There Is An Increasing Amount Of Buzz That China Could Invoke The Rare Earth “Nuclear Option” In The Trade War

If China wants to cause a massive amount of pain for the U.S. economy in this trade war, they certainly have the firepower to do so.  Today, China accounts for more than 80 percent of the world’s rare earth element production, and approximately 80 percent of the rare earth elements that are used by U.S. companies are imported from China.  The U.S. does have one facility that mines rare earth elements in California, but everything that is mined there has to be shipped to China for processing.  So at this point we do not have the ability to supply our own rare earth element needs, and that gives the Chinese a tremendous amount of leverage. (Read More...)

Trade Talks Are Dead, And So U.S. Consumers Should Brace For A Long, Bitter, Painful Trade War With China

There is not going to be a trade deal between the United States and China any time soon, and that is going to mean a tremendous amount of pain for the U.S. economy.  For months, hope that the U.S. and China would soon reach a trade deal helped to elevate global financial markets, but now that hope has disappeared.  In order for a trade deal to happen, the two sides have to talk, and at this point no negotiations are scheduled.  And unless one side or the other decides that they are willing to move dramatically from their current positions, there really isn’t any reason to talk.  In fact, the Chinese government is openly saying that it is in “no rush” to negotiate with the United States… (Read More...)

If The Chinese Were Upset Before, Now They Are Going To Be Absolutely Furious After Trump’s Latest Move

President Trump is doubling down on his tough approach with China, and apparently he has decided that now is the time to cripple their most important tech company.  Huawei Technologies sells more telecommunications equipment than anyone else in the entire world, and it was anticipated that they would be one of the global leaders in the rollout of 5G networks all over the planet.  The company ranks 72nd on the Fortune Global 500 list, and at this point they sell more phones than Apple does.  Essentially, Huawei is China’s version of Apple, and the company is greatly loved by the communist government in China.  So if President Trump really wanted to piss off China, taking a sledgehammer to Huawei would be a great way to do it, and that is precisely what he just did. (Read More...)

The True Size Of The U.S. National Debt, Including Unfunded Liabilities, Is 222 Trillion Dollars

The United States is on a path to financial ruin, and everyone can see what is happening, but nobody can seem to come up with a way to stop it.  According to the U.S. Treasury, the federal government is currently 22 trillion dollars in debt, and that represents the single largest debt in the history of the planet.  Over the past decade, we have been adding to that debt at a rate of about 1.1 trillion dollars a year, and we will add more than a trillion dollars to that total once again this year.  But when you add in our unfunded liabilities, our long-term financial outlook as a nation looks downright apocalyptic.  According to Boston University economics professor Laurence Kotlikoff, the U.S. is currently facing 200 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities, and when you add that number to our 22 trillion dollar debt, you get a grand total of 222 trillion dollars. (Read More...)

2019: It Is Going To Be Much Worse Than You Think…

The beginning of a new year is supposed to be all about hope, right?  And I would certainly like to tell you that 2019 is going to be America’s best year ever and that everybody is going to receive a double portion of blessing, prosperity and happiness, but that simply would not be true.  Unfortunately, the truth is that the elements for a “perfect storm” are rapidly coming together and 2019 is going to be an exceedingly challenging year.  Of course 2018 wasn’t exactly a wonderful year either.  I really like how Dave Barry made this point in his most recent article(Read More...)

The Next U.S. Housing Crisis Has Arrived: Existing Home Sales Post Their Biggest Decline In 4 Years

Things just continue to get even worse for the U.S. housing industry.  New homes sales have been absolutely plummeting, homebuilder stocks have lost over a third of their value, and existing home sales just posted their biggest decline since 2014.  For years, we had been witnessing a real estate boom in the United States, but now that has officially ended.  It is starting to feel like 2008 all over again, and many of those that work in the industry are really starting to freak out.  The Federal Reserve has been aggressively raising interest rates, and it is having the exact same effect on the housing industry that it did just before the last recession. (Read More...)

Financial Crisis 2016: High Yield Debt Tells Us That Just About EVERYTHING Is About To Collapse

Money Tornado - Public DomainDid 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...)

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