U.S.’s $13 Trillion Debt Poised to Overtake GDP: Chart of Day
By Garfield Reynolds and Wes Goodman
June 4 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama is poised to increase the U.S. debt to a level that exceeds the value of the nation’s annual economic output, a step toward what Bill Gross called a “debt super cycle.”
The CHART OF THE DAY tracks U.S. gross domestic product and the government’s total debt, which rose past $13 trillion for the first time this month. The amount owed will surpass GDP in 2012, based on forecasts by the International Monetary Fund. The lower panel shows U.S. annual GDP growth as tracked by the IMF, which projects the world’s largest economy to expand at a slower pace than the 3.2 percent average during the past five decades.
“Over the long term, interest rates on government debt will likely have to rise to attract investors,” said Hiroki Shimazu, a market economist in Tokyo at Nikko Cordial Securities Inc., a unit of Japan’s third-largest publicly traded bank. “That will be a big burden on the government and the people.”
Gross, who runs the world’s largest mutual fund at Pacific Investment Management Co. in Newport Beach, California, said in his June outlook report that “the debt super cycle trend” suggests U.S. economic growth won’t be enough to support the borrowings “if real interest rates were ever to go up instead of down.”
U.S. Economy: May Employment Gain Trails Forecast
By Shobhana Chandra
June 4 (Bloomberg) — American companies hired fewer workers in May than forecast and workers dropped out of the labor force, indicating government support is still needed to spur economic growth.
Private payrolls rose by 41,000, Labor Department figures showed today, trailing the 180,000 gain forecast by economists. Including government workers, employment rose by 431,000, boosted by a jump in hiring of temporary census workers. The jobless rate fell to 9.7 percent from 9.9 percent.
Stocks slumped and Treasuries surged as the report raised concern the world’s biggest economy was susceptible to shocks such as the European debt crisis. The figures may deal a blow to the Obama administration as the Congressional elections approach, and bolster forecasts the Federal Reserve will maintain its pledge to keep interest rates low for “an extended period.”
“The labor market is extremely weak and has been in a mild recovery,” said Steven Wieting, managing director of economic and market analysis at Citigroup Global Markets Inc. in New York. “Policy makers need to be careful. No one should be taking stability for granted.”
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 3.4 percent to close in New York at 1,064.88, the lowest level since Feb. 8. The 10-year Treasury note rose, pushing the yield down to 3.20 percent from 3.37 percent late yesterday.
Estimates of 82 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News for total payrolls ranged from 220,000 to 750,000. Last month’s gain followed a 290,000 increase in April employment.
Economists surveyed also forecast the jobless rate would fall 9.8 percent. Unemployment reached a 26-year high of 10.1 percent in October. The decrease in joblessness last month reflected a 322,000 drop in the labor force as Americans grew discouraged over hiring prospects.
Temporary census jobs accounted for 411,000 of the May increase in payrolls, leaving the ex-census figure at 20,000. The hiring of temporary workers to conduct the decennial population count probably peaked last month, economists said.
The unwinding of census employment may keep distorting the payroll figures for months as the government dismisses workers when the count is completed. For that reason, economists say private payrolls, which exclude government jobs, will be a better gauge of the state of the labor market for much of 2010.
“Job growth is going to be anemic,” said Bill Gross, who runs the world’s biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co. in Newport Beach, California. “It requires 150,000 to 200,000 jobs in order to reduce that unemployment rate, which is a key focus for the administration,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg Radio’s Tom Keene on “Bloomberg on the Economy.”
Obama on Jobs
President Barack Obama said the employment report showed the economy was moving in the right direction.
“While we recognize that our recovery is still in its early stages, and that there are going to be ups and downs in the months ahead — things never go completely in a smooth line — this report is a sign that our economy is getting stronger by the day,” the president said while visiting a truck factory in Hyattsville, Maryland.
Manufacturing remained a bright spot as factories increased payrolls by 29,000 in May, a fifth straight gain. The average number of hours worked, overtime, and earnings also climbed.
Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke yesterday said joblessness is among the “important concerns” for the recovery.
“One particularly difficult issue is the continued high rate of unemployment,” Bernanke said at a forum at the Chicago Fed’s Detroit office. “High unemployment imposes heavy costs on workers and their families, as well as on our society as a whole.”
Hewlett-Packard Co., the world’s largest personal-computer maker based in Palo Alto, California, this week said it’ll slash about 3,000 jobs over several years.
The slower pace of hiring came as colleges and universities began sending a wave of more than 1.6 million men and women with new bachelor’s degrees into the labor force. Analysts said the scramble for jobs may depress pay and handicap future career opportunities for the recent graduates.
Not all the data today was bleak. Earnings per hour for those with jobs climbed 0.3 percent on average to $22.57 last month. Pay rose 1.9 percent from May 2009, up from a 1.8 percent increase in the year to April.
“Today’s report may be the normal volatility seen in payroll jobs as the economy transitions from firing workers to hiring workers,” Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UJF Ltd. in New York, said in a note to clients. “The labor markets are still in recovery mode.”
The so-called underemployment rate — which includes part- time workers who’d prefer a full-time position and people who want work but have given up looking — decreased to 16.6 percent from 17.1 percent.
The number of temporary workers increased 31,000, an eighth consecutive gain. Employment at temporary-help agencies often picks up before companies take on permanent staff.
NOTE: My choice is Costa Rica — short flight from most U.S. cities; a history of peace without a military; low rate of violent crime; year-round perfect weather; and — most importantly — a strong local community that still produces food and offers a self-sufficient lifestyle. A friend of mine has started a business in CR to help people relocate and retire. More info. is available here:
For those seeking to move outside of the United States, figuring out the best country to move to can be a very daunting task. There are a ton of social, cultural, economic and safety issues to be considered. In addition, those who have never been outside of North America should not underestimate the severe “culture shock” that can take place when moving to another nation. While moving outside of the United States may seem like an attractive alternative, the truth is that it is not easy and it is not something to be done lightly. But there have been many Americans who have done it successfully and are now loving life. Our recent article, “Is Moving Out Of The United States A Way To Escape The Coming Economic Collapse?”, generated some really great comments about what various areas of the world are like for Americans who move there. Today we wanted to share with you some of those comments. These commenters have some very strong opinions about where the best places for Americans to move to are, but the reality is that each person and each situation is different so keep that in mind as you read these….
I’ve lived in China, Vietnam, and am currently living in Malaysia for the last few years. I’ve also traveled extensively during that time. Given the likely future problems in the US it’s certainly prudent to at least evaluate an alternative.
Our top two choices would be New Zealand (NZ) and Costa Rica (CR) with Malaysia coming in 3rd. NZ and CR are both beautiful countries and pretty much self-sufficient in needed resources. English, of course, is the language of NZ and it is widely spoken in CR. Though if you choose a country where English is not the native language; you’d be way better off learning the local language.
Some other options would be: Thailand; a beautiful very expat friendly country. Indonesia, in particular Bali. Vietnam and Cambodia would be OK for the more adventurous and they are cheap, cheap. Australia is fine, though the prices are pretty much US level. Singapore is nice if you want to live in one big city. Malaysia is interesting. It tries very hard to get expats to retire there. They have a formal program called “Malaysia My Second Home” (MM2H). You apply for it, and if you meet the criteria, you get a 10 yr, unlimited entry visa. There should be no trouble renewing it. You need to keep about $30,000 USD in a local bank account, buy a home that costs at least $175,000 USD, and have an income of $3,000 a month. I suspect these requirements will lessen. The program is relatively new and the government hasn’t seem to have chosen which expat group they’re really targeting: rich foreigners, well off investors, or retirees with more modest moola. The country is beautiful and fairly cheap to live in. We have a gorgeous 5,000 sf apartment with great, modern security features. Did I mention it’s on the beach with amazing views. The cost? About $2,400 USD a month!! Our electric bill, and we run the aircon a lot; is $25 bucks. We haven’t used our health insurance yet, as we’d not hit the deductible limit and the prices are very cheap. And the quality of care is 1st rate. My daughter twisted her ankle recently so we put the system to the test. The initial exam by an orthopedic surgeon, xrays, and a soft cast cost about $35 USD! Follow-up visits with the orthopedic surgeon cost $9 USD! Pretty darn good. My primary concern? The worry that the country will become too islamic. It is the official state religion though now it does treat the Chinese and Indian minorities relatively fairly. I’m just not sure it can resist the tendency for islam to become more intrusive and radical. Hopefully not, but the jury is still out.
Overall I’d suggest doing some research and find a few contenders. Then go to these places for a vacation. That will give you some 1st hand data. One thing you notice living overseas is that Americans are the least adventurous, 1st world; folks. We need to get over that.
Gringo in Brazil:
I recently made the move to Brazil with my family based primarily on the social and economic factors I witnessed and experienced. In Michigan, I found my business drying up, my home value plummeting, the job market disappearing, etc. More importantly, if the youth I saw at the malls and high schools are any indication of the future leadership of our country; we are in serious trouble. With less than 50% of our youth even graduating from High School, how do we stand a chance.
Fortunately I speak fluent Portuguese so I am able to adapt. I am earning about $1,300/mo plus commissions which is enough for a simple apartment and living expenses. My wife is looking for the right job and should be able to earn about the same which will afford us a modest lifestyle.
Most Americans couldn’t cope with the heat, mosquitoes, open sewers, long lines, hellish traffic, and other cultural issues, unless they could afford to live in a luxury neighborhood and have a maid and personal assistant. However, the outlook here in Brazil is very positive. Most young people are investing in their education and advancement. I liken it to stepping back 70 years in our country and being on the verge of a great industrial revolution that I can be a part of. I have decided it is better to be starting at the bottom of the hill, climbing towards the top, then to be at the top and sliding out of control towards the bottom.
If you can afford it, do what my wife and I did, we took a two month “vacation” a couple of years ago, rented a furnished apartment and did a trial “residency” in which we had time to evaluate the pros and cons. When we moved here last month, we were well prepared, knowing what we were getting into, bringing along the necessary items and resources to be able to live relatively comfortably.
If you can master the native language sufficiently (or take an immersion course when you arrive for 6 months), you can often get a job at a language school, or company needing bi-lingual workers or professionals. Best bet is to scour the classifieds online ahead of time so you have something guaranteed when you arrive.
Australia is the best country in the world to live in. This is the statement of Australians who have been to USA and other countries. It is what USA used to be years ago. It will be a few years before Australia becomes like USA. USA has left its Christian roots and I am afraid there are those who will make sure it never goes back.
Singapore is the best place to live and work. It has a real future and very reasonable taxes. Peaceful, modern, they even speak English (kind of). Bring your best attitude and a necktie, because you have to work and you have to be kind to your neighbors. Who wants to be cloistered nervously behind a wall, anyway?
Best places as far as quality of life? Social Democratic countries like Scandanavia- Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark.
If language is a problem Canada would be the closest best choice, then Australia, New Zealand, and for Central America, Costa Rica would be the number one choice for climate, civility, medical care and a beautiful environment.
For most places that provide good quality of life, expect to pay high taxes, which most civilized countries, yours excepted, equate with civilization. I’m afraid you folks are letting your inherent selfishness, ignorance of other cultures, militarism and a “screw you Jack, I’ve got mine” mentality destroy you.
Better than moving, stay there and try to turn things around. You have too much that is still good to lose it all. We’re all hoping-well, your firends are anyway- that you’ll pull out of this before its too late.
Time is running out folks.
Not all Americans are “ugly Americans.” We are guests in the host country and most expats act as such. I retired in Sept 2009 and plan on living, teaching, and writing in Thailand. I have lived and worked overseas before, so this is nothing new for me. You make do and blend in and stay out of trouble. Leave your attitudes and preconceptions at the door when you check in. Otherwise, you will be creating problems for those of us who wish to live in peace and enjoy the pleasures of a different culture.
There are over 100,000 Americans living in Costa Rica and loving it. Things are getting stronger here everyday and in most schools they teach English for half the day and Spanish for the other. The majority of the people like Americans and if you want to have it shipped here you can get everything here that you can get there. WalMart is the largest retail chain here as well as there.
This week Costa Rica moved ahead of the US in medical care. A huge % of the national income is from Medical Tourism. They are using adult stem cell treatment here to cure MS, Heart Decease, diabetes, Spinal Cord Injuries, Cancer and many other conditions. A good source for getting information on Costa Rica is the Association of Residents of Costa Rica.
They have a seminar once a month that brings in Doctors, Lawyers, Dentist, Shippers, Realtors, Investment Councilors and many other experts to brief you on the pros and cons of moving to Costa Rica. There are many communities here that are all American and the “Culture Shock” is nonexistent. The weather is perfect and they have never had a hurricane.
We moved to the French Riviera 10 years ago when we retired. Cost of living here in Nice is much less than New York or any other major American city. We’re on the sea, a big plus, near Italy, also a big plus, and we enjoy terrific food that we can afford. The medical system in France is incomparable and truly inexpensive compared to the U.S. We calculated our fixed living expenses for the year: it came to 11,000 Euros, or about $15,000 for all our taxes, medical coverage, utilities, condo fees, dentistry, etc. We live in a 2 bedroom top floor condo with a very large terrace and 2 balconies. There’s plenty of money left for travel, dining out, movies, and quick jaunts up to London and Paris for culture and ethnic food (especially London). Don’t regret the move at all.
I moved to Ensenada Mexico in 2000. It was the best thing I ever did for my future because there is no future in America. I now enjoy more freedom than I ever had in the US. Spanish is easy to learn and the people are much more friendly here. There are lots of ex-pats here also. In the coming years the US is going to be the worst place to be. Escape now while you still can.
I am an American that immigrated to Australia in 2001 (after Bush took office). My wife and I didn’t like what we saw coming. Politically, culturally, financially and socially.
When Big Media first started covering the US’s economic problems here in 2008 they drug out the old phrase “When America catches a cold Australia gets a flu”. Two plus years on and this couldn’t be further from the truth. The economy here is going great guns, and demand from Asia and a better government are a good part of the reason.
House prices are having solid gains every year, unemployment is reasonably steady, and the federal reserve is trying to raise interest rates to cool the economy (.25% again today)
To that point, the government here doesn’t subsidise 30 year fixed mortgages the way they do in the US, so they can still manage the economy by slightly manipulating interest rates. The longest you can fix a mortgage for is 5 years, at a very high premium, so most people don’t.
America has become an after thought, if not the laughing stock, of many Australians. It saddens me to see how far everything has fallen over there. I no longer try to defend the US or the American people. The time for real public outrage passed many years ago, and I have not only given up on the government, but also on the people themselves. So many dear family and friends spend their lives watching TV while their freedoms, lifestyle, culture and wealth were/are being destroyed around them. Ignorant and apathetic to the realities of the real world. Living with some strange notion of the past as if it represents the present.
Not all is doom and gloom here. And although it could still come, if it does it will have little, if nothing at all, to do with the problems in America.
January 27, 2010
Rep. Darrell Issa, ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has the goods on Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. Earlier this month, Issa received emails proving without a shadow of a doubt that the New York Fed under Geithner’s leadership withheld documents and delayed disclosures on AIG’s swindle operation with Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, and other international bankster criminal organizations.
“The New York Fed took over negotiations between AIG and the banks in November 2008 as losses on the swaps, which were contracts tied to subprime home loans, threatened to swamp the insurer weeks after its taxpayer-funded rescue. The regulator decided that Goldman Sachs and more than a dozen banks would be fully repaid for $62.1 billion of the swaps, prompting lawmakers to call the AIG rescue a ‘backdoor bailout’ of financial firms,” Bloomberg reported on January 7.
Using Fed secured taxpayer bailout money, AIG paid several banks 100 percent of the face value of credit-default swaps, as other financial institutions were negotiating deep discounts for the unregulated paper assets that do not have to be backed by cash.
“It appears that the New York Fed deliberately pressured AIG to restrict and delay the disclosure of important information,” said Issa at the time. Taxpayers “deserve full and complete disclosure under our nation’s securities laws, not the withholding of politically inconvenient information.”
Treasury spokeswoman Meg Reilly said Geithner knew nothing. He was recused from the criminal operation to steal billions and fork it over to Goldman and the banksters.
If you believe the head of the New York Fed was out of the loop on this scam I have a bridge to sell you.
Darrell Issa doesn’t buy it either. “If you were recused, where is the document, what were you recused from?” Issa told Bloomberg earlier today. “You didn’t stop going to the office, so your recusal seems to be after the fact and undescribed.”
Geithner is on the hot seat today about his role in the $182.3 billion heist. Issa warns that Geithner will attempt to weasel out of complicity by citing the undocumented recusal. “He is going to be able to say, ‘I was recused from what I didn’t want to know about,’ or, let me rephrase that, ‘what I didn’t want my fingerprints on,’” Issa said.
The bankster bailout will ultimately cost the American people (and their children and their children’s children) trillions. “The amount of US taxpayer money committed to bailouts over the last 12 months by far exceeds the combined cost of major historical events dating back over 200 years,” writes Steve Watson. “The combined amount spent, lent, consumed, borrowed, printed, guaranteed, assumed or otherwise committed to bailouts by the government from March 2008 to March 2009 amounts to some $15 TRILLION.”
The cost of World War Two, the race to the moon, the New Deal, and the Iraq, Vietnam and Korean wars combined does not come close to the amount spent so far in just 12 months on the bailout of a handful of privately owned offshore corporations, Watson notes.
All of this debt into perpetuity has a purpose beyond making a gaggle of banksters rich beyond their wildest dreams. It is designed to crash the world economy and take down the middle class in the United States. It is designed to sell your children into bondage to the banksters. It is part of a plan to impose martial law and a high-tech control grid in response to unfolding social and political chaos directly related to the economic implosion.
The global elite are now demanding world government in response to the manufactured crisis unleashed by the Federal Reserve with the complicity of Geithner, Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke and their partners in crime at Goldman Sachs et al.
It remains to be seen if Tim Geithner will be exposed and ultimately arrested, forced to do the perp walk in an orange jumpsuit, and slapped in prison for grand larceny of such a magnitude it staggers the imagination.
Webster G. Tarpley
January 26, 2010
My dear Senator,
I am writing to urge you to vote against the confirmation of Ben Bernanke for a second term as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Bernanke has failed in his responsibilities both as a banking regulator and in his administration of Federal Reserve lending. Bernanke presided over the final phase of the $1.5 quadrillion financial derivatives bubble which is the central cause of the present world economic depression. He was the principal advocate for the reckless and irresponsible policy of bailing out bankrupt money center institutions, allowing them to live on as zombie banks at astronomical taxpayer, but with no corresponding benefit whatsoever for the economic life of the broader society. Bernanke is responsible for the super-toxic alphabet soup of Federal Reserve lending facilities like the TAF, the TALF, and so forth. These betrayals of the public trust have offered 0% credit to predatory institutions including Wall Street banks, insurance companies, credit card companies, money market funds, and other financial institutions. Bernanke has thus used public resources to subsidize financial speculation in all of its most destructive forums, while doing almost nothing to provide cheap credit for production that would benefit factories, farms, mines, building construction, small business, exports, scientific research, energy production, and infrastructure building. Economic activity in all of these fields is now dying for lack of credit, which is being denied by the very institutions Bernanke is trying to save. Everything that Bernanke has done is diametrically opposed to the rational credit policy needed to fight an economic depression.
Bernanke must therefore be rejected. Instead, the Senate should support a new Fed chairman with the qualifications necessary to preside over the nationalization of this illegal, unconstitutional, and failed institution. The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 must be repealed. The future of the Fed is as a bureau of the United States Treasury responsible for providing cheap federal lending as a public utility for productive activity in the form of tangible physical commodity output, not speculation and financial services. In the future, the size of the money supply, short-term interest rates, and the approved categories of lending must be taken out of the hands of unelected and unaccountable cliques of predatory bankers, and deliberated in the full glare of publicity by the House, the Senate, and the president, as the United States Constitution actually requires. Because of Bernanke’s pattern of subservience to Wall Street interests, it is clear that he cannot be the official suited to to carry out this historic transition. Worse, reports concerning telephone calls made by Treasury Secretary Geithner in September 2008 suggest that Bernanke may also be a party to illegal operations by the Fed in regard to the bailout of AIG and its derivatives counterparties at that time. It is unthinkable that the Senate would approve Bernanke unless and until these grave suspicions have been cleared up.
Today’s newspapers suggest that Bernanke, even if he should be rejected by the Senate this week, would still attempt to stay in power as a member of the Board of Governors through 2020, exerting his power through his colleagues presently on the board. This would amount to nothing less than a bankers’ insurrection. In this eventuality, the Congress must swiftly impeach Bernanke and remove him from office immediately.
Even though the U.S. financial system nearly experienced a total meltdown in late 2008, the truth is that most Americans simply have no idea what is happening to the U.S. economy. Most people seem to think that the nasty little recession that we have just been through is almost over and that we will be experiencing another time of economic growth and prosperity very shortly. But this time around that is not the case. The reality is that we are being sucked into an economic black hole from which the U.S. economy will never fully recover.
The problem is debt. Collectively, the U.S. government, the state governments, corporate America and American consumers have accumulated the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world. Our massive debt binge has financed our tremendous growth and prosperity over the last couple of decades, but now the day of reckoning is here.
And it is going to be painful.
The following are 20 reasons why the U.S. economy is dying and is simply not going to recover….
#1) Do you remember that massive wave of subprime mortgages that defaulted in 2007 and 2008 and caused the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression? Well, the “second wave” of mortgage defaults in on the way and there is simply no way that we are going to be able to avoid it. A huge mountain of mortgages is going to reset starting in 2010, and once those mortgage payments go up there are once again going to be millions of people who simply cannot pay their mortgages. The chart below reveals just how bad the second wave of adjustable rate mortgages is likely to be over the next several years….
#2) The Federal Housing Administration has announced plans to increase the amount of up-front cash paid by new borrowers and to require higher down payments from those with the poorest credit. The Federal Housing Administration currently backs about 30 percent of all new home loans and about 20 percent of all new home refinancing loans. Tighter standards are going to mean that less people will qualify for loans. Less qualifiers means that there will be less buyers for homes. Less buyers means that home prices are going to drop even more.
#3) It is getting really hard to find a job in the United States. A total of 6,130,000 U.S. workers had been unemployed for 27 weeks or more in December 2009. That was the most ever since the U.S. government started keeping track of this statistic in 1948. In fact, it is more than double the 2,612,000 U.S. workers who were unemployed for a similar length of time in December 2008. The reality is that once Americans lose their jobs they are increasingly finding it difficult to find new ones. Just check out the chart below….
#4) In December, there were also 929,000 “discouraged” workers who are not counted as part of the labor force because they have “given up” looking for work. That is the most since the U.S. government first started keeping track of discouraged workers in 1949. Many Americans have simply given up and are now chronically unemployed.
#5) Some areas of the U.S. are already virtually in a state of depression. The mayor of Detroit estimates that the real unemployment rate in his city is now somewhere around 50 percent.
#6) For decades, our leaders in Washington pushed us towards “a global economy” and told us it would be so good for us. But there is a flip side. Now workers in the U.S. must compete with workers all over the world, and our greedy corporations are free to pursue the cheapest labor available anywhere on the globe. Millions of jobs have already been shipped out of the United States, and Princeton University economist Alan S. Blinder estimates that 22% to 29% of all current U.S. jobs will be offshorable within two decades. The days when blue collar workers could live the American Dream are gone and they are not going to come back.
#7) During the 2001 recession, the U.S. economy lost 2% of its jobs and it took four years to get them back. This time around the U.S. economy has lost more than 5% of its jobs and there is no sign that the bleeding of jobs is going to stop any time soon.
#8) All of this unemployment is putting severe stress on state unemployment funds. At this point, 25 state unemployment insurance funds have gone broke and the Department of Labor estimates that 15 more state unemployment funds will likely go broke within two years and will need massive loans from the federal government just to keep going.
#9) 37 million Americans now receive food stamps, and the program is expanding at a pace of about 20,000 people a day. The United States of America is very quickly becoming a socialist welfare state.
#10) The number of Americans who are going broke is staggering. 1.41 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009 – a 32 percent increase over 2008.
#11) For decades, the fact that the U.S. dollar was the reserve currency of the world gave the U.S. financial system an unusual degree of stability. But all of that is changing. Foreign countries are increasingly turning away from the dollar to other currencies. For example, Russia’s central bank announced on Wednesday that it had started buying Canadian dollars in a bid to diversify its foreign exchange reserves.
#12) The recent economic downturn has left some localities totally bankrupt. For instance, Jefferson County, Alabama is on the brink of what would be the largest government bankruptcy in the history of the United States – surpassing the 1994 filing by Southern California’s Orange County.
#13) The U.S. is facing a pension crisis of unprecedented magnitude. Virtually all pension funds in the United States, both private and public, are massively underfunded. With millions of Baby Boomers getting ready to retire, there is simply no way on earth that all of these obligations can be met. Robert Novy-Marx of the University of Chicago and Joshua D. Rauh of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management recently calculated the collective unfunded pension liability for all 50 U.S. states for Forbes magazine. So what was the total? 3.2 trillion dollars.
#14) Social Security and Medicare expenses are wildly out of control. Once again, with millions of Baby Boomers now at retirement age there is simply going to be no way to pay all of these retirees what they are owed.
#15) So will the U.S. government come to the rescue? The U.S. has allowed the total federal debt to balloon by 50% since 2006 to $12.3 trillion. The chart below is a bit outdated, but it does show the reckless expansion of U.S. government debt over the past several decades. To get an idea of where we are now, just add at least 3 trillion dollars on to the top of the chart….
#16) So has the U.S. government learned anything from these mistakes? No. In fact, Senate Democrats on Wednesday proposed allowing the federal government to borrow an additional $2 trillion to pay its bills, a record increase that would allow the U.S. national debt to reach approximately $14.3 trillion.
#17) It is going to become even harder for the U.S. government to pay the bills now that tax receipts are falling through the floor. U.S. corporate income tax receipts were down 55% in the year that ended on September 30th, 2009.
#18) So where will the U.S. government get the money? From the Federal Reserve of course. The Federal Reserve bought approximately 80 percent of all U.S. Treasury securities issued in 2009. In other words, the U.S. government is now being financed by a massive Ponzi scheme.
#19) The reckless expansion of the money supply by the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve is going to end up destroying the U.S. dollar and the value of the remaining collective net worth of all Americans. The more dollars there are, the less each individual dollar is worth. In essence, inflation is like a hidden tax on each dollar that you own. When they flood the economy with money, the value of the money you have in your bank accounts goes down. The chart below shows the growth of the U.S. money supply. Pay particular attention to the very end of the chart which shows what has been happening lately. What do you think this is going to do to the value of the U.S. dollar?….
#20) When a nation practices evil, there is no way that it is going to be blessed in the long run. The truth is that we have become a nation that is dripping with corruption and wickedness from the top to the bottom. Unless this fundamentally changes, not even the most perfect economic policies in the world are going to do us any good. In the end, you always reap what you sow. The day of reckoning for the U.S. economy is here and it is not going to be pleasant.
The vast majority of the talking heads on television are still speaking of the current economic collapse as if it is a temporary “recession” that will soon be over. So far, the vast majority of the American people seem to believe this as well, although for many Americans there is a very deep gnawing in the pit of their stomachs that is telling them that there is something very, very wrong this time around. The truth is that the foundations of the U.S. economy have been destroyed by an orgy of government, corporate and individual debt that has gone on for decades. It was the greatest party in the history of the world, but now the party is over. The following are 11 signs from just this past month that show that the U.S. economy is headed into the toilet and will not be recovering….
#1) When even Wal-Mart is closing stores you know things are bad. Wal-Mart announced on Monday that it will close 10 money-losing Sam’s Club stores and will cut 1,500 jobs in order to reduce costs. So if even Wal-Mart has to shut down stores, what chance do other retailers have?
#2) Americans are going broke at a staggering pace. 1.41 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009 – a 32 percent increase over 2008.
#3) American workers are working harder than ever and yet making less. After adjusting for inflation, pay for production and non-supervisory workers (80 percent of the private workforce) is 9% lower than it was in 1973. But those Americans who do still have jobs are the fortunate ones.
#4) Unemployment is absolutely exploding all over the United States. Minority groups have been hit particularly hard. For example, unemployment on many U.S. Indian reservations is over 80 percent.
#5) Unfortunately the employment situation is showing no signs of turning around. December was actually the worst month for U.S. unemployment since the so-called “Great Recession” began.
#6) So just how bad are things when compared to past recessions? During the 2001 recession, the U.S. economy lost 2% of its jobs and it took four years to get them back. This time the U.S. economy has lost more than 5% of its jobs and there is no sign that the bleeding of jobs will stop any time soon.
#7) Can you imagine trying to get your first job in this economic climate? Our young men and women either can’t get work or have given up on work altogether. The percentage of Americans 16 to 24 who have jobs is 13 percent lower than ten years ago.
#8) So where did all the jobs go? Over the past few decades we have allowed the corporate giants to ship mountains of American jobs overseas, and there are signs that this trend is only going to get worse. In fact, Princeton University economist Alan S. Blinder estimates that 22% to 29% of all current U.S. jobs will be offshorable within two decades. So get ready for even more of our jobs to be shipped off to Mexico, China and India.
#9) All of these job losses are leading to defaults on mortgages. Over the past couple of years we have seen the American Dream in reverse. According to a report that was just released, delinquent home loans at government-controlled mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac surged 20 percent from July through September.
#10) But that is nothing compared to what is coming. A massive “second wave” of mortgage defaults is getting ready to hit the U.S. economy starting in 2010. In fact, this “second wave” is so frightening that even 60 Minutes is reporting on it.
#11) Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve has announced that it made a record profit of $46.1 billion in 2009. Apparently during this economic crisis it is a very good time to be a bankster.