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  1. #1
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    20 Early Warning Signs That We Are Approaching A Global Economic Meltdown

    20 Early Warning Signs That We Are Approaching A Global Economic Meltdown

    By Michael Snyder, on January 23rd, 2014

    Have you been paying attention to what has been happening in Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil, Ukraine, Turkey and China? If you are like most Americans, you have not been. Most Americans don't seem to really care too much about what is happening in the rest of the world, but they should. In major cities all over the globe right now, there is looting, violence, shortages of basic supplies, and runs on the banks. We are not at a "global crisis" stage yet, but things are getting worse with each passing day. For a while, I have felt that 2014 would turn out to be a major "turning point" for the global economy, and so far that is exactly what it is turning out to be.

    The following are 20 early warning signs that we are rapidly approaching a global economic meltdown...

    #1 The looting, violence and economic chaos that is happening in Argentina right now is a perfect example of what can happen when you print too much money...
    For Dominga Kanaza, it wasn’t just the soaring inflation or the weeklong blackouts or even the looting that frayed her nerves.

    It was all of them combined.

    At one point last month, the 37-year-old shop owner refused to open the metal shutters protecting her corner grocery in downtown Buenos Aires more than a few inches -- just enough to sell soda to passersby on a sweltering summer day.
    #2 The value of the Argentine Peso is absolutely collapsing.

    Widespread shortages, looting and accelerating inflation are also causing huge problems in Venezuela...
    Economic mismanagement in Venezuela has reached such a level that it risks inciting a violent popular reaction. Venezuela is experiencing declining export revenues, accelerating inflation and widespread shortages of basic consumer goods. At the same time, the Maduro administration has foreclosed peaceful options for Venezuelans to bring about a change in its current policies.

    President Maduro, who came to power in a highly-contested election last April, has reacted to the economic crisis with interventionist and increasingly authoritarian measures. His recent orders to slash prices of goods sold in private businesses resulted in episodes of looting, which suggests a latent potential for violence. He has put the armed forces on the street to enforce his economic decrees, exposing them to popular discontent.
    #4 In a stunning decision, the Venezuelan government has just announced that it has devalued the Bolivar by more than 40 percent.

    Brazilian stocks declined sharply on Thursday. There is a tremendous amount of concern that the economic meltdown that is happening in Argentina is going to spill over into Brazil.

    Ukraine is rapidly coming apart at the seams...
    A tense ceasefire was announced in Kiev on the fifth day of violence, with radical protesters and riot police holding their position. Opposition leaders are negotiating with the government, but doubts remain that they will be able to stop the rioters.
    #7 It appears that a bank run has begun in China...
    As China's CNR reports, depositors in some of Yancheng City's largest farmers' co-operative mutual fund societies ("banks") have been unable to withdraw "hundreds of millions" in deposits in the last few weeks. "Everyone wants to borrow and no one wants to save," warned one 'salesperson', "and loan repayments are difficult to recover." There is "no money" and the doors are locked.
    #8 Art Cashin of UBS is warning that credit markets in China "may be broken". For much more on this, please see my recent article entitled "The $23 Trillion Credit Bubble In China Is Starting To Collapse – Global Financial Crisis Next?"

    News that China's manufacturing sector is contracting shook up financial markets on Thursday...
    Wall Street was rattled by a key reading on China's manufacturing which dropped below the key 50 level in January, according to HSBC. A reading below 50 on the HSBC flash manufacturing PMI suggests economic contraction.
    #10 Japanese stocks experienced their biggest drop in 7 months on Thursday.

    The value of the Turkish Lira is absolutely collapsing.

    The unemployment rate in France has risen for 9 quarters in a row and recently soared to a new 16 year high.

    In Italy, the unemployment rate has soared to a brand new all-time record high of 12.7 percent.

    The unemployment rate in Spain is sitting at an all-time record high of 26.7 percent.

    This year, the Baltic Dry Index experienced the largest two week post-holiday decline that we have ever seen.

    Chipmaker Intel recently announced that it plans to eliminate 5,000 jobs over the coming year.

    CNBC is reporting that U.S. retailers just experienced "the worst holiday season since 2008".

    A recent CNBC article stated that U.S. consumers should expect a "tsunami" of store closings in the retail industry...
    Get ready for the next era in retail—one that will be characterized by far fewer shops and smaller stores.
    On Tuesday, Sears said that it will shutter its flagship store in downtown Chicago in April. It's the latest of about 300 store closures in the U.S. that Sears has made since 2010. The news follows announcements earlier this month of multiple store closings from major department stores J.C. Penney and Macy's.

    Further signs of cuts in the industry came Wednesday, when Target said that it will eliminate 475 jobs worldwide, including some at its Minnesota headquarters, and not fill 700 empty positions.

    The U.S. Congress is facing another deadline to raise the debt ceiling in February.

    The Dow fell by more than 170 points on Thursday. It is becoming increasingly likely that "the peak of the market" is now in the rear view mirror.

    And I have not even mentioned the extreme drought that has caused the U.S. cattle herd to drop to a 61 year low or the nuclear radiation from Fukushima that is washing up on the west coast.

    In light of everything above, is there anyone out there that still wants to claim that "everything is going to be okay" for the global economy?

    Sadly, most Americans are not even aware of most of these things.

    All over the country today, the number one news headline is about Justin Bieber. The mainstream media is absolutely obsessed with celebrity scandals, and so is a very large percentage of the U.S. population.

    A great economic storm is rapidly approaching, and most people don't even seem to notice the storm clouds that are gathering on the horizon.

    In the end, perhaps we will get what we deserve as a nation.

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    January 23rd, 2014 | Tags: Americans, Argentina, Brazil, China, Economic Meltdown, Global Crisis, Global Economy, Looting, Michael T. Snyder, Shortages, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, Warning Signs | Category: Asia, Financial Markets, The Next Great Depression
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  2. #2
    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
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    Printing Money and National debt

    Governments borrow by selling government bonds / gilts to the private sector. Bonds are a form of saving. People buy government because they assume a government bond is a safe investment. However, this assumes that inflation will remain low.

    • If governments print money to pay off national debt, inflation would rise. This increase in inflation would reduce the value of bonds.
    • If inflation increases, people will not want to hold bonds because their value is falling. Therefore, the government will find it difficult to sell bonds to finance the national debt. They will have to pay higher interest rates to attract investors.
    • If the government print too much money and inflation gets out of hand, investors will not trust the government and it will be hard for the government to borrow anything at all.
    • Therefore, printing money could create more problems than it solves.
    • See also: Printing money and national debt

    Hyper Inflation in Germany during the 1920s

    Inflation was so bad in Germany that money became worthless. Here a child is using money as a toy. Money was used as wallpaper, to make kites. Towards the end of 1923, so much money was needed, people had to carry it about in wheel barrows. You hear stories of people stealing the wheel barrow, but leaving the money.

    Printing more money is exactly what Weimar Germany did in 1922. To meet Allied reparations, they printed more money; this caused the hyper inflation of the 1920s. The hyper inflation led to the collapse of the economy.


    Posted on January 9, 2013 by The Old Wolf
    When I was little, my mother (who served as a Red Cross worker during World War II) used to tell me stories of people in Weimar Germany taking wheelbarrows full of money to the store to buy a loaf of bread. “Haha,” I thought, “that’s a good one,” being too young to really get the concept.

    German woman burning banknotes, which burned longer than the wood that they would buy.
    Then I grew up and traveled to Serbia, where I discovered that hyperinflation is not relegated to the furnaces of history.

    This is the 500 billion Dinar note that was printed at the end of Serbia’s period of hyperinflation (I also have a 50,000,000,000 Dinar note as well) and I thought these were quite unique. [1] Until I heard about what happened in Zimbabwe.

    Off to buy a pack of gum

    Even this didn’t help the situation; From Wikipedia, “The Zimbabwean dollar is no longer in active use after it was officially suspended by the government due to hyperinflation. The United States dollar ($), South African rand (R), Botswana pula (P), Pound sterling (£) and Euro (€) are now used instead. The United States dollar has been adopted as the official currency for all government transactions.
    But none of these monsters can touch what happened in Hungary in 1946:

    This is the 100 quintillion pengő note, the largest banknote ever issued for public circulation. That’s 100,000,000,000,000,000,000, or 1020 pengő, which is a lot of pengő no matter how you slice them.
    One rather interesting side-effect of inflation in Greece (before they gave up the Drachma in favor of the Euro) was that 5, 10 and 20 lepta coins became so worthless that it was cheaper to use them as washers than to go to the store and buy them.

    Prices keep going up here in the USA in the early years of the 21st century, but I’m grateful we’ve never experienced this sort of madness here. Well, almost never.

    Just enough for 3 gallons of gas. [2]
    The Old Wolf has spoken.

    [1] This one is still unique to me, because I have one.
    [2] The $100,000 dollar note was never circulated – it was used only for transactions between Federal Reserve banks.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
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    The $23 Trillion Credit Bubble In China Is Starting To Collapse – Global Financial Crisis Next?

    By Michael Snyder, on January 20th, 2014

    Since Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008, the level of private domestic credit in China has risen from $9 trillion to an astounding $23 trillion.

    Did you know that financial institutions all over the world are warning that we could see a "mega default" on a very prominent high-yield investment product in China on January 31st? We are being told that this could lead to a cascading collapse of the shadow banking system in China which could potentially result in "sky-high interest rates" and "a precipitous plunge in credit". In other words, it could be a "Lehman Brothers moment" for Asia. And since the global financial system is more interconnected today than ever before, that would be very bad news for the United States as well. Since Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008, the level of private domestic credit in China has risen from $9 trillion to an astounding $23 trillion. That is an increase of $14 trillion in just a little bit more than 5 years. Much of that "hot money" has flowed into stocks, bonds and real estate in the United States. So what do you think is going to happen when that bubble collapses?

    The bubble of private debt that we have seen inflate in China since the Lehman crisis is unlike anything that the world has ever seen. Never before has so much private debt been accumulated in such a short period of time. All of this debt has helped fuel tremendous economic growth in China, but now a whole bunch of Chinese companies are realizing that they have gotten in way, way over their heads. In fact, it is being projected that Chinese companies will pay out the equivalent of approximately a trillion dollars in interest payments this year alone. That is more than twice the amount that the U.S. government will pay in interest in 2014.

    Over the past several years, the U.S. Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England have all been criticized for creating too much money. But the truth is that what has been happening in China surpasses all of their efforts combined. You can see an incredible chart which graphically illustrates this point right here. As the Telegraph pointed out a while back, the Chinese have essentially "replicated the entire U.S. commercial banking system" in just five years...
    Overall credit has jumped from $9 trillion to $23 trillion since the Lehman crisis. "They have replicated the entire U.S. commercial banking system in five years," she said.

    The ratio of credit to GDP has jumped by 75 percentage points to 200pc of GDP, compared to roughly 40 points in the US over five years leading up to the subprime bubble, or in Japan before the Nikkei bubble burst in 1990. "This is beyond anything we have ever seen before in a large economy. We don't know how this will play out. The next six months will be crucial," she said.

    As with all other things in the financial world, what goes up must eventually come down.

    And right now January 31st is shaping up to be a particularly important day for the Chinese financial system. The following is from a Reuters article...
    The trust firm responsible for a troubled high-yield investment product sold through China's largest banks has warned investors they may not be repaid when the 3 billion-yuan ($496 million)product matures on Jan. 31, state media reported on Friday.
    Investors are closely watching the case to see if it will shatter assumptions that the government and state-owned banks will always protect investors from losses on risky off-balance-sheet investment products sold through a murky shadow banking system.

    If there is a major default on January 31st, the effects could ripple throughout the entire Chinese financial system very rapidly. A recent Forbes article explained why this is the case...

    A WMP default, whether relating to Liansheng or Zhenfu, could devastate the Chinese banking system and the larger economy as well. In short, China’s growth since the end of 2008 has been dependent on ultra-loose credit first channeled through state banks, like ICBC and Construction Bank, and then through the WMPs, which permitted the state banks to avoid credit risk. Any disruption in the flow of cash from investors to dodgy borrowers through WMPs would rock China with sky-high interest rates or a precipitous plunge in credit, probably both. The result? The best outcome would be decades of misery, what we saw in Japan after its bubble burst in the early 1990s.

    The big underlying problem is the fact that private debt and the money supply have both been growing far too rapidly in China. According to Forbes, M2 in China increased by 13.6 percent last year...

    And at the same time China’s money supply and credit are still expanding. Last year, the closely watched M2 increased by only 13.6%, down from 2012’s 13.8% growth. Optimists say China is getting its credit addiction under control, but that’s not correct. In fact, credit expanded by at least 20% last year as money poured into new channels not measured by traditional statistics.
    Overall, M2 in China is up by about 1000 percent since 1999. That is absolutely insane.

    And of course China is not the only place in the world where financial trouble signs are erupting. Things in Europe just keep getting worse, and we have just learned that the largest bank in Germany just suffered " a surprise fourth-quarter loss"...

    Deutsche Bank shares tumbled on Monday following a surprise fourth-quarter loss due to a steep drop in debt trading revenues and heavy litigation and restructuring costs that prompted the bank to warn of a challenging 2014.
    Germany's biggest bank said revenue at its important debt-trading division, fell 31 percent in the quarter, a much bigger drop than at U.S. rivals, which have also suffered from sluggish fixed-income trading.

    If current trends continue, many other big banks will soon be experiencing a "bond headache" as well. At this point, Treasury Bond sentiment is about the lowest that it has been in about 20 years. Investors overwhelmingly believe that yields are heading higher.

    If that does indeed turn out to be the case, interest rates throughout our economy are going to be rising, economic activity will start slowing down significantly and it could set up the "nightmare scenario" that I keep talking about.

    But I am not the only one talking about it.

    In fact, the World Economic Forum is warning about the exact same thing...
    Fiscal crises triggered by ballooning debt levels in advanced economies pose the biggest threat to the global economy in 2014, a report by the World Economic Forum has warned.
    Ahead of next week's WEF annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the forum's annual assessment of global dangers said high levels of debt in advanced economies, including Japan and America, could lead to an investor backlash.
    This would create a "vicious cycle" of ballooning interest payments, rising debt piles and investor doubt that would force interest rates up further.

    So will a default event in China on January 31st be the next "Lehman Brothers moment" or will it be something else?
    In the end, it doesn't really matter. The truth is that what has been going on in the global financial system is completely and totally unsustainable, and it is inevitable that it is all going to come horribly crashing down at some point during the next few years.
    It is just a matter of time.
    Last edited by HAPPY2BME; 01-26-2014 at 12:59 AM.
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