The stock market continued its yo-yo ways on Friday. After three straight days of healthy gains, the Dow Jones Industrials fell 572 points to end the week, closing below 24,000. The Nasdaq also plunged, dropping 161 points.
Peter Schiff has been saying for weeks this is a bear market. Well, now even Pres. Trump has said investors may see some short-term pain in the stock market. But the president says it will all be worth it because we will get long-term gain, referring to the benefits we’ll reap when we win the trade war. In his most recent podcast, Peter said that’s not how it’s going to play out.
We’re going to have short-term pain and then the pain is going to get worse in the long-run.”
The big problem is, nobody is really ready for any pain at all.
It looks like the subprime auto loan bubble has popped.
Last year, we reported that the auto industry’s check engine light was on. Now it looks like the thing is totally breaking down. Small subprime auto lenders are starting to go belly-up due to increasing losses and defaults. As ZeroHedge noted, “we all know what comes next: the larger companies go bust, inciting real capitulation.”
“As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.” – Prov. 26:11
It appears there is some repeat folly brewing.
Remember subprime mortgages? Well, they’re back.
The Federal Reserve bumped up interest rates another 25 basis points this week. The target federal funds rate now stands at 1.75%.
“Well, OK,” you might be thinking. “But this is just a bunch of wonkish policy stuff. What’s it to me?”
In a nutshell, it means your debt is going to cost you more. And that’s not good in an America where household debt has spiraled to record levels.
Expectations that the Fed will continue and perhaps even quicken the pace of interest rates hikes have created headwinds for gold. But there another side to the rising interest rate phenomenon that a lot of people in the mainstream seem to be missing. According to a recent Bloomberg report, the prospect of a higher interest rate environment is feeding signs of financial stress among debt-laden consumers.
This doesn’t bode well for the US economy and could spur safe-haven demand for gold.
Could we be on the verge of a retail apocalypse?
February marked the third straight month of declining retail sales. Analysts had not expected another drop, but they got one nonetheless. Sales fell 0.1% in February. Analysts had expected an uptick of 0.3%.
This is not good news for a retail sector that is already teetering on the brink.
China, Japan and some other countries have a nuclear option they could use in the pending trade war.
If deployed, it could serve as the pin that pops the stock market bubble. At the same time, it could put the US government in a nasty spot as it tries to fund its profligate spending and upward spiraling debt.
What is this nuclear option?