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 bo... (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 export... (more)
Workers at the Carrier manufacturing plant in Indianapolis were caught on video booing and jeering after being told that the plant would be relocated to Monterrey, Mexico. A YouTube video showed Chris Nelson, the company's president, delivering the news on Wednesday. The plant employs roughly 1,400 people.
A new survey from YouGov finds that millennials have more favorable views of socialism than of capitalism. As Santayana said, those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Less than two decades after socialism seemed to have been confined to the dust-heap of history, another generation may have to learn hard lessons.
On January 12, America’s central planner-in-chief gave his State of the Union address. The president promised nothing less than to feed the hungry, create jobs, shape the earth’s climate, and make everyone a college graduate. There’s nothing new here, though. We’ve heard variations of this silly song and dance every year under both Democrats and Republicans. The president lambasted naysayers as fear-mongers that were too partisan to admit we have a booming economy. The fact that the Dow Jones cr... (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 b... (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<... (more)
Obeying laws may soon really pay off in Washington, DC as lawmakers reportedly mull stipends for former criminals, just like in Richmond, California. However, only those who refrain from committing a new crime would be getting a reward.
On Tuesday, the DC Council unanimously voted in support of a bill that, among other measures, proposes to pay residents in order to discourage them from committing offenses, the Associated Press reported. The measure is aimed at reducing the crime ... (more)
Forget about paltry social benefits like food stamps, housing subsidies, or Obamacare: in Switzerland, every adult citizen could soon be enjoying a guaranteed monthly allowance of 2,500 Swiss francs (more than $2,400) – provided they vote to approve it in June.
One might wonder how any reasonable person could miss an opportunity to vote themselves a free monthly paycheck for no work – but the Swiss actually appear to be quite skeptical about the idea.
Making their annual pilgrimage to the exclusive Swiss ski sanctuary of Davos last week, the world's political and financial elite once again gathered without having had the slightest idea of what was going on in the outside world. It appears that few of the attendees, if any, had any advance warning that 2016 would dawn with a global financial meltdown. The Dow Jones Industrials posted the worst 10-day start to a calendar year ever, and as of the market close of January 25, the Index is down al... (more)
China's official newspaper warned billionaire investor George Soros not to bet against the Yuan in a front-page opinion piece, as China tries to boost confidence in its home currency, also known as the renminbi, which has dropped 5 percent since August.
“Soros’s war on the renminbi and the Hong Kong dollar cannot possibly succeed – about this there can be no doubt,” said the article titled “Declaring war on China’s currency? Ha ha,” published by People’s Daily, the officia... (more)
The Italian financial meltdown that we have been waiting for has finally arrived. For quite a long time I have been warning my readers to watch Italy, and now people are starting to understand why. Italian banking stocks continued their collapse for a fifth consecutive day on Wednesday, and nervous Italians are beginning to quietly pull large amounts of money out of the banks. In particular, Monte dei Paschi is a complete and utter basket case at this point. A staggering one-third of their loans... (more)
It's official – global stocks have entered a bear market. On Wednesday, we learned that the MSCI All-Country World Index has fallen a total of more than 20 percent from the peak of the market. So that means that roughly one-fifth of all the stock market wealth in the entire world has already been wiped out. How much more is it going to take before everyone will finally admit that we have a major financial crisis on our hands? 30 percent? 40 percent? This new round of chaos began last night... (more)
Something has just happened that has signaled a recession every single time that it has occurred since World War I. 16 times since 1919 there have been at least 8 month-over-month declines in industrial production during the preceding 12 month period, and in each of those 16 instances the U.S. economy has plunged into recession. Now that it has happened again, will the U.S. economy beat the odds and avoid a major economic downturn? I certainly wouldn't count on it. As I have written about re... (more)
Last time around it was subprime mortgages, but this time it is oil that is playing a starring role in a global financial crisis. Since the start of 2015, 42 North American oil companies have filed for bankruptcy, 130,000 good paying energy jobs have been lost in the United States, and at this point 50 percent of all energy junk bonds are "distressed" according to Stand... (more)
For those of you old enough to remember a time when gas was cheap, you probably experience plenty of nostalgia every time you watch an old movie, and catch a glimpse of a gas station with sub-dollar prices. Believe it or not, you can experience those prices once again if you happen to be passing through Michigan. For the first time in years, there are several gas stations in the area where you can buy a gallon of gas for less than a dollar.
It looks like it is going to be another chaotic week for global financial markets. On Sunday, news that Iran plans to dramatically ramp up oil production sent stocks plunging all across the Middle East. Stocks in Kuwait were down 3.1 percent, stocks in Saudi Arabia plummeted 5.4 percent, and stocks in Qatar experienced a mammoth 7 percent decline. And of course all of this comes in the context of a much larger long-term decline for Middle Eastern stocks. At this point, Saudi Arabian stocks a... (more)