Americans Have Already Skipped Payments On More Than 100 Million Loans, And Job Losses Continue To Escalate

Those that have been hoping for some sort of a “V-shaped recovery” have had their hopes completely dashed.  U.S. workers continue to lose jobs at a staggering rate, and economic activity continues to remain at deeply suppressed levels all over the nation.  Of course this wasn’t supposed to happen now that states have been “reopening” their economies.  We were told that things would soon be getting back to normal and that the economic numbers would rebound dramatically.  But that is not happening.  In fact, the number of Americans that filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week was much higher than expected

Weekly jobless claims stayed above 1 million for the 13th consecutive week as the coronavirus pandemic continued to hammer the U.S. economy.

First-time claims totaled 1.5 million last week, higher than the 1.3 million that economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting. The government report’s total was 58,000 lower than the previous week’s 1.566 million, which was revised up by 24,000.

To put this in perspective, let me once again remind my readers that prior to this year the all-time record for a single week was just 695,000.  So even though more than 44 million Americans had already filed initial claims for unemployment benefits before this latest report, there were still enough new people losing jobs to more than double that old record from 1982.

That is just astounding.  We were told that the economy would be regaining huge amounts of jobs by now, but instead job losses remain at a catastrophic level that is unlike anything that we have ever seen before in all of U.S. history.

With the addition of this latest number, a grand total of nearly 46 million Americans have now filed initial claims for unemployment benefits since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

If you can read that statement and still believe that the U.S. economy is not imploding, I would like to know what you are smoking, because it must be pretty powerful.

Some of the things that we are seeing happen around the country right now are absolutely nuts.  For example, earlier this week in Kentucky it was being reported that people were waiting in line for up to 8 hours to talk with a state official face to face about their unprocessed unemployment claims…

This wasn’t supposed to happen.

By now, the U.S. economy was supposed to be roaring back to life and we were supposed to be entering a new golden age of American prosperity.

Unfortunately, the truth is that more bad economic news is hitting us on a continual basis, and that isn’t going to change any time soon.

Over the past few days, we have learned that Hilton is laying off 22 percent of its corporate staff, and AT&T has announced that it will be eliminating 3,400 jobs and closing 250 stores…

The wireless carrier AT&T is cutting 3,400 jobs and shutting down 250 stores over the next few weeks, according to a statement from the Communications Workers of America, a union representing AT&T workers.

The AT&T Mobility and Cricket Wireless retail closures will affect 1,300 jobs, while the other layoffs are said to be affecting technical and clerical workers.

Needless to say, all of these job losses are having a tremendous ripple effect throughout the economy.

Without paychecks coming in, a lot of Americans are having a really tough time paying their bills, and the Wall Street Journal is reporting that payments have already been skipped on more than 100 million loans…

Americans have skipped payments on more than 100 million student loans, auto loans and other forms of debt since the coronavirus hit the U.S., the latest sign of the toll the pandemic is taking on people’s finances.

The number of accounts that enrolled in deferment, forbearance or some other type of relief since March 1 and remain in such a state rose to 106 million at the end of May, triple the number at the end of April, according to credit-reporting firm TransUnion.

Wow.

To me, that is an almost unimaginable number, and it has become clear that a tremendous amount of pain is ahead for the financial institutions that are holding these loans.

A lot of people out there are going to keep hoping that there will be some sort of an economic rebound, but the cold, hard reality of the matter is that fear of COVID-19 is going to keep a large segment of the population from resuming normal economic activities for the foreseeable future.  And it certainly doesn’t help that the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. has been steadily rising over the past couple of weeks and that the mainstream media has been endlessly warning that a “second wave” is coming.

If you doubt what I am saying, just look at what is happening to the restaurant industry.  We had started to see a small bit of improvement in the numbers, but now fear of a “second wave” has caused restaurant traffic to start cratering again

After three months of slow but consistent improvement in restaurant dining data in the US and across the globe, in its latest update on “the state of the restaurant industry”, OpenTable today reported the biggest drop in seated restaurant diners (from online, phone and walk-in reservations) since the depth of the global shutdown in March.

As shown in the OpenTable graphic below, on Sunday, June 14, restaurant traffic suddenly tumbled, sliding from a -66.5% y/y decline as of June 13 to -78.8% globally.

This was mostly due to a sharp drop in US restaurant diners, which plunged by 13% – from -65% to -78% – the biggest one day drop since the start of the shutdown in the US, and the second biggest one day drop on record.

Business travel is another area where we are seeing signs of big trouble ahead.  The following comes from Yves Smith

Business travel is not coming back any time soon. People are getting accustomed to Zoom. And word may also get out that domestic flying is much worse than it used to be, which will be a deterrent to those who might be so bold as to want to get on a plane. That is a fundamental blow to airlines, airport vendors, hotels, restaurants, and convention centers. Hotel occupancy in April was 24.5% which if anything seems high based on my personal datapoints. The pricings I see say that hotel operators are not expecting much if any improvement through the summer.

Like many of you, I wish that economic conditions would go back to the way they used to be, but that simply is not going to happen.

Yes, we will see economic numbers go up and down over the coming months, but a return to “the good times” is not in the cards.

And what hardly anyone realizes is that this is just the beginning of our problems, and I am working on a new project right now which will explain why this is true in great detail.

So stay tuned, because things are about to get really, really “interesting”.

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 as many people as we possibly can.

ANOTHER “Bomb Cyclone” Will Bring More Flooding To Parts Of The Midwest That Were Hit By A “1,000 Year Flood” Last Month

Less than a month after a “bomb cyclone” caused a “1,000 year flood” in the middle portion of the country, another “bomb cyclone” of similar strength is going to bring even more flooding to the High Plains and Upper Midwest.  According to meteorologists, it is being projected that this new “bomb cyclone” will be “similar in intensity and in snowfall” to the last one, and the latest forecast is calling for “more than 30 inches in some areas”.  The floods that we witnessed last month absolutely devastated communities throughout the region, and now it is going to happen again.  The middle part of our nation has literally never seen anything like this happen ever before, and this is easily the worst natural disaster to hit the United States since Hurricane Katrina.

Before I get into the details of the latest weather forecast, let’s review what we have witnessed so far.  “At least 1 million acres of U.S. farmland” were under water for at least 7 days last month, according to Agriculture Secretary Sunny Purdue “as many as a million calves” were lost in the flooding in the state of Nebraska alone, and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of crops were destroyed.  Thousands upon thousands of farmers were financially ruined, and thousands of farmers will not be able to plant any crops at all this year.

If you can point out a worse agricultural disaster in the last 50 years in the United States, please feel free to do so.  To my knowledge, there isn’t one.

And now a second “bomb cyclone” is on the way this week.  According to CBS News, it looks like this “bomb cyclone” will produce “a blizzard of epic proportions”…

Only three weeks after a “bomb cyclone” — one of the most intense storms on record — pummeled the Plains and Midwest, another bomb cyclone of similar strength has been forecast. This spring storm seems poised to dump even heavier snow; it could also be followed by another round of significant river flooding.

Over the past few days, various forecast computer models have shown a blizzard of epic proportions for the north-central Plain States and Upper Midwest. Every time a model is updated, the storm depicted seems to get even more intense. At this point, it seems likely that some of the same areas impacted by devastating flooding just weeks ago are about to get slammed by an historic blizzard Wednesday through Friday.

Some Midwest communities already look like they have literally been through a war.

What do you think they are going to look like after another epic blizzard and more severe flooding rips through them?

If you are not familiar with the term “bomb cyclone”, here is a pretty good explanation from MSN

A bomb cyclone is a rapid drop in air pressure — at least 24 millibars in 24 hours — and often is over or near oceans or seas because it requires warm moist air smacking into cold dry air, along with volatile weather from the jet stream. The central and mountain part of the country may get one of these every few winters, said Greg Carbin, forecast branch chief for the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center in Maryland.

But this would be the second such storm in less than a month. The March 13 storm caused massive flooding in the Midwest, a blizzard in Colorado and Wyoming, and produced winds of between 96 mph and 110 mph (155 and 177.02 kph).

According to the National Weather Service, this new storm will dump a lot of snow on the northern Rockies on Tuesday, and from there it “will pick up in intensity as it moves into the central USA by Wednesday and into Thursday”.

The forecast is calling for the heaviest snow to fall in parts of Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota.

If you will remember, Nebraska was hit by flooding unlike anything it had ever seen before last month.  And now we are being told that this new storm “will further exacerbate flooding in Nebraska”

“This blizzard will further exacerbate flooding in Nebraska with the added insult of heavy snowfall to eventually melt,” said Ryan Maue, a meteorologist at the private weathermodels.com. “This is more bad news for suffering farmers who are unable to flip the calendar on winter.”

Even before this storm, the National Weather Service was warning that there would be “above-average precipitation across much of the Lower 48” over the next few months and that 200 million Americans were at risk of being affected by flooding.

But nobody was expecting another “bomb cyclone” to come so soon.

I have been repeatedly warning my readers that our planet is becoming increasingly unstable and that global weather patterns are really starting to go haywire.  We are seeing things happen that we have never seen before, and what I have shared in this article is yet another example.

Since January 1st, the middle portion of the country has already received approximately twice the precipitation that it normally does, and that doesn’t even count the precipitation from the “bomb cyclone” that is about to strike.

The crop losses that we have already witnessed are absolutely staggering, and now we are about to get hit with another severe blow.

Earlier today I went to the grocery store, and I was stunned by the high prices.

But the truth is that this is as low as food prices are going to get.  A series of catastrophic events threatens to significantly reduce global food production this year.  If you doubt this, just check out what has been happening in China.

We like to think that we are immune to the forces of nature that have played havoc with other societies throughout human history, but we aren’t.

Right now we are watching a great human tragedy play out in the middle portion of the country, but since we depend on them to grow much of our food, the truth is that we are all going to be feeling the pain of this tragedy in the months ahead.

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.

Midwest Apocalypse: According To Satellite Data, “At Least 1 Million Acres Of U.S. Farmland” Have Been Devastated By Floods

We have never seen anything like this before.  According to satellite data that was just released by Reuters, “at least 1 million acres of U.S. farmland” were covered by water for at least seven days this month.  That is an agricultural disaster without equal in modern American history, and yet the mainstream media is treating this like it is some sort of second class story.  It isn’t.  This is the biggest news story of 2019 so far, and people want to know what is going on.  A few days ago, I posted a story entitled ‘“As Many As A Million Calves Lost In Nebraska” – Beef Prices In The U.S. To Escalate Dramatically In The Coming Months’, and it has already been shared on social media more than 145,000 times.  Farming communities all over the central part of the nation now look like war zones as a result of all this flooding, but the media elites on the east and west coasts don’t want to write about it.  And with more flooding on the way for the next two months, this crisis is only going to get worse.

This is the time of year when farmers are gearing up to plant wheat, corn and soybeans, and now a substantial portion of our farmland will not be able to be used at all this year.  According to Reuters, at least a million acres of farmland were covered by floodwaters for at least seven days this month, and that “will likely reduce corn, wheat and soy production this year”…

At least 1 million acres (405,000 hectares) of U.S. farmland were flooded after the “bomb cyclone” storm left wide swaths of nine major grain producing states under water this month, satellite data analyzed by Gro Intelligence for Reuters showed.

Farms from the Dakotas to Missouri and beyond have been under water for a week or more, possibly impeding planting and damaging soil. The floods, which came just weeks before planting season starts in the Midwest, will likely reduce corn, wheat and soy production this year.

And with “as many as a million calves” lost to the flooding, a lot less food than anticipated is going to be produced in the United States for the foreseeable future.

Between March 8th and March 21st, almost 1.1 million acres of cropland and over 84,000 acres of pastureland were covered by water for at least a week.  With more rain on the way, it is essentially going to be impossible for most of those acres to be usable this year.

In Iowa, 474,271 acres were covered by floodwaters for at least seven days in March, and Iowa farmers are facing some very tough deadlines.  Corn must be planted by May 31st and soybeans must be planted by June 15th in order to qualify for flood insurance.  For most Iowa farms that were covered by floodwaters, that is going to be impossible.

Overall, the recent flooding caused “at least $3 billion” in economic damage according to authorities, but many believe that the final number will be far higher.

Thousands upon thousands of farms have been completely destroyed, and thousands upon thousands of farmers will not plant any crops at all this year.

In addition to the vast agricultural devastation that we have witnessed, thousands upon thousands of homes have been destroyed as well, and now the National Ground Water Association is warning that “the safety of more than a million private water wells” could be compromised…

Record flooding in the Midwest is now threatening the safety of more than a million private water wells. The National Ground Water Association estimates that people living in more than 300 counties across 10 states have their groundwater threatened from bacterial and industrial contamination carried by flood waters.

If you live in the middle of the country and there is a chance that your well may have been compromised, please don’t take any unnecessary chances.  Contaminated water can be really, really bad news.

Unfortunately, this is just the beginning.  According to the NOAA, we are entering an “unprecedented flood season” that could potentially “impact an even bigger area of cropland”

Spring floods could yet impact an even bigger area of cropland. The U.S. government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has warned of what could be an “unprecedented flood season” as it forecasts heavy spring rains. Rivers may swell further as a deep snow pack in northern growing areas melts.

In my previous article entitled ‘”200 Million People At Risk: National Weather Service Warns Apocalyptic Midwest Floods Are “A Preview Of What We Expect Throughout The Rest Of The Spring”’, I included a map from the NOAA which shows which areas of the central part of the country are projected to receive unusually high levels of rainfall over the next few months.

Unfortunately, there is a tremendous amount of overlap with areas that have already been devastated by flooding.

On Friday and Saturday, there will be “more heavy rains” in the Midwest, and Nebraska is in “the direct path” of the center of the storm…

From the Central Plains to the Midwest, it has been a disastrous spring for river flooding. A weather system slated to bring more heavy rains Friday into Saturday could aggravate the situation along and near the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.

It’s a one-two punch that combines additional rainwater with fresh runoff from snowmelt. Perhaps worst off is Nebraska, in the direct path of Friday’s quick burst of moisture. Barely a week has passed since Gov. Pete Ricketts estimated the cost of ongoing flooding in that state at more than $1 billion.

This is it.  America is being hammered by one storm after another, and I very much encourage you to get prepared for a very rough ride ahead.

There is going to be a lot more flooding.  Prices for beef, dairy, wheat, corn and soy products are going to rise significantly, and just when you think they are way too high they are going to keep on rising.

This is already the worst agricultural disaster in modern American history, and federal authorities are telling us that we should expect things to continue to get worse for at least two more months.

Perhaps the mainstream media will eventually decide to take this story seriously, but until they do those of us in the alternative media will do our best to keep you updated.

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.

Violence Erupts In America’s Heartland As Milwaukee Becomes The Latest U.S. City To Burn

Milwaukee Riot - YouTube ScreenshotThe city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin exploded in violence last night as the wave of chaos and civil unrest that is sweeping across America continues to intensify.  At this point, many of our largest cities have become powder kegs of anger and frustration, and a full-blown riot can be set off with a single bullet.  In this case, an armed suspect was shot and killed by Milwaukee police as he attempted to evade the police, and his death almost instantly set off pandemonium in the heart of the city.  America is being ripped apart, and much more violence is coming.  Decades of social decay and economic decline have fundamentally transformed many of our greatest cities, and tensions that have been simmering for a very long time are now being brought to a boil.  Sadly, it seems quite likely that we will see even more rage, hatred and divisiveness in the months ahead.

The sudden eruption of violence that we witnessed in Milwaukee last night was absolutely stunning.  Within just hours after the shooting of the armed suspect, fires were burning all over the city

Protesters clashed with officers in the hours after a Milwaukee police officer shot and killed an armed suspect during a foot chase. After an hours-long confrontation with officers, police reported that a gas station was set on fire. Police said firefighters initially could not get close to the blaze because of gunshots.

Later, fires were started at a bank branch, a beauty supply company and an auto parts store as scores of people gathered near the crime scene on the city’s north side, a grim Mayor Tom Barrett said at a news conference Saturday night. He said the unrest was driven by a social media frenzy urging people to gather in the area.

Of course police were one of the primary targets of the violence.  It is being reported that at least one squad car was set ablaze, and another had a brick thrown through a window.

One prominent Milwaukee city official is blaming racial injustice for the violence.  The following comes from CNN

City Alderman Khalif Rainey said the area has been a “powder keg” for potential violence throughout the summer.

“What happened tonight may not have been right and I am not justifying that but no one can deny the fact that there are problems, racial problems in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that need to be rectified,” Rainey said. “This community of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has become the worst place to live for African Americans in the entire country.”

Rainey said Saturday’s violence was a byproduct of inequities, injustice, unemployment and under-education.

“Something has to be done to address these issues,” he said. “The black people of Milwaukee are tired, they are tired of living under this oppression, this is their life.”

Without a doubt, the suffering that is going on in our inner cities is intense.  Our economic infrastructure has been gutted by decades of bad trade deals, and evidence of severe social and moral decay is all around us.

But no matter how bad things are, there is never any excuse for committing random acts of violence.  In addition to setting businesses on fire, it is being reported that rioters were trying to drag people out of their vehicles in order to beat them up.

How in the world does that solve anything?

Meanwhile, police all over the nation continue to be targets of violence.  In a previous article, I told my readers that the number of police officers that have been shot and killed this year has risen by 78 percent compared to last year.

Well, over the past few days some more officers have been added to the list.  For example, the following is an excerpt from a CNN report about an officer that was just shot and killed in south Georgia…

A police officer was shot dead while responding to a call of a suspicious person in south Georgia, authorities said.

The shooting occurred Saturday night after the officer, Tim Smith, got the call in a residential area in Eastman, special agent Scott Whitley of the Georgia Bureau of Investigations said.

While on patrol, Smith encountered the subject and exited his car. That’s when he was fatally shot, Whitley said.

And this is from a Fox News report about an officer that was shot and killed in New Mexico…

Two Ohio fugitives wanted for a murder have been arrested after authorities say one of them fatally shot a New Mexico police officer.

Dona Ana County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Kelly Jameson said Saturday that 38-year-old Jesse Hanes is suspected of gunning down Hatch Police Officer Jose Chavez during a traffic stop Friday.

In addition, there was another very disturbing incident that just happened a few days ago in Arkansas.  When a suspect started shooting at police officers, one was killed, one was wounded, and a police dog named Kina that got hit and ran away was just found on Saturday

Police spokeswoman Kristin Faulkenberry told reporters the dog, named Kina, “was up and walking” when searchers found the animal Friday morning near where the shooting unfolded near Hackett, about 115 miles west of Little Rock.

The dog was shot and ran into a wooded area Wednesday when a man identified as Billy Monroe Jones opened fire on officers, killing Sebastian County Deputy Bill Cooper and wounding Hackett Police Chief Darrell Spells.

Earlier today I talked to a friend of mine that works as a police officer, and he admitted that he and his wife do think about all of this violence that is being directed at the police.  I suppose that it would be exceedingly difficult not to.  Those that are serving their communities in this way are going to have a very tough time moving forward.  At this point every single law enforcement officer in the entire nation is a potential target, and they are just going to have to find a way to deal with this new reality.

America is more divided than I have ever seen in my entire lifetime.  Instead of learning how to love one another, hatred is growing by the day.

More chaos is coming, more violence is coming, and more of our cities will burn.

Things didn’t have to turn out this way, but thanks to decades of incredibly foolish decisions we will now reap what we have sown.

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