The elephant outside the room is named Discontinuity. That’s perhaps an intimidating word, but it is exactly what the USA is in for. It means that a lot of familiar things come to an end, stop, don’t work the way they are supposed to - beginning, manifestly, with the election process now underway in all its unprecedented bizarreness. One reason it’s difficult to comprehend discontinuity is because so many operations and institutions of daily life in America have insidiously become rackets, meaning that they are kept going only by dishonest means. If we didn’t lie to ourselves about them, they couldn’t continue.
QE3 ended 17 months ago and shockingly the S&P 500 is exactly where it was 17 months ago. How many bull markets go flat for 17 months? As John Hussman accurately points out, we are experiencing a topping formation in the third and biggest bubble of the last 16 years. It’s a long way down from here.
"Today we feast, for tomorrow we die..."
The world didn’t completely fall apart in 2015, but it is undeniable that an immense amount of damage was done to the U.S. economy. So don’t be fooled by all the happy talk coming from Barack Obama and the mainstream media. When you look at the cold, hard numbers, they tell a completely different story. The following are 58 facts about the U.S. economy from 2015 that are almost too crazy to believe...
Janet, you have a problem...
It appears that Washington, ever a seething cauldron of bright ideas, is looking for a shooting war with China, or perhaps trying to make the Chinese kowtow and back down, the pretext being some rocks in the Pacific in which the United States cannot possibly have a vital national interest. Or, really, any interest. If Washington somehow won a naval war with China, so what? It would provide the satisfactions of vanity, but China’s danger to the US imperium lies in increasing economic power and commercial expansion through Asia, where it holds the high cards: it is there, Washington isn’t.
The solution is not to let politicians redistribute the wealth from the rich to the poor. Crony capitalism must be replaced by true free market capitalism, practiced with integrity, fairness, principled conduct, intelligence, and high moral standards. Profits generated by corporations are not evil, but seeking profits at any cost to society is reckless, shortsighted and immoral. Capitalism without capital is destined for failure. When corporate CEOs, Wall Street bankers, and shady billionaires exercise undue influence over the financial, political and judicial systems, their short-term quarterly profit mindset and voracious appetite for riches override the best interests of the people and create a sick, warped, repressive society. Today our system is in the grasp of psychopaths whose hubris and myopic focus on enriching themselves will ultimately be their downfall.
Take your pick - here's three good reasons to engineer a "crash" that benefits the few at the expense of the many.
The downturn in China is “our” downturn. All the recent happy talk, due to unsuitable extrapolation and nothing more, has melted away yet again. In short, the same trend dating back almost four years now is quite expectedly unaltered by whatever any central bank does or does not do. “Stimulus” is just noise against all that, at best; at worst it actively contributes to the instability of the decline.
Yes, the clock’s ticking louder, louder, warns the Economist, “only a matter of time before the next recession strikes.” Unfortunately, the “rich world is not ready.” America’s not prepared. You are not ready.
The Fed stimulates absolutely nothing but the media’s descriptions of it and the various economists and their models that depend solely on them being successful in doing so. If recessions are emotional and irrational pessimism as the monetary textbooks believe, then QE and ZIRP are just right sort of “happy pills” to push emotions back to the “right” direction. Is it any wonder the economy is in danger of sinking toward catastrophic failure?
By reviewing the earnings transcripts from the companies of the S&P 500, Goldman Sachs notes 4 key themes emerge from the maelstrom of double-speak, bravado, and actual data (GAAP or non-GAAP). Without question the US Dollar strength is a drag on multinationals and CEOs are resolute in that (despite mainstream media prognostications that 'king dollar' is "unequivocally good") but what CEOs and CFOs seems just as resolutely positive about is that while macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainties still exist in Asia and Europe, they expect solid US economic growth in 2015. It appears - given the data - they will be disappointed.
Are we on the verge of a major worldwide economic downturn? Well, if recent warnings from prominent bankers all over the world are to be believed, that may be precisely what we are facing in the months ahead.
Most Americans just assume that the economic numbers that we are being given accurately reflect reality. That is why it is so refreshing to have men like Gallup CEO Jim Clifton step forward and tell the truth. Don’t be fooled by all the happy talk from the mainstream media and from politicians like Barack Obama. The truth is that the percentage of U.S. adults that do have “good jobs” is actually far lower than 44 percent.