Corporate Debt Defaults Explosion Indicates Epic Financial Meltdown

Corporate Debt Defaults Explode To Catastrophic Levels Not Seen Since The Last Financial Crisis

If a new financial crisis had already begun, we would expect to see corporate debt defaults skyrocket, and that is precisely what is happening.  Corporate defaults are currently at the highest level that we have seen since 2009.  A wave of bankruptcies is sweeping the energy industry, but it isn’t just the energy industry that is in trouble.  In fact, the average credit rating for U.S. corporations is now lower than it was at any point during the last recession.  This is yet another sign that we are in the early chapters of a major league economic crisis.  Presently 23.2 percent of all Americans in their prime working years do not have a job right now. What about the employers?  Big corporate giants all over America are in deep, deep financial trouble, and this is going to result in a tremendous wave of layoffs in the coming months.We should rejoice that U.S. stocks have rebounded a bit in the short-term, but the euphoria in the markets is not doing anything to stop the wave of corporate defaults that is starting to hit Wall Street like a freight train.  Zero Hedge is reporting that we have not seen this many corporate defaults since the extremely painful year of 2009…

While many were looking forward to the weekend in last week’s holiday-shortened week for some overdue downtime, the CEOs of five, mostly energy, companies had nothing but bad news for their employees and shareholders: they had no choice but to throw in the towel and file for bankruptcy.

And, as Bloomberg reports, with last week’s five defaults, the 2016 to date total is now 31, the highest since 2009 when there were 42 company defaults, according to Standard & Poor’s. Four of the defaults in the week ended March 23 were by U.S. issuers including UCI Holdings Ltd. and Peabody Energy Corp., the credit rating company said.

And by all indications, what we have seen so far is just the beginning.  According to Wolf Richter, the average rating on U.S. corporate debt is already lower than it was at any point during the last financial crisis…

Credit rating agencies, such as Standard & Poor’s, are not known for early warnings. They’re mired in conflicts of interest and reluctant to cut ratings for fear of losing clients. When they finally do warn, it’s late and it’s feeble, and the problem is already here and it’s big.

So Standard & Poor’s, via a report by S&P Capital IQ, just warned about US corporate borrowers’ average credit rating, which at “BB,” and thus in junk territory, hit a record low, even “below the average we recorded in the aftermath of the 2008-2009 credit crisis.”

What all of this tells us is that we are in the early stages of an absolutely epic financial meltdown.

Meanwhile, we continue to get more indications that the real economy is slowing down significantly.  According to the Atlanta Fed, U.S. GDP growth for the first quarter is now expected to come in at just 0.6 percent, and Moody’s Analytics is projecting a similar number…

First-quarter growth is now tracking at just 0.9 percent, after new data showed surprising weakness in consumer spending and a wider-than-expected trade gap.

According to the CNBC/Moody’s Analytics rapid update, economists now see the sluggish growth pace based on already reported data, down from 1.4 percent last week.

Of course if the government was actually using honest numbers, people wouldn’t be talking about the potential start of a new recession.  Instead, they would be talking about the deepening of a recession that never ended.

We are in the terminal phase of the greatest debt bubble the world has ever experienced.  For decades, the United States has been running up government debt, corporate debt and consumer debt.  Our trade deficits have been bigger than anything the world has ever seen before, and our massively inflated standard of living was funded by an ever increasing pile of IOUs.  Doug Noland described this in his recent piece

With U.S. officials turning their backs on financial excesses, Bubble Dynamics and unrelenting Current Account Deficits, I expected the world to lose its appetite for U.S. financial claims. After all, how long should the world be expected to trade real goods and services for endless U.S. IOUs?

As it turned out, rather than acting to discipline the profligate U.S. Credit system, the world acquiesced to Bubble Dynamics. No one was willing to be left behind. Along the way it was learned that large reserves of U.S. financial assets were integral to booming financial inflows and attendant domestic investment and growth. The U.S. has now run persistently large Current Account Deficits for going on 25 years.

Seemingly the entire globe is now trapped in a regime of unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus required to levitate a world with unmatched debt and economic imbalances. History has seen nothing comparable. And I would strongly argue that the consequences of Bubbles become much more problematic over time. The longer excesses persist the deeper the structural impairment.

As this bubble bursts, we are going to endure a period of adjustment unlike anything America has ever known before.  I talk about the pain coming to America in my new book entitled “The Rapture Verdict” which is currently the #1 new release in Christian eschatology on Amazon.com.  To be honest, I don’t know if any of us really understands the horror that is coming to this nation in the years ahead.  None of us have ever experienced anything similar to it, so we don’t really have a frame of reference to imagine what it will be like.

This spike in corporate debt defaults is a major league red flag.  Since the last financial crisis, our big corporations went on a massive debt binge, and now they are starting to pay the price.

We never seem to learn from the errors of the past.  Instead of learning our lessons the last time around, we just went out and made even bigger mistakes.

I am afraid that history is going to judge us rather harshly.

Those that are waiting for the next great financial crisis to begin can quit waiting, because it is already happening right in front of our eyes.

If you believe that the temporary rebound of U.S. stocks is somehow going to change the trajectory of where things are heading, you are going to end up deeply, deeply disappointed.

ISIS Sends 400 Fighters to Europe

Islamic Terror Coming: ISIS Has Sent 400 Trained Fighters Into Europe To Conduct Terror Attacks

The recent attacks in Paris and in Brussels were just the tip of the iceberg of a massive wave of Islamic terror that is soon coming to Europe.  As you will see below, the Associated Press is reporting that ISIS has specially trained “at least 400 attackers” and has already sent them into Europe with specific instructions to conduct terror operations.  So Barack Obama may not think that we have anything to be concerned about, but the facts on the ground tell us a completely different story.  Thanks to Europe’s openness to “war refugees” from Syria, it is very easy for radical jihadists to get into countries such as France, Belgium and Germany.  And once they are on European soil, there are plenty of other disgruntled Islamic refugees that they can recruit to their cause.  Europe stands on the precipice of the greatest terror crisis that it has ever known, and the attacks that are coming next are likely to be far more deadly than anything we have seen so far.

Associated Press is reporting that ISIS has already sent “at least 400″ trained fighters into Europe for the purpose of conducting terror attacks…

Security officials have told The Associated Press that the Islamic State group has trained at least 400 attackers and sent them into Europe for terror attacks.

The network of interlocking, agile and semiautonomous cells shows the reach of the extremist group in Europe even as it loses ground in Syria. The officials, including European and Iraqi intelligence officials and a French lawmaker who follows the jihadi networks, describe camps designed specifically to train for attacks against the West.

And just in case you were tempted to think that this threat was not real, you may want to consider what happened in France on Thursday.

According to NBC News, police in Paris were able to foil a terror attack that was in “the advanced stages” of planning…

Raids in northwest Paris have foiled a terrorist attack, French officials said late Thursday.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve gave a press conference in Paris announcing there was an operation underway in Argenteuil, a commune in the northwest suburbs of Paris.

One man was arrested Thursday morning Cazeneuve said, adding that the operation thwarted a potential attack. Police were raiding his home again later Thursday evening.

The suspect was a French national who was in “the advanced stages” of a terror plot, the minister said, calling it a “major arrest.”

Of course much of the rest of the world is already solidly in the grip of Islamic terror.  The number of people killed by Islamic terror attacks has been increasing year after year, but the western media only seems to get excited when an attack happens in North America or Europe.

 For instance, did you even hear about the horrific Islamic terror attack that happened in the Ivory Coast earlier this month?  Gunmen opened fire on a very crowded beach in a key resort area on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility for the bloodshed.  The following comes from the New York Times

Gunmen opened fire on picnickers and swimmers enjoying a perfect day at three beach resort hotels near the Ivory Coast’s capital on Sunday, killing 16 people and leaving bodies strewn across the bloodstained sand. It was the third major attack in West Africa since November, and verified fears that the spread of terrorism across the region was far from over.

The attack, on the first sunny Sunday in weeks, took place in Grand-Bassam, a popular palm tree-lined getaway for Ivorians and foreigners. Fourteen civilians and two members of the country’s special forces were killed, as well as six gunmen, according to a spokeswoman for the president.

So why do we care when there is an attack in France or Belgium, but not when there is an attack in the Ivory Coast?

And what does that say about us?

As ISIS and other Islamic terror groups conduct more attacks in North America and Europe, the pressure to conduct military action in the Middle East is going to become very intense.  For a long time I have been warning about the potential for World War III to erupt in Syria, and U.S. troops are already taking on a more prominent role in Iraq.

In fact, the International Business Times is reporting that U.S. marines are now “on the front line” in the fight against the Islamic State…

The Islamic State group is trying to retake control of the oil fields it lost two years ago in the semi-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan by launching rockets at Kurdish and Iraqi soldiers. In an attempt to earn back the massive amount of cash it used to fund its international terrorism in 2014, the group has focused its resources on attacking Makhmur, a city just 75 miles miles from the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. So far, the group, also known as ISIS, has succeeded in outgunning the Iraqi forces in the city, but a new contingent of American Marines might change the outcome on the ground.

“Several weeks ago, thousands of Iraqi troops began occupying a tactical assembly area in Makhmur. This is part of the force generation associated with the liberation of Mosul,” Col. Steve Warren, spokesman for the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, said in a press briefing this week. Mosul is the de facto ISIS headquarters in Iraq. “These Iraqi forces, along with their coalition advisers, require force protection,” Warren said. “So we constructed a small fire base to do just that.”

The U.S. Marines in Iraq are on the front line and have been tasked with protecting Iraqi units in Makhmur — a scenario President Barack Obama wanted to avoid as long as possible during his time in office.

And what happens when ISIS or another terror group is able to set off a chemical, biological or nuclear weapon in a major western city?

That would change the world literally overnight.

most people have no idea how incredibly fragile our society truly is.  Humanity has created weapons that are frighteningly powerful, and it is only a matter of time before terrorists acquire these weapons and begin using them.

The free and open society that we are all enjoying today is on borrowed time.

All it is going to take is the detonation of a single weapon of mass destruction in a major western city and everything will change. The Bible tells us the Lawlessness will overtake society and you’ll live to see it.

 

Phantom Sales Surge Goes “Poof”

MONEY AND MARKETS: INVESTING INSIGHTS 

Phantom Sales Surge Goes “Poof” — Is it Cause for Worry?

Mike Larson | Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at 4:20 pm

Market Roundup
Dow
17,251.53 (+22.40)
S&P
2,015.93 (-3.71)
NASDAQ
4,728.67 (-21.61)
10-YR Yield
1.96% (+0.00)
Gold
$1,233.50 (-$11.60)
Oil
$38.17 (-$0.67)
 

Remember that surge in retail sales to start the year off? The one that the bulls on Wall Street cited as proof the consumer is in great shape?Never mind. Government bean counters now say it didn’t happen. Specifically … we just learned that …

BulletSales didn’t rise 0.2% in January. They actually dropped 0.4%.

BulletThe “core” sales figure that’s used to calculate GDP? It didn’t surge 0.6% as previously reported. It climbed only a third of that, or 0.2%.

BulletSales estimates were revised down for electronics … appliances … building materials … personal care … and department store.

The surge in retail sales seen earlier this year never really happened.

BulletFebruary’s figures weren’t very good, either. They dropped 0.1%, with declines in eight out of the 13 categories the Commerce Department tracks.

BulletAuto sales also fell 0.2% for the second month in a row. That very much fits with my view that the car and truck business is going to get much tougher as used-vehicle supply surges and credit conditions tighten.

I don’t usually make such a big deal about a single report. Other data on wholesale inflation and home builder sentiment today was largely in line with estimates.

But these retail revisions are so huge, they simply shouldn’t be ignored. That’s especially true when you consider that retail sales are a key driver of the consumer-led U.S. economy.

The Federal Reserve is also meeting today and tomorrow, so data like this bears watching. The Bank of Japan stood pat overnight, choosing to do nothing even as it admitted growth remains lackluster. That watered down some of the enthusiasm the European Central Bank engendered with its bazooka-gram last week.

“This is a whole new market environment… characterized by increased volatility, more wild swings and an increasing need for caution.”

Overall, I’ll repeat what I’ve been saying for a while now: This is a whole new market environment. It’s one characterized by increased volatility, more wild swings, and an increasing need for caution when it comes to investing strategy. And if the next batch of economic data confirms that things aren’t as rosy as Wall Street thought, you can bet things will get even hairier out there.

Expect the price of Gold and Silver to FALL for a short time!

According to Larry Edelson | Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 7:30 amSilver from a low of $13.62 (nearest futures) last December to a recent high of as much as $15.99.

Everyone and their brother now thinks that gold and silver are headed to the moon. All because they’ve had a decent rally of late. Gold jumping from its low $1,044 last December (nearest futures) to as high as roughly $1,268 recently …

And truth be told, gold and silver have indeed most likely bottomed, right on target with my forecast for last year, to bottom in late November/early December.

So why am I panning gold and silver now? Actually, I am not. I am panning all the pundits and investors out there who now say gold and silver are headed straight up to new record highs … and that if you don’t buy now, you’ve missed the train.

Nothing could be further from the truth. You have not missed the train. But what I do NOT want you to do is jump on the gold and silver bandwagon at an intermediate-term top!

Instead, I want you to be buyers on the next pullback, buying when everyone else is turning bearish again … buying near the next set of lows … so you can then maximize your profit potential.

Good, healthy, strong, long-lasting bull markets are made up of zigs and zags higher. Strong rallies. Followed by sharp, deep pullbacks.

And that’s exactly what’s about to happen in gold and silver. Not to mention platinum and palladium.

Here’s one way I know: My trusty cycle analysis of gold, based on my artificial intelligence and neural net models that analyze tens of thousands of trading data points on gold and silver and then crunch them billions of times over to find the most probable cycles and forward path for prices.

Take a look. What do you see? Gold topping now, and heading lower into early June.

From there, we should then see gold’s next major leg higher begin.

Ditto for all the other precious metals.

So my best advice right now, as hard as it may be to follow, is NOT to buy any gold and silver.

And instead, to wait patiently for the next opportunity.

How low can gold and silver go on this pullback?

Gold can fall all the way back to $1,180, possibly even lower. Silver can fall all the way back to the low $14 level, possibly even $13.50.

As far as I am concerned, I will be using this upcoming pullback to get bearish gold and silver, to make money on the short side. And, I will be advising my trading subscribers to do the same.

But that’s not for the faint of heart and it’s not for me to recommend in this column, as timing is everything. I could not possibly get you in and out of the market in a column that publishes once a week.

The same thing, of course, applies to virtually all markets. I can’t give you timely recommendations in a weekly column. I need to be able to communicate with you daily, sometimes more than once a day, and by hook or crook, text messaging, emails, voice broadcasts, whatever means.

I’m merely mentioning that now for only one reason: Nearly all markets are now heating up in a way where there will be more fortunes made by savvy traders than at any time since the late 1970s.

Larry Edelson runs a trading service. I can’t run ads here.If I do WordPress my shut my blog down. You can look for Larry on Google and then go read his recommendations and decide if his work is for you. I’m not a trader and I recommend against trading. But for now, you can expect if you’re planning to add gold and silver coins to your collection, wait a while and expect their prices to fall again. 

Meanwhile, there’s something else Larry warns us to avoid.It’s the crooked gold and silver dealers that are now surfacing on TV and newspapers again.

They are using the political mess in our country to pitch highly overpriced gold and silver coins and commemorative pieces to the public.

They use well-known actors, who get paid a lot of money to make the pitch. The pitches look and sound great of course. And they are made by professional sounding firms that usually have the word “Mint” in them.

But they are complete, unadulterated rip-offs. One such commercial that’s airing frequently is selling a silver eagle coin, calling it a mint state strike — for $25 a coin. That a whopping 59.33 percent premium over the price of silver.

What a rip-off! There’s nothing special or mint state about the coin. It’s a con game, plain and simple.

The investment strategy and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of any other editor at Weiss Research or the company as a whole.

Dutch Political Speech: ‘The Netherlands must be de-Islamised, all Mosques must be closed.’

from:  https://themuslimissue.wordpress.com/2014/12/12/video-dutch-politician-the-netherlands-must-be-de-islamised-all-mosques-must-be-closed/

DEC 15, 2014 by ADMIN in DIASPORA. This article comes back to haunt us now 15-months later, proving more truthful than it was when the speech was given!

Without Islam, the Netherlands would be a wonderful country, says Dutch politician Machiel de Graaf with the PVV party to the Dutch Parliament. Who can disagree? In country after country people say the same thing.

Never have truer words been spoken in a political setting.

It’s like poetry.

It’s Shakespeare of the 21th Century!

To quote Machiel de Graaf:

Without Islam, the Netherlands would not be losing 7.2 billion per year on mass (Muslim) immigration.

Without Islam there would be no mosques in Netherlands and people would not be confronted every day by Islamic headscarves, “hate beards”, and minarets; A country without all the symbols of Islamic domination, wonderful. What a country Netherlands would be!

Without Islam, Jewish children would be able to go to school without protection and gays and lesbians would be safer on our streets.

Without Islam we would need fewer prisons and police. Integration subsidies would be unnecessary. We would have less mistreatment of animals, and apartheid would be a word in the history books.

Without Islam, highly qualified Dutch people would feel less inclined to emigrate.

Without Islam, Sharia would not be insidiously introduced in more and more districts.

Children at school would not be confronted with halal meat during the Christmas dinner, the Christmas trees would not be a subject for discussion, and the Ramadan would not result in empty classrooms.

Without Islam, no jihad fighters.

Without Islam, no substantial level of threat concerning terrorism and no children rejoicing the streets after the mass murders in WTC on 9/11.

Yes, Madam President, imagine what a wonderful country that would be if you could leave all that behind you. The Muslims who generally come here do not change; do not integrate, do no assimilate; No they convert the Netherlands at our expense into their own homeland with all the mosques, and the original population are just guests.

Islamic immigration, the hijra, has been doing things this way for 1,400 years and that will not change.

Islam is bringing anti-semitism back into Europe. In Toulouse and Brussels Jews have been shot and killed by Muslims just because they were Jewish. In Amsterdam, because of threats by young Muslims you are no longer safe on the streets.

The Netherlands must be de-Islamised, all mosques must be closed, jihadists must be expelled and never allowed back, and the borders must be closed to people from Islamic countries.

The Dutch government must commit itself to repatriation of Muslims back to Muslim countries so we will not be plagued with honor killings, cousin marriages, anti-semitism, homophobia, animal abuse, rampant crime, rape, and welfare spending, not to mention honor killings, cousin marriages and hate preachers.

Without Islam, the Netherlands would be a wonderful country, says Dutch politician Machiel de Graaf with the PVV party to the Dutch Parliament. Who can disagree? In country after country people say the same thing.

Never have truer words been spoken in a political setting.

It’s like poetry.

It’s Shakespeare of the 21th Century!

To quote Machiel de Graaf:

Without Islam, the Netherlands would not be losing 7.2 billion per year on mass (Muslim) immigration.

Without Islam there would be no mosques in Netherlands and people would not be confronted every day by Islamic headscarves, “hate beards”, and minarets; A country without all the symbols of Islamic domination, wonderful. What a country Netherlands would be!

Without Islam, Jewish children would be able to go to school without protection and gays and lesbians would be safer on our streets.

Without Islam we would need fewer prisons and police. Integration subsidies would be unnecessary. We would have less mistreatment of animals, and apartheid would be a word in the history books.

Without Islam, highly qualified Dutch people would feel less inclined to emigrate.

Without Islam, Sharia would not be insidiously introduced in more and more districts.

Children at school would not be confronted with halal meat during the Christmas dinner, the Christmas trees would not be a subject for discussion, and the Ramadan would not result in empty classrooms.

Without Islam, no jihad fighters.

Without Islam, no substantial level of threat concerning terrorism and no children rejoicing the streets after the mass murders in WTC on 9/11.

Yes, Madam President, imagine what a wonderful country that would be if you could leave all that behind you. The Muslims who generally come here do not change; do not integrate, do no assimilate; No they convert the Netherlands at our expense into their own homeland with all the mosques, and the original population are just guests.

Islamic immigration, the hijra, has been doing things this way for 1,400 years and that will not change.

Islam is bringing anti-semitism back into Europe. In Toulouse and Brussels Jews have been shot and killed by Muslims just because they were Jewish. In Amsterdam, because of threats by young Muslims you are no longer safe on the streets.

The Netherlands must be de-Islamised, all mosques must be closed, jihadists must be expelled and never allowed back, and the borders must be closed to people from Islamic countries.

The Dutch government must commit itself to repatriation of Muslims back to Muslim countries so we will not be plagued with honor killings, cousin marriages, anti-semitism, homophobia, animal abuse, rampant crime, rape, and welfare spending, not to mention honor killings, cousin marriages and hate preachers.Without Islam, the Netherlands would be a wonderful country, says Dutch politician Machiel de Graaf with the PVV party to the Dutch Parliament. Who can disagree? In country after country people say the same thing.

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 3.48.34 PM

Never have truer words been spoken in a political setting.

It’s like poetry.

It’s Shakespeare of the 21th Century!

To quote Machiel de Graaf:

Without Islam, the Netherlands would not be losing 7.2 billion per year on mass (Muslim) immigration.

Without Islam there would be no mosques in Netherlands and people would not be confronted every day by Islamic headscarves, “hate beards”, and minarets; A country without all the symbols of Islamic domination, wonderful. What a country Netherlands would be!

Without Islam, Jewish children would be able to go to school without protection and gays and lesbians would be safer on our streets.

Without Islam we would need fewer prisons and police. Integration subsidies would be unnecessary. We would have less mistreatment of animals, and apartheid would be a word in the history books.

Without Islam, highly qualified Dutch people would feel less inclined to emigrate.

Without Islam, Sharia would not be insidiously introduced in more and more districts.

Children at school would not be confronted with halal meat during the Christmas dinner, the Christmas trees would not be a subject for discussion, and the Ramadan would not result in empty classrooms.

Without Islam, no jihad fighters.

Without Islam, no substantial level of threat concerning terrorism and no children rejoicing the streets after the mass murders in WTC on 9/11.

Yes, Madam President, imagine what a wonderful country that would be if you could leave all that behind you. The Muslims who generally come here do not change; do not integrate, do no assimilate; No they convert the Netherlands at our expense into their own homeland with all the mosques, and the original population are just guests.

Islamic immigration, the hijra, has been doing things this way for 1,400 years and that will not change.

Islam is bringing anti-semitism back into Europe. In Toulouse and Brussels Jews have been shot and killed by Muslims just because they were Jewish. In Amsterdam, because of threats by young Muslims you are no longer safe on the streets.

The Netherlands must be de-Islamised, all mosques must be closed, jihadists must be expelled and never allowed back, and the borders must be closed to people from Islamic countries.

The Dutch government must commit itself to repatriation of Muslims back to Muslim countries so we will not be plagued with honor killings, cousin marriages, anti-semitism, homophobia, animal abuse, rampant crime, rape, and welfare spending, honor killings, cousin marriages and hate preachers.