One of those employees that is on the verge of being laid off is 41-year-old Toni Valentine

Toni Valentine, 41, a United reservations agent in Detroit who has been with the airline for 15 years, has been told she’ll be laid off this week. She has six children ranging in age from 2 to 22, and her husband can’t work because he’s recovering from a massive stroke.

“Knowing that I may not have insurance benefits, I feel like I have failed,” she said on a conference call set up by the Machinists Union. “I’m the primary breadwinner in this family.”

Can you imagine what it must be like for her right now?

She has been a faithful employee for 15 years, and now everything that she has worked for is about to be taken away.

51-year-old Tiffany Burgin is another woman that has had her career rudely interrupted by this pandemic.  She had worked her way up to become an assistant manager at a restaurant in the French Quarter of New Orleans, but now she fears that her job may be gone permanently if the tourists never return

“The writing is on the wall. I don’t think my owner is going to make it,” said Tiffany Burgin, an assistant manager of a restaurant in the French Quarter of New Orleans that remains closed. “It’s a 100% tourist-driven economy here. Until the tourists come back, we’re screwed.”

Burgin, 51, never got a college degree. She climbed her way up the ranks of New Orleans’ booming restaurant industry, serving entrees and tending bar for years before becoming a manager. But she has not worked since mid-March, after a mass of tourists caught the coronavirus following Mardi Gras celebrations. Many establishments in the French Quarter are still boarded up.

The only way that tourism will return to previous levels is if this virus goes away, but at this point it has become clear that is simply not going to happen.

So she will continue to have to try to survive on her meager unemployment checks, and that certainly is not easy

“I get $247 a week in unemployment,” Burgin said. “Who can live on that? Who? Nobody I know. I haven’t been this poor since I was a teenager.”

I wish that I had some good news for workers such as Burgin and Valentine, but I don’t.  In fact, economic conditions will eventually get a whole lot worse.

But in the short-term, the country is fixated on the upcoming election, and every day we see more evidence that both sides are bracing for a very long battle.

I know that there are supporters of both candidates that believe that a “nightmare scenario” can still be avoided because they are convinced that their guy is going to blow the other candidate out of the water on election night.

We shall see what happens, but I don’t think that it is going to work out that way.

Instead, I believe that we are headed for a horror show, and I don’t think that America will ever be the same again after this.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  By purchasing the book you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

Why Is The Mainstream Media Signaling That A Much Larger Stock Market Decline Is Coming?

Why would the mainstream media want all of us to believe that stock prices are about to fall dramatically?  Just like we witnessed earlier this year at the beginning of the pandemic, the corporate media is full of reports that seem to imply that it is a virtual certainty that stock prices are going to go even lower.  Of course it would make perfect sense for stock prices to go down because they are incredibly overvalued right now, but normally the mainstream media does not try to tell us where stock prices are going next.  And the fact that so many news outlets are repeating the same mantra right now is particularly troublesome.

Without a doubt, the momentum of stock prices is taking us in a downward direction at the moment.  All of the major stock indexes have posted declines for three weeks in a row, and it looks like this week could make it four.

As I write this article, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 4.5 percent for the month, the S&P 500 is down over 6 percent, and the Nasdaq has fallen about 8.5 percent.  Overall, the market is on pace for the worst September in 18 years, but the corporate-controlled media seems convinced that things are going to get even worse.  For example, the following comes from a CNBC article entitled “Stock sell-off accelerates and is expected to get worse before it gets better”

Stock investors focused on new worries about the coronavirus and economy, selling into a market Monday that was already technically shaken and set for further declines.

I looked for evidence that would back up the assertion that the market is “set for further declines” in the remainder of that article, but I didn’t see any.

Without a doubt, I definitely agree that stock prices have a long, long way to fall, but there is no reason why they couldn’t bounce back for the rest of this week.

So it seems odd that CNBC would be so dogmatic.

And USA Today just posted an article that suggested that we are facing “a looming global financial crisis”…

“Massive fiscal and monetary policy stimulus” that came together to prop up the economy has caused debt to balloon and stocks to become potentially overvalued, posing “the serious risk of a looming global financial crisis as central banks begin to shift away from easy (monetary) policy at some point in the years to come.”

Once again, I definitely agree that a global financial crisis could erupt at any time.

But normally we don’t see the mainstream media using such language.

At this point, we are less than a month and a half away from the election, and many have suggested that uncertainty about the outcome could weigh heavily on the market.  In fact, CNN is telling us that we should anticipate “that volatility will be high” during the period surrounding election day…

Market experts have warned that volatility will be high toward the end of the year and around the election, especially because many expect the winner won’t be known immediately.

Could it be possible that there will be an attempt to disrupt the market in an attempt to make one of the candidates look bad?

I know that would sound absurd during normal times, but these are definitely not normal times.

And ultra-wealthy insiders definitely seem to believe that something is coming, because they have been selling stocks like crazy recently.  According to Zero Hedge, “during the week ended September 11, insiders sold $473 million in shares while only buying $9.5 million.”

I don’t know about you, but those numbers definitely got my attention.

Of course stock prices should have never, ever gotten so high in the first place.  The unprecedented market rally that we have witnessed in 2020 has occurred during a time when we have actually plunged into a new economic depression.  Almost every day I share more horrific economic numbers with my readers, and here are some more from the New York Post

Nearly 90 percent of New York City bar and restaurant owners couldn’t pay their rent in August, heightening the continued crush the coronavirus shutdown has inflicted on Gotham’s economy.

Eighty-seven percent of bars, restaurants, nightclubs and event spaces in the five boroughs could not pay their full August rent, according to data from 457 businesses surveyed between Aug. 25 and Sept. 11, in a new study released Monday by the nonprofit NYC Hospitality Alliance.

How in the world can anyone possibly use the phrase “economic recovery” when we are seeing numbers like that?

We have never seen an economic downturn of this magnitude in all of modern American history, and many believe that what we have experienced so far is just the beginning.

With each passing day, we see more societal turmoil in the headlines, and the upcoming election threatens to bring our societal tensions to a thundering crescendo.

In such an environment, a huge stock market crash would not be surprising at all, and some are suggesting that the shove that pushes us over the edge could actually happen on purpose.  In his most recent video, Greg Mannarino warned that the upcoming financial crash “is going to be epic”, and he told his audience that our largest financial institutions could collapse the market any time that they want

“They can crush the global economy or the market. The global economy, which is the middle class, is already crushed, ok. They can destroy the stock market like this [snaps fingers.] And you can see it playing out right now. So all to of this is more than likely going to get brushed under the rug as it always does,” Mannarino says of the banks controlling the world.

It is not unusual for pundits such as Mannarino to make such bold predictions, but what alarms me is that the mainstream media is also strongly suggesting that a market crash is coming.

Even if the mainstream media is not attempting to do it on purpose, their words can become a self-fulfilling prophecy as countless investors spooked by their reports pull money out of the marketplace.

Sadly, this is one instance in which the mainstream media will ultimately be proven correct.  Whether it happens in the immediate future or not, the truth is that we are heading for a financial meltdown that will be absolutely horrifying.

In recent months, the Federal Reserve was able to reinflate our financial bubbles one more time, and hordes of investors eagerly jumped aboard the rally train.

But now that train is in danger of being derailed, and those that do not hop off in time could find themselves plunging into a nightmarish financial abyss.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  By purchasing the book you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

A September Stock Market Crash?

Many of us have been waiting to see what surprises the month of September would bring, and it appears that a stock market crash may be one of them.  Even the most ardent market optimists were admitting that the absurd bubble that had developed over the course of the summer was completely unsustainable, and the only real debate was over when it would finally burst.  So is this it?  Stock prices have certainly plunged quite dramatically over the last several trading sessions, but it is always possible that things could stabilize for a little while.  But whether it happens in September, October, November, December or next year, the truth is that everyone knows that a crash is coming.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell another 632 points, but that wasn’t the real story.  Far more noteworthy was the fact that the Nasdaq was down another 4.1 percent, and that means that it has now dropped a total of more than 10 percent since it hit a brand new record high last week.

Only two times since 2001 has the Nasdaq fallen more rapidly over three trading sessions.  The index is now officially in correction territory, and the losses have been staggering.  In particular, the six largest tech stocks have collectively lost more than a trillion dollars in value during this three day stretch…

The six biggest tech stocks have lost more than $1 trillion over the last three days alone, but it’s really just a dent coming off a huge rally that peaked last week.

Apple, which hit a $2 trillion market cap on Aug. 19, is down about $325 billion in that time period. Microsoft’s down $219 billion, Amazon fell $191 billion, Alphabet cratered by $135 billion, and Tesla, which fell 21% on Tuesday to mark its worst single-day loss in its history, is down $109 billion in the last three days. Finally, Facebook is off by $89 billion.

A trillion dollars is a serious amount of money.

If you had started spending a million dollars every single day when Jesus was born, you still wouldn’t have spent a trillion dollars by now.  So we are talking about a giant pile of money that is almost unimaginable.

Apple has the largest market cap of any of the tech giants, and over the past three trading days it is down a total of more than 14 percent.  That is the worst three day stretch for Apple since October 2008.

But if you want to see a real disaster, just look at what has been happening to Tesla’s stock price.  Do you remember a few days ago when I said that it would still be overvalued if it went down 90 percent?  Well, after Tuesday we only have 69 percent more to go before that actually happens

Tesla shares closed down 21.06%, making it the worst one-day loss on record. Tuesday’s drop brought the company’s market valuation to $307.7 billion. The stock has been on a tear this year, having risen around 300%, and the company is now worth more than some of the world’s largest automakers, including Toyota and Volkswagen.

It was widely assumed that Tesla would be added to the S&P 500 on Friday, and when that didn’t happen it was “a big disappointment for investors”

But while S&P Indexes announced late Friday that it was adding Etsy, an online marketplace for crafters; Teradyne (TER), a company specializing in industrial automation and robotics; and Catalent (CTLT), which develops pharmaceuticals, to the index, the absence of Tesla was a big disappointment for investors, prompting the sell-off.

But the bigger disappointment for Tesla investors will come when the general public finally realizes that a company that sold less than 100,000 vehicles and actually lost 862 million dollars last year is simply not worth 307 billion dollars.

I understand that people like to make money flipping Tesla stock, but to me the entire company is a giant mirage that will eventually collapse in spectacular fashion.

As for the market as a whole, I am not too excited about this current downturn just yet.  When CNBC asked Kristina Hooper about what we are seeing, she simply labeled it “a healthy period of consolidation after a dramatic run-up”

“Some are suggesting this is the start of another dramatic sell-off, similar to the spring of 2000 when the ‘tech bubble’ burst. I highly doubt that,” Kristina Hooper, Invesco Chief Global Market Strategist, said in an email to CNBC. “I think of this rout not so much as a correction, but as a digestion given that the NASDAQ Composite rose more than 60% from its March bottom in the course of less than six months. All In all, I think this is a healthy period of consolidation after a dramatic run-up.”

Yes, it is still entirely possible that this could turn into the big crash that everyone has been waiting for.

But I think that I will wait until the Dow falls below 25,000 before I start hyperventilating.

Of course I am among those that are entirely convinced that a stock market crash is definitely coming at some point.  At this moment in history, stock prices are absurdly overvalued.  Back in 1990, the total value of all U.S. stocks was sitting at a level that was approximately 60 percent of U.S. GDP, and these days that number has been hovering around 200 percent

In his 2007 memoir, former Federal Reserve chair Alan Greenspan wrote, referring to late 1996, that “America was turning into a shareholders’ nation”. He noted that the total value of US stock holdings had risen from 60 per cent of gross domestic product in 1990 to 120 per cent of GDP by 1996 — “a ratio topped only by Japan at the height of its 1980s bubble”.

In Japan, that ratio had jumped to 140 per cent by the end of 1989, according to the World Bank. The ratio of market capitalisation-to-GDP in the US in 2000, to the amazement of Mr Greenspan, would go on to reach that same level. Today, the market capitalisation-to-GDP ratio in the US is just shy of 200 per cent. The S&P 500 companies alone are worth about $30tn, or 150 per cent of GDP.

So that would seem to imply that stock prices could ultimately fall by more than two-thirds, although I believe in the long-term they will go a whole lot lower than that.

In the short-term, we will see what happens.  10 of the 20 worst single day percentage declines in stock market history have happened during the months of September and October, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see some huge waves of volatility during the weeks ahead.

But it is probably going to take some sort of a “trigger event” for the really big crash to happen.

That “trigger event” could happen tomorrow, or it may not happen for quite some time.  But without a doubt the market is perfectly primed for a major disaster, and it certainly won’t take too much to push it over the edge.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  By purchasing the book you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

As The Stock Market Soars, The Numbers Say That The Real Economy Is In The Midst Of A Historic Crash

Have you been watching the madness that has been unfolding on Wall Street?  Even though we are in the middle of the worst global pandemic in 100 years, and even though rioters and looters have been turning our major cities into war zones, stock prices have been going up day after day.  In fact, the Nasdaq closed at an all-time record high on Monday.  Sometimes people ask me to explain this rationally, and I can’t, because the Federal Reserve has transformed our “financial markets” into a total mockery at this point.  The real economy is literally collapsing all around us, but thanks to Fed intervention stock investors are doing just fine.  It has been absolutely disgusting to watch, and if Adam Smith could see what was happening he would be rolling over in his grave.  Unfortunately, thanks to our rapidly declining system of education most Americans don’t even know who Adam Smith is anymore.

I can’t recall another time in modern U.S. history when stock prices skyrocketed as the U.S. economy plunged into a recession.  What we have been witnessing has truly been extremely bizarre, and it will be fascinating to see how long it can last.

Meanwhile, the real economy is a giant mess.  On Monday, the National Bureau of Economic Research finally got around to letting us know that a recession has officially begun

It’s official: The United States is in a recession.

The National Bureau of Economic Research said Monday the U.S. economy peaked in February, ending the longest expansion in U.S. history at 128 months, or about 10½ years.

In truth, the announcement codifies the painfully obvious. States began shutting down nonessential businesses in mid-March to contain the spread of the coronavirus, halting about 30% of economic activity and putting tens of millions of Americans out of work.

And in other news, the sky is blue and the moon is not made out of cheese.

Anyone with half a brain can see that the economy is falling apart.  For example, we just learned that U.S. factory orders were down 22.3 percent in April compared to a year earlier…

Having collapsed by a record 10.4% MoM in March, April factory orders were expected to accelerate even lower and it did. However, the 13.0% plunge in April was modestly better than the 13.4% MoM drop expected… but is still the worst in American history.

Year-over-year, factory orders collapsed 22.3% – the worst since the peak of the financial crisis.

Of course it is not that difficult to find a number that is even worse than that.

Just look at heavy truck sales.  Last month they were down a whopping 37 percent from the same month in 2019…

The last three months have been catastrophic for segments of the trucking business, after an already tough period that started in late 2018. In May, orders for Class 8 trucks – the heavy trucks that haul much of the goods-based economy across the US – plunged 37% from the  low levels in May a year earlier, and by 81% from May two years ago, to 6,600 orders, according to estimates by FTR Transportation Intelligence today.

Not to be outdone, the number of corporate bankruptcies shot up 48 percent last month compared to the same period a year ago…

Corporate bankruptcies spiked during May as the coronavirus pandemic slammed the U.S. economy, pushing the number of filings to levels recorded in the wake of the 2007-09 recession.

U.S. courts recorded 722 businesses nationwide filing for chapter 11 protection last month, a yearly increase of 48%, according to figures from legal-services firm Epiq Global.

But every time we get another horrific economic figure, the stock market goes even higher.

The worse the news gets, the more investors seem to like it.  Week after week, we have seen unprecedented numbers of Americans file for unemployment benefits, and at this point a grand total of more than 42 million Americans have lost a job since this pandemic began.

And yet investors keep taking these job losses as signs that they should buy even more stocks.

Perhaps someone should spread a rumor that a planet-killing asteroid is about to hit us, because that would probably really get investors salivating.

Of course most ordinary Americans don’t get to live in a Fed-fueled fantasy world, and this new economic downturn is hitting most of them extremely hard.

In fact, it is being reported that approximately a third of all Americans “are now showing signs of clinical anxiety and depression”…

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crash, which triggered depression-like unemployment with 40 million initial claims filed in ten weeks, a third of Americans are now showing signs of clinical anxiety and depression, according to new data collected by the Census Bureau. This, by far, is the most comprehensive and troubling sign yet of the psychological toll inflicted on Americans due to months of lockdowns.

The Census Bureau contacted one million households between May 7 and 12, and about 42,000 responded, said The Washington Post. The survey was about 20 minutes long and buried deep within, several questions asked respondents about depression and anxiety. Those who answered provided a laggard but clearest snapshot into people’s mental state at the tail end of the lockdown, where many folks were subjected to isolationism, virus fears, and widespread unemployment.

That is the most alarming number that I have shared with you so far in this article, but I am about to share with you some numbers that are even more alarming.

In recent days, we have watched rioters destroy large sections of our major cities all across America.  But when asked about “violent protests”, a surprising percentage of Americans actually support them…

A broad majority of Americans say the peaceful protests happening all across the country after police violence against African Americans are justified (84% say so), and roughly a quarter (27%) say violent protests in response to police harming or killing African Americans are justified. Both figures are higher than they were when similar protests rose in the fall of 2016. Then, 67% saw peaceful protests as justified while 14% felt violent protests were.

There isn’t much of a racial or partisan difference over whether peaceful protests are justified now, but the gaps are larger over violent protests. Among Democrats, 42% consider violent protests justified in response to police violence against African Americans, while just 9% of Republicans agree.

Yes, you read that last sentence correctly.

42 percent.

Unfortunately, a lot more economic pain is on the way, and that is just going to fuel even more rioting, looting and violence.

These are definitely not “the best of times” no matter what stock market investors seem to think.

We have entered a deeply disturbing new chapter in American history, and life in this country will never be the same again.

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

We Have Never Seen An Economic Collapse Quite Like This, And It Is Largely A Self-Inflicted Wound

The rate at which the U.S. economy is unraveling is absolutely breathtaking.  On Thursday, we learned that another 4.4 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, and that means that a grand total of more than 26 million Americans have lost their jobs during this pandemic so far.  To get an idea of just how dramatically this record-setting unemployment spike dwarfs what we witnessed during the last recession, check out these charts.  Prior to this year, the record for new unemployment claims in a single week was just 695,800, and now each of the last five weeks has been at least four times larger than that old record.  And as I discussed in an article earlier today, millions of those workers have absolutely no incentive to go back to work any time soon, because thanks to Congress they are bringing home more money now than when they were actually working.  So even if efforts are made to return the economy “to normal”, millions of workers will want to stay home until the $600 per week “unemployment bonus” finally expires.  The sad thing is that this new economic crisis is largely a self-inflicted wound, and I will explain why that is true later in this article.

But first let’s talk about where things currently stand.  Based on the unemployment claim numbers that we have been seeing, experts are now projecting that the current rate of unemployment in the U.S. “is about 16 percent”

With a labor force that totals about 162 million people, the claims figures suggest the unemployment rate is about 16 percent, or roughly one in six Americans — significantly higher than the 10 percent peak seen during the 2008 financial crisis. The previous one-week high for jobless claims was 695,800 in 1982.

For a long time I have been warning that the next crisis would make the last recession look like a Sunday picnic, and now that has actually happened.

In addition to an unprecedented number of initial claims for unemployment benefits, we have also absolutely smashed the all-time record for the number of “continuing claims”

A person who has filed an “initial claim” for Unemployment Insurance (UI) and still doesn’t have a job a week later is added to “insured unemployment.” The number of the “insured unemployed” – often called “continued claims” – skyrocketed to 15.98 million, by far the highest in the history of the data series. The high before this Covid-19 era was 6.63 million in May of 2009.

And now that Congress has given workers a tremendous financial incentive to stay unemployed, the number of “continuing claims” is likely to keep going higher with each passing week.

Of course this isn’t just happening in the United States.  Over in Europe, business activity is falling at the fastest pace ever recorded

“The eurozone economy suffered the steepest falls in business activity and employment ever recorded during April as a result of measures taken to contain the coronavirus outbreak,” it said.

The company’s purchasing manager’s index (PMI) dived to a record low of 13.5 in April, from the previous all-time low of 29.7 in March, confirming private sector gloom that is savaging the 19-nation eurozone.

To put those numbers in perspective, any reading below 50 indicates a contraction.

Needless to say, these absolutely horrific statistics are the result of the coronavirus lockdowns, but were these lockdowns actually necessary in the first place?

As I discussed yesterday, the only reason why any sort of a lockdown should be implemented is if the hospitals in a particular area are being overwhelmed, because if people are unable to get medical treatment that could definitely push the ultimate death toll from the pandemic higher than it otherwise would have been.

But in most parts of the U.S. and Europe right now, hospitals are not being even close to overwhelmed.

Keeping everyone at home is not going to defeat this virus or end this pandemic.  When you are dealing with a virus that spreads from person to person this easily, there is no way that you are going to contain it.  In fact, the U.S. just had 31,900 newly confirmed cases in the 24 hour period that just ended even though most of the nation has already been locked down for weeks.

Yes, these lockdowns have temporarily slowed down the spread of the virus, but the lockdowns have also extended the duration of this pandemic.  Ultimately, this pandemic is never going to be over until it sweeps through the population and “herd immunity” is achieved.  And as I discussed yesterday, 70 to 90 percent of the population is going to have to develop antibodies in order to get to that point.

And if you are waiting for a “vaccine” to get us out of this mess, you are going to be waiting for a very, very long time.  There has never been a successful vaccine for any coronavirus in all of human history, and the task of trying to develop one for COVID-19 has become exceedingly more difficult now that scientists have discovered that there are 30 different strains of the virus.

So the truth is that this outbreak is going to rip through our population, and nothing that our politicians can do will be able to stop that from happening.

But the good news is that new numbers from New York seem to indicate that we are closer to “herd immunity” than we previously thought…

Preliminary results from New York’s first coronavirus antibody study show nearly 14 percent tested positive, meaning they had the virus at some point and recovered, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday. That equates to 2.7 million infections statewide — more than 10 times the state’s confirmed cases.

The study, part of Cuomo’s “aggressive” antibody testing launched earlier this week, is based on 3,000 random samples from 40 locations in 19 counties. While the preliminary data suggests much more widespread infection, it means New York’s mortality rate is much lower than previously thought.

However, another study that was conducted in L.A. County found that only 4 percent of their residents had developed antibodies, and that is probably more representative of the nation as a whole.

In any event, everyone agrees that the vast majority of the U.S. population has not developed antibodies, and that means that there will be many more cases and many more deaths in the months ahead.

And that is going to happen no matter how our politicians respond to this crisis.

So as long as our hospitals are not being overwhelmed, there isn’t a need for any lockdowns.  The final case total and the final death toll will be roughly the same whether there are lockdowns or not.

But these lockdowns are definitely killing our economy, and tens of millions of American workers now find themselves unemployed.

And if we continue to try to keep the U.S. economy shut down for a few more months, the economic damage will be incalculable.

Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying.  I am not saying that we should sacrifice lives in order to save the economy.  What I am saying is that about the same number of people are eventually going to die whether we have the lockdowns or not.  And if we can’t handle this, how in the world are we going to deal with what else is coming?

If you are elderly, have a compromised immune system or are in some other high risk group, you are going to have to quarantine yourself for the foreseeable future, but that would be true whether there are lockdowns or not.  The mortality rates for high risk groups are much, much higher than for the general population as a whole, and the danger is very real.

But everyone else should be allowed to get back to work, because most of the population is eventually going to catch this virus no matter what we do.  As long as our hospitals can handle it, we should proceed with life as normal.

Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen.  Most of the current lockdowns are going to remain in place for quite some time, and this new economic depression is just going to get deeper and deeper.

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

The UN Is Now Admitting That This Coronavirus Pandemic Could Spark Famines Of “Biblical Proportions”

What the head of the UN’s World Food Program just said should be making front page headlines all over the globe.  Because if what he is claiming is true, we are about to see global food shortages on a scale that is absolutely unprecedented in modern history.  Even before COVID-19 arrived, armies of locusts the size of major cities were voraciously eating crops all across Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia, and UN officials were loudly warning about what that would mean for global food production.  And now the coronavirus shutdowns that have been implemented all over the planet have brought global trade to a standstill, they are making it more difficult to maintain normal food production operations, and they have forced countless workers to stay home and not earn a living.  All of this adds up to a recipe for a complete and utter nightmare in the months ahead.

David Beasley is the head of the UN’s World Food Program, and on Tuesday he warned that we could actually see famines of “biblical proportions” by the end of this calendar year.  The following comes from ABC News

The coronavirus pandemic could soon double hunger, causing famines of “biblical proportions” around the world by the end of the year, the head of the World Food Programme, David Beasley, told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday.

Beasley warned that analysis from the World Food Programme, the U.N.’s food-assistance branch, shows that because of the coronavirus, “an additional 130 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of 2020. That’s a total of 265 million people.”

He described what we are facing as “a hunger pandemic”, and he insisted that urgent action must be taken in order to avoid a nightmare scenario.

But in some parts of the globe a nightmare scenario is already unfolding.  For example, close to half the population of South Sudan is currently facing starvation, and for many of them the only food that is available is what gets dropped from the sky

The villagers hear the distant roar of jet engines before a cargo plane makes a deafening pass over Mogok, dropping sacks of grain from its hold to the marooned dust bowl below.

There is no other way to get food to this starving hamlet in South Sudan. There are no roads, and the snaking Nile is miles away.

Over in South Africa, the “chronic food shortages” have already become so severe that they are starting to spark rioting, looting and civil unrest…

UNREST broke out in parts of South Africa amid chronic food shortages sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

Looters raided shops, attacked each other, the army and police after breaching one of the strictest lockdowns in the world.

Police fired rubber bullets and teargas to disperse the mobs but local community leaders fear more outbreaks of violence are imminent.

Here in the western world we don’t have to worry about such things yet, but without a doubt the number of needy people is rapidly rising.

This past Saturday, vehicles literally began lining up at 2 AM in the morning for a food distribution event at the San Antonio Food Bank

The San Antonio Food Bank teamed up with Atascosa County to feed meals and hope to hundreds of people Saturday morning. Vehicles began to line up around 2 AM Saturday outside the county courthouse, winding through neighborhoods at least two miles away.

I have never heard of people lining up so early before.

I have heard of vehicles lining up at the crack of dawn around the country in recent days, but 2 AM is absolutely nuts.

But these people realize that when the food is gone there will be no more handouts that day, and there are many that are absolutely desperate to get something to feed their families.

As this coronavirus pandemic has created an enormous amount of fear all over the country, empty shelves have been reported in frozen food sections all over the nation, and the fact that an increasing number of meat processing plants are being temporarily closed down is certainly not helping things.  According to CBS News, at least 17 meat processing plants in the United States have been shut down so far…

Coronavirus infections in at least 17 meat processing plants across nine states are contributing to a spike in confirmed cases in the Midwest. Although 13 plants are already closed temporarily or operating at reduced capacity, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says shutting down plants would hurt farmers and the national food supply.

In a desperate attempt to keep as many facilities in her state open as possible, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has enlisted the help of the National Guard

Hundreds of National Guard personnel are being activated in Iowa as coronavirus sweeps through meat-processing plants in a state that accounts for about a third of U.S. pork supply.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said 250 National Guard members have been moved to full-time federal duty status and could help with testing and contact tracing for workers at plants operated by Tyson Foods Inc. and National Beef Packing Co.

The good news is that authorities are telling us that any product shortages should just be temporary and that all of these processing plants will eventually be brought back on line.

But for the planet as a whole, life is not going to be getting back to “normal” any time soon.

In fact, Takeshi Kasai of the World Health Organization is warning that we need to accept “a new way of living” until a vaccine finally arrives

“At least until a vaccine, or a very effective treatment, is found, this process will need to become our new normal,” he said.

“Individuals and society need to be ready for a new way of living.”

But now that scientists have discovered approximately 30 different strains of this virus, that is going to greatly complicate matters.

Coming up with a successful vaccine for any coronavirus would be a historic feat, and now scientists also have to hope that they will pick the particular strain of COVID-19 that will become dominant in the future.

And of course many people around the globe will not want to take any vaccine that is developed under any circumstances.

So those that are thinking that there will be an easy way out of this crisis are likely to be deeply disappointed.

Meanwhile, the global economic downturn is getting deeper with each passing day, and global food supplies are getting tighter and tighter.

A global famine is coming, and the UN is sounding the alarm.

Unfortunately, most people in the western world are still not listening.

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

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