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Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell Insists There Won’t Be A Recession When All The Evidence Suggests Otherwise

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell Insists There Won’t Be A Recession When All The Evidence Suggests Otherwise

It’s happening again.  Just like last time around, the head of the Federal Reserve is telling us that there won’t be a recession even though all of the evidence suggests otherwise.  Just before the recession of 2008, Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke told the country that “the Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession”, and shortly thereafter we plunged into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  This time, it is Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell that is attempting to prop things up by making positive statements that are not backed up by reality.  Speaking to a group at the University of Zurich, Powell insisted that the Fed is “not at all” anticipating that there will be a recession…

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Friday that he doesn’t “at all” expect the U.S. to enter a recession, though he hinted the central bank will likely cut interest rates as expected this month.

“Our main expectation is not at all that there will be a recession,” Powell said in a panel discussion at the University of Zurich.

Meanwhile, things are literally falling apart all around us.  Just a few days ago, I put together a list of 28 data points that clearly indicate that a recession is imminent, and since then we have gotten even more bad news.

For instance, we just learned that Fred’s will be filing for bankruptcy and closing more than 500 stores

Discount merchandise retailer and pharmacy chain Fred’s filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday with plans to close all of its stores.

The company plans to liquidate its assets, punctuating a swift collapse of its operations that involved a cascading series of store closures in recent months.

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

Sluggish Oil Demand To Keep A Lid On Oil Prices Amid Global Recession Fears

Sluggish Oil Demand To Keep A Lid On Oil Prices Amid Global Recession Fears 

John Kemp, senior market analyst of commodities at Reuters, cites a new report via B.P.’s finance chief that indicates global oil consumption will be less than 1 million barrels per day this year, an ominous sign that the global economy is quickly deteriorating.

Kemp said growth is expected to be less than one million barrels per day (bpd) would represent an increase of less than 1% in global oil consumption and the lowest level of growth since 2014 and before that 2012.

Back then, declining demand was due to elevated oil prices averaging above $100 per barrel in real terms. Now prices trend in the $50-$60 range for WTI, confirming that even with low oil prices, demand is nowhere to be seen.

B.P.’s global oil consumption is the most bearish among other predictions from the International Energy Agency (+1.1 million bpd), OPEC (+1.1 million) and the U.S. Energy Information Administration (+1.0 million).

Waning demand for oil across the world is the result of a global manufacturing recession festering underneath the surfaceThe global synchronized decline is structural and started in 4Q17, several months later, the trade war between the U.S. and China erupted in 1Q18.

Source: Bloomberg

Since global GDP drives oil consumption. Kemp shows that the World Bank (“Global economic prospects,” June 2019) data is indicating world growth will be in a slump this year. Estimates show global GDP has been revised lower from 3.0% in 2018 to just 2.6% in 2019.

Global GDP growth is at the same level as 2014 and before that 2012. So it makes sense why oil consumption has dropped to a five year low, it’s because the global economy has lost tremendous amounts of momentum, now reversing into a vicious downturn.

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

Trucking Recession: Heavy-Duty Truck Orders Collapse, Production Slashed, Cancellation Orders Soar

Trucking Recession: Heavy-Duty Truck Orders Collapse, Production Slashed, Cancellation Orders Soar

New reports from the trucking industry show the transportation recession continues to gain momentum through the end of summer, likely to continue through 2019 into 1H20.

The US trucking industry had a blockbuster year in 2018, as high demand for freight allowed transportation companies to expand fleets. But since freight demand was artificial, sparked by importers pulling forward to get ahead of tariffs, the good times were destined to end and end rather sharply.

The Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing managers index plunged to 49.1 in August, the first time a contraction has been seen since 2016. Prints below 50 suggest the manufacturing economy is shrinking. Data also showed new orders dropped to a seven-year low, while the production index hit 2015 lows.

A transportation/manufacturing recession is developing, but it didn’t start overnight. The first signs of a slowdown began last summer when freight rates peaked last June, and have since collapsed 20% through this year, reported The Wall Street Journal.

“There are more trucks than there are loads now,” said Kyle Kottke, general manager for Kottke Trucking Inc. in Buffalo Lake, Minn.

Production for new trucks is still elevated, as manufacturers fulfill orders placed last year, but new purchases and production volumes are starting to weaken.

According to ACT Research, heavy-duty truck orders from the four largest truck makers in North America (Daimler Trucks North America, Paccar, Volvo Trucks USA, and Navistar International) collapsed 80% in July YoY. Orders in June plunged 69% from a year earlier.

As heavy-duty truck orders collapse, suppliers, such as ones who produce transmissions have predicted that the outlook for sales this year will be horrible.

XL Specialized Trailers, a manufacturer of specialized trailers for hauling heavy things, has warned that in the last three months, orders have plummeted.

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

Powell “Not Forecasting a Recession”

Powell “Not Forecasting a Recession”

In a speech today in Zurich Switzerland, Jerome Powell stated the Fed is not forecasting a recession.

YouTube Video of Zurich Conference

​The Fed has never forecast a recession, even after they have started.

It reminds me of Bernanke’s denials on the housing bubble.

No Comment on Trade?


1st and 3rd appear a bit opposing.

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Everything’s Fine


The Economy is great. The only thing adding to “uncertainty” is the Fake News!


Accurate Reader Comment

“Not only has the Fed never forecast a recession they’ve never forecast a crash or bubble. But that hasn’t stopped them from telling us we don’t have a bubble or crash on the horizon.”

Uh Oh: U.S. Layoffs Rise 38 Percent – Highest Level For August Since 2009

Uh Oh: U.S. Layoffs Rise 38 Percent – Highest Level For August Since 2009

We continue to get more numbers that indicate that U.S. economic activity is really starting to slow down.  According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the number of layoffs in the United States was 38 percent higher in August than it was in July.  A 38 percent increase in one month is more than just a little bit startling, and many believe that if this momentum continues we could soon be facing an avalanche of job losses similar to what we witnessed in 2008.  And without a doubt, all of the other economic numbers that have been rolling in lately also confirm that the U.S. economy is heading into harder times.  But is our country ready to handle another major economic downturn?

Even though there have been moments of difficulty over the past decade, we truly haven’t seen anything like this since the last recession.  In fact, the latest job cut numbers that we just got from Challenger, Gray & Christmas are the highest that we have seen during any August since 2009

Employers also announced the most layoffs of any August since 2009, the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said.

Job cuts rose 38 percent over July, with 53,480 positions to be slashed from employer payrolls, led by workforce reductions in health care, which had been a mainstay of recent job creation, the tech sector and manufacturing.

So why is this happening?

Well, certainly there are many factors at play, but Andrew Challenger has singled out “the trade war” as one of the biggest reasons

“Employers are beginning to feel the effects of the trade war and imposed tariffs by the US and China,” Andrew Challenger, the firm’s vice president, said in a statement.

Other nations are really starting to feel the effects of the trade war as well.  This week, Germany reported a startling drop in new manufacturing orders

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

28 Signs Of Economic Doom As The Pivotal Month Of September Begins

28 Signs Of Economic Doom As The Pivotal Month Of September Begins

Since the end of the last recession, the outlook for the U.S. economy has never been as dire as it is right now.  Everywhere you look, economic red flags are popping up, and the mainstream media is suddenly full of stories about “the coming recession”.  After several years of relative economic stability, things appear to be changing dramatically for the U.S. economy and the global economy as a whole.  Over and over again, we are seeing things happen that we have not witnessed since the last recession, and many analysts expect our troubles to accelerate as we head into the final months of 2019.

We should certainly hope that things will soon turn around, but at this point that does not appear likely.  The following are 28 signs of economic doom as the pivotal month of September begins…

#1 The U.S. and China just slapped painful new tariffs on one another, thus escalating the trade war to an entirely new level.

#2 JPMorgan Chase is projecting that the trade war will cost “the average U.S. household” $1,000 per year.

#3 Yield curve inversions have preceded every single U.S. recession since the 1950s, and the fact that it has happened again is one of the big reasons why Wall Street is freaking out so much lately.

#4 We just witnessed the largest decline in U.S. consumer sentiment in 7 years.

#5 Mortgage defaults are rising at the fastest pace that we have seen since the last financial crisis.

#6 Sales of luxury homes valued at $1.5 million or higher were down five percentduring the second quarter of 2019.

#7 The U.S. manufacturing sector has contracted for the very first time since September 2009.

#8 The Cass Freight Index has been falling for a number of months.  According to CNBC, it fell “5.9% in July, following a 5.3% decline in June and a 6% drop in May.”

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

Negative interest rates and gold

Negative interest rates and gold 

The reason for persistent strength in the price of gold can be found in the changing relationship between time preference for monetary gold, and a new round of interest rate suppression for the dollar. Evidence mounts that the forthcoming recession is likely to be significant, even turning into a deep slump. Bullion bank traders are waking up to the possibility that dollar interest rates are going to zero and that pressure is likely to be put on the Fed to introduce negative rates. The laws of time preference tell us bullion banks must urgently cover their short bullion positions in anticipation of a dollar rate-induced permanent backwardation for gold, silver and across all commodities.

This article dissects the moving parts in this fascinating story.

Introduction

For some time now, I have maintained the wheels are likely to fall off the global economic wagon by the year-end. Furthermore, for many of my interlocutors, the recent rise in the gold price is just evidence of an impending cyclical crisis, anticipating and discounting the certain inflationary response by central banks. But in this, we are describing only surface evidence, not the underlying market reality.

In the combination of trade protectionism and an emerging credit crisis we face a problem upon which almost no formal research has been done, so it is not something that even far-thinking analysts have considered. To my knowledge, no mainstream economist has pointed out the lethal mix these two dynamics together present. Very few even recognise the existence of a credit cycle, traditionally called a trade or business cycle. Not even the great von Mises called it a cycle of credit, having identified and described it with great accuracy in his The Theory of Money and Credit, first published in 1912. But a spade must be called a spade: it is in its fundament a credit cycle.

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

8-Reasons To Hold Some Extra Cash

8-Reasons To Hold Some Extra Cash

Over the past few months, we have been writing a series of articles that highlight our concerns of increasing market risk.  Here is a sampling of some of our more recent newsletters on the issue. 

The common thread among these articles was to encourage our readers to use rallies to reduce risk as the “bull case” was being eroded by slower economic growth, weaker earnings, trade wars, and the end of the stimulus from tax cuts and natural disasters. To wit:

These “warning signs” are just that. None of them suggest the markets, or the economy, are immediately plunging into the next recession-driven market reversion.

However, The equity market stopped being a leading indicator, or an economic barometer, a long time ago. Central banks looked after that. This entire cycle saw the weakest economic growth of all time couple the mother of all bull markets.

There will be payback for that misalignment of funds.

As I noted on Tuesday, the divergences between large-caps and almost every other equity index strongly suggest that something is not quite right.  As shown in the chart below, that negative divergence is something we should not discount.

However, this is where it gets difficult for investors.

  • The “bulls” are hoping for a break to the upside which would logically lead to a retest of old highs.
  • The “bears” are concerned about a downside break which would likely lead to a retest of last December’s lows.
  • Which way will it break? Nobody really knows.

This is why we have been suggesting raising cash on rallies, and rebalancing risk until the path forward becomes clear. Importantly:

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

Peter Schiff: Gold Is Not Going to Stop This Time

Peter Schiff: Gold Is Not Going to Stop This Time

Gold has continued to push upward. The latest catalyst was another escalation of the trade war. Gold briefly moved above $1,550 in dollar terms. But it has done even better in relation to other currencies. In fact, the yellow metal is at record highs in nearly every currency except the dollar.

Peter Schiff appeared on RT America on Aug. 26 to talk about it. He said he thinks gold is eventually going to make news highs in the dollar as well, and this time, it’s not going to stop going up.

Peter said he doesn’t necessarily think that recession fears, in and of themselves, are pushing gold higher.

They’re worried about what the central banks, and in particular the Federal Reserve, is going to do about the next recession. That’s why the price of gold is going up — because the Fed is going to be going back to zero; they’re going to be going back to quantitative easing and all of this is good for gold.”

Peter noted that gold has been making record highs in almost every currency except the dollar.

And I think ultimately, we’re going to make a high in the dollar, probably before too long. And you know, when the Fed did quantitative easing the first time, the reason that the gold rally stopped at $1,900 was because everybody believed that the Fed had an exit strategy and that they could reverse the process, normalize interest rates, unwind their balance sheet. When they realize that they were mistaken to believe that, that there is no exit strategy, that it’s basically QE forever, that the balance sheet is going to grow into perpetuity  — gold’s not going to stop next time. It’s going to keep on going.”

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

The Great Switch: The Geo-Politics of Looming Recession

The Great Switch: The Geo-Politics of Looming Recession 

Is the prospect of looming global recession merely an economic matter, to be discussed within the framework of the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 – which is to say, whether or not, the Central Bankers have wasted their available tools to manage it? Or, is there a wider pattern of geo-political markers that may be deduced ahead of its arrival?

Fortunately, we have some help. Adam Tooze is a prize-winning British historian, now at Columbia University, whose histories of WWII (The Wages of Destruction) – and of WWI (The Deluge) tell a story of 100 years of spiraling; ‘pass-the-parcel’ global debt; of recession (some ideologically impregnated) , and of export trade models, all of which have shaped our geo-politics. These are the same variables, of course, which happen to be very much in play today.

Tooze’s books describe the primary pattern of linked and repeating events over the two wars – yet there are other insights to be found within the primary pattern: How modes of politics were affected; how the idea of ‘empire’ metamorphosed; and how debt accumulations triggered profound shifts.

But first, as Tooze notes, the ‘pattern’ starts with Woodrow Wilson’s observation in 1916, that “Britain has the earth, and Germany wants it”. Well, actually it was also about British élite fearof rivals (i.e. Germany arising), and the fear of Britain’s élites of appearing weak. Today, it is about the American élite fearing similarly, about China, and fearing a putative Eurasian ‘empire’.

The old European empires effectively ‘died’ in 1916, Tooze states: As WWI entered its third year, the balance of power was visibly tilting from Europe to America. The belligerents simply could no longer sustain the costs of offensive war. The Western allies, and especially Britain, outfitted their forces by placing larger and larger war orders with the United States.

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

The Anatomy of the Coming Recession

The Anatomy of the Coming Recession

Unlike the 2008 global financial crisis, which was mostly a large negative aggregate demand shock, the next recession is likely to be caused by permanent negative supply shocks from the Sino-American trade and technology war. And trying to undo the damage through never-ending monetary and fiscal stimulus will not be an option.

NEW YORK – There are three negative supply shocks that could trigger a global recession by 2020. All of them reflect political factors affecting international relations, two involve China, and the United States is at the center of each. Moreover, none of them is amenable to the traditional tools of countercyclical macroeconomic policy.

The first potential shock stems from the Sino-American trade and currency war, which escalated earlier this month when US President Donald Trump’s administration threatened additional tariffs on Chinese exports, and formally labeled China a currency manipulator. The second concerns the slow-brewing cold war between the US and China over technology. In a rivalry that has all the hallmarks of a “Thucydides Trap,” China and America are vying for dominance over the industries of the future: artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, 5G, and so forth. The US has placed the Chinese telecom giant Huawei on an “entity list” reserved for foreign companies deemed to pose a national-security threat. And although Huawei has received temporary exemptions allowing it to continue using US components, the Trump administration this week announced that it was adding an additional 46 Huawei affiliates to the list.

The third major risk concerns oil supplies. Although oil prices have fallen in recent weeks, and a recession triggered by a trade, currency, and tech war would depress energy demand and drive prices lower, America’s confrontation with Iran could have the opposite effect. Should that conflict escalate into a military conflict, global oil prices could spike and bring on a recession, as happened during previous Middle East conflagrations in 1973, 1979, and 1990.

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

Corporate Debt Is At Risk Of A Flash Crash

Corporate Debt Is At Risk Of A Flash Crash

The world is awash in debt.

While some countries are more indebted than others, very few are in good shape.

The entire world is roughly 225% leveraged to its economic output. Emerging markets are a bit less and advanced economies a little more.

But regardless, everyone’s “real” debt is likely much bigger, since the official totals miss a lot of unfunded liabilities and other obligations.

Debt is an asset owned by the lender. It has a price, which—like anything else—can go up or down. The main variable is the lender’s confidence in repayment, which is always uncertain.

But there are degrees of uncertainty. That’s why (perceived) riskier debt has higher interest rates than (perceived) safer debt. The way to win is to have better insight into the borrower’s ability to repay those loans.

If a lender owns debt in which his confidence is low, but you believe has value, you can probably buy it cheaply. If you’re right, you’ll make a profit—possibly a big one.

That is exactly what happens in a recession.

Investment-Grade Zombies

While it’s easy to point fingers at profligate consumers, households largely spent the last decade reducing their debt.

The bigger expansion has been in government and business. Let’s zoom in on corporate debt.

The US investment-grade bond universe is considerably more leveraged than it was ahead of the last recession:

Source: Gluskin Sheff

Compared to earnings, US bond issuers are about 50% more leveraged now than in 2007. In other words, they’ve grown debt faster than profits.

Many borrowed cash not to grow the business, but to buy back shares. It’s been, as my friend David Rosenberg calls it, a giant debt-for-equity swap.

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

The Real Reasons Why The Media Is Suddenly Admitting To The Recession Threat

The Real Reasons Why The Media Is Suddenly Admitting To The Recession Threat

One thing that is important to understand about the mainstream media is that they do tell the truth on occasion. However, the truths they admit to are almost always wrapped in lies or told to the public far too late to make the information useful.   Dissecting mainstream media information and sifting out the truth from the propaganda is really the bulk of what the alternative media does (or should be doing).  In the past couple of weeks I have received a rush of emails asking about the sudden flood of recession and economic crash talk in the media.  Does this abrupt 180 degree turn by the MSM (and global banks) on the economy warrant concern?  Yes, it does.

The first inclination of a portion of the liberty movement will be to assume that mainstream reports of imminent economic crisis are merely an attempt to tarnish the image of the Trump Administration, and that the talk of recession is “overblown”.  This is partially true; Trump is meant to act as scapegoat, but this is not the big picture.  The fact is, the pattern the media is following today matches almost exactly with the pattern they followed leading up to the credit crash of 2008.  Make no mistake, a financial crash is indeed happening RIGHT NOW, just as it did after media warnings in 2007/2008, and the reasons why the MSM is admitting to it today are calculated.

Before we get to that, we should examine how the media reacted during the lead up to the crash of 2008.

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

Barron’s Nonsensical Idea: Cut Rates Like Mad to Avoid Recession

Barron’s Nonsensical Idea: Cut Rates Like Mad to Avoid Recession

Barron’s writer Matthew Klein proposes to stop the recession by cutting interest rates like it’s 1995.

Klein says How to Avoid a Recession? Cut Interest Rates Like It’s 1995.

One of the most reliable harbingers of U.S. recession—short-term interest rates on U.S. Treasury debt higher than longer-term yields—has been flashing warning signs for months. That doesn’t mean the economy is doomed to a downturn.

So-called yield-curve inversions have preceded every U.S. downturn since the 1950s, with only one false positive in 1966. This past week, the yield on two-year Treasuries briefly surpassed the yield on 10-year notes for this first time since 2007. The most straightforward explanation is that traders…

Absurd Notion

The rest of the article is behind a paywall, but I can tell you with 100% certainly Klein’s notion is absurd.

Inverted yield curves do not cause recessions. They are symptoms of a buildup of excess debt or other fundamental problems.

Those problems will not not go away if the Fed “cuts rates like 1995” or even like 2008.

If a zero percent interest rate stopped recessions, Japan would not have had a half-dozen recessions in the past decades that it did have, many without inversions.

Not even negative rates can stop recessions.

The Eurozone, especially Germany, has negative rates. Yet, it’s highly likely the Eurozone is in recession now and even more likely Germany is (with the rest of the Eurozone to follow).

Monetary Madness

As a prime example of global monetary madness, witness Inverted Negative Yields in Germany and Negative Rate Mortgages.

Even if the Fed made a 100 basis point cut (four quarter point cuts at once), what the heck would that do?

Stop recession for how long? Zero months? Six months? And at what expense?

What Then?

Yes, what then? Negative mortgages? A 10-year yield of -1.0% like Switzerland.

And if that doesn’t work?

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

Major Recession Alarm Sounds

Major Recession Alarm Sounds

Major Recession Alarm Sounds

Red, red, in every direction we turn today… red.

The Dow Jones shed 800 scarlet points on the day.

Percentage wise, both S&P and Nasdaq took similar whalings.

The S&P lost 86 points. And the Nasdaq… 242.

And so the market paid back all of yesterday’s trade-induced gains — with heaps of interest.

Worrying economic data drifting out of China and Germany were partly accountable.

Chinese industrial production growth has slackened to 4.8% year over year — its lowest rate since 2002.

And given China’s nearly infinite data-torturing capacities, we are confident the authentic number is lower yet.

Meantime, the economic engine of Europe has slipped into reverse. The latest German data revealed second-quarter GDP contracted 0.1%.

Combine the German and Chinese tales… and you partially explain today’s frights.

But today’s primary bugaboo is not China or Germany — or China and Germany.

Today’s primary bugaboo is rather our old friend the yield curve…

A telltale portion of the yield curve inverted this morning (details below).

An inverted yield curve is a nearly perfect fortune teller of recession.

An inverted yield curve has preceded recession on seven out of seven occasions 50 years running.

Only once did it yell wolf — in the mid-1960s.

An inverted yield curve has also foretold every major stock market calamity of the past 40 years.

Why is the inverted yield curve such a menace?

As we have reckoned prior:

The yield curve is simply the difference between short- and long-term interest rates.

Long-term rates normally run higher than short-term rates. It reflects the structure of time in a healthy market…

Longer-term bond yields should rise in anticipation of higher growth… higher inflation… higher animal spirits.

Inflation eats away at money tied up in bonds… as a moth eats away at a cardigan.

Bond investors therefore demand greater compensation to hold a [longer-term] Treasury over a [short-term] Treasury.

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

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