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This is no time to be complacent. Massive economic problems are erupting all over the globe, but most people seem to believe that everything is going to be just fine. In fact, a whole bunch of recent polls and surveys show that the American people are starting to feel much better about how the U.S. economy is performing. Unfortunately, the false prosperity that we are currently enjoying is not going to last much longer. Just look at what is happening in Europe. The eurozone is now in the midst of the longest recession that it has ever experienced. Just look at what is happening over in Asia. Economic growth in India is the lowest that it has been in a decade and the Japanese financial system is beginning to spin wildly out of control. One of the only places on the entire planet where serious economic problems have not already erupted is in the United States, and that is only because we have “kicked the can down the road” by recklessly printing money and by borrowing money at an unprecedented rate. Unfortunately, the “sugar high” produced by those foolish measures is starting to wear off. We are going to experience a massive amount of economic pain along with the rest of the world – it is just a matter of time.
But for the moment, there are a lot of skeptics out there.
For the moment, there are a lot of people that are declaring that the problems of the past have been fixed and that we are heading for incredibly bright economic times ahead.
Unfortunately, those people appear to be purposely ignoring the economic horror that is breaking out all over the globe.
The following are 18 signs that massive economic problems are erupting all over the planet…
#1 The eurozone is now in the midst of its longest recession ever. Economic activity in the eurozone has declined for six quarters in a row.
#3 Industrial production in Italy has fallen for 15 months in a row. It has now fallen to its lowest level in about 25 years.
#4 The number of people that are considered to be “seriously deprived” in Italy has doubled over the past two years.
“I’ve sent CVs everywhere, I come to the unemployment agency every day, for 3 or 4 hours to look for work as a truck driver and there’s never anything,” said 42-year old Djamel Sami, who has been unemployed for a year, leaving a job agency in Paris.
#7 Unemployment in the eurozone as a whole has just hit a brand new all-time record high of 12.2 percent.
#8 Youth unemployment continues to soar to unprecedented heights in Europe. The following is from an article that was recently posted on the website of the Guardian that detailed how bad things are getting in some of the worst countries…
In Greece, 62.5% of young people are out of work, in Spain it’s 56.4%, then Portugal with 42.5%, and then Italy with 40.5%.
Sweden is reeling after a third night of rioting in largely run-down immigrant areas of the capital Stockholm.
In the last 48 hours violence has spread to at least ten suburbs with mobs of youths torching hundreds of cars and clashing with police.
It is Sweden’s worst disorder in years and has shocked the country and provoked a debate on how Sweden is coping with youth unemployment and an influx of immigrants.
#10 An astounding 10 percent of all banking deposits were pulled out of banks in Cyprus during the month of April alone.
#11 Economic growth in India is the slowest that it has been in an entire decade.
#12 Suddenly Australia is experiencing some tremendous economic challenges. The following quotes are from a recent Zero Hedge article…
-“We’re seeing a much sharper contraction in the Australian economy than we’d anticipated four or five months ago”. Coffey MD, John Douglas. The engineering group has seen its shares, which traded above $4 in 2007, hit 10c last week.
-“By 10am, the Fitness First gym in the city is packed full of brokers who’ve had a gutful of sitting at their desk doing nothing – salary cuts are starting and next it will be jobs” Perth broker
-“Oh mate, the funding market is dead. You are now seeing a few deeply discounted rights issues for those that are reaching desperate levels ….. liquidity has completely disappeared” Perth broker
#13 The financial system in Japan is beginning to spin wildly out of control. The Japanese stock market has now declined about 15 percent from the peak, and many believe that the yen will continue to get weaker and that interest rates in Japan will start to rise significantly.
#14 Global cash flow is declining at a rate not seen since the last recession. This indicates that we could be headed for a global credit crunch.
#15 Real wages continue to decline in the United States. Even though we are being told that the U.S. is experiencing an “economy recovery”, real weekly earnings have declined from $297.79 in 2010 to $295.49 in 2011 to $294.83 in 2012. (The preceding calculation is based on 1982-1984 dollars)
#16 Wall Street is buzzing about the fact that “the Hindenburg Omen” appeared at the end of last week. So exactly what is “the Hindenburg Omen”? The following are the criteria that are used to determine whether it has appeared or not…
1. The daily number of NYSE new 52 Week Highs and the daily number of new 52 Week Lows must both be greater than 2.2 percent of total NYSE issues traded that day.
2. The smaller of these numbers is greater than or equal to 69 (68.772 is 2.2% of 3126). This is not a rule but more like a checksum. This condition is a function of the 2.2% of the total issues.
3. That the NYSE 10 Week moving average is rising.
4. That the McClellan Oscillator ( a market breadth indicator used to evaluate the rate of money entering or leaving the market and interpretively indicate overbought or oversold conditions of the market) is negative on that same day.
5. That new 52 Week Highs cannot be more than twice the new 52 Week Lows (however it is fine for new 52 Week Lows to be more than double new 52 Week Highs).
When the Hindenburg Omen makes an appearance, it supposedly means that the U.S. stock market is likely to experience a serious decline within the next 40 days.
#17 As I wrote about the other day, the SentimenTrader Smart/Dumb Money Index is now the lowest that it has been in more than two years. That means that lots of “smart money” has been getting out of the market and lots of “dumb money” has been pouring in.
#18 Margin debt on the New York Stock Exchange has set a new all-time high. The following is from a recent Market Oracle article…
Margin debt—that’s the amount of money borrowed to purchase stocks—on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) reached its all-time high in April. Margin debt on the NYSE registered at $384.3 billion as the key stock indices hit new record-highs. (Source: New York Stock Exchange web site, last accessed May 29, 2013.) The highest margin debt ever reached prior to this was in July of 2007, when it stood just above $381.0 billion. At that time, just like today, the key stock indices were near their peaks and “buy now before it’s too late” was the prominent theme of the day
Whenever margin debt spikes like this, a stock market crash almost always follows.
Wall Street has had a good couple of years, but it has been a “false prosperity” that has been pumped up by reckless money printing by the Federal Reserve. Just like all of the other stock market bubbles that we have seen in recent years, this one is going to burst too. And as Marc Faber recently pointed out, this bubble has been particularly beneficial to the wealthy…
The Fed has been flooding the system with money. The problem is the money doesn’t flow into the system evenly. It doesn’t increase economic activity and asset prices in concert. Instead, it creates dangerous excesses in countries and asset classes. Money-printing fueled the colossal stock-market bubble of 1999-2000, when the Nasdaq more than doubled, becoming disconnected from economic reality. It fueled the housing bubble, which burst in 2008, and the commodities bubble. Now money is flowing into the high-end asset market – things like stocks, bonds, art, wine, jewelry, and luxury real estate.
Money-printing boosts the economy of the people closest to the money flow. But it doesn’t help the worker in Detroit, or the vast majority of the middle class. It leads to a widening wealth gap. The majority loses, and the minority wins.
The fact that the U.S. stock market has set new all-time record high after new all-time record high in recent months means very little. At this point, the stock market has become completely divorced from economic reality. When this current bubble bursts, the adjustment is going to be very painful. Wall Street will likely whine and complain and ask for more bailouts, but they may find that authorities are not nearly as sympathetic this time.
Much of the rest of the world is already experiencing the next major wave of the economic collapse. Reckless money printing by the Fed and reckless borrowing and spending by the federal government may have delayed the inevitable in the United States for a little while, but those measures have also made our long-term problems even worse.
There was one piece of advice that Ben Bernanke included in his commencement speech to students at Princeton recently that I thought was particularly ironic…
“Don’t be afraid to let the drama play out.”
Will he take his own advice when the next great financial crisis strikes the United States?
That seems very unlikely.
Unfortunately, things are not going to be so easy to fix this next time.
What happened back in 2008 was just a preview.
What is coming next is going to absolutely shock the world!
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The Census Bureau has reported that 15% of Americans live in poverty. A shocking figure. But it’s actually much worse. Inequality is spreading like a shadowy disease through our country, infecting more and more households, and leaving a shrinking number of financially secure families to maintain the charade of prosperity.
1. Almost half of Americans had NO assets in 2009
2. It’s Even Worse 3 Years Later
Since the recession, the disparities have continued to grow. An OECD report states that “inequality has increased by more over the past three years to the end of 2010 than in the previous twelve,” with the U.S. experiencing one of the widest gaps among OECD countries. The 30-year decline in wages has worsened since the recession, as low-wage jobs have replaced formerly secure middle-income positions.
3. Based on wage figures, half of Americans are in or near poverty.
The IRS reports that the highest wage in the bottom half of earners is about $34,000. To be eligible for food assistance, a family can earn up to 130% of the federal poverty line, or about $30,000 for a family of four.
Even the Census Bureau recognizes that its own figures under-represent the number of people in poverty. Its Supplemental Poverty Measure increases, by 50%, the number of Americans who earn between one-half and two times the poverty threshold.
4. Based on household expense totals, poverty is creeping into the top half of America.
A family in the top half, making $60,000 per year, will have their income reduced by a total tax bill of about $15,000 ($3,000 for federal income tax and $12,000 for payroll, state, and local taxes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau agree that food, housing, and transportation expenses will deduct another $30,000, and that total household expenditures will be about $50,000. That leaves nothing.
5. Putting it in Perspective
Inequality is at its ugliest for the hungriest people. While food support was being targeted for cuts, just 20 rich Americans made as much from their 2012 investments as the entire 2012 SNAP (food assistance) budget, which serves 47 million people.
And as Congress continues to cut life-sustaining programs, its members should note that their 400 friends on the Forbes list made more from their stock market gains last year than the total amount of the food, housing, and education budgets combined.
Arguments about poverty won’t end. Neither should our efforts to uncover the awful truth.
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During fiscal year 2012, $359,796,008,919.49 that had been forcibly extracted from American taxpayers was transferred into other hands. Most of it ended up in the pockets of the global elite. So what did the American people get in return for that 359 billion dollars? Nothing at all. No roads were built, no schools were constructed, no teachers were paid and none of it went to national defense. It was simply interest that was owed on the national debt, and most of it just made the ultra-wealthy even wealthier. But this is exactly what the Federal Reserve system was designed to do when it was created back in 1913. It was designed to get the U.S. government trapped in an endless spiral of debt that would systematically drain the wealth of the American people and transfer it to the ultra-wealthy and the international bankers.
When most people think of a “wealth redistribution scheme”, they think of a government raising taxes in order to give money to poor people. But the Federal Reserve system works in reverse. Money is taken from all of us and it is redistributed to the global elite. That is why a federal income tax was instituted the exact same year that the Federal Reserve was. Money is extracted from all of us through taxation, and then it is transferred from the federal government to the ultra-wealthy through debt payments.
So what role does the Federal Reserve system play in all of this?
Many critics of the Fed focus on how much money the Fed makes each year, but that is a mistake. The truth is that the Fed returns the vast majority of the money that it makes to the U.S. Treasury. The Fed is not a money making machine itself. Rather, it is a system that enables others to make hundreds of billions of dollars each year.
I think that it is easiest to think of the Fed as a “middle man” between the U.S. government and the global elite. It was designed by the international bankers for the benefit of the international bankers. The entire goal of the Federal Reserve system is to make the ultra-wealthy even wealthier.
The Fed is a privately-owned banking cartel that has a monopoly over money creation in the United States. Nobody else, including the U.S. government, can print money. So those that claim that “the U.S. government can print money” are just dead wrong.
When the U.S. government wants to spend more money than it has, it asks the Fed to make some more money. The Fed then creates money out of thin air that did not previously exist. Normally this money is not even printed up. It is just entered into a computer.
In return for the new money, the U.S. government gives the Federal Reserve some U.S. Treasury bonds. In essence, U.S. Treasury bonds are promises to pay back money. But the U.S. government always agrees to pay back more money than it receives. So a larger amount of debt is created than the amount of new money that is created.
When the Federal Reserve receives those U.S. Treasury bonds, most of the time they take them and auction them off to interested buyers. This is how they get into the hands of the ultra-wealthy and the international bankers.
So how is the U.S. government ever supposed to pay back all that debt if the amount of new debt being created is always larger than the amount of new money that is being created?
Well, the theory is that the money will be able circulate through the U.S. economy really fast and that the federal government will be able to tax it enough times and at a high enough rate to be able to pay off the debt plus the interest.
But that never seems to work out, does it?
Instead, the federal government always finds that it can’t fund government activities and pay off the debt at the same time, so they always come back to borrow more. That is why it is called a debt spiral.
So the debt just keeps getting larger and larger. Today, the U.S. national debt is more than 5000 times larger than it was when the Federal Reserve was first created.
And as the debt keeps getting larger and larger, so does the money supply. And that is why we have such a problem with inflation. Since the Federal Reserve was first created, the U.S. dollar has lost more than 96 percent of its value.
But the global elite are not just doing this in the United States. They have established similar systems in almost every nation on earth.
So every year, gigantic mountains of money are transferred from taxpayers all over the globe into their pockets.
And that is the primary reason why they have so much money.
It has been estimated that the global elite have up to 32 TRILLION dollars stashed in offshore banks around the planet.
And that is just the money that we know about.
Are you starting to understand why people are so upset about this stuff?
Fortunately, people all over the world are starting to wake up to this massive wealth redistribution scheme.
The creation of money should belong to the people – not to the global elite.
“Whom does the money belong to? Who does its ownership belong to? To the State fine…then to us, we are the State. You know that the State doesn’t exist, it is only a legal entity. WE are the state, then the money is ours…fine. Then let me know one thing. If the money belongs to us…Why…do they lend it to us??”
Doesn’t that make sense?
If the currency of a nation belongs to the people of a nation, then why do we let the elite create our money out of thin air and lend it back to us?
Why do we continue to use a debt-based currency system that is making the global elite far wealthier at the expense of all the rest of us?
For much more on how the Federal Reserve works, please see my previous article entitled “10 Things That Every American Should Know About The Federal Reserve“.
Please share this article with as many people as you can. I have tried to simplify things as much as possible in this article so that even people that have been through the dumbed-down public education system in the United States should be able to understand it.
So what do you think about the Federal Reserve?
Are you angry that hundreds of billions of dollars are being transferred from U.S. taxpayers to the global elite every single year?
Are you disgusted that money that is created out of thin air by the Federal Reserve is being used to bankrupt our nation and enslave future generations of Americans to trillions of dollars of debt?
Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia and has a law degree and an LLM from the University of Florida Law School. He is an attorney that has worked for some of the largest and most prominent law firms in Washington D.C. and who now spends his time researching and writing and trying to wake the American people up. You can follow his work on The Economic Collapse blog, End of the American Dream and The Truth Wins.
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The global elite have now proven that when the chips are down they are going to go after any big pile of money that they think they can get their hands on. That means that no bank account, no retirement fund and no stock portfolio on earth is safe. Up until now, most people assumed that private bank accounts were untouchable and that deposit insurance actually meant something. Now we see that there is no pile of money that is considered “off limits” by the global elite and deposit insurance means absolutely nothing. The number one thing that any financial system depends on is faith. If people do not have faith in the safety and stability of a financial system, it will not work. Well, the people that rule the world have just taken a sledgehammer to the trust that we all had in the global financial system. They have broken the unwritten social contract that global banking depends on. So now we will see a run on the banks, and this will not just be limited to a few countries in southern Europe. Rather, this will be worldwide in scope. Yoda may have put it this way: “Begun, the global bank run has.” All over the world, frightened people are going to start pulling money out of the banks. A lot of that money will go into gold, silver and other hard assets. And as money starts coming out of the banks, this could cause many of the large banks that have been teetering on the edge of disaster to finally collapse.
Many of you may not believe that they would ever come after bank accounts, retirement funds or stock portfolios in the United States.
Many of you may be entirely convinced that the Great Cyprus Bank Robbery could never happen in America.
Well, where do you think this whole plan was dreamed up?
It was the IMF that reportedly pushed the hardest for the wealth tax in Cyprus, and the IMF is headquartered right in the heart of Washington D.C.
Almost every nation on the planet has to deal with the IMF. It is an organization that is dominated by the United States and that is always involved when there is an international debt crisis.
If the IMF thinks that it is a great idea to steal from bank accounts to solve a financial crisis in Cyprus, why wouldn’t they impose a similar solution in other countries in the future?
And if bank accounts are no longer safe, are there any truly safe places to put your money?
You can trust the politicians when they tell you that an unannounced “wealth tax” will never happen where you live if you want, but that is the exact same lie that the politicians in Cyprus were telling their people until the day that it happened. The following is from an article in the Cyprus Mail…
And after all, President Anastasiades had emphatically declared in his inauguration speech that “absolutely no reference to a haircut on public debt or deposits will be tolerated,” adding that “such an issue isn’t even up for discussion.” Finance Minister Michalis Sarris made similarly reassuring statements, arguing that it would be lunacy for the EU to impose such a measure because it would threaten the euro system.
At this point, politicians in Cyprus have been given two very unappealing options. Either they vote yes on the wealth tax and destroy all faith in the banking system of Cyprus, or they vote no and they are forced out of the eurozone. In either case, we will probably see the financial system of Cyprus collapse and their economy plunge deep into depression.
At this point, the vote has been delayed until Tuesday. Apparently some additional “arm twisting” was required to get the needed votes.
And there have been proposals to change the terms of the wealth tax. Reportedly, some politicians want to impose a maximum rate of up to 15 percent on bank accounts of over 500,000 euros so that the rate on smaller accounts can be decreased.
It has also been announced that the earliest that banks in Cyprus will reopen will be Thursday.
But what is happening in Cyprus is small potatoes compared to how this will affect the rest of the world. The entire planet is watching this unfold, and as a recent article by Lucas Jackson described, faith in the global financial system is being greatly shaken…
It would be hard to over-emphasize how significant the Cyprus situation is. The EU demonstrated under no uncertain circumstances that they will destroy the rule of law to maintain their own power. It was a recognition of tyranny that many of us have always assumed was the case but yesterday became reality.
The damage done here is not related to the size of the haircut – currently discussed between 3 and 13% – but rather that the legal language which each and every investor on the planet must rely on in order to maintain confidence in the system has been subordinated to the needs of the powerful elite. To the power elite making the major decisions in DC, London, Berlin, France, Brussels, et. al., laws are like ice cream, easily melted.
Which begs the question, who is next? Will it be Portugal? Greece? Spain? Italy? France???
Will they impose a “one-time” tax on your bank account? Your house? Your stocks and bonds? Retirement accounts?
The global elite have declared open season on all large piles of money, and now many people all over the world will consider taking money out of the bank to be the rational thing to do. This will especially be true in countries in southern Europe since they would probably be the next to have wealth confiscated.
This is so abundantly clear that even Paul Krugman of the New York Times understands this…
It’s as if the Europeans are holding up a neon sign, written in Greek and Italian, saying “time to stage a run on your banks!”
Tomorrow and the days immediately following should be very interesting.
The global elite have truly “crossed the Rubicon” by going after private bank accounts. It is almost as if they purposely chose the most damaging solution possible to the financial crisis in Cyprus.
Many in the financial world are absolutely stunned by all of this. For example, David Zervos is describing this move as a “nuclear war on savings and wealth“…
All of us should really take a moment to consider what the governments of Europe have done. To be clear, they initiated a surprise assault on the precautionary savings of their own people. Such a move should send shock waves across the entire population of the developed world. This was not a Bernanke style slow moving financial repression against risk free savings that is meant to stir up animal spirits and force risk taking. This is a nuclear war on savings and wealth – something that will likely crush animal spirits. This is a policy move you expect from a dictatorial regime in sub-Saharan Africa, not in an EMU member state. If the European governments can clandestinely expropriate 7 to 10 percent of their hard working citizen’s precautionary savings after the close of business on a Friday night, what else are they capable of doing? Why even hold money in a bank account? Are they trying to start a bank run?
So what motivated the global elite to do this?
According to CNBC, one of the motivations was to go after the Russians that had been using the banking system of Cyprus to launder money…
Indeed, the IMF is reported to have been keen on the levy as a way to stem the flood of Russian money into the island over the last few years which has promptedconcerns over money laundering.
Russian money accounts for about 25 percent of all money in the banking system of Cyprus, and obviously the Russians are quite upsetby what the IMF and the EU have decided to do. Even Vladimir Putin is loudly denouncing this move…
Russian President Vladimir Putin called the tax “unfair, unprofessional and dangerous,” according to a statement posted on the Kremlin website. Russian companies and individuals have $31 billion of deposits in Cyprus, according to Moody’s.
And you haven’t heard a lot about this in the western media, but the Russians have actually stepped forward and have offered to help Cyprus out of this jam. For example, there are reports that Russian investors are interested in buying the two banks that were the primary cause of this bailout…
Officials have also said Russian investors are interested in buying a majority stake in Cyprus Popular Bank and increasing their holdings in Bank of Cyprus – the two biggest banks on the Mediterranean island.
And according to Sky News, Gazprom has offered Cyprus a very large sum of money for the right to explore their offshore gas reserves that have not been developed yet…
The uncertainty comes as Russia’s finance minister said his country would consider restructuring its loans to Cyprus.
Russian energy giant Gazprom has also reportedly offered financial assistance to Cyprus in exchange for access to the island’s gas reserves.
So far the government of Cyprus has rejected the help of the Russians, but could they change their mind at some point? Apparently the Russians are offering enough money to completely fund the bank bailout…
According to Greek Reporter, Gazprom made an offer over the weekend to the Cypriot government to fund the bank restructuring planned under the Cypriot bailout (which is set to cost up to €10bn) in exchange for exclusive exploration rights for Cypriot territorial waters. How reliable this story is remains to be seen, but it does hint at the geopolitical tension which we have been warning about.
Gazprom is known to be very close to the Russian government and despite Russian President Vladimir Putin overtly slamming the deposit tax – calling it “unfair, unprofessional and dangerous” – it is unlikely that they would let this opportunity pass untouched. Fortunately, the Cypriot government is said to have rejected the deal off the bat, but if displeasure towards the eurozone and the EU grows, the Russian option may become increasingly appealing.
It will be very interesting to see what happens.
Meanwhile, some European officials are already suggesting that other nations in southern Europe should have a “wealth tax” imposed upon them. The following comes from an article by Paul Joseph Watson…
Joerg Kraemer, chief economist of the German Commerzbank, has called for private savings accounts in Italy to be similarly plundered. “A tax rate of 15 percent on financial assets would probably be enough to push the Italian government debt to below the critical level of 100 percent of gross domestic product,” he told Handelsblatt.
A “tax” of 15 percent on all financial assets?
Could you imagine if you woke up one morning and the government had decided to suddenly steal 15 percent of all the money that you had in bank accounts, retirement funds and stock portfolios?
If I had a bank account in Italy I would be very nervous right about now.
Under normal circumstances these kinds of things don’t happen, but governments will use an “emergency” to justify all kinds of things. I recently came across an article that included a great quote by Herbert Hoover that put this beautifully…
“Every collectivist revolution rides in on a Trojan horse of ‘emergency’. It was the tactic of Lenin, Hitler, and Mussolini. In the collectivist sweep over a dozen minor countries of Europe, it was the cry of men striving to get on horseback. And ‘emergency’ became the justification of the subsequent steps. This technique of creating emergency is the greatest achievement that demagoguery attains.”
This is what the elite love to do.
They love to create order out of chaos.
And this is just the beginning. The Great Cyprus Bank Robbery was just a beta test for what is coming next.
As the global financial system crumbles, the global elite are going to target our bank accounts, our retirement funds and our stock portfolios. You might want to start thinking about how you will protect yourself.
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Even though the Dow is surging toward a record high right now, everyone knows that things are not good for the middle class. A recent quote from CPA Howard Dvorkin kind of summarizes our current state of affairs very nicely…
“The fact of the matter is that America is broke — whether it’s mortgages, student loans or credit cards, we are broke. The old rule of thumb is that people should have six months’ of savings,” Dvorkin says.”If you talk to people, most don’t have two pennies.”
These days most Americans are living from paycheck to paycheck, and thanks to rising prices and rising taxes, those paychecks are getting squeezed tighter and tighter. Many families have had to cut back on unnecessary expenses, and some families no longer have any discretionary income at all.
The following are 16 signs that the middle class is rapidly running out of money…
#1 According to one brand new survey, 24 percent of all Americans have more credit card debt than money in the bank.
#2 J.C. Penney was once an unstoppable retail powerhouse, but now J.C. Penney has just posted its lowest annual retail sales in more than 20 years…
The shares fell 18 percent to $17.40 at 11:28 a.m. in New York after earlier declining 22 percent, the biggest intraday drop since at least 1980, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. J.C. Penney yesterday said its net loss in the quarter ended Feb. 2 widened to $552 million from $87 million a year earlier. The Plano, Texas-based retailer’s annual revenue slid 25 percent to $13 billion, the lowest since at least 1987.
Looking to buy a new car, truck or crossover? You may find it more difficult to stretch the household budget than you expected, according to a new study that finds median-income families in only one major U.S. city actually can afford the typical new vehicle.
The typical new vehicle is now more expensive than ever, averaging $30,500 in 2012, according to TrueCar.com data, and heading up again as makers curb the incentives that helped make their products more affordable during the recession when they were desperate for sales. According to the 2013 Car Affordability Study by Interest.com, only in Washington could the typical household swing the payments, the median income there running $86,680 a year.
“The payroll tax is affecting sales. It’s causing sales declines,” he said, estimating a decline of about 2 percentage points off sales at his restaurants. “There are a lot of pressures on consumers,” Deluca said, adding “I think this is on the permanent side, but I think business will adjust to it.”
#5 Many other large restaurant chains are also struggling in this tough economic environment…
Darden Restaurants, which owns the casual dining chains Oliver Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and Red Lobster, said blended same-store sales at its three eateries would be 4.5 percent lower during its fiscal third quarter.
Clarence Otis, Darden’s chairman and chief executive, said that “while results midway through the third quarter were encouraging, there were difficult macro-economic headwinds during the last month of the quarter.”
“Two of the most prominent were increased payroll taxes and rising gasoline prices, which together put meaningful pressure on the discretionary purchasing power of our guests,” he added.
#6 The CFO of Family Dollar recently admitted to CNBC that this is a “challenging time” because of reduced consumer spending…
At Family Dollar where the average customer makes less than $40,000 a year, the combination of a two-percent hike in the payroll tax, rising gas prices and delayed tax refunds has created a “challenging time and an uncertain time for the consumer right now,” said Mary Winston, the company’s chief financial officer.
“In our case, anything that takes money out of our customer’s wallet gives them less money to spend in our stores,” she told CNBC. “So I think all of those things create nervousness for the consumer, and I think there are sometimes political dynamics going on that they might not even fully understand the details, but they know it’s not good.”
Evelin Cruz, a department manager at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Pico Rivera, California, said Simon’s comments from the officers’ meeting were “dead on.”
“There are gaps where merchandise is missing,” Cruz said in a telephone interview. “We are not talking about a couple of empty shelves. This is throughout the store in every store. Some places look like they’re going out of business.”
This all comes on the heels of an internal Wal-Mart memo that was leaked to the press earlier this month that described February sales as a “total disaster”.
#9 It is being projected that many of the largest retail chains in America, including Best Buy, will close down hundreds of stores during 2013. The following is a list of projected store closings for 2013 that I included in a previous article…
Forecast store closings: 200 to 250
Sears Holding Corp.
Forecast store closings: Kmart 175 to 225, Sears 100 to 125
Forecast store closings: 300 to 350
Forecast store closings: 125 to 150
Barnes & Noble
Forecast store closings: 190 to 240, per company comments
Forecast store closings: 500 to 600
Forecast store closings: 150 to 175
Forecast store closings: 450 to 550
#10 Another sign that consumer spending is slowing down is the fact that less stuff is being moved around in our economy. As I have mentioned previously, freight shipment volumes have hit their lowest level in two years, and freight expenditures have gone negative for the first time since the last recession.
#11 Many young adults have no discretionary income to spend because they are absolutely drowning in student loan debt. According to the New York Federal Reserve, student loan debt nearly tripled between 2004 and 2012.
#12 The student loan delinquency rate in the United States is now at an all-time high. It is only a matter of time before the student loan debt bubble bursts.
#13 Due to a lack of jobs and high levels of debt, poverty among young adults in America is absolutely exploding. Today, U.S. families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.
#14 According to one recent survey, 62 percent of all middle class Americans say that they have had to reduce household spending over the past year.
#15 Median household income in the United States has fallen for four consecutive years. Overall, it has declined by more than $4000 during that time span.
#16 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the middle class is currently taking home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before.
Are you starting to get the picture?
Retailers are desperate for sales, but you can’t squeeze blood out of a rock.
For much more on how the middle class is absolutely drowning in debt, please see this article: “Money Is A Form Of Social Control And Most Americans Are Debt Slaves“.
But if you listen to the mainstream media, they would have you believe that happy days are here again.
Right now, everyone seems to be quite giddy about the fact that the Dow is marching toward an all-time high. And I actually do believe that the Dow will blow right past it. In fact, it is even possible that we could see the Dow hit 15,000 before everything starts falling apart.
But at some point, the financial markets will catch up with economic reality. It is just a matter of time.
In the meanwhile, those that are wise are taking advantage of these times of plenty to prepare for the great economic drought that is coming.
Don’t be caught living paycheck to paycheck and totally unprepared when the next wave of the economic collapse strikes. Anyone that believes that this debt-fueled bubble of false hope can last indefinitely is just being delusional.
Animals, collapse, Crisis, Debt, Economy, emergency, failure, gardening, global, gold, guns, infinite, International, looting, mass chaos, Meltdown, money creation, nickels, Overload, panic, protection, QE, riots, seeds, shortwave radio, silver, supply, survival skills, Worldwide
(NaturalNews) The time between today and the day the global debt collapse reaches our shores is finite. The U.S. national debt clock shows a nation spiraling into financial oblivion. When Ron Paul says “Americans should be panicking” over the Fed’s newQE unlimited policy of infinite money creation, he was actually holding back. In reality, Americans should have been protesting in the streets… everywhere!But instead, they’re going to deny reality, vote in the upcoming election, and pretend that whoever occupies the Oval Office has both the intention and the power to make any real difference. That belief isdelusional, as is the belief that the national debt somehow doesn’t really matter.
The delusions are, of course, leading us all directly into a head-on collision with history, where the global debt collapse unfolds at a quickening pace and becomes “real” for hundreds of millions of people in North America who have so far escaped the reality of the financial collapse happening across Europe. Before that day comes, here are 26 things you might want to get done.
26 things to get done before the global debt collapse
See a holistic dentist and get the mercury removed from your mouth.
Buy some hardcopy books so you have something to read when the power grid fails.
Move your money out of the big globalist banks.
Bury your gold and silver. Use an appropriate container to protect from moisture and don’t forget to tell someone else where you’ve buried things, just in case you don’t make it.
Get the heck out of the city and learn some country living skills.
Pay off as many assets as you can so you have a clear title to anything you don’t want the banks to seize.
Get right with God or whatever spiritual focal point you practice.
Wrap up needed apologies or forgiveness. Don’t allow regrets to burden you in a time of crisis.
Make color copies of all your important documents, then store them in a safe place. (BTW, a bank’s safe deposit box is NOT a safe place. Those will all be looted.)
Get off prescription meds. Any dependence on prescription drugs is a death wish in a collapsescenario.
Stock up on diatomaceous earth (DE) to protect your garden vegetables. The stuff stores forever.
Stock up on extra glasses or contact lenses if you might need them.
Get fit, you’ll need to be more fit if you hope to survive.
Take out some cash and start saving nickels. Why? Because nickels are actually still worth a nickel in terms of what they’re physically made of.
Learn to use shortwave radio, or better yet get a radio operator’s license.
Learn and practice basic gardening skills.
Learn how to raise chickens, goats or other small animals.
Buy a premium-quality set of basic gardening tools, even if you don’t yet garden.
Get training on how to use your firearms. When you really need them, there won’t be time to practice. If you want to practice on your own, buy the new book by Joe Nobody, entitled, “The Home Schooled Shootist” and start using it.
If you own rifles, sight them all in and use threadlock on anything that might work itself loose in a firefight. You don’t want your gear falling apart when you need it most.
Plant some figs, aloe vera or other low-maintenance food-producing plants. Do it now to give these plants as much time as possible to start producing food.
Stock up on salt, colloidal silver and other hard-to-get items that you’ll routinely need.
Spend more time outdoors to get used to sunlight exposure.
Store away an emergency seed kit.
Get a reliable guard dog who can help provide protection for your family and property.
Buy extra pairs of socks. You can never have too many pairs of quality socks. And you absolutely do not want to have to make them yourself later on.
Obviously, this list can go on forever, but these 26 things should be at the top of your “preparednessto-do list.” Bang out as many as you can while staying healthy, informed, well stocked and as far away from high density population areas as possible. The cities will suffer the most in almost any conceivabledebt collapse scenario, so take advantage of the relative tranquility that exists right now to move out of the city and get squared away out in the country.
Trust me, you’ll be glad you did very, very soon. In terms of timelines, many smart people think we are on the verge of a sudden global debt collapse. Others think we’re heading into a “slow collapse” that could accelerate over the next 2-3 years. Some people believe a lot is riding on the upcoming election, and what I’m hearing is that if Romney gets elected, many Obama supporters are going to riot in the streets. Whereas if Obama gets re-elected, U.S. business owners may very well revolt against the failed economic policies Obama has so far pursued. Either way, it’s not a pretty picture. Either way, you need to get prepared now for the inevitable.