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Just Before The Great Recession, Mountains Of Unsold Goods Piled Up In U.S. Warehouses – And Now It Is Happening Again

Just Before The Great Recession, Mountains Of Unsold Goods Piled Up In U.S. Warehouses – And Now It Is Happening Again

When economic conditions initially begin to slow down, businesses continue to order goods like they normally would but those goods don’t sell as quickly as they previously did.  As a result, inventory levels begin to rise, and that is precisely what is happening right now.  In fact, the U.S. inventory to sales ratio has risen sharply for five months in a row.  This is mirroring the pattern that we witnessed just prior to the financial crisis of 2008, and it is exactly what we would expect to see if a new recession was now beginning.  In recent weeks, I have been sharing number after number that indicates that a serious economic slowdown is upon us, and many believe that what is coming will eventually be even worse than what we experienced in 2008.

And even though I write about this stuff every day, I was stunned by how rapidly inventory levels have been rising recently.  The following numbers come from Peter Schiff’s website

This comes on the heels of the largest gain in wholesale inventories in more than five years in December.

Inventories rose 7.7% from a year ago in January. Meanwhile, sales only rose by 2.7%. Overall, total inventories were $669.9 billion at the end of January, up 1.2% from the revised December level.

The increase in durable goods inventories at the wholesale level was even starker. These inventories were up 11.7% from January a year ago, and are up 17% from January two years ago, hitting $415 billion, the highest ever.

Businesses don’t like to have excess inventory, because carrying excess inventory is expensive and cuts into profits.  So they try very hard to manage their inventories efficiently, but if the economy slows down unexpectedly that can catch them off guard

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

FedEx Is Talking As If A Global Recession Has Already Begun – And The Numbers Back That Up

FedEx Is Talking As If A Global Recession Has Already Begun – And The Numbers Back That Up

“Slowing international macroeconomic conditions” is just a fancy way to say that the global economy is in big trouble.  For months, I have been warning that economic conditions are deteriorating, and we just keep getting more confirmation that we are facing the worst global downturn since the last financial crisis.  For the second time in three months, FedEx has slashed its revenue forecast for this year.  In an attempt to explain why revenue is declining, FedEx’s chief financial officer placed the blame squarely on the faltering global economy.  The following comes from CNBC

The multinational package delivery service reported declining international revenue as a result of unfavorable exchange rates and the negative effects of trade battles.

“Slowing international macroeconomic conditions and weaker global trade growth trends continue, as seen in the year-over-year decline in our FedEx Express international revenue,” Alan B. Graf, Jr., FedEx Corp. executive vice president and chief financial officer, said in statement.

The use of the word “trends” implies something that has been going on for an extended period of time, and obviously FedEx doesn’t expect things to get better any time soon if they have cut profit projections twice in just the last three months.

And FedEx certainly has a lot of company when it comes to having a gloomy outlook for the global economy.  In one recent article, Bloomberg boldly declared that the global economy is in the worst shape it has been “since the financial crisis a decade ago”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Top Global Risks in 2019

The Top Global Risks in 2019

The suits are pressed and the jets are gassed up, as global political and business leaders prepare to converge in Davos for the World Economic Forum.

To prep the wide variety of world leaders attending the summit, the organization has just published its most recent edition of the Global Risks Report. The highly anticipated annual presentation puts the world’s most pressing issues into focus, giving a sense of what is top-of-mind for global decision-makers.

Below are the top five risks highlighted in this year’s report.

Visualizing the Top Global Risks in 2019

THE WORLD’S EVOLVING RISK LANDSCAPE

The report looks at two specific ways of evaluating global risks: 

  1. The likelihood of an event occurring
  2. The impact or severity of an event, should it occur

And over recent years, it’s clear that the composition of these top threats has evolved.

top global risks over time

In 2009, the world was still reeling from the global financial crisis, so economic concerns were naturally at the forefront of discussions. 

Today, the most likely scenarios to play out in the near future involve extreme weather events and natural disasters. Also trending upward are cyber-security threats and concerns over the security of personal data.

RISK PERCEPTION

Each year, the Global Risks Perception Survey looks at which risks are viewed by global decision-makers as increasing in the coming year.

global risks survey 2019

Some clear themes emerge from the responses:

A Breakdown in Geopolitical Cooperation
From trade wars to the dissolution of weapons treaties, cooperation between countries is on the decline. Leaders are concerned that this divergent geopolitical climate may continue to inhibit collective progress on important global challenges.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Oil Markets Could See Deficit In 2019

Oil Markets Could See Deficit In 2019

valve Iraq

The oil supply surplus is “starting to reverse,” according to a new report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The investment bank noted that oil prices had collapsed in late 2018 not only because of an oversupply problem, but also because of other “non-fundamental factors,” including the selloff of long positions by hedge funds and other market managers, as well as by fear and uncertainty in broader financial markets. Still, the bottom line was that the oil market saw a glut once again emerge in the fourth quarter.

However, “now the 1.3mn b/d surplus in 4Q18 is starting to reverse,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a January 10 note. In fact, the bank says that the OPEC+ cuts could translate into a “slight deficit” for 2019. “With investor positioning reflecting a bearish set-up, Brent prices have already bounced back above $60/bbl, and we retain our $70/bbl average forecast for 2019,” BofAML wrote.

Oil price forecasts vary quite a bit, but a dozen or so investment banks largely agree that the selloff in late December, which pushed Brent down to $50 per barrel, had gone too far. BofAML is betting that Brent rises back to $70 per barrel.

However, the investment bank issued a rather significant caveat. This assessment is based on the assumption that the global economy does not take a turn for the worse. BofAML analysts said that Brent could plunge as low as $35 per barrel if global GDP growth slows from 3.5 percent to 2 percent.

At this point, it is anybody’s guess if the global economy slows by that much, but there is a growing number of indicators that at least suggests such a deceleration is possible. The recent data from China showing a shocking slowdown in both imports and exports is discouraging.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Horrifying predictions for 2019 – 2020 revealed in this six-minute video

Image: Horrifying predictions for 2019 – 2020 revealed in this six-minute video

(Natural News) “You are living through the final chapter of modern human civilization,” I explain in the opening of a new, six-minute video that lays out predictions for 2019 – 2020.

“A catastrophic global collapse is coming, and you’re seeing society rip itself apart.”

The video covers the shocking state of present-day reality, including the truth about the CIA-run fake news media, how modern medicine has become a death sentence, how Leftists celebrate the mass murder of unborn babies, how language has been obliterated by progressives, how logic and reason have been destroyed, and much more.

If you want to know where things are really headed in 2019 – 2020, watch this short video for some stunning — but honest — analysis.

Watch the full video at Brighteon.com, the free speech alternative to YouTube:

Brighteon.com/5988969475001

See more daily coverage of the accelerating collapse at Collapse.news.

Risks to the Global Economy in 2019

crystal ball economicsAdam Gault/Getty Image

Risks to the Global Economy in 2019

Over the course of this year and next, the biggest economic risks will emerge in those areas where investors think recent patterns are unlikely to change. They will include a growth recession in China, a rise in global long-term real interest rates, and a crescendo of populist economic policies.

CAMBRIDGE – As Mark Twain never said, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you think you know for sure that just ain’t so.” Over the course of this year and next, the biggest economic risks will emerge in those areas where investors think recent patterns are unlikely to change. They will include a growth recession in China, a rise in global long-term real interest rates, and a crescendo of populist economic policies that undermine the credibility of central bank independence, resulting in higher interest rates on “safe” advanced-country government bonds.

A significant Chinese slowdown may already be unfolding. US President Donald Trump’s trade war has shaken confidence, but this is only a downward shove to an economy that was already slowing as it makes the transition from export- and investment-led growth to more sustainable domestic consumption-led growth. How much the Chinese economy will slow is an open question; but, given the inherent contradiction between an ever-more centralized Party-led political system and the need for a more decentralized consumer-led economic system, long-term growth could fall quite dramatically.

Unfortunately, the option of avoiding the transition to consumer-led growth and continuing to promote exports and real-estate investment is not very attractive, either. China is already a dominant global exporter, and there is neither market space nor political tolerance to allow it to maintain its previous pace of export expansion. Bolstering growth through investment, particularly in residential real estate (which accounts for the lion’s share of Chinese construction output) – is also ever more challenging.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Market Commentary: Issues 2019

Market Commentary: Issues 2019

When I began posting the CBB some twenty years ago, I made a commitment to readers: “I’ll call it as I see it – and let the chips fall where they will.” Over the years, I made a further commitment to myself: Don’t be concerned with reputation – stay diligently focused on analytical integrity.

I attach this odd intro to “Issues 2019” recognizing this is a year where I could look quite foolish. I believe Global Financial Crisis is the Paramount Issue 2019. Last year saw the bursting of a historic global Bubble, Crisis Dynamics commencing with the blow-up of “short vol” strategies and attendant market instabilities. Crisis Dynamics proceeded to engulf the global “Periphery” (Argentina, Turkey, EM, more generally, and China). Receiving a transitory liquidity boost courtesy of the faltering “Periphery,” speculative Bubbles at “Core” U.S. securities markets succumbed to blow-off excess. Crisis Dynamics finally engulfed a vulnerable “Core” during 2018’s tumultuous fourth quarter.

As we begin a new year, rallying risk markets engender optimism. The storm has passed, it is believed. Especially with the Fed’s early winding down of rate “normalization”, there’s no reason why the great bull market can’t be resuscitated and extended. The U.S. economy remains reasonably strong, while Beijing has China’s slowdown well under control. A trade deal would reduce uncertainty, creating a positive boost for markets and economies. With markets stabilized, the EM boom can get back on track. As always, upside volatility reenergizes market bullishness.

I titled Issues 2018, “Market Structure.” I fully anticipate Market Structure to remain a key Issue 2019. Trend-following strategies will continue to foment volatility and instability. U.S. securities markets rallied throughout the summer of 2018 in the face of a deteriorating fundamental backdrop. That rally, surely fueled by ETF flows and derivatives strategies, exacerbated fragilities.
…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A Glimpse At 2019​​

A Glimpse At 2019​​

Markets In Critical Transformation, Chaotic Behaviour Has Just Began.

Our inability as market participants to properly frame market fragility and the inherent vulnerability of the financial system makes a market crash more likely, as it helps Systemic Risk go unattended and build further up. For the first time in a while, elusive economic narratives started to fail at blaming market weakness on secondary-order factors: Trade Wars, the FED, Oil prices. Attempts at dismissing market events as no more than a temporary turbulence miss the bigger picture and cast the fishing net on unaware investors looking for a dip to buy. In contrast, over the last month, conventional market and economic indicators (e.g. breaks of multi-year equity & home price trend-lines, freezing credit markets, softening global PMIs/orders) have all but confirmed what non-traditional measures of system-level fragility signalled all along: that a market crash is incubating, and the cliff is near. Nothing has happened yet.
1.      Early Tremors, Not Market Bottoms
2.      Elusive Narratives Fail, Unveiling a Deeper Malaise
3.      Mainstream Investment Strategies Face a Tougher New Year
4.      Triggers For Market Chaos: A Timeline For 2019
Early Tremors, Not Market Bottoms
After a slow start, the season of market chaos has taken off.
In the last few months, global markets have visibly entered the ‘phase transition zone’, a process of critical transformation that will eventually lead to a new equilibrium at significantly different levels, after severe ruptures and a possible full-cycle market crash.
Rather than ‘a short-term correction in a structural bull market’, or a ‘temporary turmoil in healthy economic conditions’, this is the beginning of a structural adjustment after a decade of liquidity abundance and market manipulation, which reflexively changed the structure itself of the market for private investors in hazardous ways, making it insensitive to fundamentals, passive or quasi-passive, overly-correlated and overly-concentrated. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Gold Outlook 2019: Uncertainty Makes Gold A “Valuable Strategic Asset” – WGC

Gold Outlook 2019: Uncertainty Makes Gold A “Valuable Strategic Asset” – WGC

Gold Outlook 2019 – World Gold Council

As we look ahead, we expect that the interplay between market risk and economic growth in 2019 will drive gold demand. And we explore three key trends that we expect will influence its price performance:

  • financial market instability
  • monetary policy and the US dollar
  • structural economic reforms.

Against this backdrop, we believe that gold has an increasingly relevant role to play in investors’ portfolios.


Gold Outperformed Most Assets In 2018

Why gold why now

Gold’s performance in the near term is heavily influenced by perceptions of risk, the direction of the dollar, and the impact of structural economic reforms. As it stands, we believe that these factors likely will continue to make gold attractive.

In the longer term, gold will be supported by the development of the middle class in emerging markets, its role as an asset of last resort, and the ever-expanding use of gold in technological applications.

In addition, central banks continue to buy gold to diversify their foreign reserves and counterbalance fiat currency risk, particularly as emerging market central banks tend to have high allocations of US treasuries. Central bank demand for gold in 2018 alone was the highest since 2015, as a wider set of countries added gold to their foreign reserves for diversification and safety.

More generally, there are four attributes that make gold a valuable strategic asset by providing investors:

  • a source of return
  • low correlation to major asset classes in both expansionary and recessionary periods
  • a mainstream asset that is as liquid as other financial securities
  • a history of improved portfolio risk-adjusted returns.

‘Outlook 2019: Global economic trends and their impact on gold’ – Full report from World Gold Council here

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

2019 Headwinds Are Getting Stronger

2019 Headwinds Are Getting Stronger

In 2017, every prominent economic forecasting entity was shouting from the rooftops about “synchronized global growth.” This was a reference to the fact that not only were certain economies growing, but they were all growing at the same time.

Chinese GDP growth had come down but was still substantial at 6.85%. U.S. GDP growth was posting solid gains of 3.0% in the second quarter of 2017 and 2.8% in the third quarter. Japan and Europe were not growing as quickly as the U.S. and China, but growth was still accelerating from a low level.

Synchronization was a big part of the story. Growth was not isolated and episodic. Growth was fueling more growth in what seemed to be a sustainable way. The world economy was firing on all cylinders.

Then in 2018 the global growth story came screeching to a halt. Japanese growth went negative in the third quarter of 2018. Germany also went negative. Chinese growth continued its drop (6.5% in the third quarter) instead of stabilizing.

The U.K slowed partly because of confusion around Brexit. French growth slid amid riots triggered by a proposed carbon emissions tax. Australian home prices declined precipitously because export orders from China dried up and Chinese flight capital slowed to a trickle due to Chinese capital controls.

The U.S. economy held up fairly well in 2018, with 4.2% growth in the second quarter and 3.5% growth in the third quarter. But much of that growth was inventory accumulation from foreign suppliers in advance of proposed tariffs.

That inventory growth will likely dry up once the tariffs are either imposed or abandoned early this year. Fourth-quarter growth in the U.S. is currently projected at 3.0%, continuing the downtrend from the second quarter.

What happened?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Record Global Debt & Chaos in 2019 – John Rubino

Record Global Debt & Chaos in 2019 – John Rubino

Financial writer John Rubino says no matter what country, the global debt has exploded to record highs, and it’s going to go even higher in the coming years. Rubino contends, “Government debt is going to soar going forward no matter what. Whether we have three more years of growth or a recession next year, we are going to see massive new deficits and massive increases in government debt all over the world. This is coming at a time when we have already hit record levels of debt and blown right through previous record levels. The last crisis, that almost ended the global financial system, was debt driven. The next one is going to be that much, much more serious because we basically doubled the amount of debt that’s out there since 2005 and 2006.”

On the political front, Rubino says, “The idea that things get more extreme from here is not that out of the ordinary and not that hard to believe. We are not just going to see gridlock here in the U.S., we are going to see chaos. That means of the things that should be gotten done, very few of them will be. . . . Political chaos is good for precious metals . . . both metals are way undervalued.”

Few would disagree, that at some point, the financial system is going to explode. Rubino says, “Let’s look at what happens when this finally blows up. The pressure is going to be on currencies when the financial system starts to spin out of control next time. In other words, people are going to see the amount of debt we are taking on, see the amount of currency we are creating to service all this debt, and will wonder what that does to the value of the currencies that are being aggressively created. They will lose faith in those currencies.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Jay Taylor: Gold Is The Go-To Safe Haven Of 2019

Jay Taylor: Gold Is The Go-To Safe Haven Of 2019

2019 is looking like one of those either/or years, where growing financial instability leads to either a 2008-style financial crash or another round of asset inflation. In Jay Taylor’s latest newsletter, he concludes that both scenarios are good for gold:

Which Safe Haven Markets Will Dominate in 2019?

If we are, as I believe, on the precipice of a major decline in stocks, the question in my mind as we head into 2019 is to what extent U.S. Treasuries will continue to be the main go-to market in the risk-off trade and to what extent might a loss of confidence in the dollar as the world’s reserve currency lead to a rise in the price of gold?

The answer requires an examination of likely flows of money in 2019 and beyond, and those flows are very much determined by the point at which we exist in the current credit cycle.

We are in one of the longest credit cycles on record, with 2018 being the tenth year of expansion. GoldMoney’s Alasdair Macleod quite correctly points out that in the late stages of the credit cycle money flows out of the financial sector into the real economy and with the flow out of financial assets, interest rates begin to rise.

10-Year U.S. Treasury yields rose from 1.385% on July 5, 2016, to 3.227% on October 1, 2018. The 10-year rate has corrected to 2.652% as of this writing, but it is clear that with the real economy doing better, interest rates have risen, which in turn has put downward pressure on stocks. With increased volatility in U.S. equities, the recent decline in rates reflects the safe haven risk off attitude.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Preparation is Vital. 2019 is Destined for Chaos

Preparation is Vital. 2019 is Destined for Chaos

As you make your New Year’s resolutions, make sure you allot room for some much needed protection as we head into 2019 and beyond.

It may not be the rosy picture many of you were hoping for, but sadly, 2019 appears to be destined for increased chaos, turmoil and outright confusion.

The chief driver of this will undoubtedly be the current disheveled state of affairs we are seeing unfold in the United States.

As we enter another week of government shutdowns, we are getting just a small sample of what this year has in store. We haven’t seen anything yet, and I believe the madness witnessed throughout 2018 was just an opening act.

President Trump is being challenged on all sides, and I believe at this point moving forward we will see some very serious and drastic changes within his administration, as he rapidly clears house of anyone he believes belongs to the “old establishment”, replacing them with those whom he deems “loyal” to him.

In addition to this, we are going to see him use every weapon in his arsenal to jam through as much of his agenda as he possibly can within his legal powers.

This will enrage his opponents and embolden his die-hard supporters, all while doing damage to the system as a whole in the long run.

At this point, from a personal perspective, the left has left him little-to-no options, as he now fights for his and his family’s survival—all of whom his opponents would love to see behind bars, no matter the ramifications this would cause to the very fabric of the United States.

Meanwhile, emboldened by their recent victories, the radical far-left elements within the Democratic party are going to come fast and hard at Trump, attempting to take him down as viciously as they can.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

2019 Considered…Macro Population Cycle & Business Cycle Turning Down Together?

2019 Considered…Macro Population Cycle & Business Cycle Turning Down Together?

Well, 2019 is here and it’s time to consider what sort of growth is possible.  Speaking from a macro’est viewpoint, it’s helpful to acknowledge that 90% of the wealth/ income/ savings and nearly 90% of global energy is consumed by the high and upper middle income nations of the world (those with per capita incomes ranging from nearly $90k/yr all the way down to $4k/yr).  This is the high income nations of the US/Canada, most of the EU, Japan/S. Korea, Aus/NZ, etc. plus the upper middle income nations of China, Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, Thailand, Iran, etc (as defined by World Bank…previously detailed HERE).  In 2019, this represents about 3.85 billion of earths approximate 7.7 billion population…or about half of earths population (50% consume 90%, while the other 50% consume just 10%).

So, let’s examine the primary fuel source available in 2019…the growth among the 0 to 69yr/old global consumer population.  The blue line in the chart below shows the total 0 to 69yr/old population which includes the potential working age population (20 to 69yr/olds?) and child bearing population (15 to 45yr/olds) versus the annual change in that population (red columns).  Astute chart watchers will note that population growth has decelerated by 30 million annually, a 75% reduction, since the 1988 peak.  2025 is the year growth ceases entirely and by 2035 this population is estimated to be declining by <10> million annually.

Consider that upon the completion of every business cycle since 1960 and onset of recession, (highlighted by the blacked out columns in the chart below), there was still significant growth (fuel) among the global consumer population.  That population growth coupled with the Federal Reserves rate cuts and federal governments stimulus restarted not just domestic but global economic growth.  The macro population cycle among the global high/upper middle income nations consumer base expanded anywhere from 30 to 40 million persons annually from 1960 through 1990, but growth slowed to about 20 million annually from 1995 though 2015.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Three Things That Will Definitely Happen In 2019

Three Things That Will Definitely Happen In 2019

Much about 2019 is uncertain. But a few things are pretty much guaranteed, including the following:

Government debt will rise at an accelerating rate
Like a life-long dieter who finally gives up and decides to eat himself to death, the US is now committed to trillion-dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see. And that’s – get this – assuming no recession in the coming decade. During the next downturn that trillion will become two or more, but in 2019 another trillion-plus is guaranteed.

US government debt three things for 2019

But the US debt binge is downright orderly compared to much of the rest of the world.

After Paris nearly burned to the ground last month, president Macron responded – surprise! – with massively higher spending:

Macron Bets Spending Binge Can Save His Plan to Transform France

(Bloomberg) – Emmanuel Macron is rolling the dice with France’s public finances to keep his grand plans for the economy alive after weeks of protests on the streets.

Macron’s government will set out a raft of measures to try to calm the so-called Yellow Vest protests on Thursday and they will almost certainly see France breach the European Union’s budget deficit ceiling next year.

The 40-year-old president is arguing the concessions are necessary to maintain public support for his efforts to make the economy more efficient.

“Macron is now facing an impossible trilemma,” said Bernhard Bartels, associate director at Frankfurt-based Scope Ratings. “You can’t have have popular support, ongoing structural reforms and fiscal consolidation all at the same time.”

Macron’s announcement Monday that he’ll raise the minimum wage, abolish taxes on overtime, and get rid of a controversial tax on pensions will send next year’s budget deficit to about 3.5 percent of output, up from a previous target of 2.9 percent, according to media reports. That’s well beyond the 3 percent limit imposed on members of the euro zone.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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