We read a lot about the big-picture impacts of the economic meltdown caused by the government response to the coronavirus pandemic. We hear about the millions thrown out of work, the surge in corporate bankruptcies and small businesses shutting down, and the specter of surging inflation. But how has all of this impacted the average American?
In a nutshell, it has been devastating.
The mainstream isn’t worried about inflation. In fact, we’re told inflation is muted. And that’s true, at least by some measures. We haven’t seen the rising consumer price index (CPI) you might expect as central banks inject trillions of dollars created out of thin air into the economy. But just because government numbers don’t reflect it – yet – that doesn’t mean there isn’t inflation. In fact, defined correctly, increasing the money supply is inflation. And we certainly have plenty of that.
The fact is inflation is here and it will almost certainly find its way to consumer prices eventually.
We’ve been saying for months that the stock market has completely disconnected from economic reality. The markets have hit record highs despite the economic chaos caused by the government response to COVID-19. As Peter Schiff put it in a podcast back in May, the markets are on a Fed-induced sugar high.
In a recent article, David Stockman put the stock market bubble into perspective and asked a poignant question: how could the S&P 500 be trading at its highest multiple in 70 years when the growth rate of corporate earnings has been sinking for more than two decades?
The mainstream spin on unemployment is that things are improving. The unemployment rate is coming down. The number of weekly jobless claims recently fell below 800,000 for the first time since government lockdowns in response to the pandemic went into high gear last March. But there are some troubling signs that undercut this good-news narrative. The number of long-term unemployed workers is steadily rising.
Last week, we reported on the number of temporary layoffs that are turning into permanent job losses. Now Goldman Sachs is projecting even more permanent job losses coming down the pike as a wave of mergers, acquisitions and corporate takeovers sweeps through the economy.
There has been a lot of talk lately about central banks implementing their own digital currencies.
Holdings of silver in silver-backed Exchange-Trade Products (ETPs) rose by 297 million ounces through the first three quarters of 2020, according to data released by the Silver Institute. That’s nearly triple the level of silver inflows seen during the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, investors also had a strong appetite for silver bullion coins and bars.
Well-known management consultant Peter Drucker perfectly described the predicament faced by central bankers.
You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”
So why do we put so much faith in central bankers?
The fiscal 2020 budget shortfall totaled $3.13 trillion as Uncle Sam added another $124.6 billion to the deficit in September, according to the latest Monthly Treasury Statement.
That more than doubles the previous record deficit of $1.4 trillion set in 2009 at the height of the Great Recession.