10 Scenes From The Ongoing Global Economic Collapse

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

When is the economic collapse going to happen?  Just open up your eyes and take a look around the globe.  The next wave of the economic collapse may not have reached Wall Street yet, but it is already deeply affecting billions of lives all over the planet.  Much of Europe has already descended into a deep economic depression, very disturbing economic data is coming out of the second and third largest economies on the globe (China and Japan), and in most of the world economic inequality is growing even though 80 percent of the global population already lives on less than $10 a day.  Just because the Dow has been setting brand new all-time records lately does not mean that everything is okay.  Remember, a bubble is always the biggest right before it bursts.  The next major wave of the economic collapse is already sweeping across Europe and Asia and it is going to devastate the United States as well.  I hope that you are ready.

The following are 10 scenes from the economic collapse that is sweeping across the planet...

#1 27 Percent Unemployment/60 Percent Youth Unemployment In Greece

The economic depression in Europe just continues to get worse with each passing month.  According to the Daily Mail, the unemployment rate in Greece has nearly tripled since 2009...

Greek youth unemployment rose above 60 per cent for the first time in February, reflecting the pain caused by the country's crippling recession after years of austerity under its international bailout.


Greece's jobless rate has almost tripled since the country's debt crisis emerged in 2009 and was more than twice the euro zone's average unemployment reading of 12.1 percent in March.


While the overall unemployment rate rose to 27 per cent, according to statistics service data released on Thursday, joblessness among those aged between 15 and 24 jumped to 64.2 percent in February from 59.3 percent in January.

#2 Detroit, Michigan Is Insolvent And Is Rapidly Running Out Of Cash

I love to write about Detroit because it is a perfect example of where the rest of the country is headed.  They have just gotten there first.  At this point, Detroit is essentially bankrupt, and the new emergency financial manager is saying that Detroit may totally run out of cash next month...

Detroit may run out of cash next month and must cut long-term debt and retiree obligations, according to emergency financial manager Kevyn Orr’s preliminary plan to save Michigan’s largest city from bankruptcy.


Orr’s report says the cost of $9.4 billion in bond, pension and other long-term liabilities is sapping the ability to provide public safety and transportation. He listed cutting debt principal, retiree benefits and jobs among his options.


“No one should underestimate the severity of the financial crisis,” Orr said yesterday in a statement. He called his report “a sobering wake-up call about the dire financial straits the city of Detroit faces.”

#3 Economic Despair In France

France is going down the same path that Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy have gone.  The following is an excerpt from a recent article in the Economist...

HELDER PEREIRA is a young man with no work and few prospects: a 21-year-old who failed to graduate from high school and lost his job on a building site four months ago. With his savings about to run out, he has come to his local employment centre in the Paris suburb of Sevran to sign on for benefits and to get help finding something to do. He’ll get the cash. Work is another matter. Youth unemployment in Sevran is over 40%.

#4 7,000 Abandoned Buildings In Dayton, Ohio

All over the upper Midwest, there are formerly great cities that are dealing with thousands of abandoned buildings.  Dayton, Ohio is one example...

Like many urban cities in recent years, Dayton still finds itself knee-deep in abandoned, dilapidated properties as the result of the foreclosure crisis and economic downturn five years ago.


Boarded up buildings that appear to be on their last legs litter the city as it attempts to recover.


Kevin Powell, the city’s acting manager of housing inspection, says officials plan to use $5.2 million — half from the state’s Moving Ohio Forward program and a matching grant from the city’s general fund — to raze 475 abandoned properties by the end of September.


That will scratch the surface of an estimated 7,000 abandoned property problem that is growing.

#5 Overwhelmed By Squatters In Spain

In Spain, unemployment is rampant and people have become incredibly desperate.  In fact, in some Spanish cities you can now find entire apartment buildings that are being overwhelmed by squatters...

A 285-unit apartment complex in Parla, less than half an hour’s drive from Madrid, should be an ideal target for investors seeking cheap property in Spain. Unfortunately, two thirds of the building generates zero revenue because it’s overrun by squatters.


“This is happening all over the country,” said Jose Maria Fraile, the town’s mayor, who estimates only 100 apartments in the block built for the council have rental contracts, and not all of those tenants are paying either. “People lost their jobs, they can’t pay mortgages or rent so they lost their homes and this has produced a tide of squatters.”

#6 The Collapse Of Chinese Power Consumption

Energy consumption tends to closely mirror economic activity.  That is why the recent collapse of Chinese power consumption is so alarming.  The following is from Zero Hedge...

According to CLSA's Chris Wood using NEA data, China's monthly power consumption (the most accurate proxy for underlying economic strength according to the current premier) growth slowed from 5.5% YoY in Jan-Feb 2013 to 1.9% YoY in March, the slowest growth rate since May 2009 (as discussed in-depth here).

#7 Horrible Economic Data Coming Out Of The Second Largest Economy On The Planet

The economic data that has been coming out of the second largest economy on the globe has been quite alarming recently...

For starters, China’s recent economic data, as massaged as it is to the upside, is downright awful. China’s PMI numbers were the worst in two years. Staffing levels in the Chinese service sector decreased for the first time since January 2009 (remember that year).


China’s LEI also shows no sign of recovery. If anything, it indicates China is heading towards an economic slowdown on par with that of 2008. And if you account for the rampant debt fueling China’s economy you could easily argue that China is posting 0% GDP growth today.

#8 One Out Of Every Five U.S. Households On Food Stamps

Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps.  Today, even though we are supposedly in the midst of an "economic recovery", food stamp enrollment continues to soar to new highs.  The following is from CNS News...

The most recent Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP) statistics of the number of households receiving food stamps shows that 23,087,886 households participated in January 2013 - an increase of 889,154 families from January 2012 when the number of households totaled 22,188,732.


The most recent statistics from the United States Census Bureau-- from December 2012-- puts the number of households in the United States at 115,310,000. If you divide 115,310,000 by 23,087,866, that equals one out of every five households now receiving food stamps.

#9 Child Hunger In America

Those that work for the big banks on Wall Street may have no problems feeding their children, but overall there is a rapidly growing child hunger crisis in America today.  Just check out the following statistics from one of my previous articles...

*For the first time ever, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless.  That number has risen by 57 percent since the 2006-2007 school year.

*In Miami, 45 percent of all children are living in poverty.

*In Cleveland, more than 50 percent of all children are living in poverty.

*According to a recently released report, 60 percent of all children in the city of Detroit are living in poverty.

#10 The Tremendous Suffering Of Hundreds Of Millions Of Desperately Poor People That We Never Hear About

There are billions of people around the globe that are deeply suffering but that do not have a voice.  We usually never hear about the desperate poverty that these people are living in, but that doesn't mean that they don't exist.  The following statistics that Stephen Lendman recently compiled should shock and alarm you...

At least 80% live on less than $10 a day. Over three billion people live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 80% live in countries where income disparity is increasing.


The poorest 40% of world population has 5% of global income. The bottom fifth has $1.5%. The top 20% has 75%.


According to UNICEF, 22,000 impoverished children die daily. They "die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death."


An estimated 28% of children in developing countries are underweight, malnourished and/or stunted.

How can so many people be living like that in a world with such wealth?

Sadly, things are going to get much worse.  The economic and financial systems of the world are rapidly breaking down, and in a few years these are going to look like "the good old days".

And a growing number of people are starting to realize the direction that things are headed.  For example, according to a survey that has just been released, 48 percent of all Americans believe that the best days of America are now behind us.

So what do you think?

Are our best days behind us, or are they still ahead of us?

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erg's picture

*stumbles drunkingly from one ZH article to the next detailing malfeasance and corruption*

Thankfully I read this earlier today.

*stumbles back into a baffled patina of bullshit*

Burt Gummer's picture

I've noticed a large increase of homeless people and tent cities in my cities downtown metropolitan area, atleast a 50% increase from just a year ago.



WayBehind's picture

Best days? What best days?

markmotive's picture

Put some of this together and you have some resemblance to the Soviet collapse.


jbvtme's picture

this planet took a left turn with the industrial revolution, making goods more efficiently in factories.  now superfluous humans are being replaced with robots. we need to reinvent and practice the skills of everyday living (growing and making things) and extricate ourselves from the mainstream currency.  freedom equals self sufficiency.

Sudden Debt's picture

I see a lot less traffic in the morning and when I drive arround the cities of my country, I see huge amounts of people just walking the streets during the day and very large groups of young people just doing nothing.

Also, last week I got pulled over by the police for driving to fast and missing a red light and that fucker was dressed like he was going to Syria!

Is it normal that our police wairs bulletproof vests, has a hun with a open holster and a taser in a holster on his leg?

I mean... that was just a traffic cop for gods sake!!!!!



Parrotile's picture

Hope it was a GUN rather than (Attila the) Hun in the open holster!

You'll know things have become REALLY bad once Library personnel start to wear items of body armour (apart from those who ride motorbikes).

Methinks the "Good Old Days" for EVERYWHERE are fast receding in the rearview mirror.

kchrisc's picture

It was a "revenue stop" and they dress like that because they are being sent to rob more and more often and from increasingly poorer victims.


Kirk2NCC1701's picture

"10 Scenes from a Fed-led/Western CB collapse"

There, fixed it for ya, Snyder.

seek's picture

If we reset, our best days are ahead of us.

If we don't reset, our best days are behind us.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Well, maybe so.  But, how we reset is very important.  I have see literally tens of resets around the world, and many of them have not been pretty.  I am not hearing a convincing (nor likely) sounding reset from the conservatives..., a reset soon might take us in a bad direction.

Professorlocknload's picture

As I said in another thread, DoChen;

A revolution now would more likely resemble a Bolshevik or French kind, not an American one.

War is nasty for all involved, and when it starts, all outcomes are nothing but crap shoots.

Think Japan anticipated Hiroshima? Or Hitler, Dresden? Or Kennedy a defeat in Vietnam?

nofluer's picture

Think Japan anticipated Hiroshima? Or Hitler, Dresden? Or Kennedy a defeat in Vietnam?

New book out (2012) by Nassim Nicholas Taleb titled "Antifragile". Haven't read much of it, but what I've read leads me to strongly recommend it. The idea is that anti-fragile is "Things That Gain From Disorder."

(Disclaimer - I get nothing from sales, and don't even know who Taleb is, much less have any connection with him.)

Another interesting book I just started - "Nexus" by Mark Buchanan. This one is subtitled "Small Worlds and the Groundbreaking Theory of Networks." (You've heard of "6 degrees of separation"? Apparently the principle of close connectivity applies across creation - from the power grid to the network of neurons in a nematode worm, both of which have almost exactly the same "small-world structure."

"Why does most of the wealth always end up in the hands of the richest few? As we will see, there is a very simple answer to this long-standing puzzle of economics. The answer has little to do with economics and everything to do with the basic working of networks."

Soooo.... class? You have your assignments. I have to go plant the garden so I can eat. Ta!



Kirk2NCC1701's picture

The only thing to 'Reset' is the financial and monetary enema that the bloated and aging Western economies need.

Asia is slim, young and... tired of working for peanuts.

theliberalliberal's picture




Dr. Engali's picture

I live not to far from Dayton and I can tell you that there are parts that look like hellholes. It's almost weird watching people shuffle along as the whole country disintegrates around them. Every time I drive through some of the worst areas I get a little more pissed as I see the markets reach new highs at the same time the country is reaching new lows.

Dr. Engali's picture

It's sickening isn't it? Unfortunately much of Detroit really needs to be leveled.

prains's picture

ah but aren't you really all just a part of the Various States of Detroitification;


scale your time longer than 15 minutes and VSD is your trooth as well

MisterMousePotato's picture

"Drugs and guns," is it?

Hm. Wonder why the founders forgot to enshrine the right to keep and bear drugs in the Constitution?

Maybe it's drugs and something else?

NidStyles's picture

Probably because they didn't think people would be stupid enough to ban plants that grow naturally in the region.

onewayticket2's picture

Msnbc says fixing those rough areas of Dayton's as easy as pulling your car over and giving the shuffler a lot of money.

BooMushroom's picture

Here's the problem:
"Kevin Powell, the city’s acting manager of housing inspection, says officials plan to use $5.2 million — half from the state’s Moving Ohio Forward program and a matching grant from the city’s general fund — to raze 475 abandoned properties by the end of September.

They're spending eleven grand per property to raze them. They could pay one guy $50k/yr, who could then put ads up on Craigslist for the materials.
Used bricks, 10¢ each.
Used 2x4's, free, you demolish.
20 buildings worth of copper wire and lead pipe, $500.
Offer: learn to drive a bulldozer, and demolish a real house! $50/house.

Just give me the fucking list. I could get that fucker done for half price.

bonin006's picture

You must be a terrorist. Only public servants, or companies that have made large campaign contributions to them, could possibly be qualified to demolish buildings

Chaos_Theory's picture

Fed $ for contracts equals need to prove your Equal Opportunity creds...oh wait, your contract is nulled because this Minority Business Enterprise trumps your lower bid and reputation.

theliberalliberal's picture

learn to drive a bulldozer...lol


pass or fail you'll knock a house down so winner winner,

rlouis's picture

Oakland is going Detroit/Dayton

Professorlocknload's picture

And yet the government administration building parking lots are overflowing, and with many new luxury cars.



Good life for Tzars. Not so good for proles.


B2u's picture

Detroit used to be the 4th largest city in the United States, then the democrats took control.

mjk0259's picture

White democrats not so bad. When I go to NYC, it's mostly European tourists walking around. You can't beat the NYC transit even though it's pathetic compared to every other civilized country.

prains's picture

I love how your narrative is so singular and finite, it leaves no room to understand a more complex equation, so very american. Like a 50's western.

buyingsterling's picture

The overall equation applies to most places, and the worst off are those run by demonrats. This isn't necessarily because demonrat control leads to corruption and ineptitude, it could also be because these places are filled with idiots (demonrat voters). GOP = stupid party, Demonrats = slavery party. They always have been, and their current fetishes are dependency (slavery) and abortion (ownership of human lives/slavery with termination). Sane people abandoned the idea that some human lives are not worth living when the results (200 million dead by democide) became evident. Demonrats still cherish the idea. I can't stand the GOP because it's stupid and crraven, but the Demonrats are worse, they're actively evil.

Parrotile's picture

Detroit used to be up there in the Most Productive Cities per head of population Worldwide! http://www.nationalreview.com/node/302257/print

The present situation could, and should, have been avoided, but as usual, those who should have taken the "difficult but correct" decisions took the easy way out.

Just like all the other "Important Decision Makers" in the West.

Osmium's picture

That video was published on Sept 3 of 2012.  I'm sure given the economic recovery since then, that entire area has been cleaned up.

DadzMad's picture

No fair, they were only filming one side of the street.  The other side might be much nicer!

nmewn's picture

Not much longer doc.

But then we still have to figure out what the hell we're going to do with this mess of humanity left behind by idiocy.

After that...maybe our kids will get another 200yrs of breathing room.

Dr. Engali's picture

I hope that is the case. When this thing finally goes its going to be ugly. The free shit brigade are going to be pissed when they get a dose of reality. The great die off is going to be tragic.

nmewn's picture

Its gonna suck, cuz I know we can't save them all and I'm at the point of not even caring except for the savable.

The free shit army is dead meat, after they get done tearing themselves to pieces the leftovers are just target practice.

It could have been different...if they weren't so damned gullible...oh well, fuck em @ 200yds. and closing with my dogs on their heels.

Thats life.

Savyindallas's picture

win or lose-it doesn't matter for the free shit brigade  -the elites plan to kill them off anyway.

I am more sympathetic to these wretched people than most - take any hundred of them -our society is designed so that maybe only one of a hundred of them can escape their plight  -so can you blame them the 99% that do not? These rich fuckers born with a silver spoon in their mouth continually delude themselves that they are somehow better than the rest -that they hae what they have because of their their own efforts and talents and they have superiority which has created their privileged lives  - there is so little truth to that in most cases. Most average people I know are far more generous and virtuous than the rich. Even poor and people of modest means who get rich get the disease-they would be less likely to part with a portion of their money than a crack head would be to part with a portion of his crack. Money is a narcotic. It's like sex or power. Few can handle it. It's an illness-a spiritual and moral illness. What did Jesus say about it being harder for the rich man to enter the Kingdom than a camel passing through the eye of a needle? From my expereince I can see why.

James's picture

Theirs another kind of poverty that only rich men know

A moral malnutrition that starves their very soul

They've worked all their life on this house of cards to keep it all in line

And they can't be saved by money, they're all running out of time

But it's O.K. 'cuz I got mine.


suicidalpsychologist's picture

you realize people are nice because they are poor right? it s a strategy of survival. When you re rich and above everyone else, there is no need to be nice. If you were rich, you wouldnt be nice either. 

You re nice to others when your brain calculates you might need their help, support, for your own interest/survival, when you dont need them, you ignore them or you kill/erae them if they re in competition against you for scarce ressources (or jobs). We are designed to only care about those who can benefit to our own survival and interests. This is how we select each others daily.

Savyindallas's picture

For animals and lost souls maybe-not for me and many others I know and respect. Some people are good because they choose to be good -even when it hurts them and is against their self interest. Some people choose to be greedy and subhuman because they have succumbed to this particular addictive vice-just like drugs, alcohol, sex, power, etc. That's what makes us human  -different from animals - we are free to choose a better way  -free to avoid the addictive vices which make us less human.

Seer's picture

I agree with you, though I don't believe anyone necessarily does anything against their self interest.  I think what is happening in such circumstances is that someone is choosing to concede the short-term for the long-term.  Life is about survival, no matter what economic "strata" one is in.  Those high on the food chain, like all predators, are fewer in numbers and tend to hunt in smaller packs.

An interesting read on social cooperation is Mutual Aid by Kropotkin.

"That's what makes us human  -different from animals - we are free to choose a better way  -free to avoid the addictive vices which make us less human."

Humans ARE animals.  Our folly tends to be that we think of ourselves as being outside of nature: be careful not to lose sight of the fact that deception is far more prevalent than we would like to admit.  Read Mutual Aid, as it has some pretty interesting accountings of things that "animals" do that might tend to temper your (seemingly) absolute take on animals as "animals."