We Are Experiencing Economic Devastation On A Scale That America Has Never Seen Before
For a very long time we have been warned that a U.S. economic collapse was inevitably coming, and now it is here. Fear of COVID-19 and unprecedented civil unrest in our major cities have combined to plunge us into a historic economic downturn, and nobody is exactly sure what is going to happen next.
On Thursday, we learned that U.S. GDP was down 32.9 percent on an annualized basis last quarter. That officially makes last quarter the worst quarter in all of U.S. history, and many people believe that this new economic depression is just getting started. But of course not all areas of the country are being affected equally. According to USA Today, states such as Hawaii, Nevada, Michigan and New York were hit particularly hard last quarter…
Every state was walloped last quarter, though ones that rely heavily on travel and tourism, such as Hawaii and Nevada, were hit hardest by the downturn, according to employment figures analyzed by economist Adam Kamins of Moody’s Analytics. Michigan, the heart of the nation’s auto industry, was slammed as consumers put off car purchases. And densely populated Northeast states struck by the most severe virus outbreaks – like New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts – absorbed among the heaviest economic losses as governors shut down earlier and residents stayed home.
Originally, the mainstream media was telling us that the U.S. economy would come surging back to life during the third quarter, but we continue to get more signs that indicate that the economy is starting to slow down again.
For example, the Labor Department just released some new numbers that were more than just a little bit startling. If you can believe it, another 1.434 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week. That was an increase over last week’s revised number, and it represents the second week in a row that initial claims have risen.
Overall, new claims for unemployment benefits have now been above one million for 19 weeks in a row.
Personally, I don’t know how this is even possible. Prior to this year, the all-time record for a single week was just 695,000. The numbers that we have been getting week after week are so obscene that they are truly difficult to believe.
Overall, a grand total of more than 54 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits during the last 19 weeks.
But there were only 152 million Americans working when employment peaked back in February. So how is it possible that 54 million workers have filed initial claims for unemployment benefits so far this year?
Have things really gotten that bad?
Maybe they have. Bloomberg just reported on a recent Census Bureau survey that found that 30 million Americans claim that they did not have enough food to eat during the week that ended on July 21st…
Food insecurity for U.S. households last week reached its highest reported level since the Census Bureau started tracking the data in May, with almost 30 million Americans reporting that they’d not had enough to eat at some point in the seven days through July 21.
In the bureau’s weekly Household Pulse Survey, roughly 23.9 million of 249 million respondents indicated they had “sometimes not enough to eat” for the week ended July 21, while about 5.42 million indicated they had “often not enough to eat.”
Once again, those numbers are so shocking that they are hard for me to believe.
Are there really tens of millions of Americans that cannot afford three meals a day right now?
Maybe there are, but it is still difficult to grasp the fact that we have fallen so far in such a short period of time.
Meanwhile, we just got more bad news about the restaurant industry. According to the National Restaurant Association, at least 15 percent of all restaurants in the entire country will be shutting down. The following comes from Zero Hedge…
The National Restaurant Association has determined that at least 15% of all restaurants will close. This number could be a lot higher at the end of the year as Goldman Sachs reports the economic recovery is now reversing.
Small restaurant operators, who fear a double-dip recession, have now resorted to liquidating their eateries on Facebook Marketplace.
A simple search of “restaurant” on Facebook Marketplace, within 80 miles of Trenton, New Jersey, comes up with dozens and dozens and dozens of mom and pop eateries that are trying to get out of the game.
Actually, if we only lose 15 percent of our restaurants we should hold a massive celebration, because that will be a rip-roaring victory.
As fear of COVID-19 stretches on month after month, and as civil unrest becomes even worse, it will become increasingly difficult for restaurants, bars, movie theaters and other establishments where the public gathers to survive.
In the end, I think that we are going to lose hundreds of thousands of restaurants, and it deeply grieves me to say that.
Of course every industry is going to be devastated by this new economic depression, and even the biggest names are going to get hit really hard.
In fact, you know that things are starting to get really bad when even Walmart starts laying off workers…
Walmart Inc. is joining the ranks of Macy’s and L Brands in eliminating hundreds of corporate jobs in order to cut costs.
Employees in the mega-retailer’s store planning, logistics, and real estate units have reportedly received pink slips, reported Bloomberg Thursday
If Walmart executives truly believed that the U.S. economy was going to be returning to normal, they would not have made such a move.
But at this point it should be clear to everyone that there isn’t going to be a return to normal.
Very challenging times are on the horizon, and what we have experienced so far is just the tip of the iceberg.
More big corporations are going to go bankrupt, more businesses are going to fail, more workers are going to be laid off, and the financial dominoes are going to start to fall at a pace that is absolutely breathtaking.
So many of the things that myself and so many other economic writers have been warning about are starting to happen.
A great unraveling has begun, and it is imperative for all of us to find a way to survive the severe economic pain that is ahead of us.
New Zealand dollar pares losses as RBNZ pauses
RBNZ holds benchmark rate at 5.5% The New Zealand dollar has posted small losses on Wednesday. In Europe, NZD/USD is trading at 0.5901 in Europe, down…
- RBNZ holds benchmark rate at 5.5%
The New Zealand dollar has posted small losses on Wednesday. In Europe, NZD/USD is trading at 0.5901 in Europe, down 0.11%. Earlier, NZD/USD fell as much as 0.50% before paring these losses.
The New Zealand dollar is trying to find its footing in what has been a dismal week. NZD/USD is down 1.6% this week and fell to a one-month low earlier today. Still, the kiwi has shown little reaction to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s decision to pause rates for a third time.
The pause in rate hikes was expected and the monetary statement didn’t contain anything new. The statement said that interest rates had cooled economic activity and reduced inflation “as required”, adding that interest rates would need to remain restrictive to ensure that inflation falls back within its 1%-3% target range.
The message from the RBNZ was rather dovish and signalled that the tightening cycle is over. Policy makers don’t want to spell out that rates have peaked, as they would lose credibility if inflation moved higher and the RBNZ was forced to raise rates. The takeaway from the meeting is that the RBNZ appears content to wait for restrictive policy settings to filter through the economy and dampen inflation, which is running at a 6% clip. This stance won’t provide any relief for the struggling New Zealand dollar.
US Treasury yields continue to move higher as the selloff in global bond markets has gained momentum. This has helped boost the US dollar as more attractive yields on Treasury bonds have dampened risk appetite. The yield on 30-year Treasuries touched 5% on Tuesday, its highest level in over a decade.
The Federal Reserve has signalled that it is unlikely to lower rates anytime soon, given the strong US economy. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said on Tuesday that the Fed should hold rates at elevated levels “for a long time” in order to bring inflation back down to the 2% target. Bostic said he favoured a single rate cut in 2024, late in the year.
- NZD/USD is testing resistance at 0.5917. The next resistance line is 0.5947
- There is support at 0.5888 and 0.5833
A Promising player in the energy revolution
In recent years, the demand for sustainable energy sources has intensified, leading…
The post A Promising player in the energy revolution appeared first…
In recent years, the demand for sustainable energy sources has intensified, leading to a surge in the global lithium market.
As electric vehicles (EVs) gain popularity, lithium-ion batteries have become instrumental in meeting the growing energy storage needs. Argentina Lithium & Energy Corp. (TSXV:LIT) is a Canadian mineral exploration company with a strategic approach and a strong commitment to sustainable practices. This is one company that is well-positioned to capitalize on the rising demand for lithium.The Stellantis investmentIn a significant move that underscores the growing importance of lithium in the automotive industry, the company recently secured a substantial US$90 million investment from Stellantis. This investment not only validates Argentina Lithium’s potential but also highlights the pivotal role lithium plays in the transition to a carbon-neutral future.What makes this investment significant
Stellantis, formed through the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Groupe PSA, is one of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers. Their decision to invest such a significant amount in Argentina Lithium & Energy potentially helps secure a future supply of lithium in a rapidly growing market. This investment will not only provide Argentina Lithium with the necessary capital to explore and advance its projects but also highlights the industry’s recognition of Argentina’s lithium potential.Expansion of lithium projectsWith the infusion of funds from Stellantis, Argentina Lithium & Energy can accelerate the advancement of its lithium projects. The company’s projects are all located in the prolific Lithium Triangle region of Argentina, which holds immense promise because of its abundant, and in many cases, high-grade lithium resources. This investment will expedite the exploration process and potentially fast track the path to future lithium project development and production.
Speaking on this investment, Argentina Lithium President and Chief Executive Officer Nikolaos Cacos said in a news release: “We are delighted to have Stellantis as a partner in the exploration and future development of our lithium projects in Argentina. Together, we share a vision to build a sustainable lithium mining operation for the future. We look forward to a strong and successful relationship with Stellantis and we are committed to working towards delivering a sustainable lithium product that will contribute to the electrification of transportation and the protection of our atmosphere.”
Meeting the rising demand for EVsAs the world shifts towards sustainable transportation alternatives, EVs are expected to dominate the automotive sector. Lithium-ion batteries are the preferred power storage component for EVs, making lithium a vital component in the energy revolution. The investment by Stellantis in Argentina Lithium & Energy Corp. can potentially help ensure a stable supply of lithium, enabling the automotive giant to meet the soaring demand for EVs while reducing their carbon footprint.Embracing sustainable practicesThe company recognizes the importance of exploration and mining operations that prioritize environmental sustainability and social responsibility. The company is committed to minimizing its ecological footprint and engaging with local communities to ensure mutual benefits..For your considerationArgentina Lithium & Energy Corp.’s partnership with Stellantis through a US$90 million investment is a testament to its potential as a key player in the global lithium market.
The company’s stock shot up 113 per cent on this news.Argentina Lithium & Energy Corp. stock chart – April to September 2023.
As the demand for lithium continues to surge, the company’s commitment to sustainable practices and strategic projects in Argentina’s lithium-rich regions position it favorably among industry leaders. With this significant investment, Argentina Lithium & Energy Corp. is working to contribute significantly to the advancement of the clean energy transition while offering an appealing investment opportunity for those looking to support the growth of sustainable technologies.
Join the discussion: Find out what everybody’s saying about this stock on the Argentina Lithium & Energy Corp. Bullboard, and check out the rest of Stockhouse’s stock forums and message boards.
This is sponsored content issued on behalf of Argentina Lithium & Energy Corp., please see full disclaimer here.canada
MBA: Mortgage Applications Decreased in Weekly Survey; Purchase Apps Lowest Since 1995
From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Mortgage applications decreased 6.0 percent from one
week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage
Applications Survey for the we…
Mortgage applications decreased 6.0 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 29, 2023.Click on graph for larger image.
The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 6.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 6 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 7 percent from the previous week and was 11 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 6 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 6 percent compared with the previous week and was 22 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
“Mortgage rates continued to move higher last week as markets digested the recent upswing in Treasury yields. Rates for all mortgage products increased, with the 30-year fixed mortgage rate increasing for the fourth consecutive week to 7.53 percent – the highest rate since 2000,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “As a result, mortgage applications ground to a halt, dropping to the lowest level since 1996. The purchase market slowed to the lowest level of activity since 1995, as the rapid rise in rates pushed an increasing number of potential homebuyers out of the market. ARM loan applications picked up over the week and the ARM share increased to 8 percent, as some borrowers searched for ways to lower their payments.”
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($726,200 or less) increased to 7.53 percent from 7.41 percent, with points increasing to 0.80 from 0.71 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
The first graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index.
According to the MBA, purchase activity is down 22% year-over-year unadjusted.
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