- Terrible economic news! Bloomberg reports in Japan Heads for Worst Recession as Output Tumbles :
Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) — Japan headed for its worst postwar recession as factory production slumped an unprecedented 9.6 percent, NECCorp. said it will cut more than 20,000 workers and Hitachi Ltd. forecast a record loss. The December drop in output eclipsed the previous record of 8.5 percent set only a month earlier, the Trade Ministry said today in Tokyo.
“Japan’s economy is falling off a cliff,” said Junko Nishioka, an economist at RBS Securities Japan Ltd. in Tokyo. “There’s really nothing out there to drive growth.”
The International Monetary Fund said this week that Japan’s gross domestic product will shrink 2.6 percent this year, the bleakest projection for any Group of Seven economy except the U.K. That contraction would be Japan’s worst since World War II. “We’re in a very grave situation,” Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Kaoru Yosanosaid in Tokyo today. “Japan is being hit by this wave of weakening global demand.”
“The numbers are just horrendous,” said Tehmina Khan, an economist at Capital Economics Ltd. in London. “In Japan the political problems and the gridlock that they’ve got means they are totally unable to stimulate the economy.”
“It’s getting scarier and scarier to ponder what will happen around March,” when the fiscal year ends, said Hiroshi Morikawa, a senior strategist at Tokyo-based MU Investments Co. “Deeper cuts in capital investment and workforces will probably be needed.”
The month-on-month decline in production was steeper than the 8.9 percent economists predicted and the biggest since the figures were first compiled in 1953. Companies planned to lower output a further 9.1 percent in January and 4.7 percent in February.
“There’s a global synchronized recession and manufacturers are responding aggressively,” said Jan Lambregts, head of Asian research at Rabobank International in Hong Kong. “That’s going to have a profound impact” on economic growth. The jobless rate soared to 4.4 percent from 3.9 percent, the government said. Household spending slid 4.6 percent, a 10th monthly drop, as people grew more concerned about job security.
- In China, things are not looking any brighter, Millions of Chinese set to lose jobs as New Year celebrations end :
As many as 40 million Chinese who moved from the country to the city to find work are expected to lose their jobs this week as the New Year celebrations come to a close. Instead of returning to work after the public holiday, many will remain in their remote rural homes, having been told not to come back.
Others will make the long journey to China’s economic heartlands only to find their source of income has evaporated. The gloomy prediction came from an official at the Central Communist Party School, who estimated that between 20 and 30 per cent of the 130 million provincial Chinese who moved to the city for employment would find themselves obsolete. To make matters worse, they will find no guarantee of work at home as sophisticated farming methods reduce the need for labourers and agricultural hands.
- Airlines report ‘shocking’ plunge in traffic :
The airline industry reported on Thursday an “unprecedented and shocking” plunge in global air cargo traffic. Air freight accounts for 35 per cent of the value of goods traded internationally and the International Air Transport Association said traffic volumes had fallen by 22.6 per cent year-on-year in December.
Giovanni Bisignani, Iata director general, said, “there is no clearer description of the slowdown in world trade. Even in September 2001 (after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US), when much of the global fleet was grounded, the decline was only 13.9 per cent.”
International passenger traffic fell in December by 4.6 per cent. Iata said the drop was less dramatic than in cargo, as volumes had been supported by year-end leisure travel that had been booked in advance.
Airlines are still struggling to reduce capacity to match falling demand, however, and are flying with more empty seats. Capacity was reduced by 1.5 per cent year-on-year in December, resulting in airlines filling only 73.8 per cent of available seats, down from 76.2 per cent a year ago.
The sharpest fall in passenger traffic in December occurred in the Asia-Pacific (002790.KS – news) region, where it fell 9.7 per cent year-on-year. European carriers reported a 2.7 per cent fall in demand for international travel and North American carriers a fall of 4.3 per cent.
Mr Bisignani said “2009 is shaping up to be one of the toughest years ever for international aviation. The 22.6 per cent drop in international cargo traffic in December puts us in uncharted territory and the bottom is nowhere in sight.”
- Are we close to a worldwide financial meltdown? Will Gerald Celente and GEAB be right ? Will the entire world face a financial, economic and monetary collapse by March 2009? March is only 1 month away.
- Ty Andros warns in Collapsing Global Financial System Ponzi Scheme :
As economic activity and PONZI finance fall off the face of the earth, we enter the stretch run of the CON game known as the Bond and FIAT currency markets. Although both are headed for their ultimate demise, the path will be quite different. In 2009, these challenges will be headed your way. Prepare properly and thrive, or fail to do so and fall to your demise.
As every government policy failure appears, public servants will stroke the fear in the ‘something for nothing illiterate’ and use it to nationalize and destroy more and more of the private sector. They will double down on the spending, borrowing, printing and taxing required to pay for the next absurd idea to come out of the G7′s capitals. Look no further than Obama’s “Economic Recovery and Stabilization” stimulus package which spends 12 cents of every dollar on economic stimulus and 88 cents for sustaining and enlarging government spending and programs. A perfect name to DUPE America the Illiterate.
Morally, fiscally and intellectually BANKRUPT public servants and crony capitalists. Now we know why the banks and financial sectors were the greatest campaign contributors in the last election cycle and Obama’s inaugural election. Decisions are being made upon political considerations, not economic ones.
- American banks are close to bankruptcy. Look at the chart for the Top 5 below :
- These banks are representative of what all banks face: Insolvency ! Ty Andros again :
This is a nightmare on WALL STREET and MAIN STREET . A one percent loss on outstanding loans and derivatives turns ALL the biggest banks in the G7 into TOAST. What do you think the odds are of this happening? 100%. Once you see the picture you will understand why they are extremely cautious with their lending; they are on a tight rope. I don’t care how much the mainstream financial media hoot and howl, these banks are WORTHLESS and so are their debt offerings.
- What about Europe ?
These countries and banking systems are FUNCTIONALLY bankrupt, and savers everywhere would be well served in dumping their debt before the ILLUSION of the ability to pay through anything but the printing press becomes generally acknowledged by the mainstream financial media.
Trillions of dollars of maturing debt in the G7 corporate sector will bankrupt many corporations as they DO NOT have the money to pay in full and cannot roll their obligations forward. Their businesses no longer create the revenues and profits to service their previous commitments, let alone take on new ones. EVERY corporate borrower is less credit worthy now (by a wide margin) than they were in July 2008. They are becoming less so every day as business continues to COLLAPSE. You can look for this blow out in spreads to continue. In September, I wrote BLOW OUT and BLOW UP about the banks and brokers; NOW this applies to CORPORATIONS in general. Corporate failures loom in huge amounts, ipso facto BOND DEFAULTS.
- What are G7 governments facing ?
…the biggest deadbeats are the G7 governments themselves, perceived as being almost risk free; this could not be further from the truth. The level of G7 government debt as a percentage of GDP is many multiples of GDP. Most obligations are held OFF THE BOOKS to fool the broad public and INSTITUTIONS who purchase much of it. The US government’s liabilities are now almost $60 trillion, and CLIMBING at almost $10 trillion a year if properly accounted for. This is in an economy of $13 trillion BEFORE the unfolding collapse in GDP.
Rolling bankruptcies loom EVERYWHERE throughout the G7. G7 governments face trillions of dollars of NEW issuance and considerable rolling requirements for maturing DEBT. Bonds are IOU’S, denominated in IOU’s (fiat currencies) and PAYABLE in IOU’s, and sound like a SYNTHETIC CDO (collateralized debt obligation made up of NAKED CREDIT DEFAULT SWAPS issued by BANKS that are BANKRUPT). Bonds are BOMBS like a firecracker and you are just waiting for them to BLOW UP or are waiting to be paid off with PRINTED coupons masquerading as MONEY. Muni’s, Corporate’s, Federal, mortgages, Private Equity, credit cards, commercial bonds all have huge downside risk. This is BLACK SWAN time, over and over again in paper markets. Get out of bonds now while there are still fools to take your holdings from you; who are thinking that an economic recovery or the recovery of the ability to repay is only a matter of a SHORT TIME. It isn’t, and they are going to be SADLY MISTAKEN.
- Sharon Kayser has this to add in Global Bankruptcy as World Leaders Succumb to Monetary Dementia :
Black clouds are gathering above the horizon. The IMF just announced that the world trade collapsed by staggering 45% in the last quarter of last year. Even the euphoria of Obama’s inauguration didn’t last long. The same day Dow closed below 8,000 as banking fears were gripping the European markets and bringing shockwaves from the United Kingdom too. British Banks got a £1TN injection which didn’t prevent RBS shares to plunge 70%. London is faced with a bloodbath. Brown admitted there is not yet a limit on how much risk taxpayers must bear as a result of his rescue plan, but he even promised financial institutions that they will get more cash if they pass it on . Looks like the Brits are too being set up for the mother of all crashes. With the UK government debt alone and future liabilities not included, this means that every new baby is born with £17,000 debt.
- The industrialized economies are on the verge of bankruptcy. China will not be of much help. It has its own set of problems preventing its economy from dropping below 5%. The question is: when will the global collapse be, not whether? Will fiat currencies tank? Will there be financial chaos? Time will tell. Celente and GEAB forecast by March 2009. We will know soon!
- See also :
GEAB : Systemic Economic Crisis: The Sequence of Global Insolvency Begins
GEAB forecasts Next Financial Tsunami in March 2009
Global Monetary Meltdown in 2009 ?
America’s Debt – Ticking Nuclear Bomb!
American & British Banks are Bankrupt!
Economic Collapse of 2009 – Greater than Great Depression of 1929
America is at the Edge of Niagara Falls
Gerald Celente – Trends 2009
Celente – Code Red ! Economy in Collapse !
- Bob Chapman of International Forecaster is sending out an urgent warning to all his subscribers in Professional Runs on Banks Has Begun :
“If you have CDs or funds in banks that exceed six months of operating expenses remove them immediately.”
There is no question now but Bank of America and Citigroup are broke. Plus banks in Canada and Europe. You can add JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs. They went a bridge too far. These are banks and investment banks owned or controlled by the Illuminist Black Nobility. The connections in these stocks and others are just the prelude to oblivion. Wait until the derivative bomb explodes.
- Mr Chapman used to be 1 of the largest Gold trader in the world before he retired. He is a Wall Street insider that understands the mechanics of banksters and their illuminati handlers. He gives a very interesting behind the scene look at what is really happening on Wall Street and what the financial Big Boys are really hatching up. He continues in his warning (emphasis mine) :
We are not going to belabor this point but it is deadly important. Private equity investors and professionals are pulling their money out of banks. A professional run on banks has begun. If you have CDs or funds in banks that exceed six months of operating expenses remove them immediately. Your alternative is gold and silver related assets or Swiss franc Treasuries.
Our Treasury is going to have to raise over $2 trillion to fund fiscal needs in the next six months, which will be no easy feat. Will foreigners continue to fund such massive reckless spending? We do not know. We do not believe they want too, but do they have much choice? They are holding 64.5% of their foreign reserves in US dollars.
The US Treasury’s needs for funds are enormous and fulfilling those needs will be very difficult. Are US Treasuries still the world’s safest investment? We do not believe they are. Today this is a false perception, as it has been several times in our history. History is replete with other major nations defaulting on their bonds and arbitrarily devaluing their currencies in the last 150 years. The bottom line is there are no safe bonds or currency from any nation. Gold always has been and always will be the only safe option.
Today we have zero interest rates or for that matter negative rates if you consider the loss via real inflation. Owners of US debt are losing at least 10% annually on their investment. Our unprecedented expansionary monetary policy can only end in disaster via hyperinflation and default and devaluation. Even a 10% yield in today’s market cannot compensate for the loss in buying power.
The creation of American debt is totally out of control and there will come a time when foreigners will be forced to say no – no more. They will be under enormous pressure from their own constituents. Besides, who is capable of funding such debt? China and Japan are loaded up. Oil producers are in a bind. England is on the edge of bankruptcy, as are Ireland and Spain. Perhaps Germany and France can help. We do not know who’ll attempt to help, but more than $2 trillion in a year is a lot of money. We do not think it can be done and that means the Fed buys the Treasury’s bonds, bills and notes by creating more fiat money monetizing the debt and sending inflation straight into the stratosphere. That means much higher gold prices are in our future.
As we’ve said, the major financial institutions in the US are broke. The Fed and Treasury know and a few in Congress. The rest of our legislators do not understand or want to understand. Congress is only interested in payoffs and pedophilia. These are the same people who allowed $350 billion in TARP funds to be stolen.
- What about the rest of the world? Bob Chapman :
…. events in Europe are horrible. England and Europe are trapped in depression and England is bankrupt. In Greece and in the Baltics and South Balkans they are having the worst riots in almost 20 years. S&P has cut Greek debt to near junk and the bonds of Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland are on negative watch.
As we told you before this is a worldwide catastrophe. There will be no decoupling. Ireland has nationalized the Anglo Irish Bank, the biggest bank in the country. The social fabric is being torn as it soon also will be in the US and other countries. The entire world is entrapped in a web created to bring about world government.
Latvia’s streets look like a war zone, but little of this carnage reaches us via the US media. This is important, as are the riots in Greece. They were all about economic and financial failure and no jobs. This is going to happen worldwide.
- The 8th largest economy in the world is collapsing. California is totally broke, even more broke than some of the other 44 states in America that are close to insolvency.
- California is thinking of issuing their own bonds (IOUs). I wonder which investors will buy these bonds? The entire country has been badly managed for the past few decades. America is Bust ! The federal government is bankrupt, states are bankrupt, cities are going bust, corporations are going bust and families owe more than they have. The individual is in a deep hole. Personal debts, credit card debts and all kind of debts are piling up. With unemployment rising rapidly, how is the Federal and State governments going to turn things around?
- The solution the Feds say is more debt. Borrow from foreigners like in the past and spend, spend, spend…. But foreigners are abandoning the Treasury market. Why throw good money at bad money? Ty Andros writes in Economic & Financial Markets Forecast 2009: Collapsing Global Financial System Ponzi Scheme :
Up until November, foreign investors had stopped buying agency and corporate bonds; now they have stopped buying TREASURIES and, cumulatively, China and Japan have SOLD $16.8 billion worth of them. Add to this the withdrawal of foreign PRIVATE investors EN MASSE:
- November 2007 year over year net purchases: $829 billion
- November 2008 year over year net purchases: $316 billion
This is a staggering decline of 61% year over year, accounting for over HALF OF A TRILLION dollars less in purchases. In total, private foreign investors were net SELLERS of -$18.9 billion in November and -$19.4 billion in October. Who will fill this GAP? We can see from the FEDERAL RESERVE STATEMENT who that will be: The Federal Reserve. The more they withdraw or FAIL to invest, the more the Fed WILL step in WITH THE PRINTING PRESS.
- So how bad is it for California ? Nicholas Jones writes in California Economy Near Collapse :
California ‘s fiscal future lurched yet another step toward oblivion on Friday as state Controller John Chiang announced he could no longer make payments for services to disabled and blind people who need the money to pay for rent and food. Chiang said payments would most likely have to be stopped by Feb. 1.
“Delaying these payments will hurt real families,” Chiang said .About one million people would be affected by the non-payments, Chiang said. “People are going to be hungry at my house,” said Shirley Magers, who receives a $900 monthly payment related to her disabilities. “(This is) not to mention the utilities. Personally I can’t pay all the utilities right now.”
California regulators have budgeted $145 billion in expenditures through fiscal 2010. In that same period, they are expected to only bring in revenues of $100 billion, marking a $45 billion shortfall. That’s assuming current economic conditions. I tell you what, if California pulls $100 billion in revenue this year, I’ll wear a dress for a month. There’s absolutely no way that state regulators in California , or regulators anywhere for that matter, have priced in the economic realities of what’s to come.
For now, let’s just use the $45 billion deficit for the sake of argument in looking at what this number really means. The Trumpet reports that if the Governator fired all the 149,000 legislative aids and people working in the courts and universities that the budget deficit wouldn’t be eliminated. Alternatively, California could close all the state prisons, fire all the staff there, and eliminate all state health care funding and still not eliminate the budget gap.
- Cutting off payments to people with disabilities that are really in need. Not a pretty picture. Many services that the state offers will have to be reduced or totally done away with. This will affect the low income group the most. Many people who are losing their jobs will be falling into this needy category.
- There is no way of turning California around without a federal bailout. Considering the fact that they are wasting trillions of dollars bailing out banksters, I wonder where the money is going to come from? Only 1 way : Quantitative Easing. This is just a fancy way of saying: Let’s print more money out of thin air. How long before the USD collapses? Soon real soon! The cat is out of the bag: USD and Treasury bonds are toilet paper. Quantitative Easing My Ass !
- Things are not going to get better. Kevin Martinez writes in California Pension Funds Close To Bankruptcy :
The two largest pension funds in California, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), have lost billions of dollars in value. Hundreds of thousands of retiring state employees and teachers now face the stark choice of accepting much reduced pension checks or working past their retirement age.
CalPERS is the largest pension fund in the US and the fourth largest in the world. At its height in October 2007 it had $260 billion in assets, comparable to the GDP of Poland, Indonesia or Denmark. At the end of 2008 CalPERS was worth $186 billion, one of its worst annual declines since the fund’s inception in 1932. It is one of the latest casualties of the financial collapse on Wall Street.
After years of gambling in real estate investments, the state workers pension fund has lost more than 41 percent of its value, after peaking last fall. Its real estate holdings have dropped from $9 billion to $5.8 billion, according to the Sacramento Bee.
The pension fund is expected to report paper losses of 103 percent on its residential investments in the fiscal year that ended June 30. It is estimated 80 percent of these investments were paid with borrowed money, which means that CalPERS will eventually be obligated to pay them back at the original market price.
The second largest pension fund in the US, CalSTRS, covers 794,812 teachers. Its value has fallen from $162.2 billion to $129.3 billion. CalSTRS’s pension funds are guaranteed just like CalPERS, but unlike CalPERS, it does not have the authority to ask for increased contributions from employers. CalSTRS is funded by school districts contributing 8.25 percent of its payroll. The state general fund pays 2 percent and a further 8 percent comes from the members’ salaries. Any contribution changes would have to be added by the state legislature and approved by the governor.
California’s pension and budget defaults are not isolated phenomena. All across the US state pension funds have been collapsing due to the broader economic crisis. According to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, state governments have run up pension fund losses totaling $865.1 billion. Assets for 109 pension funds dropped 37 percent to $1.46 trillion in the 14-month period ending December 16. By comparison, the S&P 500 fell 41 percent in the same period.
- This is the beginning of the Nightmare on Main Street. Federal government bails out their best buddies, the banksters while the rest of the country burns !
- All I can say is : the Governator and all Senators should wear dresses for a year and call themselves : Girly Men !
- I have been highlighting frequently that what we are going through is the 21st Century Great Depression and it will be far worse than the 1929-1939 Great Depression. The MSM propaganda machine takes time to come around, to keep the sheeple uninformed and happy.
- Do you trust government statistics? Can you rely on US government’s monthly economic data? No way! Better to look at independent sources like John Williams’ www.shadowstats.com. US government’s economic statistics are manipulated to suit their political agenda. Keep the sheeple happy and deluded so that they will be too dumb to protest.
- Can you really trust rating agencies like S&P ?? Look at how they rated all the sub prime loans. All triple AAA right ?? Look at the massive ponzi frauds like Madoff. Can you trust corporate America’s quarterly reports fully? Maybe not all of them are untrustworthy. But you should discount a lot of their quarterly reports. Look at what all the banks are doing with tax payers’ bailout money. They are giving themselves massive bonuses when their companies are bankrupt!
- This is without doubt a Great Depression. Just how bad is it? Dr. Krassimir Petrov writes in Worse than the Great Depression :
The most extraordinary thing is that the mainstream media has never attempted to compare the current economic environment to the one preceding the Great Depression. In essence, it is assumed outright that the Great Depression can never possibly happen again, ever, thus obviating the need for such a comparison. I actually believe that the macroeconomic fundamentals today are much worse, so that we are in for a protracted period of economic depression – a depression much worse than the Great Depression, a depression that would likely be remembered in history as “The Second Great Depression” or The Greater Depression, as Doug Casey has called it so aptly. Here is why I believe that this is the case.
At its core, the environment of the 1990s, and the response of the Fed to the tech-telecom bust has created an economic environment that has encouraged the repetition of the very same mistakes that led to the Great Depression. Here is a concise summary of widely recognized mistakes of the 1920s, without going into the details, with obvious parallels in the current environment:
Asset Bubbles ….
Excessive Leverage ….
Corrupt GateKeepers …..
Financial Engineering …..
Lagging Regulation ……
Market Ideology …..
- Dr Petrov goes on to explain why he feels it will be far worse than the 1st Great Depression :
So, why Worse Than The Great Depression? What makes me believe that the current depression will be worse than the Great Depression? I present six of the most important fundamentals that are “baked in the cake” and that suggest of a Greater Depression.
Overvalued Real Estate
Total U.S. Credit
Explosion of Derivatives
Collapsing Bretton Woods II
Based on indicators like (1) global real estate overvaluation, (2) indebtedness, (3) leverage, (4) outstanding derivatives, (5) global bubbles, and (6) the precariousness of the global monetary system, I would argue that the accumulated imbalances in the current period surpass significantly those preceding the Great Depression. I therefore conclude that the coming U.S. (and possibly) global depression will be of greater magnitude than the Great Depression of the 1930s. It likely suggests that we are entering a historic period that will likely be known as The Greater Depression.
Investor beware! Only gold can protect you from the ravages of another Depression!