According to the mainstream narrative, the US economy is quickly recovering from the downturn caused by lockdowns in response to COVID-19. And while the downturn was sharp and painful, it really didn’t cause any long-term economic damage. Good times are ahead! After all, just look at the booming GDP numbers.
And therein lies a problem. The GDP doesn’t really give us a good picture of what’s going on in the economy. In fact, the way the number is calculated actually hides economic damage.
Congress recently passed coronavirus stimulus 3.0, adding another $1.9 trillion in federal spending to the already massive fiscal 2021 budget deficit. That brings total spending related to COVID-19 to somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 trillion.
Meanwhile, the national debt has skyrocketed past $28 trillion. The US government has added $5 trillion to the debt in less than 18 months.
It might be tempting to blame all of this spending and the bloated government that comes with it on the coronavirus, but the trajectory of borrowing and spending was heading skyward even before the pandemic. In fact, the US government has been growing in size and scope for over 40 years, even as progressives bemoaned it as an era of government atrophy.
World gold production dropped by 5.4% in 2020 according to preliminary estimates released by GlobalData last week.
Global data projects gold production came in at 108 million ounces last year. The sharp decline was largely due to mine closures during the coronavirus pandemic. But it also fits into a broader trend of declining mine output we’ve seen over the last several years.
With the coronavirus pandemic serving as a backdrop, 2020 was a record-breaking year in many ways. And some of the economic records that fell were, shall we say, less than ideal. In fact, the impacts of these records will almost certainly ripple through the economy as we move into 2021.
Here are three records that fell last year that didn’t get nearly as much attention as they should have.
The year 2020 is coming to a merciful end. As it was with pretty much everything, it was a nutty year for the economy and the precious metals markets. We all hope 2021 will be better, but it seems unlikely that it will be any less nutty. In this special Thursday episode of the Friday Gold Wrap podcast, host Mike Maharrey takes a look back at 2020 and speculates on what could lie ahead in 2021.
There is a lot of talk about student loan forgiveness. The idea is wildly popular and it would relieve a huge burden crushing millions of Americans. But is there any downside to this idea? In this episode of the Friday Gold Wrap podcast, host Mike Maharrey talks about the student loan debacle and the possible downside of loan forgiveness. He also touches on the shaky labor market and why the bond market can’t tell us anything about inflation.
After a dismal November, gold and silver are starting to show some signs of life. But what caused the big drop in the price of precious metals last month? Was it warranted? In this episode of the Friday Gold Wrap podcast, host Mike Maharrey looks at the economic and monetary fundamentals and tries to bring us back to reality. He argues that despite the optimism about a coronavirus vaccine, nothing will fundamentally change.
The stock market is booming as everybody anticipates an end to the coronavirus pandemic with the rollout of a vaccine. But as Peter Schiff pointed out in this podcast, the rally isn’t really about a cure for COVID. It is being driven by government and central bank policies meant to shield us from the pain of the pandemic. The problem is this government “help” really isn’t helping. In fact, it’s made a bad situation much worse.
Even as market mania continues over hopes for a coronavirus vaccine, the economic devastation caused by the government response to the pandemic continues to ravage the economy. Seventeen million households are behind on rent or mortgage payments, and nearly 6 million Americans say they are at risk of eviction in the next few months.
The Dow Jones cracked 30,000 this week and stocks continue to surge generally upward as investors are embracing risk-on sentiment based on high hopes a vaccine may put an end to the coronavirus pandemic. But there’s more to it than that. In this episode of the Friday Gold Wrap podcast, host Mike Maharrey takes a deeper look at what’s really driving this market mania, and he also takes down the myth that printing more money means more wealth.