Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Crude Oil Price Trend Forecast 2016 Implications for Stock Market - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Odds of Winning Walkers Crisps Spell & Go olidays K, C and D Letters - Sami_Walayat
3.Massive Silver Price Rally During The Coming US Dollar Collapse - Hubert_Moolman
4.Pope Francis Calls For Worldwide Communist Government - Jeff_Berwick
5.EU Referendum Opinion Polls Neck and Neck Despite Operation Fear, Support BrExit Campaign - Nadeem_Walayat
6.David Morgan: There Will Soon Be a Run to Gold Like You've Never Seen Before - Mike Gleason
7.British Pound Soars on BrExit Hopes Despite Remain Establishment Fear Mongering - Nadeem_Walayat
8.Gold Price Possible $200 Rally - Bob_Loukas
9.The Federal Reserve is Not Going To Raise Interest Rates and Destroy Gold - Michael_Swanson
10.Silver Miners’ Q1’ 2016 Fundamentals - Zeal_LLC
Free Silver
Last 7 days
EU REMAIN Population Forecasts - England 4.1 million Explosion, London Migration Crisis - 28th May 16
A Guide to the Trump-Sanders Debate - 28th May 16
Gold And Silver – At Significant Support. New “Story” Developing - 28th May 16
The Next Systemic Lehman Event - New Scheiss Dollar & Gold Trade Standard - 27th May 16
Energy and Debt Crisis Point to Much Higher Silver, Metals Prices - 27th May 16
Gold Junior Stocks Q1 2016 Fundamentals - 27th May 16
These Crisis Markets Are Primed to Deliver Big Gains, Platinum Never Cheaper! - 27th May 16
Operation Black Vote BrExit Warning for the Wrong EU Referendum - 27th May 16
UK Immigration Crisis Hits New Extreme, Catastrophic ONS Migration Stats Ahead of EU Referendum - 27th May 16
Many of the World’s Best Investors Made Their Fortunes This Way…And You Can Too - 27th May 16
The Ugly Truth About Stock Market Manipulation and Gold Prices - 27th May 16
Gold Price Looking Vulnerable While Gold Stocks Correct - 27th May 16
The 5 Fatal Flaws of Trading - 27th May 16
The Next Big Crash Of The U.S. Economy Is Coming, Here’s Why - 27th May 16
A New Golden Bull or Has the Market Gone Too Far Too Fast? - 27th May 16
It Feels Like Inflation - 26th May 16
Negative Interest Rates Set to Propel the Dow Jones to the Stratosphere? - 26th May 16
S&P Significant Low has Occurred – Not Likely! - 26th May 16
Statistics for Funeral Planning in UK Grave - 26th May 16
Think Beyond Oil And Gold: Interview With Mike 'Mish' Shedlock - 26th May 16
Hard Times and False Mainstream Media Narratives - 26th May 16
Will The Swiss Guarantee 75,000 CHF For Every Family? - 26th May 16
Is There A Stocks Bear Market in Progress? - 26th May 16
Billionaires Are Wrong on Gold - 26th May 16
How NOT to Invest in the Gold Market - 26th May 16
The Black Swan Spotter...Which Saw the Oil-Crash coming; now says the “Invisible Hand” will push Brent to $85 by Christmas - 26th May 16
U.S. Household Debt Still Below 2008 Peak - 25th May 16
Brexit: Wrong Discussion, Wrong People, Wrong Arguments - 25th May 16
SPX is at Strong Resistance - 25th May 16
US Dollar, Back From the Grave? - 25th May 16
Gold : Just the Facts Ma’am - 25th May 16
The Worst Urban Crisis in History Could be Upon Us - 24th May 16
Death Crosses Across The Board Are IRREFUTABLE Stock Market Sell Signals - 24th May 16
Bitcoin Trading Alert: Bitcoin Price Stays below $450 - 24th May 16
Stock Market Crash Death Cross Doom Prevails - 23rd May 16
Did AMAT Chirp? Implications for the Economy and Gold - 23rd May 16
Stocks Extended Their Rebound On Friday - Will They Continue Higher? - 23rd May 16
UK Treasury Propaganda Warns of 3.6% Brexit Recession, the £64 Billion Question? - 23rd May 16
Stock Market Support Breached, But Not Broken! - 23rd May 16
George Osborne Warns of 18% Cheaper House Prices - BrExit for First Time Buyers - 22nd May 16
Gold Bull-Phase I Continues to Confound (The Trek to “Known Values”) - 22nd May 16 r
Avoiding a War in Space - 22nd May 16
Will Venezuela Be Forced to Embrace the US Dollar? - 21st May 16
Danish Central Bank Stumbles with Its Currency Peg to the Euro - 21st May 16
SPX Downtrend Underway - 21st May 16
George Osborne Warns of More Affordable UK Housing Market if BrExit Happens - 21st May 16
Gold And Silver 11th Hour: Globalists 10 v People 0 - 21st May 16
David Morgan: There Will Soon Be a Run to Gold Like You've Never Seen Before - 21st May 16
Gold Stocks Following Bull Analogs - 20th May 16
The Gold Chart That Has Central Banks Extremely Worried - 20th May 16
Silver Miners’ Q1’ 2016 Fundamentals - 20th May 16
Stock Market Rally At the End of the Road? - 20th May 16
British Pound Soars on BrExit Hopes Despite Remain Establishment Fear Mongering - 20th May 16
NASDAQ 100, FTSE, and British Pound - When Rare Market Data Screams, Listen  - 20th May 16

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Why 95% of Traders Fail

Four Shocking Economic Bombshells Bernanke Did NOT Tell Congress About Last Week

Economics / Great Depression II Jul 26, 2010 - 08:01 AM GMT

By: Martin_D_Weiss

Economics

Diamond Rated - Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleIn his testimony before Congress last week, Ben Bernanke lifted the Fed’s skirt and gave us a glimpse of the disasters now sweeping through the U.S. economy.

But there are four bombshells he did NOT talk about:


FIRST and foremost, what’s CAUSING the economy to sink? The stock market has not yet crashed. Interest rates have not yet surged. Gasoline prices have not skyrocketed. There has been no recent debt collapse, market shock, or terrorist attack.

So what is the invisible force that’s suddenly gutting the housing market, driving consumer confidence into a sinkhole, and killing the recovery that Washington was so avidly touting just a few months ago?

Bernanke won’t say. But the answer is clear: The recovery had very little substance to begin with. Rather, it was, in essence, a mirage — a dead cat bounce bought and paid for by Washington’s massive bailouts, stimulus programs, and money printing.

Put another way, the recession never really ended. Yes, we saw some growth in GDP. And yes, thanks to that growth, some companies are still reporting better earnings — the news that spurred a rally in the stock market last week. But at the core of the economy, the fires that started the recession are still burning intensely.

SECOND, Bernanke failed to point how that …

The U.S. Housing Market Is Now LOCKED Into a Chronic, Long-Term Depression

Houseing sector resumes worst collapse in U.S. history!

Housing starts — the most important measure of the housing industry — is still a disaster zone.

Beginning in January 2006, they suffered their worst plunge in recorded history — from an annual rate of 2.3 million to a meager 477,000 in April 2009. Thus …

In just three years, 79 percent of America’s largest industry, impacting more Americans than any other, was wiped away.

Then, despite a series of government agency programs to shore up the industry … plus $1.25 trillion poured in by the Fed to buy up mortgage-backed securities … plus a big tax credit for new homebuyers, housing starts perked up ever so slightly: They recovered to an annual rate of 612,000 in January of this year.

But this recovery was so small, it retraced just 7.5 percent of the prior fall. In other words,

Even after massive government efforts, and even at the highest point in their recovery this year, the housing industry recouped less than one-tenth of its historic three-year bust from 2006 to 2009.

Worse, the housing industry has now resumed its decline.

The most alarming factor: Widespread “strategic defaults” on home mortgages.

These are defaults by homeowners who can afford to meet their monthly mortgage payments, but have deliberately decided to stop paying.

They realize their home is worth less than they owe on the mortgage — transforming it into a dead asset they’re willing to give up. They know their bank, already overwhelmed with foreclosures, won’t get around to evicting them for as long as two years, allowing them to live in the house cost-free. They also know this tactic can give them tens of thousands of dollars in extra cash. So they’re defaulting en masse and getting away with it.

End result:

  • New supplies of foreclosed homes hitting the market as far as the eye can see …
  • Bankers who would rather cut their wrists than finance new homes, and …
  • A new slump in housing that’s worse than even some pessimists were expecting.

THIRD, despite his now-famous quote that this is “the worst labor market since the Great Depression,” Bernanke failed to reveal that …

Official Government Data GROSSLY Understates the Magnitude of Unemployment

Long-term joblessness worst ever recorded!

Bernanke did not mention that the percentage of long-term unemployed in America is the worst it’s been since the government began keeping records in 1948. Two facts:

Fact #1: A record 4.39 percent of the work force — or 46.2 percent of the unemployed — have been out of work for 27 weeks or more. That’s DOUBLE the worst level ever recorded and TRIPLE the peak level seen in five of the past six recessions.

Fact #2: On average, America’s unemployed have been out of work for 35.2 weeks, also the highest on record.

Bernanke did not remind Congress that, based on the government’s own broad measure, the true unemployment rate in the U.S. is not 9.5 percent. It’s 16.5 percent — or seven full percentage points more than the figure Mr. Bernanke likes to refer to.

This broader measure includes workers seeking full-time employment, but temporarily settling for lower paying part-time jobs. Plus, it’s supposed to also include “discouraged workers” — those who have given up looking for work because there are no jobs to be found.

Nor did Bernanke confess that, during the Clinton administration, discouraged workers were “redefined” to EXCLUDE those who had been out of work for more than a year — and that definition continues to be used to this day.

That makes absolutely no sense. If they’re out of work for a year, they’re discouraged. But as soon as they’re out of work for a year and one day, it’s suddenly assumed they’re happily going about their life?!

Thus, precisely when economists now recognize that one of the biggest challenges of this Great Recession is long-term unemployment … the Obama administration, both parties in Congress, and all U.S. government agencies continue to exclude the longest term unemployed from every single one of their unemployment statistics.

This could go down in history as one of the greatest deceptions about the true state of U.S. labor markets. And according to John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics, it’s big:

When you add these long-term discouraged workers back into the jobless count, you find that the real unemployment rate in the U.S. is actually 21.6 percent!

FOURTH, Bernanke failed to point out that all this is happening despite …

The Biggest Government Interventions of ALL TIME!

The full scope of the government’s interventions is now official:

In its July 21 Quarterly Report to Congress, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) tabulates the government’s bailouts, stimulus programs, and money printing escapades since the debt crisis struck in 2007, as follows:

Incremental Financial System Support

According to SIGTARP, at mid-year 2010,

  • The Fed has pumped in $1.7 trillion through its massive purchases of mortgage bonds, Treasury bonds, and agency bonds.
  • The FDIC has thrown another $300 billion into the pot, shutting down over 100 banks so far this year.
  • The Treasury has pumped in a net of $300 billion in TARP money (even after paybacks), plus another $500 billion in money outside of the TARP program.
  • Plus, several other government agencies have chipped in another $800 billion.

These official numbers are actually LARGER than we were estimating. We had the total pegged at $3.5 trillion (not billion), including the 2009 stimulus package.

SIGTARP has it at $3.7 trillion, excluding the stimulus but including a myriad other rescue programs — by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA), the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and the Veterans Affair (VA).

But no matter how you count it, some outstanding facts are absolutely self-evident:

FACT: The enormous magnitude of the government’s intervention FAR surpasses anything ever witnessed in the history of humankind.

FACT: It’s not working! Housing is still collapsed. Long-term unemployment is the worst ever recorded. And the recovery, already anemic, is aborting prematurely.

FACT: Most important, it’s winding down! Through mid-2009, the government intervention programs tabulated by SIGTARP were being ramped up at a furious pace — a total of $3 trillion overall.

So over the 12-month period from mid-2008 through mid-2009, we estimate they were running at the average monthly pace of about $160 billion.

But since mid-2009, they have been far slower, running at an average monthly pace of only $58 billion, or just one-third the prior level.

And right now, the pace of new funds injected into the economy through these government rescues are merely a trickle compared to their earlier rate:

  • No new stimulus is in the works.
  • No new TARP funds are forthcoming.
  • The Fed has wrapped up its bond buying splurge.
  • And the ONLY significant continuing programs are for housing — the one area where the government has admittedly seen the WORST overall results, according to SIGTARP.

Bottom line:

If you were counting on the government to prevent the second major leg in this great double-dip recession, don’t hold your breath. To the contrary, the primary CAUSE of the second dip is the government’s conspicuous absence from sectors where it was, until now, the biggest mover, shaker, buyer, and financier.

Your ACTION

With this rapidly shifting quicksand, you must NOT be lured by Wall Street’s siren songs. You must not get trapped again in vulnerable stocks, mutual funds, or ETFs. Instead …

  1. Greatly reduce your exposure to stocks, especially in sectors tied to housing, such as construction, home improvement, consumer appliances, and mortgage finance.
  2. Move the proceeds to cash and cash equivalent, regardless of low yields.

Good luck and God bless!

Martin

This investment news is brought to you by Money and Markets. Money and Markets is a free daily investment newsletter from Martin D. Weiss and Weiss Research analysts offering the latest investing news and financial insights for the stock market, including tips and advice on investing in gold, energy and oil. Dr. Weiss is a leader in the fields of investing, interest rates, financial safety and economic forecasting. To view archives or subscribe, visit http://www.moneyandmarkets.com.


© 2005-2016 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife