If We Are Experiencing Severe Shortages Now, How Bad Will Things Get When The Economy Starts Tanking Again?

Inflation and shortages are the two big stories for the U.S. economy this week.  In recent days I have done multiple articles about inflation, and so today I want to focus on the widespread shortages that we are currently witnessing.  At this moment, the U.S. economy is experiencing more shortages than it did at any point during 2020.  I know that statement sounds quite outlandish, but it is true.  During the early stages of the pandemic, there were temporary shortages of toilet paper, hand sanitizer and other items, but now there are severe shortages throughout many sectors of the economy, and quite a few of those shortages will not be so temporary.

On Thursday, Business Insider published a list of some of the most serious shortages that we are going through at the moment…

-Computer chips
-Used cars and rental cars
-Gas
-Plastics and palm oil
-Truckers and rideshare drivers
-Homes and vacation houses
-Lumber
-Household products like toilet paper and tampons
-Furniture
-Chicken
-Bacon and hot dogs
-Imported foods like cheese, coffee, and olive oil
-Chlorine
-Corn

That is quite a list!

The COVID pandemic suppressed output for many industries for an extended period of time, and meanwhile our “leaders” have been pumping trillions and trillions of fresh dollars into the system.

So now we have way too many dollars chasing way too few goods and services, and this is causing tremendous inflation and very painful shortages.

Just look at what is happening to the steel industry.  Changes in supply and demand have pushed up the price of steel to “nearly triple the 20-year average”

After bottoming out around $460 last year, US benchmark hot-rolled coil steel prices are now sitting at around $1,500 a ton, a record high that is nearly triple the 20-year average.

Steel stocks are on fire. US Steel (X), which crashed to a record low last March amid bankruptcy fears, has skyrocketed 200% in just 12 months. Nucor (NUE) has spiked 76% this year alone.

Much more importantly for the average American, there are now chicken shortages all over the country, and prices have soared into the stratosphere

After a year promoting takeout wings and crispy chicken sandwiches, restaurants including KFC, Wingstop Inc. and Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. say they are paying steep prices for scarce poultry. Some are running out of or limiting sales of tenders, filets and wings, cutting into some of their most reliable sales.

Independent eateries and bars have gone weeks without wings, owners say. Chicken breast prices have more than doubled since the beginning of the year, and wing prices have hit records, according to market-research firm Urner Barry.

“Weeks without wings?”

Oh the humanity!

If we don’t get this crisis under control soon, the U.S. may not be able to set yet another all-time record for obesity in 2021.

Propane tanks and chlorine tablets are also in short supply.  As a result, many Americans may not be able to enjoy their grills and their pools as they normally do this summer

A nationwide shortage of pool products is making chlorine tablets and propane tanks hard to come by and increasing prices right as the summer months approach.

“In this heat, if you don’t take care of your pool properly algae will start growing,” said David Sarafyan, a pool supply store employee. “Your pool will pretty much become a swamp.”

Hopefully at least some of these shortages will start to disappear in the weeks ahead.

But if we are seeing this many shortages during a “recovery”, what in the world is our economy going to look like when things start getting really bad again?

This should be a wake up call for all of us, because things are going to start getting really bad again a lot sooner than many people think.

But for now, Americans are swimming in cash thanks to the trillions and trillions of dollars that have been showered on them.

All of that money has to go somewhere, and unfortunately it is going into some of the most ridiculous things imaginable.

My regular readers already know how I feel about Dogecoin.  It is not a “currency” by any stretch of the imagination.  I have been tempted to call it a “collectible”, but normally a “collectible” is something that you can hold in your hands.

At least speculators were chasing something real during “Tulip mania” in 1636 and 1637.  Dogecoin is just a bunch of digital ones and zeros.

Dogecoin does not have any innate value whatsoever, but thanks to Elon Musk and a bunch of Reddit fanboys, the price of Dogecoin is up more than 100 percent this week alone.

For the year, it is up more than 14,000 percent

That means an investor who paid in $1,000 on January 1 would now have around $120,000.

This year alone it has soared over 14,000%, from $0.00468 on December 31, taking it past more widely used cryptocurrencies such as the Tether stablecoin and XRP to become the fourth-largest by market capitalization.

Yesterday I wrote about something that makes me want to vomit, but now I think that I have found something that may make me want to vomit even more.

If you can believe it, Dogecoin now has a market capitalization that is greater than Moderna, Ford Motor Company or Twitter

A market capitalization of $78 billion puts Dogecoin, founded in 2013, ahead of other more well established brands and companies including Sherwin-Williams which is valued at $75.8 billion; Dell Technologies, value $75 billion; Moderna, value $63.1 billion; Ford Motor Company, valued $45.2 billion; and Twitter, value $42.1 billion.

The mascot from Pets.com eventually came to symbolize the collapse of the dotcom bubble, and I think that the stupid dog on the Dogecoin logo should symbolize this current financial bubble when it finally implodes.

Tomorrow, more keyboard commandos will pour their stimulus checks into Dogecoin hoping to get rich quick.

Those that invested early and get out in time will make a killing.  But anyone that does not get out in time is going to take a major bath.

Of course the exact same thing could be said for our financial markets as a whole.  Everyone knows that a crash is inevitable, and when it happens it will be the greatest loss of paper wealth in all of U.S. history.

But for now, speculators look like geniuses, and happy days are here again on Wall Street.

Enjoy it while it lasts, because it is just a matter of time before the bubble bursts, and then the pain will begin.

***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 FacebookTwitter and Parler, 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.

What Will You Do When Inflation Forces U.S. Households To Spend 40 Percent Of Their Incomes On Food?

Did you know that the price of corn has risen 142 percent in the last 12 months?  Of course corn is used in hundreds of different products we buy at the grocery store, and so everyone is going to feel the pain of this price increase.  But it isn’t just the price of corn that is going crazy.  We are seeing food prices shoot up dramatically all across the industry, and experts are warning that this is just the very beginning.  So if you think that food prices are bad now, just wait, because they are going to get a whole lot worse.

Typically, Americans spend approximately 10 percent of their disposable personal incomes on food.  The following comes directly from the USDA website

In 2019, Americans spent an average of 9.5 percent of their disposable personal incomes on food—divided between food at home (4.9 percent) and food away from home (4.6 percent). Between 1960 and 1998, the average share of disposable personal income spent on total food by Americans, on average, fell from 17.0 to 10.1 percent, driven by a declining share of income spent on food at home.

Needless to say, the poorest Americans spend more of their incomes on food than the richest Americans.

According to the USDA, the poorest households spent an average of 36 percent of their disposable personal incomes on food in 2019…

As their incomes rise, households spend more money on food, but it represents a smaller overall budget share. In 2019, households in the lowest income quintile spent an average of $4,400 on food (representing 36.0 percent of income), while households in the highest income quintile spent an average of $13,987 on food (representing 8.0 percent of income).

Needless to say, the final numbers for 2020 will be quite a bit higher, and many believe that eventually the percentage of disposable personal income that the average U.S. household spends on food will reach 40 percent.

That would mean that many poor households would end up spending well over 50 percent of their personal disposable incomes just on food.

At one time that would have been unimaginable, but now everything is changing.  As I noted above, the price of corn his increased 142 percent since this time last year…

Corn prices have jumped roughly 142% over the past year to $7.56 per bushel, the highest price seen in eight years for the crop.

A drought in Brazil and increased demand in China have put pressure on global suppliers.

In other areas we are seeing more moderate inflation, but overall we just witnessed the largest increase in food inflation “in almost nine years”

The average prices in March of 2021 for pork chops and chicken breasts are both up more than 10% compared to March of 2020. Eggs and cheddar cheese are both up 6%.

Looking at all consumer goods as a whole, the latest inflation data in the Consumer Price Index from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the largest month-to-month increase in almost nine years.

Meanwhile, the price of lumber just continues to shoot even higher.

In New Jersey, one man says that the total cost of lumber used in building his new home will reach $70,000

Tom McCarthy can’t finish building a home in Bergen County, New Jersey because of the lumber shortage.

“There are pieces of wood that we can’t find,” said McCarthy, a real estate broker with the Chen Agency who also builds homes with his father on the side.

McCarthy estimates the cost of lumber for the home will hit $70,000, nearly double the cost of building the exact same home in a nearby town just eight months ago.

Isn’t that nuts?

Instead of building a new home, you could try buying an existing one instead, but real estate prices in many areas have gotten completely insane.

In northern California, one house recently sold for more than a million dollars over listing price

When a house in Berkeley sold for more than $1 million over its list price in late March 2021, it was covered in media outlets across the Bay Area, including this one.

While the Berkeley sale was particularly sensational — it sold for double its list price and received 29 offers — these individual stories are becoming more common in today’s real estate market, according to recent data and anecdotes from real estate professionals.

I never imagined that I would see such a thing happen.

But one real estate agent says that such wild bidding wars are becoming increasingly common

And that’s especially true in the East Bay. “People are not surprised when a home goes $1 million over,” said Josh Dickinson, the founder of real estate agency Zip Code East Bay. “When my clients see a house for $1.9 million they’re almost conditioned to think it’ll go over $3 million in Piedmont or North Berkeley.”

This is what the beginning stages of hyperinflation look like, but Federal Reserve officials insist that we have nothing to be concerned about.

In fact, Eric Rosengren just told the press that the crazy inflation we are seeing now “is likely to prove temporary”

Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren in an interview with MarketWatch on Wednesday dismissed talk of scaling back asset purchases as premature, and said temporary factors pushing up inflation this spring won’t last.

“My view is that this acceleration in the rate of price increases is likely to prove temporary,” Rosengren said Wednesday.

Do you believe him?

I don’t.

As Simon Black has pointed out, the federal government is just going to continue to borrow and spend trillions upon trillions of dollars…

This is the big one. The US federal government is hoping to spend a whopping $11 TRILLION this year, between the regular budget, COVID stimulus already passed, and all the new legislation they’re proposing.

And it’s only May.

Obviously Uncle Sam doesn’t have the money. So they have to borrow it.

Almost everybody loved it when the federal government started sending out big, fat stimulus checks.

But you aren’t going to love it when a cart of food costs you $400 at the grocery store.

Whenever the government hands out “free money”, someone has got to pay for it, and one way we are paying for it is through higher prices.

If you do not believe that this is a major national crisis yet, you will soon, because it won’t be too long before most of the country is loudly complaining about how nightmarish inflation has become.

***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 FacebookTwitter and Parler, 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.

Skyrocketing Lumber Prices Have Increased The Average Price Of A New Home By $35,872 In 1 Year

Do any of you remember when you could buy an entire house for $35,000?  There was a time in America when middle class Americans could buy a house and have it paid off in just a few years.  But now existing home prices have soared into the stratosphere, and lumber prices are making it ridiculously expensive to build new homes.  As you will see below, skyrocketing lumber prices have driven up the average price of a new home in the United States by almost $36,000 over the past 12 months.  That is absolutely nuts, but everyone agrees that even more inflation is on the way.

Of course it isn’t just lumber prices that are going haywire.  In California, the price of gasoline has almost reached five dollars a gallon in some areas, and the price for premium gasoline has almost reached six dollars

Gas prices continued to increase in or around Southern California for the ninth day in a row. And that appeared to be a similar trend nationwide where other states were seeing an increase as well.

The average price of a gallon of regular gas in the Beverly Grove area on Saturday was $4.99 and $5.99 for premium.

We are being told that one of the reasons why the price of gasoline is spiking is due to a lack of tank truck drivers

According to the National Tank Truck Carriers trade group, up to 25% of trucks are parked around the country because there are not enough qualified tank truck drivers. That number is up 15% from the beginning of last summer.

The demand for drivers took a hit when pandemic-induced lockdowns triggered steep declines in the gasoline market, and drivers opted for other jobs. However, the return to pre-pandemic numbers has been further undermined by unemployment benefits and stimulus checks keeping people away from jumping back into the workforce.

You can thank our politicians in Washington for this mess, and hopefully the driver shortage will just be temporary.

But if you think that the price of gasoline is bad now, just wait until the big war in the Middle East officially starts.

On Monday, the price of lumber continued to escalate dramatically.  According to the Wall Street Journal, lumber futures are now “more than four times the typical price this time of year”

Lumber futures delivery later this month ended Monday at $1,575.60 per thousand board feet, a record and more than four times the typical price this time of year. Futures rose by the daily maximum allowed by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange during nine of April’s 21 trading sessions.

But don’t worry, because the Federal Reserve insists that they have everything under control.

Hopefully they are on top of things, because we are rapidly getting into crisis territory.  As I mentioned above, rising lumber prices have driven the average price of a new home up by nearly $36,000 in the last 12 months…

Skyrocketing lumber prices that have tripled over the past 12 months have driven the price of an average new single-family home to rise by $35,872, according to new analysis by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), with the price spike threatening to hobble the momentum of the U.S. housing market, one of the bright stars of the recovery from the pandemic recession.

Thanks to the completely and utterly insane policies of our “leaders”, high inflation is here to stay, and it is going to be exceedingly painful.

At this point, even Warren Buffett is acknowledging that inflation is starting to become a major problem

BECKY QUICK: I will ask this question from Chris Freed from Philadelphia. And whoever wants to take this on stage, “From raw material purchases by Berkshire subsidiaries, are you seeing signs of inflation beginning to increase?”

WARREN BUFFETT: Let me answer that, then Greg can get more into that. We’re seeing very substantial inflation – it’s very interesting. I mean, we’re raising prices. People are raising prices to us. And it’s being accepted. Take home-building. I mean, you know, the cost of– we’ve got nine home builders in addition to our manufactured housing operation, which is the largest in the country.

So we really do a lot of housing. The costs are just up, up, up. Steel costs, you know, just every day, they’re going up.

Flooding the system with trillions of new dollars was a really, really bad idea, but those that control the levers of power did it anyway.

Now we have way too many dollars chasing too few goods and services, and that is driving up prices and causing widespread shortages.  The following comes from an article about those shortages that was just posted by the Wall Street Journal

Consumers are splurging on cars and furniture—and facing extended waits for delivery. Restaurants and gyms are reopening—and struggling to find workers. Factories and home builders are trying to ramp up—but are short on semiconductors or raw materials.

Our “leaders” are promising that the shortages are just temporary.

And they are also promising that the price spikes are just temporary too.

If everything that they are saying is true, everything will go back to “normal” eventually.

Do you believe them?

In Venezuela today, just about everyone is a millionaire.

But just about everyone is also living in poverty because the currency is essentially worthless.

For years, pundits have been warning about “the death of the dollar”, but now our “leaders” seem determined to murder our currency as rapidly as they can.

I wish that I could say that there is a quick and easy fix to this mess, but the truth is that there is no going back now.

The Federal Reserve has got to keep pumping more money into the financial system or the stock market will crash.

And the federal government is going to continue borrowing and spending trillions of dollars that we do not currently have in a desperate attempt to keep the population happy.

This story is heading for a very tragic ending, and if you can’t see that by now I don’t know what else to say.

***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 FacebookTwitter and Parler, 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.

Get Ready For The Most Painful Inflation Since The Jimmy Carter Years Of The 1970s

If you are too young to have been alive during the 1970s, you might want to read up on that decade, because current economic conditions are starting to become eerily similar to what we experienced back then.  In the 1970s, an energy crisis caused tremendously long lines at gas stations all over the country.  In 2021, we don’t have a shortage of gasoline, but shortages of other key products are starting to cause very serious problems.  In fact, as you will see below, even the Biden administration is publicly admitting that there will be “supply chain disruptions” in the months ahead.  The 1970s also featured extremely painful inflation, and I certainly don’t need to tell you that prices have been rising very aggressively lately.  In fact, Bloomberg is using the term “skyrocketing” to describe the “upward trajectory” of commodity prices…

The prices of raw materials used to make almost everything are skyrocketing, and the upward trajectory looks set to continue as the world economy roars back to life.

From steel and copper to corn and lumber, commodities started 2021 with a bang, surging to levels not seen for years. The rally threatens to raise the cost of goods from the lunchtime sandwich to gleaming skyscrapers. It’s also lit the fuse on the massive reflation trade that’s gripped markets this year and pushed up inflation expectations. With the U.S. economy pumped up on fiscal stimulus, and Europe’s economy starting to reopen as its vaccination rollout gets into gear, there’s little reason to expect a change in direction.

Over the past year, the Federal Reserve has pumped more money into the financial system than ever before, and the U.S. government has been on a wild spending spree that makes Zimbabwe look fiscally conservative.

It was inevitable that this was going to cause rampant inflation, but the numbers that we are starting to see are so crazy they are difficult to believe.  A couple weeks ago, Charlie Bilello posted a summary of how commodity prices have changed over the past year…

Lumber: +265%
WTI Crude: +210%
Gasoline: +182%
Brent Crude +163%
Heating Oil: +107%
Corn: +84%
Copper: +83%
Soybeans: +72%
Silver: +65%
Sugar: +59%
Cotton: +54%
Platinum: +52%
Natural Gas: +43%
Palladium: +32%
Wheat: +19%
Coffee: +13%

At this point, nobody can deny what is happening, and even the Biden administration is admitting that there will be “supply chain disruptions” and “transitory increases in prices”…

Council of Economic Advisers chair Cecilia Rouse said on this week’s broadcast of “Fox News Sunday” that they expect to see some “transitory inflation” as America is coming out of the coronavirus pandemic.

Anchor Chris Wallace said, “Can you guarantee with all this spending that we are not going to have a new round of overheating the economy and serious inflation?

Rouse said, “These are very serious concerns, and we know that coming out of an extremely deep recession that there are going to be bumps along the way. We expect that there is going to be supply chain disruptions. That will cause some transitory increases in prices.”

Biden administration officials would like for us to believe that this inflationary period will just be “temporary”, but exactly how do they plan to achieve that?

Do they have a plan to somehow pull trillions of dollars out of the system?

No, they are planning to borrow and spend trillions more.

In the 1970s, double-digit inflation made headlines for years on end.  Many people believe that we are well on the way to a return to such levels, but according to John Williams of shadowstats.com, we are already there.  In fact, if inflation was still calculated the way that it was back in 1980, we would already be in double-digit territory.

And for certain items, we are already seeing inflation that is off the charts.

For example, the price of corn is up more than 30 percent so far in 2021…

From tortillas to cornbread, some of your favorite corn-based dishes may go up in price late this summer.

Corn has been leading the rally among grain commodities, rising more than 30% in 2021, according to MarketWatch.

Corn is used in hundreds of different products at the grocery store, and so this is going to dramatically affect the food budgets of millions upon millions of American families.

Meanwhile, we continue to see more shortages start to emerge.  Last week, the mainstream media was freaking out over our new nationwide chicken shortage

A chicken shortage is taking place across the country, much of it fueled by the chicken sandwich craze at fast food chains such as KFC and Bojangles, which are having a hard time keeping up with soaring demand. Experts say February’s massive winter storm in Texas also contributed to gaps in the supply chain.

That shortage is supposed to be “temporary”, but analysts are warning that the current computer chip shortage could last until 2022.

But despite all of the problems that I just detailed, Americans are increasingly optimistic about the future.

In fact, one recent poll found that a whopping 64 percent of all Americans “are optimistic about the direction of the country”

Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) are optimistic about the direction of the country in the poll, which was conducted by Ipsos in partnership with ABC News using Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel.

And Americans are also extremely optimistic about the stock market.  If you can believe it, Americans now have more of their assets invested in the stock market than ever before

Individual investors are holding more stocks than ever before as major indexes climb to fresh highs. They are also upping the ante by borrowing to magnify their bets or increasingly buying on small dips in the market.

Stockholdings among U.S. households increased to 41% of their total financial assets in April, the highest level on record. That is according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Federal Reserve data going back to 1952 that includes 401(k) retirement accounts.

Most Americans seem to believe that happy days are here again, and the stage is set for an immense nationwide emotional meltdown once this “bubble of hope” inevitably bursts.

Anyone that believes that things are going to get better has a fundamental misunderstanding of the times in which we live.

We have just been through the most painful year for the U.S. economy since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and I know that most people would like to see things turn around, but that simply is not going to happen.

Very dark days are ahead, and those that are trusting Joe Biden to save America are going to be bitterly, bitterly disappointed.

***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 FacebookTwitter and Parler, 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.

“The Outlook For The Global Economy Has Deteriorated”: Oil, Copper And Lumber Are All Telling Us The Next Economic Downturn Is Here

Oil, copper and lumber are all telling us the exact same thing, and it isn’t good news for the global economy.  When economic activity is booming, demand for commodities such as oil, copper and lumber goes up and that generally causes prices to rise.  But when economic activity is slowing down, demand for such commodities falls and that generally causes prices to decline.  In recent weeks, we have witnessed a decline in commodity prices unlike anything that we have witnessed in years, and many are concerned that this is a very clear indication that hard times are ahead for the global economy.

Let’s talk about oil first.  The price of oil peaked in early October, but since that time it has fallen more than 25 percent, and the IEA is warning of “relatively weak” demand out of Asia and Europe

The International Energy Agency said on Wednesday that while US demand for oil has been “very robust,” demand in Europe and developed Asian countries “continues to be relatively weak.” The IEA also warned of a “slowdown” in demand in developing nations such as India, Brazil and Argentina caused by high oil prices, weak currencies and deteriorating economic activity.

“The outlook for the global economy has deteriorated,” the IEA wrote.

Meanwhile, the price of copper has been declining for quite some time now.  The price of copper also fell substantially just before the last recession, and many analysts are pointing out that “Dr. Copper” is now waving a red flag once again

The message of weakening demand on the oil front was reinforced by the falling price of copper. The base metal is often referred to as “Dr. Copper” on its presumed ability to forecast the peaks and troughs of business cycles since it is used in different areas of the economy such as homes, factories and electricity generation. Copper has served as a leading indicator of both recessions and economic booms.

The price of lumber is a “third witness” that indicates that big trouble is looming.

Last month, lumber dropped more than 10 percent, and that was the biggest monthly drop that we have seen in more than 7 years

In October, prices for softwood lumber in the U.S. dropped 10.3% – the largest decline since May 2011, according to the Producer Price Index (PPI) release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The producer price index for softwood lumber has fallen 21.2% since setting the cycle and all-time high in June.

If oil, copper and lumber are all telling us the same thing simultaneously, don’t you think that we should be listening?

At this point, even Bloomberg is admitting that the global economy is heading toward “a generalized slowdown”…

These developments suggest the synchronized growth that the global economy has enjoyed in recent years is likely to be replaced by a generalized slowdown. Just take a look at the data out of Japan and Germany this week, which showed the world’s third- and fourth-largest economies contracted in the third quarter.

How many signs is it going to take before people start understanding what is happening?

Wells Fargo just notified about 1,000 employees that they will be laid off.  Job losses are starting to mount, and it is likely that we will start to see these sorts of news stories on an almost daily basis now.

And as the shaking on Wall Street accelerates, we are going to see more financial firms get into trouble.  In fact, we just witnessed the total collapse of OptionSellers.com.  The following comes from a notice that they sent to investors informing them that they lost all their money and that the firm is being liquidated…

I am writing to give you an update on the situation here with your account.

We have spent the week unwinding our short natural gas call position as expediently as possible.

Today which was to be the final day of liquidation, the market flared as prices appear to have been caught in a “short squeeze.”

The speed at which it took place is truly beyond anything I have seen in my career. It overran our risk control systems and left us at the mercy of the market.

In short, it was a rogue wave and it overwhelmed us.

Unfortunately, this has resulted in a catastrophic loss.

Our clearing firm, FC Stone now requires us to liquidate all positions. We hoped to have this done today. If not, it will be completed tomorrow.

Your account could potentially be facing a debit balance as of tomorrow. OptionSellers.com will be processing fee credits over the course of the coming days to help alleviate debit balances. What these will be will be determined after all positions are cleared.

This has in effect, crippled the firm. At this point, our brokers at FC Stone have been assisting us in liquidation.

Our offices will remain open and we will all still be here to answer your questions and process account closings. We will do everything in our power to ease what discomfort we can.

I am truly sorry this has happened.

I will be updating you again via memo in 24 hours.

Regards,

OptionSellers.com

Those investors are among the first to be completely wiped out, but they certainly won’t be the last.

The ironic thing is that Americans are less concerned about another crisis than they have been at any point since 2008 at a time when they should be more focused on getting prepared than ever.

You know that it is really late in the game when even Jim Cramer of CNBC is saying that the U.S. economy is really slowing down.  A few of my readers wrote me after that article because they didn’t like the fact that I had quoted Jim Cramer.  But I don’t think that they really got my point.  I was not endorsing Jim Cramer as some sort of financial guru.  Rather, I was pointing out that even mainstream media celebrities that were previously cheerleaders for the economy are now recognizing the reality of what we are facing.

Global economic activity is slowing down, and things are shifting very rapidly now.  The weather is already getting very cold, the mood of the nation is very dark, and it would only take a very small push to send us completely tumbling over the edge.

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