Recession Not Over, Double-Dip or Worse Coming

By Greg Hunter’s 

Just last week, I ridiculed a group of academic economists for calling an end to the longest recession since World War II.   The National Bureau of Economic Research proclaimed the recession we STILL find ourselves in ended in June of 2009.  The NBER is the official arbiter of the timing of the U.S. business cycle.  Well, I’m not the only person who thinks the NBER’s ascertainment of the economy defies all statistical evidence.   

In his most recent report (it came out yesterday), economist John Williams of says, “The official call of the recession’s end does not in any way alter the economic outlook, either as to existing underlying business activity or as to the course of likely future economic activity; only the nomenclature that will be used in describing current activity has been changed.  The re-intensifying economic downturn — already underway — simply will be called the second-dip of a double-dip recession, at such time as the NBER gets around to recognizing the “new” contraction in economic activity.”   

To me, this economy looks like one great big dip.  Here is what the spinmeisters at NBER said when they announced the recession was over, “The committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity. Rather, the committee determined only that the recession ended and a recovery began in that month.”   I wrote about this last week in a post I called “The Recession is Over? Really!”    If you read the statement closely, NBER simply said the recession was over without any facts to back it up.  I don’t know if this announcement was politically motivated because midterm elections are just 5 weeks away. I do know the facts say just the opposite– the recession is alive and getting worse.  Housing sales are bottom bouncing, car sales are plunging and banks are going under unabated.  The Fed is so freaked out, word is Bernanke and company has set the table for another trillion dollars of Quantitative Easing (QE) or money printing to buy U.S. debt.  These are not the signs of a healthy growing economy.

The folks at are also a little freaked out at what the Fed is planning on doing and have written a very good analysis about what is coming called “Why QE2 + QE Lite Mean The Fed Will Purchase Almost $3 Trillion In Treasurys And Set The Stage For The Monetary Endgame.”  Writer Tyler Durden says, “We were stunned to realize that over the next 6 months the Fed may be the net buyer of nearly $3 trillion in Treasurys, an action which will likely set off a chain of events which could result in rates dropping all the way to zero, stocks surging, and gold (and other precious metals) going from current price levels to well in the 5 digit range.”   

Don’t think we can print our way to out of this mess to prosperity.  Durden goes on to say, “. . . stocks will benefit from QE2, as will Bonds and as will commodities. In fact, every asset class will explode in a supernova of endless liquidity. To be sure, all of this will be very short lived. Very soon, all those assets denominated in fiat paper, will promptly collapse in the great black hole of reserve currency devaluation, as it becomes clear that the Fed will stop at nothing to win the race of global currency debasement.”  (Click here for the complete Zero Hedge Post.)

According to Williams, all the recent data on things such as housing starts, new home sales and orders for durable goods are “suggestive of a quarterly contraction for the current quarter (third-quarter 2010.)  Williams goes on to say, “. . . today’s ongoing “recovery” is not evident in most economic data, and, like the mid-Great Depression recovery, most people will not recognize the “good times.”  Main Street U.S.A. usually has a pretty good sense of what is happening in the real world, and the pain of today’s pocketbook issues still will be felt heavily at the polls, irrespective of any happy announcements or heavy political hype to the contrary.”   

So, in my book, it’s “official” the recession is definitely NOT over, and it won’t be for a very long time.

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  1. John Bernard

    Thank you Greg for your persistence, and thanks for bringing Zero Hedge to the readers of your column. It is, at the very least, entertaining.
    As citizens of the USA our situation is bad and getting worse; despite the “upward run of the stock market”. Apparently our “leaders” have fallen into the very human trap of thinking that good intentions automatically translate into good results. The Obama cabal is paralyzed when it comes to the economy and are in denial about the core facts.

    Their disappointment must be intense as the current Democrat party is about one thing: controlling the lives and actions of the citizenry. The apparatchiks cannot face the fact that we are no longer the “richest nation on earth, a net creditor”. There is little or no real concern about the economic health of the country except as it relates to votes. Apparently they think that having 40 plus million people on EBT is something of a guarantee that their power will continue or even enhanced.

    The United States is about one thing; the opportunity to pursue life’s happiness through individual freedom and personal responsibility. Those conditions have been eroded over the past 100 years and will continue to evaporate without a civic awakening. The time to prepare for a brave new world is still available and I urge all your readers to do so.

    I am hoping that the disastrous elections of 2006 and 2008 do not result in widespread violence with its accompanying death and disease. At some point self interested behavior will win out but how long that will be is anyone’s guess. We are still in the stunned period and simply hoping for the best.

    We will not be in a double dip as we never got out of the first depression. Every president since Wilson, with the exception of Eisenhower and Reagan has been a Progressive. We are now dealing with the results.

    • Greg

      I love this line, “Apparently our “leaders” have fallen into the very human trap of thinking that good intentions automatically translate into good results.” It is going to be a rough ride for most Americans no matter who is elected this November. Thank you for the great comment.

  2. Tom H

    “I don’t know if this announcement was politically motivated because midterm elections are just 5 weeks away.”

    You don’t know? Our fake money is now backed up ONLY by political motivation. This is precisely the problem. Our currency has nothing to do with markets, gold, etc. but only now serves for crooked politicians to buy more power with the fed’s fake money. It amazes me that so many citizens are too diverted to realize that they have been conned, and that their nations wealth has been stolen by the same bunch of international banksters that Jesus kicked out of the temple.

    Personally, I think silver is a better move than gold right now. When you consider that all gold transactions over $600 have to now be reported to “Big Government”, you can’t even by an ounce of gold without the evil empire knowing about it. You can walk into any coin shop in America and buy 10 oz of silver for fake paper dollars and nobody knows you have them. Then you can do it again the next day, and the next. When the s.h.t.f., you can sell them back the same way, and our corrupt, criminal government has never confiscated silver before. You can bet that when the world finally wakes up to the fact that our currency is worthless, our troops will be going door to door to get our gold. This will happen because the megalomaniacs in our gov’t will undoubtedly be convinced that this is their country and their gold, not the people’s. At that point, you won’t be able to shoot gold or silver, so make sure you invest in bullet commodities as well.

    • Greg

      Thank you Tom H.

    • BRIAN

      amen sir. amen

  3. MarkM

    Hey Greg,

    This is one of your best! I enjoyed it very much.

    The track record of your sources, and the conclusions that you make via those sources has been right-on for a year now (usawatchdog’s existence).

    To all new readers of USAwatchdog, Greg has nailed our economic forecasts on the bulls eye ([macro forecasts]Greg and his sources are not foolish enough to pick winners and losers in microecomics, unlike our messiah, who pronounced our recession over this weekend because of his social engineering).

    While we somewhat disagree on what history teaches us about global issues, cultural issues, and America’s role in the world, we totally agree on these economic issues (we must; the data and history is irrefutable). Eigth grade math is still the montra.

    thanks again Greg,

    • Greg

      You are a good man!

  4. Steve

    It is important though to consider the future when contemplating the pricing and rating of a nation’s debt. Specifically, is it expected that the nation will be running future deficits, which require incremental debt funding? If so, our policymakers may have to implement policies designed to narrow this funding gap, typically known as austerity measures or tax increases. These austerity measures that are most effective is to reduce Government Spending and “stimulate private sector growth”. Tax and spend policy leaves consumer weaker. Borrow and spend aggravates unemployment too. One could call a “Greek Solution” to America but on a much larger scale. Cut federal spending and a simple way is…..close departments that work is duplicated, get out of wars and foreign giveaways. So too…even easier
    a 25% cut in all Federal Government worker salaries.
    At a time when corporate workers’ pay and benefits have stagnated, federal employees’ average compensation has grown to more than double what private sector workers now earn, a USA TODAY analysis finds. Federal workers have been awarded bigger average pay and benefit increases than private employees for nine years in a row. The compensation gap between federal and private workers has doubled in the past decade. Federal civil servants earned average pay and benefits of $123,049 in 2009 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    So it can be done….

    • Greg

      This is a good and necessary idea!!

      • MarkM

        Hey Steve,


        I firmly believe that all gubmint workers need to have an across-the-board pay and benefits cut. Gubmint workers need to have their “defined benefit” retirement plans shifted to “defined contribution” immediately.

        I don’t care what promises Jerry “Mooonbeam” Brown promised in 1980. Rip-up the collective bargaining agreements and create an “at-will” system. If gubmint pukes riot, fire the rioters and cancel their accrued benefits.

        When I go to the building department for building permits, I must prostrate myself to the controllers of my local society in order to get a permit. And, they make double the money than I make. Who is the servant here? They treat me as if I am their servant. I think they are correct.

        We must cast off the chains that bind us to these gubmint workers.

        In Kalifornia, we have had gubmint worker furloughs for years. Our service levels have not changed. We all have our driver’s licenses and car registrations. Our FSB tax returns get filed. The police and courts coddle criminals and hassle the law abiding just the same. The sewers are not overflowing.

        Our society is not breaking down. Why do we need so many gubmint bureaucrats?



        • Claire

          To markm,
          While I agree with you that the late,great state of CA has been grossly mismanaged for many years, I am tired of the continuous tirades against folks who work for the State.

          Most are honest people who don’t cop an attitude, and certainly aren’t overpaid compared to what they could earn in the private sector. As a nurse who works in disaster planning, I encounter many dedicated people in the fields of health care & epidemiology, agents from the CA DOJ, etc. who are a caring and talented group. I don’t care for unions or strikers myself, but painting everyone as an idiot is a careless and unthinking stance.

          We demean America when we throw mud on everyone, which is all that is being done these days. Don’t like someone’s ethnicity, sexual orientation, political party or job? Don’t just call names.

  5. Donald

    Have been reading your commentary for some time now.
    Would love to see you evaluate the Social Security vs inflation savings plan for citizens.
    I would like to know what a dollar that I put into SS in say 1960 would be worth in payout today accounting for COL increases and inflation over the years.
    I have heard its around .08 cents



    • Greg

      I don’t think SS will be worth much at all in the future. .08 cents seems about right for now. Thank you for the comment and sugestion–both are good.


  6. Rusty Brown in Canada

    Is that .08 cents (meaning 8/100ths of a cent) or $0.08, which is 8 cents?

    • Greg

      So sorry, I was not very clear. I meant $0.08. Come to think of it, SS $’s will probably be worth just .08 or 8/100ths of a cent sometime in the not so distant future. Thanks man, good catch!

  7. nm


    Someone I work with who was around during the inflation of the 1970’s when Carter was in power told me that this recession doesn’t even come close to what they experienced then. So, in her view, it’s not that bad and things will eventually improve.

    I think if you have a job today…yes, things are becoming a little more expensive, but generally, you’re still not feeling the pain.

    However, if you are unemployed and are looking, then the reality is more stark.

    However, I also have a friend who got a job in just four short months! So, for her, she thinks I’m crazy when I tell how are bad things are going to get. The only thing that worried her was her next door neighbors house going into foreclosure and selling for 50% below market value.

    Maybe you can explain that in a future post. I think today’s debt problem is too complex for people understand. They don’t understand the links between China buying US treasuries, between interest rate spikes and how all of this will ultimately affect them.

    • Greg

      I find many people just do grasp how bad things really are. I keep saying what is happening now has never happened in human history. No country has ever created this much currency and debt. A trillion dollars is a stack of $100 bills nearly 68 miles long. The BIS says there is $615 trillion in derivatives or debt bets in the world. Some say there is really more than twice that much. There is no public market for this junk, so how do you get a true value of these debts so they can be sold? The short answer is you don’t. The debt out there is mind boggling. That is why the crisis continues towards collapse. Thank you for your comment and sugestion.

  8. M SMITH

    Greg,I would like to quote the lastest writtings of Martin Armstrong. “The biggest problem we have is we are moving far too fast toward the END TIME from a economic prespective. As the debt crisis gets worse,EVERY government turns against its own people. Everything becomes the fault of the people & that leads to ECONOMIC TYRANNY marking the end of that government as we know it.In the immedate period,the US will be the worse insofar as becoming ruthless against its own people.It will blame the people & target them to raise money in a last desperate hope of clinging to power.
    The New Gold Tax is very serious & demostrates the pure hatred of government toward any dissent.Selling $600.00 of gold or goods must be reported to the IRS is clearly a covert effort to get at those that who distrust government & are seeking to have at least a hedge against the mismanagement of government.The last time that they started type of attack was 1980.
    Greg, this is to real,if you would like to read the complete Doc,here’s the link.
    Also I would add for two of his lastest assays that is very telling just how our own gov has acted toward its own people! Thanks Greg for sharing you time & work!

    • Greg

      M Smith,
      Thank you for the comment and content!!

  9. therooster

    Greg … I think we need your take (and support) on the issue of real-time gold, now that gold’s weighted title can be digitized and transferred in the blink of an eye.

    When fully backed gold currency (ownership title) is a marriage of gold’s debt free store of value qualities and the digitization of the internet, the new wine is contained within a new wineskin, IMO. People need to know ! There are no longer any of the old liquidity problems of gold’s yester-years.

    What say you ?

    • Greg

      Sounds like it could work. One thing is for sure we need to have a currency backed by something! Thank you for sharing this.

  10. RaymondC

    Greg, I think one factor nobody is talking about if the Republicans take over Congress is we may FINALLY get serious consideration for something that is 30 years overdue: a massive overhaul of our income tax system.

    The current system not only costs US$304 BILLION per year in compliance costs, but drives jobs, factories, corporate headquarters and (by some estimates) as much as US$16 TRILLION in American-owned liquid assets out of the USA for income tax avoidance reasons. And it makes the gap between the rich and poor worse, since the less-fortunate have difficulty in saving their earnings due to taxes on bank account interest, capital gains and stock dividend payments, while the rich can afford to hire accounts and tax lawyers to devise ways to shelter their net worth and income from the IRS. (Care to explain all those “banks” on various Caribbean island nations?)

    This, in my humble opinion, is economic insanity. We should seriously do the type of income tax reform such as the flat income tax plan proposed by Steve Forbes in a 2005 book or even eventually phase out the income tax altogether in favor of a national consumption tax like the “FairTax” proposal (H.R. 25/S. 296). Since both reform proposals _encourage_ Americans to keep their savings and capital investments in the USA, that means our banks will be overflowing with liquidity again and there’s no more incentive to offshore jobs, factories, corporate headquarter or that US$16 TRILLION I mentioned–they all return to the USA in what amounts to the world’s largest “private bailout” under better tax circumstances.

    The Tea Party movement recognizes this, and that’s why many Tea Party supporters also support income tax reform as a way for real economic recovery.

    • Greg

      I am afraid it will take more than tax reform to get America out the financial mess it is in, but this is a good start. We will also need massive cost cutting on EVERYTHING and I mean Everything.
      Thank you

      • therooster

        You’re right Greg. You cannot solve a monetary problem with fiscal policy. Fiscal policy is about debt distribution. Current monetary policy is about debt creation.

        • Greg

          Thank you for your comment and support.

      • RaymondC

        Greg, thanks for the positive response.

        In my opinion, I posted this message on the Free Republic conservative message board–a five-point economic recovery plan that may be of interest to you:

        Besides the income tax reform, we need four other things:

        1) Truly reign in the excesses of Wall Street, especially the unregulated speculation that caused the mess in the first place.
        2) Use current antitrust law or craft a new antitrust law so we can break up the over sized companies so if the company fails it wouldn’t have extremely disastrous economic effects.
        3) Aggressively audit every Federal, state and local government agency for bureaucratic overlap and agency bloat and use the audit results to cut government size at least 30%.
        4) Look at eventually replacing the Federal Reserve Note “fiat currency” with a new US dollar backed by precious metals plus copper and nickel.

        There are many structural problems in the current economy. Implementing these five steps will go a long way towards rebuilding confidence for economic recovery and future growth.

        • Greg

          This is good stuff man.

          • RaymondC

            I’m glad you said that. 🙂 Interestingly, I’ve contacted a couple of economic doomsayers who have been past guests of “Coast to Coast AM” describing my five-point economic recovery plan and they ALL agree it’s a great idea, if we can get the dunderheads inside the Beltway to take it seriously!

            • Greg

              Something has to be done but I fear nothing will happen until the U.S. dollar and financial suffers systemic failure. Thank you Ray.

      • MarkM

        Hey Raymond,

        Obama will never sign tax reform of that magnitude. Our only hope is that republicans/tea partiers win a majority in the House and put the brakes on Obama.

        I hope a stalemate occurs and nothing more is signed into law that hurts us, the people. Obama has spread enough hurt over the last 20 months. Obama is the “hurt locker.”


  11. Kevin

    Thanks for the latest analysis Greg. Will be listening to C2C tonight.

    • Greg

      Thank you too Kevin, I hope I don’t dissappoint you.

  12. Mary


    I just caught part of the show tonight and I have to say I felt heart sick. This recession has hit us hard and we have no back up and nothing is paid off.

    When I heard last week the report that we are out of the recession, I wanted to feel a bit of hope. Almost immediately I realized that there wasn’t a bit of truth to that report and that it had everything to do with election.
    All the games this administration is playing is going to secure our position in the soup kitchen line, if there will be a soup kitchen line to be found.

    • Greg

      There are still things you can do to help your family. Don’t give up! Thank you for your comment.

  13. Barbara

    Great show last night on C2C. I appreciated your suggestions regarding silver, what are our true assets, information about mortgages and more. It was basic, clear and concise. How refreshing to hear the truth! Thank you Greg, hope to hear more of you everywhere!

    • Greg

      Thank you so much for your support.

  14. L Smith

    In this scenario would it not be wise to pull equity out of your house while interest rates are low and put some in gold/silver and have the rest in cash available for an emergency or for paying your mortgage payment until things get better. Wouldn’t this be a way to avoid a foreclosure in a worst case scenario?

    • Greg

      L Smith,
      That is very risky! Do not use your house as a bank. Thank you for your question.

      • Tim

        The rule is: “All In” -or- “All Out”.
        When it comes to houses, yes, they should not be used as a bank. The real reason isn’t just that the economy is getting more volatile as it becomes worse, it’s that it will change radically as it becomes weaker. This means everyone needs to do a serious assessment of the environment immediately surrounding their home. If that assessment reveals a sustainable picture (enough land to sustain you, provide energy for you, shield you from social upheaval, etc.), then you need to “invest” 100% in the home/property to secure your position (it has “true” value). This means you must take possession of a certified copy of your deed… be sure of it. Pay off your debt. Own it. Yes, it will change in value just as any commodity does. But if it’s truly valuable (good farming/gardening/enough compost, good location, good resources, water, air, safe, etc.) it will maintain it’s value just like a bar of gold, or a roll of copper will.

        On the other hand if your assessment does NOT show viability of your home, then you should plan to get OUT! Period. Cut ties. Sell it. Now! If it doesn’t sell… (I’m sorry if this offends some of you) Pull ALL the equity out of the home that you can get, and put it into a viable home (as discussed) or into stores of value (gold,silver,etc), then RENT the yet to be sold house out to cover the home debt, passing the risk to other who gamble with debt. You may eventually sell, or pay it off in time, but you just may roll a wheelbarrow of “cash/trash” down to what’s left of the banking establishment to pay it off for next to nothing. Or it could end up in the gambling bank/lenders hands, as toxic economic waste, to be eventually passed off as all waste should be to recycling.
        BUT, it won’t be YOUR toxic waste. Your equity will be elsewhere…
        Working for you.

        • Greg

          Thank you for giving us your perspective.

  15. Ellieaire

    Well Greg thanks a lot for keeping me up all night! I listened to you on coast-to-coast and I laid in bed with a “to do list” running through my mind. Thank you for your mindful advice, I hope people do get prepared and are ready for what’s about to come upon us.

    I was around for the Carter recession. Though it was bad, IMHO what we are going through right now is far worse than what happened in 1970. We did not have the housing busts, massive layoffs, commercial real estate going under, banks collapsing, and a thug in the White House. Even if the Republicans take back the House and Senate, I don’t see a big difference in anything. The natural law will work it’s way through. We have much more pain to suffer. The day of over extending ourselves and over consumption has come to an end. Painful yes–you can’t go against what will naturally occur. Thanks again, I’ll pass your website onto others.

    • Greg

      The math is bad for the country, but you can still improve your position. We will come out of this someday but you are right, not anytime soon. Thank you for your comment.

  16. nm


    Do you think the average 9 to 5 worker understands derivatives? or the derivative debt market? I don’t think so.

    • Greg

      No, but they are going to learn all about them. I try to break it down so people can understand. Sometimes I fall short. Thank you for pointing this out!!

  17. Marrabella

    You are so right on!
    The deceitful or ignorant liberal press keeps spewing out obfuscations and downright lies……
    it is so depressing. Most of my liberal friends (or ex friends… just watch liberal media and believe all the lies.
    Anyone with half a brain can see the financial tsunami coming. It is so blatant it seems like Obama & Co. Are purposely doing this to destroy the USA.
    I could see Obama’s skewed world view way before the elections, just by reading his books and listening to his “guru” Rev. Wright. I talked to my friends till I was blue in the face but to no avail.
    The press was so complicit in this deception I hope we hold them accountable when the smoked clears.
    Remember what happened to Tokyo Rose?

    • Greg

      Thank you Marrabella and Sal.

  18. Sal

    I am saddened by the number of people here who are pinning their hopes on the Republicans/Tea Party. if you have not realized that what is happening now is a direct result of these same politicians who you are begging to put back in power then we have all already lost. Channel your anger into making your local community better rather than blaming everything wrong in the country on government workers. I am a big proponent of scrapping our whole government and starting over, but I am under no delusions that such a move will only be the beginning of what needs to be done, not the end. Unless I miss something, the biggest bailouts in the history of the world (the stimulus and QE1 soon to be QE2) were given by the Republicans (who you are so quick to throw your lot in with) to the “private” sector (not government workers). If we were all more questioning of the drivel being fed to us by both political parties and took personal responsibility for making our local towns and cities better, I guaranty you that the imminent pain we are all about to feel will be over much more quickly (or at the very least you would be a much happier and productive person). The most important battle in class warfare is knowing your enemy – unfortunately for all of us, you have already lost that battle.

    • MarkM

      Hey Sal,

      Who else is there to pin our hopes on? Harry Reid? Nancy Pelosi? Rangel? Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown?

      I admit that we are really screwed; however, our only is hope is gridlock in DC.

      Where is your messiah who can save our country and culture?

      I am not ready to think about a “hot” revolution while we still have “ballot box revolution” alternatives.

      I know, I am an optomist, but the fat lady has not sung the Star Spangled Banner for the last time.

      Government workers, collectively, are the problem; too rich, too fat, too lazy, and too many. All at the working man’s/women’s expense.


  19. Bob

    Sal is right don’t count on the DC system it’s useless no matter who’s in control, banks can’t be trusted an Wallstreet is not needed never was, if you have a good company worth investing in the money will find you. We better just believe in family and learn you can’t have it all. I just hope people don’t get mean. Middle class is having food on the table with friends an family. Also pres. Carter had war debt to deal with and then the oil thing, nothing new under the sun.

  20. Martha Matthews

    Greg I listened to you on c2c last night. My husband and I are in our late 60s early 70s and we’re raising 2 young relatives. We have alot of skills like gardening, food preservation, scratch cooking, sewing, carpentery. We’ll survive these hard times but I worry about our grown children as they think we’re crazy when we talk about preparing for hard times.

    • Greg

      Martha Matthews,
      You are NOT crazy. It’s the kids that are insane. Thank you for your comment.

  21. Robert


    From your vantage point, are there any particular stocks being targeted with this flood of FED money into the markets? There’s lots of stocks out there. How do they (who is they anyway) know what stocks to buy or is the money given to the big banks and its left up to them and thier brokerage units to determine what stocks are bought. There has to be some plan, it can’t be some random flood of money that’s keeping the market inflated, can it?

    And what about those securitized loan products that were sold to all those large retirement funds across the world? Is part of the plan to inflate those products so they have at least some value to them and they can at least provide some return to the retiree’s?

    Greg, thanks for your great insight… what a mess were in.. Too bad were so divided as a nation… PS – Marrabella, many of us in the center and left think the right is being lied to by the conservative media that is mainly owned by 5 large corporations.. somewhere there’s a disconnect?

    • Greg

      I would be getting out of stocks right now. Thank you for your question and commnet.

      • Joseph

        What do you mean get out of stocks? I play in the energy sector and can tell you that I am doing well and everyone NEEDS energy. Unless we revert back to the stone age – you and everyone else will need electricity, gas and/or oil to some extent. I personally think these stocks are still good and will be!

        • Greg

          There are several big reasons to get out of or at least lighten up on, the stock market. Flash trading, naked short selling, a plunging economy and a distinct possibility of systemic failure are just a few. Of course, I could be dead wrong, so I wish you all the best and thank you for reading this site.


  22. nm

    Why would you be getting out of stocks right now? I can see getting away from any financial stocks or stocks of US retail companies, but if one can afford stocks of companies like Apple or Google, these are good, solid companies with real products and real revenues that everyone in the world is using (not just America).

    On people not understanding just how bad the economy is going to get. I still don’t think the majority get it. I was having lunch with a co-worker yesterday (who just bought a house with her husband and who has a baby on the way) and she accused me (again) of being too doom and gloom. Same line used: “The economy will come back up again. It always does. These things happen in cycles. It’s not a big deal”.

    I’m telling you Greg, the average EMPLOYED American is still clueless. They don’t understand just how much debt is out there and how it will ultimately come back and affect them.

    • Greg

      I (and my sources) believe we are heading for a systemic failure. How are you going to get your money out of the stock market if this happens? Also, if the dollar hyper-inflates, that will surely have negative effect on the stock market. I just don’t feel brokerages and stocks in general will be that safe. If you do want to be in the stock market I would take possession the physical shares. If you can not do that, then I would at least have the brokerage hold my shares in what is called “Book Entry.” That means your shares are held in your name and not in the firm’s name. There is a big difference between the two in a bankruptcy. I could be wrong and you could be right. Who knows what will happen in this crazy financial environment. And yes, most Americans are clueless on how bad things really are and how bad this will get. On this point we are in total agreement my friend.

      • Robert

        Greg, is that book entry option available at all brokerages, expecially the bigger online brokerage? If not, do you know some that allow that option? thanks

        • Greg

          No, it is not allowed at all brokerages, but it should be!!! You can do a “Book-Entry” at Edward Jones and Scot trade. (I do not get paid to plug these folks.) Those are two of the strongest and best capitalized big brokers in the business. The best way to own stock is to take physical possession of the actual shares. Do NOT expect SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation) or “Book-Entry” to cover you in a systemic failure type of crash. I hope this helps you. One more thing, “Book-Entry” is a basic way a brokerage should hold your stocks. This protects YOU. It means your shares are held in your name only and are not commingled with other clients. Don’t you think this unnerving to find this kind of information out from me? You have to ask yourself, “Why in the hell didn’t my broker tell me this?” If your broker tells you he (or she) does not know what “Book-Entry” means, the next words out of your mouth should be “You’re Fired!”

    • Geofizz

      AAPL = stock market ticker for Apple
      POMO = Permanent Open Market Operations, as operated by the Fed Reserve of New York (

      The stock market is one big casino, a rigged game that defies market fundamentals due to extensive manipulation and intervention (not to mention things like insider trading and flash trading where computers see trades before they’re implemented…). At least 70% of the stock market are algorithms trading with each other (High Frequency Trading) and it is these who are increasingly causing little flash crashes. Invest at your own peril. Our 401K is chained to the stock market; so we’re taking steps to liberate it — i.e., cashing it out so as to take personal control over trying to preserve our assets.

      • Greg

        Thank you Geofizz! nm are you reading this?

  23. SRSrocco

    GREG….excellent job. I heard you on coast to coast a few nights ago. You are one of the few journalists reporting the truth. This is indeed to end of the US ECONOMY.

    Many including those from the Austrian School believe all we need to do is allow the banks to fail and allow the free market to work. They also believe the United States needs to turn back to manufacturing and producing. Even though I agree with their sentiment….it can not happen. Once the US DOLLAR and US TREASURY MARKET cracks, its game over for the USA.

    Why? Because of the FALLING EROI (energy returned on invested) In 1930’s the EROI in the USA was 100/1. That means for every 1 barrel of energy invested, 100 barrels was produced for market. In 1970 the EROI fell to 30/1. In 2000, it fell to 11/1.

    I have been having an email correspondence with Charles Hall, one of the top researchers on the EROI, and he states that the EROI of USA is now below 10/1. He also states that for a company to make a profit there has to be at least a 5-6/1 EROI. As you can see we are falling close to that range.

    The ROMAN EMPIRE FELL because of their failling EROI. That was a falling return on invested on conquering lands. As time went by, the lands they conquered either were to costly, or did not return much when they were taken.

    In the United States case, we just don’t have the cheap or high EROI oil anymore. Because we spent our investment spreading the SUBURBAN DREAM…we can’t return back to manufacturing…as we don’t have the energy to do so….thus a total collapse is around the corner. The Fractional Reserve Fiat based Compound Interest Banking System we have can only survive in a growing ENERGY ENVIORNMENT. This is why there was a big takedown of many commodities especially oil in 2008.

    Here are my two articles on the FALLING EROI

    The Most Important Aspect that most Economists and Analysts Fail to Recognize

    Peak Silver and Mining by a Falling EROI

    Unfortunately, the United States is disintegrating from the ground up so to speak. The Army Corps of Engineers gives a GRADE OF D for the US infrastructure. In 2009, there were 250,000 water main breaks in the country. They say the number will go up exponentially as there are not the funds to replace the system…all that is being done now is to repair the broken section.

    Time to move to a small town in the country…and grow most of your own food.

    Again….GREG…great job.


    • Greg

      This is great info for the readers here. Thank you for taking the time to post this on the site!!!

  24. nm


    Yes, I clicked on the Apple link and I do read Zero hedge once in a while, but this is what I don’t get:

    When I look at Apple, I see how popular the iphone has become, I see how popular macs are all around the world and I say to myself,…..well…this is a real company. It’s making products and it’s selling them and this is bringing in revenues.

    So, it appears to be safer than say buying financial stocks, which would be crazy, but again, my level of knowledge on this is not large and maybe you can explain it to me further.

    • Greg

      Here’s what I wrote to Joseph, “There are several big reasons to get out of or at least lighten up on, the stock market. Flash trading, naked short selling, a plunging economy and a distinct possibility of systemic failure are just a few. Of course, I could be dead wrong, so I wish you all the best and thank you for reading this site.” The biggest thing here is SYSTEMIC FAILURE. You are going to have a very hard time getting those big profits out of your brokerage if that happens. This is just a friendly warning and something you should consider. You should also consider taking possession of your shares if you must stay in the market, or at least make the broker list your shares as a “book entry.” That means the brokerage holds your shares in your name only not in the firm’s name. Just because you get a statement with your name on it, does not mean your shares are not commingled with others. This will make a big difference in a bankruptcy.
      Remember, I am on your side. Peace Bro.

  25. nm

    What do you mean you mean by systematic failure? as in, what would happen to the average Joe with a regular 9 to 5 job and a 401K plan?

    Thats the big cahuna for most Americans. They are still banking on their 401K’s

    • Greg

      I have written about the problems that will come with inflation and hyper-inflation many times. The most recent post about this was called “Tap Dancing on A Land Mine.” Here is the link: . Hyper-inflation would surely cause a systemic failure. I think the 401K plan has been, and will be, the conduit for the biggest transfer of wealth in history! Thank you for your comments.

  26. Thebes

    I’ll believe the recession is over when:

    I don’t worry about where next week’s groceries are coming from.
    I can afford the medical tests all my friends tell me I should get, I am sick and can’t afford to go to the local monopoly on medical testing which incidentally charges me about 4x what they charge the insurance companies.
    My wife and I don’t have to get our own firewood to stay warm.

    And, most importantly, ALL of my friends aren’t just as hard up as I am.

    Until then, sure I know a few rich people who are fine. People who own two or three or five houses filled with art like you find in a decent regional museum… THEY are all doing fine. For their part I don’t begrudge most of them what they have, a lot of them did some actual work in life and they aren’t so bloody rich as to have “people for that”, that sort have no acquaintances who need gather firewood to live.

  27. peace

    Pupilla) orphan baby, ward, minor,” diminutive of pupus boy” (fem.

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