Monday, January 25, 2016

Is the Crash of 2016 Upon Us?

A few years ago, Thom Hartmann wrote a book called The Crash of 2016:  The Plot to Destroy America.  And recent events suggest that book is even more presicent than we originally thought:

  • Economic inequality remains at historically high levels, and history has shown that high levels of inequality are virtually always followed by a massive stock market crash and a deep recession or depression, as infamously happened in 1929 and 2008.
  • The stock market has been artificially high (a bubble) for a few years now and the Dow Jones dropped from a high of over 18,000 to below 16,000, most of which in the past month alone.  The drop has actually been faster that the same period in early 2008.
  • The Feral Reserve's quantitative easing (QE) ended in late 2014 and their zero-rate policy ended in December 2015, both of which have been artificially propping up the stock market. 
  • The stock bubble was also fueled by corporations buying back their own stock and/or cannibalizing their workforces, for the most part.  And that clearly can't go on forever.
  • We still have not yet fully recovered from the previous crisis and depression. 
  • Rich Dad famously predicted in 2010 that the stock market would crash in 2016 thanks to ERISA, which mandates that retirees start taking money out of IRAs (and thus out of the stock market) by age 70 1/2 at the latest.  And guess what age the first Baby Boomers turn this year?  You guessed it!
  • Industrial production dropped in the fourth quarter of 2015, which historically predicts at least a recession in the near future.
  • There has been concern that China's recent economic weakness will affect us as well.
  • Recently, a key trade indicator, the cost of shipping "dry goods" (Baltic Dry Index), has dropped to historically low levels, and history has shown that index to be a bellwether of the global economy.  This would actually predict a worse crash than 2008.
  • Oil prices have been plummeting since mid-2014, and this has been hurting oil companies' profits.  And apparently the banks have made some pretty bad bets on that.
  • And finally, the real kicker:  Thanks to the Wall Street casino remaining poorly regulated, the same derivatives bubble that caused the Crash of 2008 is now bigger than ever, and all it would take is one default in just the right place and it will burst, with severe consequences.
So given the above facts, there is good reason to predict a massive financial crisis and stock market crash in 2016, one that, as Thom Hartmann predicts, would make 2008 and even 1929 look like a walk in the park.  Now it is entirely possible that such a thing will not occur, or will be much milder than he predicts.  But the risk that he is correct seems to be growing every day now.

Oh, and by the way--there appears to be no "safe haven" for money this time.  Commodities are doing poorly, and as Ellen Brown has repeatedly noted for years now, the big banks supposedly have a plot to confiscate our deposits via "bail-ins".  Thus, FDIC would basically become a dead letter in practice, and the resulting bank runs would undoubtedly deepen any financial crisis.  Not to say that the Feral Reserve won't bail out the banks again, but there is still such a risk.  Caveat emptor, and caveat lector as well.

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