Chinese Exports Plunge 11.2 Percent As Economic Activity Continues To Collapse All Over The Planet

Cargo Ship - Public DomainIf 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...)

Retail Apocalypse: 2016 Brings Empty Shelves And Store Closings All Across America

Closed - Public DomainMajor retailers in the United States are shutting down hundreds of stores, and shoppers are reporting alarmingly bare shelves in many retail locations that are still open all over the country.  It appears that the retail apocalypse that made so many headlines in 2015 has gone to an entirely new level as we enter 2016.  As economic activity slows down and Internet retailers capture more of the market, brick and mortar retailers are cutting their losses.  This is especially true in areas that are on the lower portion of the income scale.  In impoverished urban centers all over the nation, it is not uncommon to find entire malls that have now been completely abandoned.  It has been estimated that there is about a billion square feet of retail space sitting empty in this country, and this crisis is only going to get worse as the retail apocalypse accelerates. (Read More...)

10 Shocking Quotes About What QE3 Is Going To Do To America

Ready or not, QE3 is here, and the long-term effects of this reckless money printing by the Federal Reserve are going to be absolutely nightmarish.  The Federal Reserve is hoping that buying $40 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities per month will spur more lending and more economic activity.  But that didn’t happen with either QE1 or QE2.  Both times the banks just sat on most of the extra money.  As I pointed out the other day, U.S. banks are already sitting on $1.6 trillion in excess reserves.  So will pumping them up with more cash suddenly make them decide to start lending?  Of course not.  In addition, QE3 is not likely to produce many additional jobs.  As I showed in a previous article, the employment level did not jump up as a result of either QE1 or QE2.  So why will this time be different?  But what did happen under both QE1 and QE2 is that a lot of the money ended up pumping up the financial markets.  So once again we should see stock prices go up (at least in the short-term) and commodities such as gold, silver, food and oil should also rise.  But that also means that average American families will be paying more for the basic necessities that they buy on a regular basis.  The most dangerous aspect of QE3, however, is what it is going to do to the U.S. dollar.  Most of the rest of the world uses the U.S. dollar to conduct international trade, and by choosing to recklessly print money Ben Bernanke is severely damaging international confidence in our currency.  If at some point the rest of the world rejects the dollar and no longer wants to use it as a reserve currency we are going to be facing a crisis unlike anything we have ever seen before.  The real debate about QE3 should not be about whether or not it will help the economy a little bit in the short-term.  Rather, everyone should be talking about the long-term implications and about how QE3 is going to accelerate the destruction of the dollar. (Read More...)

20 Signs That Europe Is Plunging Into A Full-Blown Economic Depression

An economic nightmare is descending on Europe.  With each passing month, the economic numbers across Europe get even worse.  At this point it is becoming extremely difficult for anyone to deny that Europe is plunging into a full-blown economic depression.  In fact, some parts of Europe are already there.  In Spain the overall unemployment rate is over 22 percent, and in Greece one out of every five retail establishments has already been closed down.  All over Europe, economic activity is rapidly slowing down, unemployment is skyrocketing and bad debts are unraveling.  It isn’t even going to take a default by a nation such as Greece or a collapse of the euro to push Europe into an economic depression.  All Europe has to do is to stay on the exact path that it is on right now and it will get there.  Normally, European governments would respond to an economic slowdown by increasing government spending.  But this time most of them are already drowning in debt.  Instead of increasing government spending, most governments in Europe are actually cutting back.  All over Europe, national governments are being encouraged to implement even more tax increases and even more budget cuts.  The hope is that all of this austerity will help solve the nightmarish sovereign debt crisis that Europe is facing.  But unfortunately, all of these tax increases and budget cuts are also going to involve a tremendous amount of economic pain. (Read More...)

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