As the towering forces that are prevailing against failing global economic architecture and the pit of debt beneath that structure, as laid out below, it is clear that the 'Epocalypse' - encompassing the roots "economic, epoch, collapse" and "apocalypse" - is here, and it is everywhere. The Great Collapse has already begun. What follows are the megatrends that will increasingly gang up in the first part of 2016 to stomp the deeply flawed global economy down into its own hole of debt.
Is the U.S. economy in recession? Is it heading for recession? These questions can only be answered in hindsight, but it's worth looking for clues to what might be just ahead.
On Tuesday, it was announced that over seventeen million new vehicles were sold in 2015, the highest it’s ever been in United States history. While the media claims that this record has been reached because of drastic improvements to the US economy, they are once again failing to account for the central factor: credit expansion. The auto bubble has yet to burst, but its negative effects are already starting to gradually appear.
In principle, the BRRD, or “bail-in directive” as it is also known, is quite a good idea. The fact that lending money to fractionally reserved banks or even merely depositing it with them, involves risks needed to be firmly reestablished. One simply cannot expect that banks and their creditors will be bailed out by taxpayers at every opportunity. Besides, the admission that there are risks in banking that have hitherto been glossed over or have even been lied about was long overdue. However, Europe’s governments are now likely to find out that the current monetary system with its fractionally reserved banks is actually incompatible with this admission, so to speak.
All we can do is point out the risks, so that people can at least prepare on an individual level. A major lesson everybody should take to heart from the Cyprus experience is this: when the next crisis strikes, do not believe any of the promises uttered by government or central bank officials. You will be lied to in the critical moments, and you could stand to lose a lot if you believe the lies.
Fed policymakers seem to be of the view that the almost zero federal funds rate and their massive monetary pumping has cured the economy, which now seems to be approaching a path of stable economic growth and price stability, so it is held. Yet, manipulations by the Fed could not bring the economy onto a path of stability and prosperity but, on the contrary, set in motion the menace of the boom-bust cycle. This raises the likelihood that the elimination of bubbles as a result of a tighter stance while good in the long-term for wealth generators is likely to trigger a severe economic slump in the near to medium term.
Bill Dudley and the Federal Reserve (Fed), in their efforts to influence economic growth may have created a speculative and consumption driven environment that is crushing productivity growth. Ingenuity, not debt, made America an economic powerhouse. If we are to resume down that path we need the Fed to end their “self-defeating” policies and in its place we must demand ingenuity from them. The Fed, along with government, needs to properly incent productivity. The Fed should start this arduous task by removing excessive stimulus which will take the speculative fervor out of markets and allow asset bubbles to deflate.
Despite such endless financial engineering, sales for the S&P 500 have been declining for the last three quarters. And profits have declined for the first time since the 2009 expansion. Simply put: The recovery is a mirage... It isn’t real... And it isn’t sustainable.
Most people assume that prices move as a result of changes in the money supply. Instead, let’s look at the effect of changes in interest.
It becomes ever more tempting to conclude that the timing of the Fed’s rate hike was really quite odd, even from the perspective of the planners...
Because we squandered our opportunity to correct our own problems, our problems shall be our legacy. It’s wretched how dumb we are in our greed to have everything right now in the cheapest way possible and how willing we are to force the debts of that consumption upon our grandchildren and to pretend that won’t hurt them. We live in economic denial.
There’s only one investment we can think of that many people either love or hate reflexively, almost without regard to market performance: gold. And, to a lesser degree, silver. It’s strange that these two metals provoke such powerful psychological reactions - especially among people who dislike them. Nobody has an instinctive hatred of iron, copper, aluminum, or cobalt. The reason, of course, is that the main use of gold has always been as money. And people have strong feelings about money. From an economic viewpoint, however, money is just a medium of exchange and a store of value. Efforts to turn it into a political football invariably are signs of a hidden agenda, or perhaps a psychological aberration. So, let’s take some recent statements, assertions, and opinions that have been promulgated in the media and analyze them.
The only way to restore economic stability and avoid a major economic crisis is to end the Fed, or at least allow Americans to use alterative currencies. Some economists and policy makers claim that the way to stop the Federal Reserve from causing economic chaos is not to end the Fed but to force the Fed to adopt a “rules-based” monetary policy. Adopting rules-based monetary policy may seem like an improvement, but, because it still allows a secretive central bank to manipulate the money supply, it will still result in Fed-created booms and busts.
How much money exists in the world? Strangely enough, there are multiple answers to this question, and the amount of money that exists changes depending on how we define it. The more abstract definition of money we use, the higher the number is.
It is widely assumed that the gold price must decline when the Federal Reserve is hiking interest rates. It seems logical enough: gold has no yield, so if competing investment assets such as bonds or savings deposits do offer a yield, gold will presumably be exchanged for those. There is only a slight problem with this idea. The simple assumption “Fed rate hikes equal a falling gold price” is not supported by even a shred of empirical evidence.