We Are Being Warned That The Last Week Of August “Could Be Highly Volatile” For Global Financial Markets

Are things about to break loose in a major way?  At the end of last week, the trade war between the United States and China escalated dramatically, and investors all over the globe really started freaking out.  Unfortunately, developments over the weekend have only made things worse, and that means that this could be a very “interesting” week for global financial markets.  As I write this article, stock prices around the world are plunging, the price of gold is spiking and the Chinese yuan is crashing.  There is clearly a lot of fear out there right now, and at this point even CNBC is warning that the last week of this month “could be highly volatile”…

The final week of August — the bittersweet end of summer for many— could be highly volatile, as markets fret over the economy and the latest developments in trade wars.

Of course things can swing rapidly from moment to moment in this environment.  President Trump could say something in a few hours that temporarily gives investors some hope, and that could cause markets to swing wildly upward for a little while.  Everyone is on edge right now, and every piece of significant news is likely to cause gyrations in the marketplace.

But overall the trend is clearly down.  U.S. stocks have now fallen for four weeks in a row, and many are becoming deeply concerned about what September will bring.

And for many U.S. businesses, this trade war has turned into a complete nightmare.  Executives crave predictability, but now everywhere we look there is chaos, and this is causing a lot of headaches for business leaders

Businesses crave predictability so they can make informed decisions and plan for the future. Many companies that depend on Chinese manufacturers and consumers have already shifted supply chains out of the country and taken other steps to reduce their exposure to China. And while Mr. Trump’s tweets are unlikely to trigger immediate changes, more uncertainty is unwelcome.

“Continued escalation and rhetoric are harmful to American businesses, workers and farmers,” said Tom Linebarger, chief executive of Cummins Inc., which makes diesel engines. Cummins pays a tariff on components it imports from its own plants in China for engines assembled at U.S. factories by American workers. The tariffs amount to a tax paid by Cummins’ customers, he said.

Unfortunately, nobody can no longer deny that global economic activity is really starting to slow down.  We just learned that global trade was down 1.4 percent in June from a year earlier, and that represented the largest decline that we have seen since the last financial crisis

World trade volume – a measure of imports and exports of merchandise across the globe – declined in its zigzag manner in June to the lowest level since October 2017, according to the Merchandise World Trade Monitor by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis. The index was down 1.4% from June 2018. This small year-over-year decline is the biggest year-over-year decline since the Financial Crisis, and it’s a reversal from the heady growth in 2017 and 2018 that had topped out at 6.7%.

I have been using phrases like “since the last financial crisis” and “since the last recession” in almost every article recently.  We are seeing so many things happen that we haven’t seen for a decade or longer, and yet most Americans still don’t seem to understand that we have a real crisis on our hands.

If the U.S. and China were to mend their relationship and agree to a comprehensive trade deal, that would certainly help things.

Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen.

In fact, both sides appear to be digging in even more.  For example, the White House just told us that President Trump “regrets not raising the tariffs higher”

When asked if Trump had second thoughts about Friday’s move to escalate the trade war with China, Trump said “Yup.” “I have second thoughts about everything,” he added.

Hours later, the White House issued a statement saying that Trump meant to say that he wished he had raised tariffs on Beijing even higher.

“His answer has been greatly misinterpreted. President Trump responded in the affirmative – because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher,” White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham wrote in a statement.

And the Chinese are warning that we should not “underestimate the determination” of the Chinese people and that they will be the ones to “have the last laugh”

On Saturday, China’s commerce ministry issued a statement calling on Washington not to “misjudge the situation and underestimate the determination of Chinese people” after US President Donald Trump announced new tariffs on Chinese imports.

“The US should immediately stop its wrong action, or it will have to bear all consequences,” the statement said.

At the same time, a sharply worded commentary in the official party mouthpiece, People’s Daily, said China had the strength to continue the dispute and accused Washington of sacrificing the interests of its own people. Published under the pseudonym “Wuyuehe”, the piece described the latest tariff measures by the US as “barbaric”. The op-ed said China’s own tariffs on $75 billion worth of American products, announced late on Friday, were a response to America’s unilateral escalation of the trade conflict, and vowed that China was determined to fight back “until the end”.

“China’s will to defend the core interests of the country and the fundamental interests of the people is indestructible, and will not fear any challenge,” the author wrote, promising that “history will prove that the side on the path of fairness and justice will have the last laugh.”

As I have repeatedly warned, there isn’t going to be a trade deal before the 2020 presidential election.

So that means that things are going to get progressively worse, and we need to be prepared for a lot of economic pain.

At this point, even U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham is telling us that the American people are just going to have to “accept the pain that comes with standing up to China”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on Sunday that Democrats should not criticize President Trump for taking on China over trade as they have complained for years about Beijing’s policies but done nothing.

“Every Democrat and every Republican of note has said China cheats,” Graham said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” “The Democrats for years have been claiming that China should be stood up to, now Trump is and we’ve just got to accept the pain that comes with standing up to China.”

Sadly, the truth is that the American people are not well equipped to deal with pain.  We have been spoiled by decades of debt-fueled “prosperity”, and even a relatively minor economic downturn would result in a massive national temper tantrum.

Right now our nation is a seething cauldron of anger and frustration, and the mainstream media is stirring the pot on a daily basis.  It isn’t going to take much to spark an explosion, and this will especially be true the closer we get to the next presidential election.

The season of “the perfect storm” is upon us, and what is coming next is going to be one of the most chaotic chapters in modern American history.

About 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.

11 Reasons Why So Many Experts Believe That A U.S. Economic Crisis Is Imminent

The numbers are telling us that we have never been closer to the next recession than we are right now.  The storm clouds that were gathering on the horizon are now directly above us, and suddenly the mainstream media is filled with stories about when the next recession will begin and the effect that this may have on President Trump’s chances of winning in 2020.  In fact, there has been so much chatter about this that even President Trump is talking about it.  All over television, experts are breathlessly speculating about when the coming recession will begin, and they are dispensing lots of advice about how people should be preparing for it.

So what evidence has led so many of these talking heads to come to such a conclusion?

Well, the following are 11 reasons why so many experts now believe that a U.S. economic crisis is imminent…

#1 Last week, the “spread between the U.S. 2-year and 10-year yields” turned negative for the very first time in 12 years.  An inversion of the yield curve has occurred prior to every single U.S. recession since the 1950s, and this is one of the most important economic signals that we have seen yet.

#2 U.S. consumer sentiment just fell to the lowest level that we have seen in all of 2019.

#3 74 percent of the economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics believe that a recession will begin in the United States by the end of 2021.

#4 U.S. industrial production just slipped back into contraction territory.

#5 The IHS Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index just fell to the lowest level that we have seen since September 2009.

#6 Just like we witnessed in 2008, fear and volatility have returned to Wall Street in a major way.  In fact, so far this month we have already seen the 4th and 7th largest single day point declines in U.S. stock market history.

#7 The total number of bankruptcy filings in the United States has been steadily shooting up, and it rose another 5 percent during the month of July.

#8 Major U.S. retailers continue to shut down more stores, and we have continued to stay on a pace that would break the all-time record for store closings in a single year.

#9 As I discussed yesterday, on a year over year basis U.S. freight shipment volume has now fallen for 8 months in a row.

#10 According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the probability that a recession will happen within the next 12 months is now the highest that it has been since the last financial crisis.

#11 President Trump is suggesting that the Federal Reserve should cut interest rates by 100 basis points and that the Fed should restart quantitative easing as soon as possible.  Both of those moves would be considered to be “emergency measures” that should only happen if a major economic downturn was imminent.

In that list, I didn’t even mention our rapidly escalating trade war with China.  The two largest economies on the entire planet are engaged in an extremely bitter trade dispute, and that alone has the potential to plunge the entire global economy into a very deep downturn.

On the surface, the Trump administration is trying to assure us that everything is going to be just fine, but behind the scenes they appear to be preparing for the worst.  For example, we have just learned that the Trump administration is actually considering pushing for an emergency payroll tax cut

Several senior White House officials have begun discussing whether to push for a temporary payroll tax cut as a way to arrest an economic slowdown, three people familiar with the discussions said, revealing the growing concerns by President Donald Trump’s top economic aides.

The talks are still in their early stages, and the officials have not decided whether to formally push Congress to approve the cut, these people said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to disclose internal discussions. But the White House in recent days has begun searching for proposals that could halt a slowing economy.

If the U.S. economy really was “booming”, an emergency payroll tax cut wouldn’t make any sense at all.

But if we are on the verge of a very serious economic crisis, then such a move would make perfect sense.

Of course the U.S. is definitely not the only major economy that is facing serious troubles.  In fact, signs of economic trouble have been emerging all over the globe lately

The economies in Germany, Brazil, Italy, Mexico and a number of other countries are also showing vulnerabilities, experts say. The uncertainty is exacerbated by fears of the potential financial fallout that could happen if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union in October without first reaching a deal on the terms of its departure.

In particular, developments in Germany are quite troubling.  Their economy actually contracted last quarter, and the German government is “preparing to embrace new fiscal stimulus measures should its economy stumble into a deep recession”

Nearly two weeks after Der Spiegel sent its first trial balloon about the prospects that the German government might crank up its fiscal stimulus if Europe’s largest economy slides into recession (which, as we explained last week, is already on the cusp of doing), the trial balloons have crossed the Atlantic.

Bloomberg reported on Monday that the German government is preparing to embrace new fiscal stimulus measures should its economy stumble into a deep recession, “citing two people with direct knowledge of the matter.”

We haven’t seen talk like this in a very, very long time.  For many people, the extreme pain caused by the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009 has almost faded from memory, but the truth is that many experts believe that what is ahead is going to be even worse.

If everything was going to be just fine, President Trump would not be trying to get the Federal Reserve to make extremely deep interest rate cuts.  In life, what people do is far more important than what they say, and the moves that global leaders are making right now are telling us that huge trouble is coming.

So enjoy the relative stability that we are currently experiencing while you still can, because it looks like it won’t be lasting for too much longer.

About 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.

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