Connect with us


AGBT Meets High Standards, Gets Low, Low, Low…

Advances in Genome Biology and Technology delivers cutting-edge genomics news by day, holds beachside festivities (enlivened by Flo Rida’s “Low”)…



The Advances in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) conference, held in the beach town of Hollywood, FL, last month, got its beachside groove back after a couple of landlocked years. Due to COVID-19, the conference took a break in 2021, and last year’s event was held inland, in Orlando, in the steamy month of June. But the four days spent on the coast at this year’s meeting brought back all the positive vibes that AGBT attendees have grown accustomed to: ocean views, dining al fresco, near-perfect weather, and above all, cutting-edge genomics research.

The conference was stacked with news and announcements on spatial biology, single-cell genomics, next-generation sequencing (NGS) and library prep innovations, and the construction of more-complete genomes and pangenomes.

Last year’s AGBT had been chock full of new NGS instrument releases and even new company launches. This year, smaller updates and iterative improvements filled the NGS news stream. The NGS companies in attendance seemed to be sending the same message: We are delivering on the promises we made last year.

Walking the walk

Illumina’s biggest splash was the news that the NovaSeq X, the instrument announced last fall at the Illumina Genomics Forum, was shipped to the company’s first customer, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard—a surprise to no one. Illumina also announced, with a much smaller splash, its long-anticipated long-read technology, Complete Long Reads, which relies on comparing “landmarks” on an original, long, single-molecule fragment to unmarked short reads.

Element Biosciences’ messages were hard to miss, as they were emblazoned on its team’s T-shirts. First, Element’s instrument, the AVITI, when coupled with the company’s novel pricing structure (which includes a subscription-like model for reagents), now offers a whole human genome sequence for as little as $200. Second, now that the AVITI is shipping, there is no lag time for manufacturing. Third, Element’s new cloudbreak chemistry, which uses new enzymes, has shortened the AVITI’s run time. And fourth, in a sponsored talk given by co-founder Matt Kellinger, PhD, the company did not shy away from making direct comparisons between the AVITI system and other platforms on the market—most notably, Illumina’s. In fact, Kellinger very candidly set the two side by side.

The other San Diego–based newcomer, Singular Genomics, was a bit more reserved, letting the advantages of its technology speak for itself. The company announced a new flow cell (the F3) for its G4 sequencing platform and a new kit (Max Read Kits) that will enable single-cell genomics.

Ultima Genomics, the latest entrant to the field, was even more reserved. (Indeed, the company was hard to find.) Last year, Ultima had a suite that was constantly packed. Curious onlookers swarmed an enormous instrument (UG-100) in the middle of the room to learn about the new technology. This year, there was no instrument, no suite, no onlookers. CEO Gilad Almogy, PhD, told GEN that Ultima is focused on its existing customers of the early-access plan.

AGBT is known for its intense activities during the day and at night. This year, Pacific Biosciences raised the bar on the meeting’s entertainment by sponsoring a Flo Rida concert. Although genomics experts may have been an atypical audience for the rapper, everyone embraced replacing their conversations about long reads and plex with singing and dancing for the evening.

Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) was not so reserved. From team-wide uniforms that included pink Converse shoes and tie-dyed T-shirts, to a full-blown evening concert by rapper Flo Rida, PacBio seems to be having one big party. Like Illumina, PacBio had an announcement about an instrument it introduced. In PacBio’s case, the instrument is the Revio. It started shipping the week of this year’s AGBT. Users will have to wait longer for PacBio’s short-read platform, the Onso, which will begin shipping later this year. Jonas Korlach, PhD, PacBio’s co-founder and CSO, stressed the importance of the company’s long-read technology in transcriptomics. He told GEN that that “short-read RNA-seq is completely inadequate to resolve the complexity of the transcriptome.”

Complete Genomics at AGBT 2023
At the AGBT meeting, Complete Genomics announced that it was launching two new instruments and a novel library prep kit for long fragment sequencing. During a well-attended presentation, Complete Genomics’ chief science officer, Radoje (Rade) Drmanac, PhD, explained how the company’s sequencing technology works.

The one exception to small NGS announcements was Complete Genomics, which launched a pair of new instruments at AGBT—just weeks after making waves at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference with the news that its fleet of instruments is now available in the United States. One of the two machines launched at AGBT is the most high-throughput sequencing instrument in existence—the DNBSEQ-T20—which Complete says offers a whole human genome sequence for less than $100. On the other side of the spectrum is the DNBSEQ-G99, an ultra-high-speed gene sequencer offering mid- to low-range throughput that runs in 12 hours.

Women at the center

On Tuesday evening, as the various parties in the suites were getting started, four women were honored with the inaugural Women Changing Science awards, high up on the 32nd floor of the event’s venue, the Diplomat Beach Resort Hollywood. Presented by the Rosalind Franklin Society, in conjunction with Rosalind (formerly OnRamp Bio), the honorees were Aruna Ayer, PhD, senior director, Single Cell Multiomics R&D at BD Biosciences; Julia Kennedy-Darling, PhD, vice president of innovation at Akoya Biosciences; Pardis Sabeti, PhD, an institute member at the Broad Institute and an HHMI investigator; and Yan Zhang, PhD, CEO of Mission Bio. It was a beautiful celebration of well-deserving women in genomics.

At AGBT 2023, the Rosalind Franklin Society and Rosalind
At AGBT 2023, the Rosalind Franklin Society and Rosalind, a software company, inaugurated the Women Changing Science awards program. It recognizes women who not only produce outstanding science, but who also dedicate themselves to supporting other women in the genomics community. The four winners this year were (in alphabetical order) Aruna S. Ayer, PhD, BD Biosciences; Julia Kennedy-Darling, PhD, Akoya Biosciences; Pardis Sabeti, MD, PhD, Broad Institute; and Yan Zhang, PhD, Mission Bio. In this image, award presenters flank three of the winners: Sabeti, Ayer, and Kennedy-Darling stand second, third, and fourth from the left.

Spatial: Plex vs. resolution

There were fewer spatial companies at AGBT than last year, but the fervor over the technology was undiminished. The opening session of the conference included a talk by Chris Mason, PhD, professor of physiology and biophysics at Weill Cornell Medical School about a project to create a Spatial Atlas of Human Anatomy (SAHA)—in collaboration with NanoString Technologies—with maps of 30 organs from a healthy and genetically diverse population of adults.

Jasmine Plummer, PhD at AGBT 2023
The recent AGBT meeting showcased new technology (as this article emphasizes), but the event also presented cutting-edge research. For example, speakers discussed evolutionary genomics, complete chromosome assemblies, pangenomes, and SARS-CoV-2. Many speakers participated in brief “Flash Talks,” which followed each other in rapid succession. As shown here, Jasmine Plummer, PhD, director of the Center for Spatial Omics at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, presented a Flash Talk on building a spatial atlas of breast cancer in women of African descent.

NanoString Technologies (AGBT’s gold sponsor) is putting its money on plex—how many transcripts its instrument can measure. The company’s big news was that one of its two spatial instruments, the CosMx, will be capable of 6,000-plex assays in 2024.

spatial biology
Akoya Biosciences delivered presentations at AGBT 2023 highlighting the PhenoCycler-Fusion. The multiomics spatial biology system was used to produce this image, which shows a breast cancer tissue microarray that was stained with 100 RNA and 100 protein moieties. Notice that RNA and protein markers were detected in the same section.

Akoya Biosciences is looking at spatial from a different angle. The company’s platform is much lower plex—100 proteins. When asked if that is sufficient, Niro Ramachandran, PhD, chief business officer for Akoya, assured GEN that it is “plenty.” Ramachandran said Akoya is happy to let the other companies work on increasing their plex because, he explained, higher plex comes with tradeoffs of time and data. Akoya hopes that researchers that have done their high-plex discovery will use the company’s instrument to uncover new biology through more-targeted questions.

Known for its spatial protein system, Akoya is moving into RNA. The first iteration of this is the incorporation of 12 RNA transcripts from the RNA-scope platform from Advanced Cell Diagnostics (ACD). In the second half of the year, the company indicated, customers will be able to run 50–100 targets.

Bruker showed off its MALDI HiPLEX-IHC imaging workflow at AGBT 2023. The workflow, which can visualize small molecules, lipids, glycans, proteins, and more from the same tissue section, was used to produce this image, a spatial multiomic overlay of a representative lipid and two proteins that were detected in a fresh-frozen sagittal mouse brain section.

Although “multi-omics” is a buzzword, many spatial companies like Akoya are working on “di-omics”: RNA and protein. An exception is Bruker, which had its mass spectrometry team at the conference show off the company’s MALDI HiPLEX-IHC Imaging system. It can visualize small molecules, lipids, glycans, proteins, and more from the same tissue section.

The German company Resolve Biosciences had a lower profile this year, having been the top sponsor in 2022. The firm announced a different approach for spatial biology researchers. It involves a service called Meridian, which processes customers’ slides on the company’s molecular cartography instrument, allowing researchers to run spatial experiments without having to use their own equipment.

10X Genomics’ Xenium has started shipping, with Yutaka Suzuki, PhD, from the Laboratory of Systems Genomics at the University of Tokyo being the first to report data. 10X also launched the Xenium Catalyst Program, where customers can send samples in. The company also teased progress on the highly anticipated  Visium HD—a higher resolution version of the firm’s widely used, slide-based Visium Spatial Gene Expression platform.

Vizgen announced that last year that it had installed 70 platforms, each of which can analyze up to 500 transcripts, with plans to reach 1,000 this year. Vizgen’s hallmark is customization—a researcher can design a fully individualized panel. That said, the company will also be launching two premade panels this year, one in neurology and one in oncology.

A newcomer to the spatial world, Pixelgen Technologies, appeared at AGBT for the first time. The company is introducing a new approach to spatial proteomics called molecular pixelation. Founded by Simon Fredriksson, PhD, CEO (and former co-founder, CEO, and CSO of the proteomics company Olink), the Stockholm-based company makes a kit that, using antibodies bound with DNA tags, creates a DNA inference mesh that can inform how proteins co-locate toward one another. This technology is uniquely situated to studying immunology because the location of the outer surface proteins of immune cells is fundamentally important for understanding their biology.

Just a kit

With big, expensive instruments getting so much attention, the front and back ends tend to stay out of the limelight. But multiple companies, such as New England Biolabs (NEB), Watchmaker Genomics, and Roche were talking about innovations in library prep such as new enzymes, RNA library prep, and nucleic acid library prep for formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples. As Andrew Barry from NEB told me, “Sample prep—that’s where the fun stuff happens.”

Some companies are choosing to democratize sequencing technology by offering just a kit, rather than a large, expensive platform. 10X Genomics’ Visium is one such example. Also, the Seeker was launched by Curio Bioscience the week of AGBT (although the company were not present at the meeting). Seeker is a slide-based kit based on the Slide-Seq spatial technology developed at the Broad in 2019.

In the single-cell space, Parse Biosciences offers sc-RNA seq kits developed from the technique known as Split Pool Ligation-based Transcriptome sequencing (SPLiT-seq). At AGBT, the company announced the availability of two kits that allow more targeted scRNA-seq: a TCR kit for immune profiling applications and a Gene Capture kit, which allows more samples to be analyzed with less sequencing.

Whether attendees found themselves hearing about kits, instruments, flow cells, or price drops, or dancing at a Flo Rida concert, AGBT 2023 was one for the books. And lessons from the event should inspire the genomics community throughout the year. I cannot wait to see what will happen at AGBT 2024.

The post AGBT Meets High Standards, Gets Low, Low, Low… appeared first on GEN - Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News.

Read More

Continue Reading


Mortgage rates fall as labor market normalizes

Jobless claims show an expanding economy. We will only be in a recession once jobless claims exceed 323,000 on a four-week moving average.



Everyone was waiting to see if this week’s jobs report would send mortgage rates higher, which is what happened last month. Instead, the 10-year yield had a muted response after the headline number beat estimates, but we have negative job revisions from previous months. The Federal Reserve’s fear of wage growth spiraling out of control hasn’t materialized for over two years now and the unemployment rate ticked up to 3.9%. For now, we can say the labor market isn’t tight anymore, but it’s also not breaking.

The key labor data line in this expansion is the weekly jobless claims report. Jobless claims show an expanding economy that has not lost jobs yet. We will only be in a recession once jobless claims exceed 323,000 on a four-week moving average.

From the Fed: In the week ended March 2, initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits were flat, at 217,000. The four-week moving average declined slightly by 750, to 212,250

Below is an explanation of how we got here with the labor market, which all started during COVID-19.

1. I wrote the COVID-19 recovery model on April 7, 2020, and retired it on Dec. 9, 2020. By that time, the upfront recovery phase was done, and I needed to model out when we would get the jobs lost back.

2. Early in the labor market recovery, when we saw weaker job reports, I doubled and tripled down on my assertion that job openings would get to 10 million in this recovery. Job openings rose as high as to 12 million and are currently over 9 million. Even with the massive miss on a job report in May 2021, I didn’t waver.

Currently, the jobs openings, quit percentage and hires data are below pre-COVID-19 levels, which means the labor market isn’t as tight as it once was, and this is why the employment cost index has been slowing data to move along the quits percentage.  


3. I wrote that we should get back all the jobs lost to COVID-19 by September of 2022. At the time this would be a speedy labor market recovery, and it happened on schedule, too

Total employment data

4. This is the key one for right now: If COVID-19 hadn’t happened, we would have between 157 million and 159 million jobs today, which would have been in line with the job growth rate in February 2020. Today, we are at 157,808,000. This is important because job growth should be cooling down now. We are more in line with where the labor market should be when averaging 140K-165K monthly. So for now, the fact that we aren’t trending between 140K-165K means we still have a bit more recovery kick left before we get down to those levels. 

From BLS: Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 275,000 in February, and the unemployment rate increased to 3.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in health care, in government, in food services and drinking places, in social assistance, and in transportation and warehousing.

Here are the jobs that were created and lost in the previous month:


In this jobs report, the unemployment rate for education levels looks like this:

  • Less than a high school diploma: 6.1%
  • High school graduate and no college: 4.2%
  • Some college or associate degree: 3.1%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 2.2%

Today’s report has continued the trend of the labor data beating my expectations, only because I am looking for the jobs data to slow down to a level of 140K-165K, which hasn’t happened yet. I wouldn’t categorize the labor market as being tight anymore because of the quits ratio and the hires data in the job openings report. This also shows itself in the employment cost index as well. These are key data lines for the Fed and the reason we are going to see three rate cuts this year.

Read More

Continue Reading


Inside The Most Ridiculous Jobs Report In History: Record 1.2 Million Immigrant Jobs Added In One Month

Inside The Most Ridiculous Jobs Report In History: Record 1.2 Million Immigrant Jobs Added In One Month

Last month we though that the January…



Inside The Most Ridiculous Jobs Report In History: Record 1.2 Million Immigrant Jobs Added In One Month

Last month we though that the January jobs report was the "most ridiculous in recent history" but, boy, were we wrong because this morning the Biden department of goalseeked propaganda (aka BLS) published the February jobs report, and holy crap was that something else. Even Goebbels would blush. 

What happened? Let's take a closer look.

On the surface, it was (almost) another blockbuster jobs report, certainly one which nobody expected, or rather just one bank out of 76 expected. Starting at the top, the BLS reported that in February the US unexpectedly added 275K jobs, with just one research analyst (from Dai-Ichi Research) expecting a higher number.

Some context: after last month's record 4-sigma beat, today's print was "only" 3 sigma higher than estimates. Needless to say, two multiple sigma beats in a row used to only happen in the USSR... and now in the US, apparently.

Before we go any further, a quick note on what last month we said was "the most ridiculous jobs report in recent history": it appears the BLS read our comments and decided to stop beclowing itself. It did that by slashing last month's ridiculous print by over a third, and revising what was originally reported as a massive 353K beat to just 229K,  a 124K revision, which was the biggest one-month negative revision in two years!

Of course, that does not mean that this month's jobs print won't be revised lower: it will be, and not just that month but every other month until the November election because that's the only tool left in the Biden admin's box: pretend the economic and jobs are strong, then revise them sharply lower the next month, something we pointed out first last summer and which has not failed to disappoint once.

To be fair, not every aspect of the jobs report was stellar (after all, the BLS had to give it some vague credibility). Take the unemployment rate, after flatlining between 3.4% and 3.8% for two years - and thus denying expectations from Sahm's Rule that a recession may have already started - in February the unemployment rate unexpectedly jumped to 3.9%, the highest since February 2022 (with Black unemployment spiking by 0.3% to 5.6%, an indicator which the Biden admin will quickly slam as widespread economic racism or something).

And then there were average hourly earnings, which after surging 0.6% MoM in January (since revised to 0.5%) and spooking markets that wage growth is so hot, the Fed will have no choice but to delay cuts, in February the number tumbled to just 0.1%, the lowest in two years...

... for one simple reason: last month's average wage surge had nothing to do with actual wages, and everything to do with the BLS estimate of hours worked (which is the denominator in the average wage calculation) which last month tumbled to just 34.1 (we were led to believe) the lowest since the covid pandemic...

... but has since been revised higher while the February print rose even more, to 34.3, hence why the latest average wage data was once again a product not of wages going up, but of how long Americans worked in any weekly period, in this case higher from 34.1 to 34.3, an increase which has a major impact on the average calculation.

While the above data points were examples of some latent weakness in the latest report, perhaps meant to give it a sheen of veracity, it was everything else in the report that was a problem starting with the BLS's latest choice of seasonal adjustments (after last month's wholesale revision), which have gone from merely laughable to full clownshow, as the following comparison between the monthly change in BLS and ADP payrolls shows. The trend is clear: the Biden admin numbers are now clearly rising even as the impartial ADP (which directly logs employment numbers at the company level and is far more accurate), shows an accelerating slowdown.

But it's more than just the Biden admin hanging its "success" on seasonal adjustments: when one digs deeper inside the jobs report, all sorts of ugly things emerge... such as the growing unprecedented divergence between the Establishment (payrolls) survey and much more accurate Household (actual employment) survey. To wit, while in January the BLS claims 275K payrolls were added, the Household survey found that the number of actually employed workers dropped for the third straight month (and 4 in the past 5), this time by 184K (from 161.152K to 160.968K).

This means that while the Payrolls series hits new all time highs every month since December 2020 (when according to the BLS the US had its last month of payrolls losses), the level of Employment has not budged in the past year. Worse, as shown in the chart below, such a gaping divergence has opened between the two series in the past 4 years, that the number of Employed workers would need to soar by 9 million (!) to catch up to what Payrolls claims is the employment situation.

There's more: shifting from a quantitative to a qualitative assessment, reveals just how ugly the composition of "new jobs" has been. Consider this: the BLS reports that in February 2024, the US had 132.9 million full-time jobs and 27.9 million part-time jobs. Well, that's great... until you look back one year and find that in February 2023 the US had 133.2 million full-time jobs, or more than it does one year later! And yes, all the job growth since then has been in part-time jobs, which have increased by 921K since February 2023 (from 27.020 million to 27.941 million).

Here is a summary of the labor composition in the past year: all the new jobs have been part-time jobs!

But wait there's even more, because now that the primary season is over and we enter the heart of election season and political talking points will be thrown around left and right, especially in the context of the immigration crisis created intentionally by the Biden administration which is hoping to import millions of new Democratic voters (maybe the US can hold the presidential election in Honduras or Guatemala, after all it is their citizens that will be illegally casting the key votes in November), what we find is that in February, the number of native-born workers tumbled again, sliding by a massive 560K to just 129.807 million. Add to this the December data, and we get a near-record 2.4 million plunge in native-born workers in just the past 3 months (only the covid crash was worse)!

The offset? A record 1.2 million foreign-born (read immigrants, both legal and illegal but mostly illegal) workers added in February!

Said otherwise, not only has all job creation in the past 6 years has been exclusively for foreign-born workers...

Source: St Louis Fed FRED Native Born and Foreign Born

... but there has been zero job-creation for native born workers since June 2018!

This is a huge issue - especially at a time of an illegal alien flood at the southwest border...

... and is about to become a huge political scandal, because once the inevitable recession finally hits, there will be millions of furious unemployed Americans demanding a more accurate explanation for what happened - i.e., the illegal immigration floodgates that were opened by the Biden admin.

Which is also why Biden's handlers will do everything in their power to insure there is no official recession before November... and why after the election is over, all economic hell will finally break loose. Until then, however, expect the jobs numbers to get even more ridiculous.

Tyler Durden Fri, 03/08/2024 - 13:30

Read More

Continue Reading


Economic Earthquake Ahead? The Cracks Are Spreading Fast

Economic Earthquake Ahead? The Cracks Are Spreading Fast

Authored by Brandon Smith via,

One of my favorite false narratives…



Economic Earthquake Ahead? The Cracks Are Spreading Fast

Authored by Brandon Smith via,

One of my favorite false narratives floating around corporate media platforms has been the argument that the American people “just don’t seem to understand how good the economy really is right now.” If only they would look at the stats, they would realize that we are in the middle of a financial renaissance, right? It must be that people have been brainwashed by negative press from conservative sources…

I have to laugh at this notion because it’s a very common one throughout history – it’s an assertion made by almost every single political regime right before a major collapse. These people always say the same things, and when you study economics as long as I have you can’t help but throw up your hands and marvel at their dedication to the propaganda.

One example that comes to mind immediately is the delusional optimism of the “roaring” 1920s and the lead up to the Great Depression. At the time around 60% of the U.S. population was living in poverty conditions (according to the metrics of the decade) earning less than $2000 a year. However, in the years after WWI ravaged Europe, America’s economic power was considered unrivaled.

The 1920s was an era of mass production and rampant consumerism but it was all fueled by easy access to debt, a condition which had not really existed before in America. It was this illusion of prosperity created by the unchecked application of credit that eventually led to the massive stock market bubble and the crash of 1929. This implosion, along with the Federal Reserve’s policy of raising interest rates into economic weakness, created a black hole in the U.S. financial system for over a decade.

There are two primary tools that various failing regimes will often use to distort the true conditions of the economy: Debt and inflation. In the case of America today, we are experiencing BOTH problems simultaneously and this has made certain economic indicators appear healthy when they are, in fact, highly unstable. The average American knows this is the case because they see the effects everyday. They see the damage to their wallets, to their buying power, in the jobs market and in their quality of life. This is why public faith in the economy has been stuck in the dregs since 2021.

The establishment can flash out-of-context stats in people’s faces, but they can’t force the populace to see a recovery that simply does not exist. Let’s go through a short list of the most faulty indicators and the real reasons why the fiscal picture is not a rosy as the media would like us to believe…

The “miracle” labor market recovery

In the case of the U.S. labor market, we have a clear example of distortion through inflation. The $8 trillion+ dropped on the economy in the first 18 months of the pandemic response sent the system over the edge into stagflation land. Helicopter money has a habit of doing two things very well: Blowing up a bubble in stock markets and blowing up a bubble in retail. Hence, the massive rush by Americans to go out and buy, followed by the sudden labor shortage and the race to hire (mostly for low wage part-time jobs).

The problem with this “miracle” is that inflation leads to price explosions, which we have already experienced. The average American is spending around 30% more for goods, services and housing compared to what they were spending in 2020. This is what happens when you have too much money chasing too few goods and limited production.

The jobs market looks great on paper, but the majority of jobs generated in the past few years are jobs that returned after the covid lockdowns ended. The rest are jobs created through monetary stimulus and the artificial retail rush. Part time low wage service sector jobs are not going to keep the country rolling for very long in a stagflation environment. The question is, what happens now that the stimulus punch bowl has been removed?

Just as we witnessed in the 1920s, Americans have turned to debt to make up for higher prices and stagnant wages by maxing out their credit cards. With the central bank keeping interest rates high, the credit safety net will soon falter. This condition also goes for businesses; the same businesses that will jump headlong into mass layoffs when they realize the party is over. It happened during the Great Depression and it will happen again today.

Cracks in the foundation

We saw cracks in the narrative of the financial structure in 2023 with the banking crisis, and without the Federal Reserve backstop policy many more small and medium banks would have dropped dead. The weakness of U.S. banks is offset by the relative strength of the U.S. dollar, which lures in foreign investors hoping to protect their wealth using dollar denominated assets.

But something is amiss. Gold and bitcoin have rocketed higher along with economically sensitive assets and the dollar. This is the opposite of what’s supposed to happen. Gold and BTC are supposed to be hedges against a weak dollar and a weak economy, right? If global faith in the dollar and in the U.S. economy is so high, why are investors diving into protective assets like gold?

Again, as noted above, inflation distorts everything.

Tens of trillions of extra dollars printed by the Fed are floating around and it’s no surprise that much of that cash is flooding into the economy which simply pushes higher right along with prices on the shelf. But, gold and bitcoin are telling us a more honest story about what’s really happening.

Right now, the U.S. government is adding around $600 billion per month to the national debt as the Fed holds rates higher to fight inflation. This debt is going to crush America’s financial standing for global investors who will eventually ask HOW the U.S. is going to handle that growing millstone? As I predicted years ago, the Fed has created a perfect Catch-22 scenario in which the U.S. must either return to rampant inflation, or, face a debt crisis. In either case, U.S. dollar-denominated assets will lose their appeal and their prices will plummet.

“Healthy” GDP is a complete farce

GDP is the most common out-of-context stat used by governments to convince the citizenry that all is well. It is yet another stat that is entirely manipulated by inflation. It is also manipulated by the way in which modern governments define “economic activity.”

GDP is primarily driven by spending. Meaning, the higher inflation goes, the higher prices go, and the higher GDP climbs (to a point). Eventually prices go too high, credit cards tap out and spending ceases. But, for a short time inflation makes GDP (as well as retail sales) look good.

Another factor that creates a bubble is the fact that government spending is actually included in the calculation of GDP. That’s right, every dollar of your tax money that the government wastes helps the establishment by propping up GDP numbers. This is why government spending increases will never stop – It’s too valuable for them to spend as a way to make the economy appear healthier than it is.

The REAL economy is eclipsing the fake economy

The bottom line is that Americans used to be able to ignore the warning signs because their bank accounts were not being directly affected. This is over. Now, every person in the country is dealing with a massive decline in buying power and higher prices across the board on everything – from food and fuel to housing and financial assets alike. Even the wealthy are seeing a compression to their profit and many are struggling to keep their businesses in the black.

The unfortunate truth is that the elections of 2024 will probably be the turning point at which the whole edifice comes tumbling down. Even if the public votes for change, the system is already broken and cannot be repaired without a complete overhaul.

We have consistently avoided taking our medicine and our disease has gotten worse and worse.

People have lost faith in the economy because they have not faced this kind of uncertainty since the 1930s. Even the stagflation crisis of the 1970s will likely pale in comparison to what is about to happen. On the bright side, at least a large number of Americans are aware of the threat, as opposed to the 1920s when the vast majority of people were utterly conned by the government, the banks and the media into thinking all was well. Knowing is the first step to preparing.

The second step is securing your own financial future – that’s where physical precious metals can play a role. Diversifying your savings with inflation-resistant, uninflatable assets whose intrinsic value doesn’t rely on a counterparty’s promise to pay adds resilience to your savings. That’s the main reason physical gold and silver have been the safe haven store-of-value assets of choice for centuries (among both the elite and the everyday citizen).

*  *  *

As the world moves away from dollars and toward Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), is your 401(k) or IRA really safe? A smart and conservative move is to diversify into a physical gold IRA. That way your savings will be in something solid and enduring. Get your FREE info kit on Gold IRAs from Birch Gold Group. No strings attached, just peace of mind. Click here to secure your future today.

Tyler Durden Fri, 03/08/2024 - 17:00

Read More

Continue Reading