Barack Obama recently stated that anyone that is claiming that America’s economy is in decline is “peddling fiction“. Well, if the economy is in such great shape, why are major retailers shutting down hundreds of stores all over the country? Last month, I wrote about the “retail apocalypse” that is sweeping the nation, but since then it has gotten even worse. Closing stores has become the “hot new trend” in the retail world, and “space available” signs are going up in mall windows all over the United States. Barack Obama can continue huffing and puffing about how well the middle class is doing all he wants, but the truth is that the cold, hard numbers that retailers are reporting tell an entirely different story. (Read More....)
Uh oh – here we go again. Do you remember the subprime mortgage meltdown during the last financial crisis? Well, now a similar thing is happening with auto loans. The auto industry has been doing better than many other areas of the economy in recent years, but this “mini-boom” was fueled in large part by customers with subprime credit. According to Equifax, an astounding 23.5 percent of all new auto loans were made to subprime borrowers in 2015. At this point, there is a total of somewhere around $200 billion in subprime auto loans floating around out there, and many of these loans have been “repackaged” and sold to investors. I know – all of this sounds a little too close for comfort to what happened with subprime mortgages the last time around. We never seem to learn from our mistakes, and a lot of investors are going to end up paying the price. (Read More....)
Did you know that there are some U.S. states that have already officially fallen into recession? Economic activity all over the planet is in the process of slowing down, and there are some areas of the country that are really starting to feel the pain. In particular, any state that is heavily dependent on the energy industry is hurting right now. During the years immediately following the last recession, the energy industry was the primary engine for the growth of good paying jobs in America, but now that process is completely reversing. All over the U.S. energy companies are going under, and thousands upon thousands of good jobs are being lost. (Read More....)
Saudi Arabia already has nukes, Iran probably does, and the Russians are one of the two great nuclear powers on the entire planet. So if Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their Sunni allies do decide to conduct a full-blown ground invasion of Syria, could someone ultimately decide to use nuclear weapons when their backs get pushed up against a wall? As you read this article, there are thousands of military vehicles and hundreds of thousands of troops massed along the southern border of Turkey and the northern border of Saudi Arabia. If the command is given and those forces start streaming toward Damascus, it is inevitable that the Syrians, the Iranians, Hezbollah and the Russians would fight back. It would literally be the start of World War 3, and the Saudis and the Turks are trying very hard to convince the United States to be involved. But the truth is that we don’t want any part of this conflict, because it could very easily become the very first nuclear war in the history of the Middle East. (Read More....)
It has been said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Well, I would like to share a little bit of my journey with you, and hopefully this will inspire someone out there. We live in a day and age when you don’t have to be a celebrity to make a difference. I know this is true because ten years ago I was about as anonymous as you could possibly get. I was newly married and working as a lawyer in the heart of Washington D.C. not too far from the White House. That may sound glamorous to you, but it definitely was not. Approximately one out of every 12 residents of D.C. is a lawyer according to some estimates, and so they are a dime a dozen. And my work was about as meaningless as you could get. If there was a lawyer version of a toilet scrubber, that would have been me. Nobody knew who I was, and nobody cared who I was. I was having no real measurable impact on the world around me, but I wanted to. I just didn’t know how. (Read More....)
After a series of stunning declines through the month of January and the first half of February, global financial markets seem to have found a patch of relative stability at least for the moment. But that does not mean that the crisis is over. On the contrary, all of the hard economic numbers that are coming in from around the world tell us that the global economy is coming apart at the seams. This is especially true when you look at global trade numbers. The amount of stuff that is being bought, sold and shipped around the planet is falling precipitously. So don’t be fooled if stocks go up one day or down the next. The truth is that we are in the early chapters of a brand new economic meltdown, and I believe that all of the signs indicate that it will continue to get worse in the months ahead. The following are 21 new numbers that show that the global economy is absolutely imploding… (Read More....)
As you read this article, Turkish forces are massing along the border with Syria, and the largest “military exercises” in the history of the Middle East are being held in northern Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are publicly warning that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “will be removed by force” if a political solution cannot be found, and Turkey is claiming that it may have to establish a “safe zone” in northern Syria “for humanitarian purposes”. Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their Sunni allies have poured massive amounts of money and arms into the conflict in Syria, and now that their Sunni insurgents are on the verge of total defeat, they are trying to come up with a way to justify going in there and doing the job themselves. (Read More....)
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It is a fact that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died on February 13th. It is also a fact that 13 bald eagles were found dead near Federalsburg, Maryland this past weekend. Could it be possible that those two events are related? The bald eagle is both the national bird and the national animal of the United States, and it appears on our Great Seal. And of course there were 13 states when the U.S. Constitution was originally ratified, and Maryland was one of those states. So some are suggesting that these 13 dead bald eagles are a sign that the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia represented the beginning of the end for the U.S. Constitution. Others are suggesting that they may be a sign of the death of America as a whole. When I first heard about this mass death of bald eagles I didn’t think too much of it, but the more I looked into it, the more amazing the supposed “coincidences” became. (Read More...)
Did you know that a huge asteroid is scheduled to make a “close shave” with our planet on March 7th? This asteroid is known as “2013 TX68″, and it is estimated to be anywhere from 80 to 170 feet in length. Most news reports are saying that it is 100 feet long. Scientists are telling us that they are not certain exactly how close this giant space rock will come, and that is rather unsettling. They say that it could come within roughly 1/20th the distance from the Earth to the moon, or that it could pass by millions of miles away. Because the orbit of this huge asteroid is unpredictable, they tell us that they don’t really know what will happen, but they insist that it will not hit us. If it does pass us at 1/20th the distance from the Earth to the moon, that would be about half as far up as many of our communications satellites. That would be incredibly close, and many are wondering what may happen if our scientists are just slightly off in their calculations. (Read More...)
Is your cell phone keeping you from having kids and slowly killing you at the same time? Most people have no idea that one of the greatest threats to their health may be something that they are willingly carrying around with them all day long. A brand new study has just come out that shows that men that carry around cell phones in their pockets continually are much less fertile than other men. Of course we have known that cell phone use has some very nasty consequences for our health for a very long time. As you will see below, studies have shown that there is a very clear link between cell phone use and cancer. But even after learning all of these things, most people just continue to use their cell phones normally. Most people believe what they want to believe, and most people don’t want to believe that cell phone use is harmful. (Read More...)
Throughout history, governments have staged attacks on their own people in order to place the blame on their enemies. These kinds of attacks are known as “false flags”, and they are often used to justify military action. As I will explain below, it appears that we may have just seen a “false flag” attack in Turkey. The Turks needed justification for bombarding the Kurds in northern Syria, and right on cue there was a “terror attack” in Ankara. During the weeks to come, will we see more “false flag” attacks that will be used to justify a full-blown ground invasion of Syria? (Read More...)
Reuters is reporting that Turkey is asking the United States and other western allies to participate in a massive ground invasion of Syria. But of course the Turks are not exactly sitting around and waiting for their western allies to get on board. Turkey shelled northern Syria for a fourth consecutive day on Tuesday, even though the Obama administration has been asking them to stop. The targets were Kurdish and Syrian military positions, and the goal appears to be to slow down their advance toward the Turkish border. The Sunni militants that Turkey has been supporting for five years are now being completely routed, and Turkey is in a great deal of panic about this. (Read More...)
If the global economy is in fine shape, then why does all of the hard data tell us that global trade is absolutely collapsing? The Baltic Dry Index has fallen below 300 for the first time ever, and export numbers are way down for almost every major exporting nation on the entire planet. As you will see below, this includes China. The Chinese account for more global trade than anyone else, and so the fact that their imports and their exports are both collapsing precipitously is a huge red flag. When less stuff is being bought and sold and shipped around the world, that tells us that the “real economy” is contracting. Tremendous efforts are being made to try to prop up financial markets all over the globe right now, but in the end those efforts are going to prove to be rather futile. The global economy is clearly plunging into recession, and at this point it is becoming exceedingly difficult for even the most optimistic economic analysts to deny this reality. (Read More...)
Did you know that there are more than 1.8 trillion dollars worth of junk bonds outstanding in the United States alone? With interest rates at record lows all over the world in recent years, investors that were starving for a decent return poured hundreds of billions of dollars into high yield debt (also known as junk bonds). This created a giant bubble, but at first everything seemed to be going fine. Defaults were very low and most investors were seeing a nice return. But then the price of oil started crashing and the global economy began to slow down significantly. Energy company debt makes up somewhere between 15 and 20 percent of the junk bond market, and the credit rating downgrades for that sector are coming fast and furious. But it isn’t just the energy industry that is seeing a massive wave of defaults, debt restructurings and bankruptcy filings. Just like with subprime mortgages in 2008, investors are starting to wake up and realize that the paper that they are holding is not worth a whole lot. So now investors are rushing for the exits and we are starting to see panic on a level that we have not witnessed since the last financial crisis. (Read More...)
Did you know that more Americans now die from suicide than are killed in car crashes each year? According to the CDC, there has been a substantial spike in suicide deaths in the United States in recent years. Today, approximately 9.3 million Americans admit to having suicidal thoughts, and approximately 2.7 million Americans each year actually make a plan for how they would commit suicide. We are a deeply, deeply unhappy nation, but of course this phenomenon is not just limited to America. According to the World Health Organization, suicide is now the third highest cause of death in the entire world. Globally, suicide rates have soared by 60 percent over the past 45 years, and the WHO is now projecting that by the year 2020 someone will be committing suicide somewhere in the world every 20 seconds. (Read More...)
Are Saudi Arabia and Turkey about to send ground troops into Syria? If so, how will Russia, Iran and the Syrian government respond? In 2016, Syria has become ground zero for a conflict that has been raging for centuries. For more than a thousand years, the Sunnis and the Shiites have been wrestling with one another for control of the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other Sunni nations had hoped to turn Syria into a Sunni nation, and for years they have been funding and arming ISIS and other Sunni insurgent groups in an attempt to overthrow the Assad regime. Initially the Assad regime was losing quite a bit of ground, but the tide turned once the Syrians invited the Russians and the Iranians to help them. Of course the Iranians have their own long-term goals. Once Assad leaves power, the Iranians hope to turn Syria into a truly Shiite nation that is run and dominated by Hezbollah. At this moment, the Sunnis and losing and the Shiites are winning. Relentless Russian airstrikes have enabled Syrian, Iranian and Hezbollah ground forces to advance, and now they have surrounded Aleppo. Before the war Aleppo was the largest city in Syria, and if it falls, the war will be very close to over. (Read More...)
As bad as the month of January was for the global economy, the truth is that the rest of 2016 promises to be much worse. Layoffs are increasing at a pace that we haven’t seen since the last recession, major retailers are shutting down hundreds of locations, corporate profit margins are plunging, global trade is slowing down dramatically, and several major European banks are in the process of completely imploding. I am about to share some numbers with you that are truly eye-popping. Each one by itself would be reason for concern, but when you put all of the pieces together it creates a picture that is hard to deny. The global economy is in crisis, and this is going to have very serious implications for the financial markets moving forward. U.S. stocks just had their worst January in seven years, and if I am right much worse is still yet to come this year. The following are 22 signs that the global economic turmoil that we have seen so far in 2016 is just the beginning… (Read More....)
1. The number of job cuts in the United States skyrocketed 218 percent during the month of January according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
2. The Baltic Dry Index just hit yet another brand new all-time record low. As I write this article, it is sitting at 303.
3. U.S. factory orders have now dropped for 14 months in a row.
4. In the U.S., the Restaurant Performance Index just fell to the lowest level that we have seen since 2008.
5. In January, orders for class 8 trucks (the big trucks that you see shipping stuff around the country on our highways) declined a whopping 48 percent from a year ago.
6. Rail traffic is also slowing down substantially. In Colorado, there are hundreds of train engines that are just sitting on the tracks with nothing to do.
7. Corporate profit margins peaked during the third quarter of 2014 and have been declining steadily since then. This usually happens when we are heading into a recession.
8. A series of extremely disappointing corporate quarterly reports is sending stock after stock plummeting. Here is a summary from Zero Hedge of a few examples that we have just witnessed…
10. On Thursday, a major British news source publicly named five large European banks that are considered to be in very serious danger…
Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Santander, Barclays and RBS are among the stocks that are falling sharply sending shockwaves through the financial world, according to former hedge fund manager and ex Goldman Sachs employee Raoul Pal.
11. Deutsche Bank is the biggest bank in Germany and it has more exposure to derivatives than any other bank in the world. Unfortunately, Deutsche Bank credit default swaps are now telling us that there is deep turmoil at the bank and that a complete implosion may be imminent.
12. Last week, we learned that Deutsche Bank had lost a staggering 6.8 billion euros in 2015. If you will recall, I warned about massive problems at Deutsche Bank all the way back in September. The most important bank in Germany is exceedingly troubled, and it could end up being for the EU what Lehman Brothers was for the United States.
13. Credit Suisse just announced that it will be eliminating 4,000 jobs.
14. Royal Dutch Shell has announced that it is going to be eliminating 10,000 jobs.
15. Caterpillar has announced that it will be closing 5 plants and getting rid of 670 workers.
16. Yahoo has announced that it is going to be getting rid of 15 percent of its total workforce.
17. Johnson & Johnson has announced that it is slashing its workforce by 3,000 jobs.
18. Sprint just laid off 8 percent of its workforce and GoPro is letting go 7 percent of its workers.
19. All over America, retail stores are shutting down at a staggering pace. The following list comes from one of my previous articles…
-K-Mart is closing down more than two dozen stores over the next several months.
-The Gap is in the process of closing 175 stores in North America.
-Aeropostale is in the process of closing 84 stores all across America.
-Finish Line has announced that 150 stores will be shutting down over the next few years.
-Sears has shut down about 600 stores over the past year or so, but sales at the stores that remain open continue to fall precipitously.
20. According to the New York Times, the Chinese economy is facing a mountain of bad loans that “could exceed $5 trillion“.
21. Japan has implemented a negative interest rate program in a desperate attempt to try to get banks to make more loans.
22. The global economy desperately needs the price of oil to go back up, but Morgan Stanley says that we will not see $80 oil again until 2018.
It is not difficult to see where the numbers are trending.
Last week, I told my wife that I thought that Marco Rubio was going to do better than expected in Iowa.
How did I come to that conclusion?
It was simply based on how his poll numbers were trending.
And when you look at where global economic numbers are trending, they tell us that 2016 is going to be a year that is going to get progressively worse as it goes along.
So many of the exact same things that we saw happen in 2008 are happening again right now, and you would have to be blind not to see it.
Hopefully I am wrong about what is coming in our immediate future, because millions upon millions of Americans are not prepared for what is ahead, and most of them are going to get absolutely blindsided by the coming crisis.
Have you ever come away discouraged after trying to talk about prepping with friends or family members that just don’t seem to be interested? Over the years, I have heard countless excuses from people for why they aren’t getting prepared for what is about to happen to America. Some of the excuses, like a lack of money, are definitely legitimate. But in many other instances, the objections don’t seem to make a lot of sense. In America today, most people let others do most of their thinking for them. And in general, our political, religious and cultural leaders are telling Americans that there really is no reason to be overly concerned about the future. They assure us that they have everything under control, and that life is only going to get better in the years ahead. Bad beliefs lead to bad decisions which in turn lead to bad actions, and most Americans have chosen to believe what the elite are telling them at this point. As a result, only a small fraction of society is getting physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually prepared for the exceedingly hard times that are rapidly approaching. The following are 53 common excuses that people like to use for not prepping… (Read More....)
Are you living “the American Dream”? If so, you should consider yourself to be very fortunate, because most Americans are not. In fact, as you will see below, a new survey has found that there is nowhere on the entire planet where the average wage earner is making enough money to live “the American Dream”. Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world, but now the middle class makes up a minority of the population, 51 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year, and poverty is growing rapidly. The American Dream is essentially dead, and even the mainstream media is starting to figure this out. (Read More...)
Just within the past few days, three major high yield funds have completely imploded, and panic is spreading rapidly on Wall Street. Funds run by Third Avenue Management and Stone Lion Capital Partners have suspended payments to investors, and a fund run by Lucidus Capital Partners has liquidated its entire portfolio. We are witnessing a race for the exits unlike anything that we have seen since the great financial crash of 2008, and many of those that choose to hesitate are going to end up getting totally wiped out. In case you are wondering, this is what a financial crisis looks like. In 2008, other global stock markets started to tumble, then junk bonds began to crash, and finally U.S. stocks followed. The exact same pattern is playing out again, and the carnage that we have seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg. (Read More....)