by Amy S.
The GDP dropped by 32% for the second quarter. Employers have cut 55 million jobs since March, and they have not re-opened all those jobs. One million people a week are still losing their jobs. And with so much business closed or crippled, a lot of people close to the financial edge are getting pushed over it. And massive new homelessness could be a result. In fact, up to 40 million people in the U.S. could find themselves at risk of eviction over the next several months. Roughly a third of all renters nationwide failed to make a full housing payment as of the first week of August. Very soon, it is going to be a moving day for 40 million Americans.
They’ll be moving from their homes and apartments, from the places they’ve raised families and made memories — not by choice, but because the evictions are starting soon. And now that the expanded unemployment benefits have expired, many renters could lose their homes. Millions of cases ready to go as soon as the moratorium on evictions ends. These people are tapped out by the millions; I can’t even imagine the hundreds of millions of collections accounts that will soon be filed.
This is not going to be pretty. Forty million homeless with nothing. Sounds like the start of a massive tent city on the mall in DC, just like in the 1930s. Folks, if you thought you had seen riots so far, just wait until all those people suddenly discover everything they’ve been told about The American Dream is a lie. As Carlin said, “It’s a big club, and you ain’t a member!” They are either going to continue this Modern Money Theory and keep printing, or they are going to watch civil unrest unequaled in the nation’s history. Massive federal spending has transformed America into a welfare state.
The money printing goes parabolic. Civil War Cycle Heating up. The Federal, state, county and city governments of the US and similar governments around the world all caught the borrowing bug 40 plus years ago, and now none of them, nor the largest corporations, can afford to pay interest on all that debt — so rates will go one way or another be tricked down. It is much more fun for politicians to SPEND the tax dollars they get than to waste it on paying interest for past-politicians pet projects.
This will continue for some time, and anyone with a good credit score should take advantage of it before it all blows up. The future has nothing left to pull from. Everything has already been stolen from your kids. Central bank Economics is a carefully crafted scam of arbitrage to skim off of everyone’s work. back in 1980, there were only 132 billion US dollars in existence … while today, there are 3,304 billion dollars in existence … that’s 25 times more US dollars in existence today than back in 1980. The FED is not the government. It is not. The FED wants the interest on money the government borrowed paid. In fact, if interest rates are raised, and the government cannot service the debt, the FED will get the money from you.
You and every other citizen are ultimately responsible for the government’s debts. Suppose that means a gigantic bail-in where the assets of every American are seized to pay that debt. Oh well. You see, this is not the first time this has happened. The last time the government went bankrupt, they stole all the Citizens gold to pay off the FED. What do you think they will take this time? The impending shut-down of college sports and the brazen knock-down of gold and silver prices – plus this eviction crisis – tell me that things are going from serious to really serious very fast. Everything points to even more massive fiat money-printing, which makes the 15-percent, one-day plunge in silver and the huge one-day decline in gold particularly surreal. Obviously, the economic fallout from this thing will be unimaginably worse than anything else. Elections and giving money away both have consequences.
The government, which is all of us, won’t be able to kick this bill down the road forever. The unemployment benefit was 900 per week from Mar to Jul. That’s more than the 400 that a minimum wage worker gets a week. So why are people struggling with eviction now when they have been receiving double their usual amount for the past few months? The real world looks like this: the government stops evictions, so people don’t pay their rent for six months.
After six months, when the eviction starts, you jam out of your place and leave your landlord with the unpaid rent and no way to get it from you. Find another place from all the vacant properties that were just vacated from someone else who burned their landlord for their back rent, which they didn’t pay either. Easy, happens every day all across the US. Maybe Americans need to get it through their heads. You need at least six months of safety cash. The landlord and the mortgage companies have people they gotta pay too. Most landlords are mom-and-pop operations.
They have their own mortgages to pay on the property. Being able to make the monthly payment out of earnings doesn’t mean you can afford a home or your rental. Having the cash to back up the next six months of living expenses does. We need to stop this outsourcing of personal responsibility. There’s a saying don’t bite more than what you can chew. I think the same should go to spend don’t buy more than what you can pay. Drop the cable, don’t eat out, get a pay as you go phone, etc. The point is, shelter is one of the basic needs, and the rent needs to get paid. Even if it means giving up what really are luxuries. There are a lot of millennials who stopped paying rent just because their friends are doing it. A lot of landlords are leaving their properties vacant until this moratorium nonsense is over. The landlords are also at risk of repo and defaults of their mortgage.
They have property taxes and water bills to pay. I know landlords who are not renting out otherwise available properties until this crud is over. Landlords should get paid or be allowed to evict people. If the government wants to make payments, then fine. But you cannot force landlords to house people with no payment. The only winners in this deal will be the hedge funds and vulture capitalists who buy up rental properties that have been defaulted on by their mom-and-pop owners who can’t make the payments. We’ve seen this movie before.
We can also read this as 40 million people are not paying their rents, but want to continue to have free housing. How is this fair on the landlords? They bought the rental properties with their savings. Why should they be forced to provide free housing to tenants that choose not to pay their rent? Nobody gifted them those houses, and they got no stimulus check because they earn too much. How can the government justify forcing these landlords to provide free housing? How fair is that? If politicians care so much about renters, help them pay the rent. Don’t shift all the burden on the landlords, because not all of them are billion-dollar corporations. Some people just don’t realize that it costs money to own a house, and tenants don’t take care of rental properties any more than people take care of rental cars.
When they stop paying rent, the landlord is faced with a huge dilemma. Is it possible that people will learn a financial lesson from the rage of this pandemic, which is to “save for a rainy day”? It sounds antiquated but still makes lots of sense. Doubt many will pay heed to it, unfortunately. I suspect the biggest problem is the middle-class, who spent above their income level before the pandemic. Drive through some neighborhoods and see all of the new homes, SUVs, pickups, boats, etc.
Probably most of them with loans with expensive full-covered insurance required. They maximized their purchasing power by financing everything, and now they can’t make payments even with the [very generous] $600. Also, these forecasts are forward-looking into the next few months, so even people who did well with the $600 bonuses can no way pay a $3000 mortgage or even basic living expenses on their state’s measly $300 regular unemployment. Who’s fault is that? Millions of lazy, self-indulgent, and/or irresponsible Americans are their own worst enemies, failing to save for a rainy day while having babies, vacations, lattes at the Starbucks, and unlimited data latest iPhones. But the governments would like us to view them all as feckless victims of an evil oligarchy. I’m betting that most of those threatened with “housing insecurity” had every opportunity to live a fiscally responsible life but CHOSE to do otherwise and now expect responsible taxpayers to bail them out.
The government is by the people. We all talk about fiscal responsibility when talking, but we don’t want to sacrifice anything ourselves. We want lower taxes, we want to wage wars, we want to forgive student loans – and after all that, we complain about the government is broke. We should consider if the voting public is the problem. Those living below the poverty line have the highest rates of smoking, obesity, school dropouts, criminality, deadbeat dads, teen pregnancies, single-parent families, lottery ticket purchases, drug/alcohol abuse and (most expensive of all) BIRTH RATES among women of childbearing age. It seems like changing some of those habits could free up quite a bit of saving! If your state has a base rate of $300 and you get the $600 COVID bonus on top of that, it comes to $900/week or $22 an hour. That is three times the minimum wage. Ironically, those people getting unemployment checks will get more extra money every month than the ones still working would get back in the payroll tax deferral by the end of the year. The rest of us, the 140 million Americans, will be working to pay for all of this nonsense.
Charles Nenner Warns The Coming Market Crash will be much worse than what people think !! Today we have a distinguished guest, the legendary market analyst Charles Nenner, President of Charles Nenner Research : www.charlesnenner.com/ free-trial Charles Nenner is a Technical Analyst. A medical doctor, a geopolitical and financial cycle expert. He has been an analyst for over 30 years – including providing analysis from his unique models for Goldman Sachs for almost 15 years. In 2001, Charles Nenner founded and was president of the Charles Nenner Research Center. Mr. Nenner has provided his independent market research to the following entities worldwide: hedge funds, banks, brokerage firms, family offices, and individual clients. Charles Nenner uses advanced mathematical models/algorithms to identify profitable patterns in the market, such as the Fibonacci ratio, the Golden Mean.
Global business leaders are preparing for a drawn-out U-shaped recession due to the impact of coronavirus and many fear their companies won’t survive the pandemic, a survey of thousands of chief executives.
The pandemic sweeping the world has killed nearly 180,000 people, routed financial markets and could trigger the worst economic meltdown since the 1930s Great Depression.
Around 60 percent of chief executives are preparing for a U-shaped recovery – a long period between recession and an upturn – compared with 22 percent who predict a double-dip recession, according to an April 15-19 poll of 3,534 chief executives from 109 countries conducted by YPO, a business leadership network.
The survey found that 11 percent of chief executives see coronavirus as a risk to the survival of their firms, while a further 40 percent say the pandemic poses a severe threat.
“We have not seen a crisis like this for over a hundred years, and some household names will not survive,” said Glenn Keys, Executive Chairman of Aspen Medical, a Sydney-based health services firm and YPO member.
Business leaders in the hospitality and restaurant sectors were the most vulnerable with 41 percent of executives saying their firms were at risk of not surviving, while 30 percent in aviation and 19 percent in wholesale and retail sales feared they may go under, the survey found.
There are some beneficiaries, with 10 percent of sector-specific retail and wholesale leaders as well as heads of production firms in agriculture, factories, mines and utilities reporting a positive impact to their revenue.
However, most chief executives expect things to get worse before they get better.
Almost two-thirds of business leaders forecast a negative impact on earnings to continue for more than a year, while a quarter expect their workforce to be down by more than 20 percent a year from now.
“Across the globe, the mindset of the business leader is clearly that the world has changed in a very short space of time,” said Scott Mordell, YPO’s chief executive.
“We are in unchartered waters, filled with an unprecedented number of pitfalls, that are challenging some businesses’ very existence.”
If the United States had an economic downturn on the scale of the Great Depression of 1929, your life would change dramatically. One out of every four people you know would lose their job. The unemployment rate would skyrocket to 25%.
Economic output would plummet by 25%. The gross domestic product would fall from a $20 trillion level to around $14 trillion. Instead of inflation at about 2%, deflation would cause prices to drop. (The Consumer Price Index fell 27% between November 1929 and March 1933, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). Trade wars caused international trade to shrink by 65%.
Could it happen again? After the 2007 financial crisis, many people are still worried about a depression reoccurring. Here are a few reasons why that fear persists—as well as some reasons why they may be wrong.
Almost 16% of the unemployed have been looking for work for six months or more, as of March 2020. That’s significantly below the peak of 45.5% in 2010. Hundreds of thousands of discouraged workers have given up looking for work, and are no longer counted in the unemployed numbers, which drives the labor force participation rate down. Not everyone has returned to the job market. Approximately 5 million people are working part-time because they can’t find a full-time job. This is all despite the fact that the unemployment rate is near the 4% natural rate of unemployment.
Stock Market Volatility
Volatility spooks investors when the Dow Jones Industrial Average swings 400 points up or down a day. Stock market losses suffered during the 2008 stock market crash were devastating. The Dow dropped 53% from its high of 14,043 in October 2007 to 6,594.44 in March 2009. It dropped 777 points during intra-day trading on September 29, 2008—at the time, its largest one-day drop ever. Investors who lost money are understandably still spooked by that experience, and more extreme volatility in the market in 2020 have added fuel to the fire.
Two of the top five largest one-day daily percentage losses in the history of the Dow have occurred in 2020. By comparison, the worst percentage drop during the 2007-08 crisis came in 11th on the list. In terms of overall points losses, 2018-20 dominates nearly all of the top spots, but that’s primarily because the market’s overall size is so much larger than it has been in the past. The Dow plummeted nearly 3,000 points on March 16, 2020, shattering all previous point-loss records.
Oil prices have also been volatile. They rose to $50 a barrel after plummeting to a 13-year low of $26.55 per barrel in January 2016. That was just 18 months after a high of $100.26 per barrel in June 2014. Oil prices were pushed down by an increase in supply from U.S. shale oil producers and the strength of the U.S. dollar. Volatility makes people want to save, in case prices skyrocket again. Oil price forecasts have suggested that oil prices could surge to $200 per barrel at some point. Market volatility in 2020 has caused prices to plunge to $20.8
The Financial Crisis of 2008
The 2008 subprime mortgage crisis weakened the economy’s structure. The housing collapse that caused it was about as bad during the recession as it was during the Great Depression.
Many homeowners were upside-down in their mortgages. They couldn’t sell their homes or refinance to take advantage of record-low interest rates. The housing collapse was caused by mortgage financing reliant upon mortgage-backed securities. After 2008, banks stopped purchasing them on the secondary market. As a result, 90% of all mortgages were guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.10 The government took ownership, but banks still aren’t lending without Fannie or Freddie guarantees. In effect, the federal government is still supporting the U.S. housing market.
Business credit froze up. Demand for any asset-backed commercial paper disappeared. The panic over the value of these commercialized debt obligations led to the financial sector’s crisis, causing the intervention of the Federal Reserve and the Treasury. The governments of the world stepped in to provide all the liquidity for frozen credit markets. The U.S. debt was downgraded. Europe wasn’t much better. Even worse, all that addition to the money supply didn’t find its way into the regular economy. Banks sat on cash, unwilling to lend. They eventually paid back the $700 billion bailout.
6 Reasons Why the Depression Could Reoccur
Taking into account the factors listed above, there are six main reasons why the United States could see another depression:
Stock market crashes can cause depressions by wiping out investors’ life savings. If people have borrowed money to invest, then they will be forced to sell all they have to pay back the loans. Derivatives make any crash even worse through this leveraging. Crashes also make it difficult for companies to raise the needed funds to grow. Finally, a stock market crash can destroy the confidence required to get the economy going again. Extreme market volatility in 2020 suggests that this remains an ongoing concern.
Lower housing prices and resultant foreclosures resulted in many billions of dollars in losses to banks, hedge funds, and other owners of subprime mortgages on the secondary market during the 2007 financial crisis. Banks continue to hoard cash even though housing prices have increased. They are still digesting the losses from millions of foreclosures.
Business credit is needed for businesses so they can continue to run on a daily basis. Without credit, small businesses can’t grow, stifling the near 50% of jobs that they provide.
Bank near-failures frightened depositors into taking out their cash. Although the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insures these deposits, some became concerned that this agency would also run out of money. Commercial banks depend on consumer deposits to fund their day-to-day business, as well as make loans.
High oil prices could return once U.S. shale producers are forced out of business. Millions of jobs were lost when oil prices plummeted. At the same time, many consumers bought new cars and SUVs when gas prices were low. They will be pinched when prices rise again.
Deflation is an even bigger threat. Low oil and gas prices have had a deflationary impact, and so has a 25% increase in the U.S. dollar that depresses import prices. These deflationary pressures seem like a boon to consumers, but they make it difficult for businesses to raise wages. The result could be a downward spiral. That is similar to what happened during the Great Depression. Fortunately, deflationary months have been extremely rare since 2009.
5 Reasons Why the Depression Won’t Reoccur
There are also six reasons to believe that we are not in danger of seeing a depression anytime soon.
Housing prices and foreclosures have recovered. Rental rates are relatively high, which has brought investors back to the housing market. Now that confidence has been restored, housing prices continue to rise. After median sales prices dropped to a low of $208,400 in the first quarter of 2009, they reached $324,500 in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Business credit has been affected the most. The world’s central banks have pumped in much of the liquidity needed. In effect, they have replaced the financial system itself.
Monetary policy is expansionary, unlike the contractionary monetary policies that caused the Great Depression.
Strategies to Prepare to Survive and Thrive in the Next Recession
Recessions are going to happen, and there is nothing any of us can do about it. But the critical take away is that we need to be prepared. Is it possible to recession-proof your career and finances? And if so, how can you do that?
1. Pay Off All Debt
Debt is a problem even when the economy is booming. But it’s an even bigger problem during recessions, when you may be facing the possibility of losing your job or experiencing a serious decline in the value of your investments.
Whether credit cards, student loans, medical debts, or any other type of financing, the more you can eliminate, the fewer payments you’ll have. That will make the loss of your job that much easier to deal with, especially if you’re unemployed for several months.
If you can’t pay off all your debts, pay off or pay down as many as you can. The more you can pay, the stronger your financial position will be if your personal financial situation starts to look shaky.
2. Cash is King
There are two primary reasons to stock up on cash in advance of a recession, and they’re equally important.
The first is preparing for emergencies. Emergencies can happen in expanding economies, but they tend to be more frequent in recessions. Having a well-stocked emergency fund is the best way to prepare in advance. It’s one of the best strategies for preventing small financial problems returning to the big ones.
This is a serious problem in America. A survey done by GoBankingRates late in 2019 found that 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. That includes 45% who report having no savings that all. If you have little or no cash, even small unexpected expenses can turn into financial disasters.
The problem extends to retirement savings as well. A study done by Northwestern Mutual revealed that 22% Americans have less than $5,000 saved for retirement, while 15% have no retirement savings at all. That’s 37% of the adult population.
If you’ve never been able to accumulate much cash in the past, there are several ways to make it happen. Stop buying stuff. Start selling stuff you don’t need. Cancel any subscriptions or services you don’t need. And make sure you redirect the savings from all those efforts into loading up your emergency fund.
The second reason the stock up on cash has to do with the next recession strategy…
3. Keep Investing
When the financial markets get shaky, people panic. When I used to work with people in my financial planning practice, I’d see and hear many wanting to sell everything and move into cash. That’s the absolute worst strategy, and I spent a lot of time walking people off that ledge.
It’s understandable to want to go to cash if you’re retired. But if you’re still working, and contributing to your 401(k) plan, you need to keep investing for the long-term.
“A person’s workplace retirement account is most likely their largest asset for retirement,” says Matthew Jackson, President of Fort Collins, Colorado-based Solid Wealth Advisors, LLC, and #1 Best-Selling Author of “The Retirement Dreammaker”. “Getting regular help rebalancing a workplace retirement account’s asset allocation based on current market conditions and individual tolerance to risk is important. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all investment strategy. Also, beware of target date funds. Their asset allocations may simply be based on a person’s age rather than current market conditions and individual tolerances to risk.”
This also gets back to the cash is king concept. If you’ve been stocking up on cash, you’ll have the funds available to buy into the market. That’s more important in recessions than ever, because you can buy stocks at depressed prices.
“The investment strategy that works best in a recession is to have little to no consumer debt, own cash, and have the guts to buy at the bottom of the dip,” advises Anthony Montenegro, founder of The Blackmont Group and creator of 401kwealthguide.com. “Economists aplenty have opined that a recession is coming in the next 18 months or so. The truth is a recession is always coming. The bottom line is that you will want to have made changes to your investment portfolio prior to the decline.”
The facts support that strategy. Going back to 1926, the average stock market loss during bear markets – which generally correspond to recessions – has been 38%, over an average of 1.3 years. But the bull markets coming out of those bear markets have produced average cumulative returns of 339%, over 6.6 years. That’s a surge you don’t want to miss due to a short-term market decline.
For example, after the S&P 500 lost 36% in 2008, it gained 26% in 2009. It is not possible to time the market, but if you were investing through the 2008 downturn, you would have been well-positioned to take advantage of big gains in 2009, and the years that followed.
In hindsight – which admittedly, no one had in 2008 – it was the best year to buy stocks in decades.
4. Building Your “IA’s” – Intellectual Assets
This is all about improving your skills and qualifications. If a recession is coming, one of the very best strategies to keep yourself relevant on the career front is to improve your abilities. That might mean getting an advanced degree. But it can also mean taking online courses or getting an important certification – anything that could help your career move forward.
In a nutshell, you’ll be doing whatever it takes to improve your value in the job market.
In the process, you may be preparing for a new job, or even a whole new career. Either way, preparing in advance is the best way to avoid being blindsided by a job loss during a recession.
5. Create a Side Hustle
“Side hustle” is a popular term, but I prefer to think of it as a side business. Under the best scenario, it’s the type of business that will be earning you additional income while you’re doing other things – like working at your regular job.
It could be an online or off-line business, but it’s something you’ll create as a way to generate extra income and diversify your income sources.
It may be that at the beginning you’re only making a couple hundred dollars per month. But as you roll forward, you’ll eventually get up to $1,000 per month. If you lose your job, your side hustle will be an important additional revenue stream. It will supplement other sources, like severance pay or unemployment benefits.
But if you can build a side hustle to the point where you’re earning at least $1,000 per month while you still hold your full-time job, the loss of that job may give you the extra time you need to turn that side hustle in the something bigger. It could possibly even become your next primary occupation.
If a recession is coming, this is absolutely not the time to panic. Instead, focus your time, effort, and energy on doing what’s needed to thrive even if the economy does head south.
In the end, the next recession will only be temporary. You can decide now to take steps to position yourself to prosper when it ends.
If you look at what’s happened with the stock market since the last crash in 2008, it’s obvious the steps you take to prepare now will produce a big payoff later. Ignore the headlines, and make your plans!