It’s Official: Economy Heading Down

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com 

There has been so much bad economic news out, recently, I do not see how anyone with half a frontal lobe could say the economy is not in trouble.   Friday, new unemployment figures were announced, and a weak 119,000 jobs were created.  The rate fell to 8.1%, but only because more discouraged workers stopped looking for work and disappeared from the government’s data base.   In Friday’s report, economist John Williams of Shadowstats.com summed it all up by saying, “The headline U.3 unemployment rate dropped a statistically insignificant notch to 8.1% in April, from 8.2% in March, but the “good” news was anything but good.  The declining pace of headline unemployment reflected an accelerating increase in the number of the headline unemployed giving up looking for work, because there were no jobs to be had. . . . The SGS-Alternate Unemployment Measure, accordingly, notched higher in April to 22.3%, from 22.2% in March.”  (Click here to go to the free section of Shawowstats.com.)  So, unemployment in the real world actually went up—not down.  According to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, planned job cuts rose 7.1% in April, and more than 40,000 more workers are going to be laid off.  (Click here for more on this story.)

Housing is another sad story.  Year-over-year housing prices continue to decline despite record low 30-year mortgage rates below 4%!  In the last two years alone, 1 million homeowners who bought houses lost money and are underwater.  In January, the Federal Reserve estimated 12 million Americans owed more than their homes were worth.  (Click here for more on that story.)  Economist Robert Shiller of the Case-Shiller home price index lamented, two weeks ago, I worry that we might not see a really major turnaround in our lifetimes.” 

“April Retail sales are the worst since 2009,” read one headline from last week.  “Factory Orders Post Biggest Decline in Three Years,” read another headline from last week, as well.  Even the auto sector took a hit as the headline says, “April auto sales cool.”  Overall, sales were up a paltry 2%, but GM sales were down a hefty 8% and Ford sales declined 5%.  Please keep in mind, if it were not for sub-prime auto loans, sales would fall off a cliff.  Add it all up, and it is a miracle that the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) only slowed down to 2.2% in the first quarter from 3% in the last quarter of 2011.  Is there any wonder why Fed Chief Ben Bernanke  signaled, two weeks ago, that money printing “tools . . . remained very much on the table,” if the economy faltered.  Last week, Charles Evans of the Chicago Fed and Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart echoed Mr. Bernanke’s sentiment on CNBC.  Both talked about “expanding the balance sheet” of the Federal Reserve and clearly said there was more room for “accommodation.”  Mr. Lockhart said, “I am a bit reticent to pull the trigger on any new action. I think we need to see how the economy evolves.” 

Well, it looks like the economy is evolving all right or better said–plunging.  Williams says, “A renewed faltering of U.S. economic activity is a fortuitous development for the bank-propping needs of the Federal Reserve. . . . the banking system remains severely stressed, with some form of new easing—a QE-3—likely just a matter of time, and likely sooner rather than later.  All Fed actions since the crisis of 2007 and panic of 2008 have been aimed at saving the banking system—not the economy—where the survival and health of banking system is the Fed’s primary function. . . .there is little the Fed can do to stimulate the economy or to contain inflation.”   I think it’s official, the economy is heading down.  So, expect the Fed to print money to save the banks–again.

Comments
  1. iknowbetter

    My wife and I lived through the 70’s inflation when textured vegetable proteim supplemented our ground beef. Commodity foods like powdered eggs in a can were quite tasty and nutritious.

    Today’s grocery stores don’t provide those products. Yes, the economy is heading down. I suspect that means an increase in the hungry. Is anyone aware or even paying attention to this?

    Housing: We do required maintenencec on the house. Improvements are minimal. We treat our house as a consumable, not an investment. We aren’t looking for a return. After 30 years, the house is owned outright. But I expect the economy can still find a way to screw us.

    …ikb

    • Greg

      IKB,
      Thank you for sharing your perspective!
      Greg

      • Alan Neumann

        I’m afraid you are correct Greg. That’s why Obama wants our guns. God told us to pray for our leaders so we could live in piece. That’s one command I’m just having alot of difficulty with lately. Best regards Greg.

    • Matt Canada

      I remember as a kid in the 70’s, things were tough, we had a lot of cheap meats fried, powder milk was the norm, lucky though we had a egg lady we use to get our eggs from.

      My parents feed us from our backyard, I think it was around 1971 or 72 we lost the backyard to the garden, had to go play on the streets after that I was 10 then.

      Mum did a lot of canning, pickling, eat a ton of No-Name foods, cheap meals, Minute Rice & Weaners was a staple. Powder juice, never had real juice.

      But today people will have no idea how to deal with hardship, they have been hand feed by the Gov for 2 Generations now, sort of like Wel-fare the way it goes on from generation to generation.

      Hell I can’t even get my own step-kids (28 & 29yr) interested in a garden, food grows on Styrofoam plastic wrap trays from China…. and they have kids.

      There are a lot of people which are going to get mighty violent out of desperation.

  2. Mike Gunther

    Greg, Just a bit of real world antedotal info to back up what your seeing. As a deputy sheriff, our police reports are showing a marked increase in victims and suspects being unemployed. Also the constables that serve civil court papers are drowning in bank housing forfeitures, civil small claims (unpaid bills), and divorce paperwork (i guess economic stress is breaking up families). You do a fantastic job keeping us informed and you are a daily go to for the REAL news. Keep it up and God bless!

    • Greg

      Mike Gunther,
      Thank you for the front-line real world reporting!
      Greg

  3. Barry

    I watched Warren Buffett lying through his teeth this morning on Squawk Box. Saying equities were a good buy. I am so sick of the lies from the complicit media and the Federal government.

    • Greg

      Barry,
      Amen to that. Mr. Buffett is a weasel cashing in on American taxpayers.
      Greg

  4. freedom

    Greg.
    As i see it more false jobs=more money printing=inflation=suffering=faschism.
    Get ready for the R.F.I.D. chip
    Ron Paul in 2012 will be removed from the race by lies,and deceptions.Just as so many believe the main streem media.

    • Greg

      Thank you Freedom and Weary of Taxes for the commnets.
      Greg

  5. Weary of Taxes

    The Chrysler & particularly the Jeep lots around here (Western Virginia) are full to the curbs. So I wonder, is the word “sold” has been redefined to also mean vehicles moved from manufacturer to a dealership as well as from a dealership to and end user? In fact, most new car dealerships appear VERY full of inventory.

  6. stephen

    Greg – It must feel like you are some sort of Old Testament Prophet. You bring sobering words that seem to be ignored by the masses. I want to encourage you that you are making a difference for many. I often share your articles with those around me. Keep sounding the alarm/speaking the truth. Wisdom is proved right by her actions.

    • Greg

      Stephen,
      Thank you very much for the kind words and for your support!!!
      Greg

  7. Chuck Allen

    Hi Greg,

    WOW! Really; it was reported that “a weak 119,000 jobs were created” by the economy; what an accomplishment. Does anyone know if these jobs pay enough to actually support the workers? Do they have any benefits, like health insurance? Are the jobs going to last longer than November of this year?

    I believe job creation is against the agenda of the current administration in Washington D.C. but the MSM has to have something to spin positive. All the REAL INDICATORS are that our elected representatives work for the international bankers and are implementing their directives buy driving the United States into bankruptcy.

    Yes we need new jobs, but we more importantly need new elected representatives at all levels.

    VOTE THEM OUT!

    The assault on America is in full force while we watch.

    Have a great week Greg!

    • Greg

      Thank you Chuck and DroidX-G for weighing in today.
      Greg

  8. droidX-G

    Its hard to believe we are giving part of the usa to russia especially since it has oil. You have to ask why? Whuy would we not allow a US company be given the rights to exploit US territory instead of giving land to Russia?

  9. Stan

    The only option left to our nation is to continue to print dollars and use inflation to buy more time. We are past the point of no return and it doesnt matter who is in the white house come the next election. Buy food and guns first and with left over dollars purchase gold and silver. You dont want to hold dollars more than a month to pay for your current bills everything else needs to be in items that you use to survive…

    • Greg

      I guess you are a buyer of physical gold and silver coins? Thank you Stan.
      Greg

      • Chuck O.

        Along w/Au & Ag, and groceries, don’t forget a few rounds of ammo for your chosen weapon. Save save save.

  10. JH

    The current economic death spiral will not end in bankruptcy for the US or civil unrest and chaos.
    It will end the way these things have ended since the beginning of civilization, in war.
    Have you noticed the military buildup happening worldwide?
    It is because the people in charge understand that they can only do so much to postpone the inevitable economic pain that their financial mismanagement has caused.
    At some point people worldwide will be angry and demanding change and the criminals who hold positions of power will lie and turn their populations against their neighbors.
    The strong countries will begin to take from the weak, and soon their vulture instinct will drive the war worldwide.
    For the victors, there will be prosperity, for the loser’s death and poverty.
    It is an endless cycle.

    • Greg

      JH,
      Dark prediction but I fear you are correct. I am hoping you are wrong. Thank you for weighing in here.
      \Greg

  11. Troy

    86 Million uncounted unemployed Americans. And I do believe that the Jobs created # includes American companies creating jobs over seas.
    True unemployment is closer to 40%.

    Recovery is All Hot Steaming 100% USDA Bovine Excrement, shoveled to an unthinking American public.

    The 86 Million Invisible Unemployed | Mercatus

  12. Troy

    Greg, Have you seen this one?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lvl5Gan69Wo&feature=player_embedded

    • Greg

      Troy,
      This is good man!!! Thank you.
      Greg

      • Troy

        Could be the center of a USA WATCHDOG Article ;)!

  13. skyking38

    Consolidated, you and I remain ourselves erect, separated, we defer to the law of gravity or: “United we stand, divided we fall”. We can fight big government individually however we can’t win so the only real alternative is to be individually prepared as best we can. Having voted since Kennedy won proves to me only one point …. it matters not who you send to do the job the results continue to decay. I do not favor destroying the old structure …. only making repairs far beyond what’s been mentioned.
    Continue on course Greg and we’ll continue striving to get there.
    And …. job well done!
    Sky

    • Greg

      Thank nyou Sky.
      Greg

  14. slingshot

    There is so much distortion that we will never get out of this mess. The government will never admit it and the news media will never print the real facts and so we are doomed to the reality that we are in a decline. The sad part about it is that it did not have to be that way. The indications are that we have past the tipping point but part of me still wants to believe we can make it work out, dispite the odds. Bottom line is that we have not hit the bottom of anything. As we rail against, “The Machine”, we find ourselves barely equipt, lacking Common Sense, to the danger we face. Created by ourselves, hand over fist. I often try to comprehend where we went wrong. The creation of the Federal Reserve? Resending the Gold Standard? Repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act? All accumulating to the point that the whole world is smothered in debt and for all practical purposes, BROKE! That it can be so bad that the immortal words from Jack Nickleson, as a Marine Major, “You can’t handle the truth”, is the position of our governments bulwark. Comparable to an alien spaceship, landing on the White House lawn and its inhabitants claiming that they are our gods and we are just an experiment. All our religious beliefs destroyed. I am sure the bankers would attempt to have the aliens sign some type of contract.
    Reading all the comments, I would say we are at a consenses that things are screwed up. How do we extricate ourselves from the dollar or any fiat. We know that foreign countries are reducing thier buying of our debt and that they are joining together, using “thier” currencies in trade. Circumventing the World Reserve Currency. Is there any financial triage that is acceptable to all to at least lessen the impact.
    We are a nation by Democracy. Mob Rule at its best. But looking through my kaleidoscope glasses, a fractured one. A conglomerate of socialism, fasism, corporatism, globalism, culturialism. Each asserting themselves to the point that they have finally killed the Republic.

    • Greg

      Sling,
      Thank you for posting your analysis here.
      Greg

    • Saq

      Actually , we are a Republic, not a democracy. We seem to quickly becoming a Banana Republic.

  15. art barnes

    I wonder why we don’t know how much those newly added jobs each week pay, any benefits, etc. I highly suspect that the slippery slope of a family wage is going the way of the buffalo. Small note, the government in the east reported all was well with the buffalo population as late as the 1890’s, sound anything alike what we see today coming out of Washington, CNBC & their media cronies? 119,000 fast food jobs will not help the country if there is no second level jobs to go to after entering the work place with entry level ones.

    • Greg

      Art,
      Good point.
      Greg

  16. hoser

    Every month it’s 119K jobs added. What’s wrong with this picture? What about the thousands of GM jobs sent to China? Out tax dollars paid for that move. Obummer wanna take credit for that?

  17. El

    As Charles Biderman of TrimTabs pointed out in today’s video, in the notes section of the BLS report, the margin of error on the 115k jobs was 100k. We may have had as few as 15k new jobs, or as many as 215k new jobs (although I don’t know a soul who would buy the latter.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGQMjLfo75U&feature=g-u-u

  18. ONTIME

    Looks like this government has it’s hands firmly locked around the neck of this nations energy and financials and is intent on throttling the breath from it until it yields to the government manipulation of all incomes…..who needs a free market when you have the government telling you what to do, right commrades?

  19. Troy

    I think Ive been kicked off again :)?

    • Greg

      No way Troy. I just haven’t gotten around to posting your comments. You are most welcomed here my friend!
      Greg

  20. Gary

    “Please keep in mind, if it were not for sub-prime auto loans, sales would fall off a cliff.”

    Recall that I wrote an analysis of the sub-prime dynamic roughly 45 days ago. We should see if repo’s and losses go up from this recent surge in another 45 to 90 days.

    The Federal government usually floods the economy with cash in a run-up to an incumbent president’s second election. Obama still hasn’t released all the 2009 stimulus funds. I can’t recall off the top how much was left but it seemed significant.

    • Greg

      Thank you Gary for the info!!
      Greg

  21. TimeTraveler

    Greetings Greg,

    Your commentary on the economic events going on in the world are as usaul, very accurate.

    But right now I believe humans should be putting their attention to more pressing matters that are going on on this planet, and for the survival of the human race. This may not be the forum for this, but you better be thinking on human survival rather than economics, so I have decided to write this, so more are aware of what could occur very shortly.

    If the building of reactor 4 crumbles, which is in dire condition at Fukishima.If it fails, there will be no more economic system to worry about, or for that matter any humans left on the surface of your world. The human race should be getting their priorities in order.

    You are now walking on egg shells, for one moderate shaking of that building and will collapse. It could happen as I am writing this. No planet, no human race. But your ancestors didn’t bring you this far to have it end now!

    One spent fuel rod at reactor4 that melts down is enough Cessium and plutnium to kill 2.87 billion people, and there are over 1500 spent fuel rods in that pool hanging over that reactor. You do the math!

    This holographic economic system will fail now on its own. There is nothing than can stop it. There will be no rising of the ashes to rebuild it. Most of the human race will have perished, either thru natural Earth changes currently happening, Fukishima melting down, a war somewhere that would be economically devastating, and catastrophically damaging to the planet thru nuclear bombs. It could be one or several, but the second hand is about to strike midnight.

    The solar activity is high. If a CME hits your world, it wipes out all your generators, what do you think cools the pools that keeps the rods from melting, electricity. If the grids go down, so does your world, as all the nuclear power plants on this planet meltdown! Start thinking people, there are more important things to do, than watch TV, or worry what you are going to buy with that worthless dollar.

    Mother Earth is awakening, and a great shaking is about to take place. Humanity is truly at a crossroads, some will not make it, some will!

    Einstein predicted the human race would end itself thru this kind of power source, he was right! But it is not really the end, for as one cycle ends , anew one begins. There can be no other way now. Your world and your system is collapsing, but for every cause there is an effect. There is harmony in this chaotic universe.

    The time now is to focus inward toward your heart. Focus not on the negative, just the positve. Mankind is destined to continue, but without the slavory of a system called usury. It only takes a small amout of human consciousness and the feminine power of this planet, Gaia, to rebirth a new speicies of humans, Beings of the Light.

    Humans will finally have freedom as it was meant to be. So now is time to focus inward, and let the power of the human heart lead you instead of the mind, for all the wisdom of the universe lives in each of you. Believe in the light, for that blue white light that started it all from the darkness will lead you where you need to be.

    The only way is to visualize a healed panet, and a healed heart, one that believes in Compassion and Love, for Love connects the whole cosmos, the light, the frequency that started as a thought, that which brought about everything that exists. Your ancestors were of the Light. They walked this planet millions of years ago. It is time time join them, for they never left!

    Believe in that blue white light, Love! Share that Love with others and see a change in your reality. It’s really chaotic out there, but there is harmony, music, that the whole comos dances to, so get on with it, but you can spread the word as you go that the human race will no longer be in the darkness, they have entered the Light.

    TimeTraveler

    • Greg

      Thank you Time Traveler. What should people do to survive if Japan blows up?
      Greg

  22. Ambrose

    Greg,

    I really think people like Bernanke know the U.S. Economy is heading down but he (as well as many of his supporters) just don’t know what to do. As a politician (a damn good one) and not as an economist, he chose to promote the “fake” economic recovery.

    There is a typical perception in Washington. If we don’t know what to do, leave the problem to the next guy. Don’t know how to deal with the debt crisis, Social Security and Medicare problems? May be the next president can deal with the GOP? If the 112th U.S. Congress cannot agree on anything, let us wait for the “new” Congress next year. After all, there is no reason why the congressional members want to make their own life miserable while they are in office. They, like everyone, just want fame and fortune.

    My friend told me that more and more companies lay off full time workers (with good benefits) and replace them with part time or temporary workers (with no benefit). Since the new workers are getting less in pay and have no insurance coverage, the companies save a lot of money. Despite the part time and temporary jobs are less stable and desirable than the old full time jobs, those companies are still creating more jobs. I don’t know how many of the reported new jobs are actually created like that.

    With less than six months to elect our next President, I hope more and more Americans come around and vote for Ron Paul.

    Ambrose

  23. Matslinger

    I’ve been sreaming about the elements of our folly for 30 years now,
    the American public are the stupidest creatures ever to inhabit the earth! Freedom intoxication catylized by immediate graitfication and
    historical amnesia , have placed braindead Amerika at intelectual
    par with a 3 year old ! ( paraphrase written by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts”) “Useless eaters” is what many Amerikans have become!
    Those who understand and prepare are way less than 5%, get ready for
    a crime wave the likes of which only “Hollywood” has produced.
    Government employees have sold their loyalty, as soon as their checks
    no longer have value, all hell will braeak loose.
    I only hope that the masses remember who did this to them….

    “the government and and themselves”!

  24. Pdog

    Dear Greg:

    I am a fan. I might have a heads up concerning a one-off dollar devaluation and full or partial yuan reserve currency replacement. Edelson over at Weiss Research swears up and down that Geithner and the Chinese gov’t have come to this decision. He says that he has the sources to prove it. I haven’t seen these sources for myself but there is some corroboration for this by others. Pablo Escobar of the Asia Times has said on RT that Hollande will move towards the BRICS and their reserve currency sans dollar. Leap/E2020 said the same thing over a month ago and projected a 30% devaluation of the dollar. Hagman and Hagman claims sources within DHS project martial law due to dollar currency devaluation. No doubt you have witness the moves to independence that the Brics have made, China in particular. The aforementioned are a generally credible diverse group which in my mind lends to overall credibility. Could there be some grand bargain afoot?

    A penny for your thoughts

    Pdog

    • Greg

      Pdog,
      I have long stated there would be a currency crisis for the U.S. dollar and this would fit that description. All of what you said seems plausible to me because the dollar can’t survive in it’s present state. There is just too much debt. Thank you for posting this.
      Greg

  25. PV

    Doom & Gloom, wow it’s all over. Regulation regulation regulation. With each concern people purpose a government
    solution. R Reagan “the closest thing to perpetual life is government programs” not an exact quote but you get the point. Constitutional referendum… Where did it go? Does anyone care? With each program that we propose we the people purpose we wittel away our inalienable rights.

    The American people are terrific, we have all the tools to have a strong set of core values and still live in a thriving successful country. Hold our gov. Responsible demand constitutional refeerendum. Take a little bit more responsiblity for you actions, (lower ur over head, eat less, exercise more, take that job regardless of ur pride). The next election is afoot. VOTE

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