Press "Enter" to skip to content

U.S. Steel Plants Are Going Idle, But The Fed Continues To Perpetuate The Myth That Everything Is Just Fine

Even though there is a tremendous amount of evidence to the contrary, the Federal Reserve continues to insist that the U.S. economy is in good shape.  On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told the nation that “the economy has performed relatively well” in 2019 and he insisted that “the baseline outlook is a good one.”  Of course he didn’t say anything about our collapsing manufacturing numbers, the worst global trade numbers since the last recession or the “bloodbath” in the U.S. trucking industry.  Powell did concede that “the risk of less favorable outcomes has risen”, but other than vague…

5 Things You’re Probably Spending Too Much On…

When planning on how much to save for retirement, you first need to know how much you’ll spend. The general rule is that you’ll need 70% to 80% of your pre-retirement income to maintain your standard of living. However, a recent study found that nearly two in five (39%) retirees are spending more than they had expected. With that in mind, there are at least five things you might spend more on once you retire. #1—Travel Many retirees love to travel, especially on the kind of trips they could only dream about while working. Cruises are a favorite. In fact,…

Tiny houses take over America…

In a country that nearly always believes bigger is better — think supersize fries, giant cars and 10-gallon hats — more and more Americans are downsizing their living quarters. Welcome to the world of tiny homes, most of them less than 400 square feet (less than 40 square meters), which savvy buyers are snapping up for their minimalist appeal and much smaller carbon footprints. The tiny homes revolution, which includes those on foundations and those on wheels, began a few decades ago, but the financial crisis of 2008 and the coming-of-age of millennials gave it a new impetus. The proliferation…

Truckers sound the alarm as shipping companies hit the skids

This year has been rocky for the $800 billion trucking industry. After a raucous 2018, 2019 has seen retailers and manufacturers moving less, according to the Cass Freight Index. Freight rates have dipped year over year for six months straight. Loads on the spot market, in which retailers and manufacturers buy trucking capacity as they need it rather than through a contract, have fallen by a chilling 62.6% in May year over year. And that means rates have dipped for independent truckers as well as major companies. Rates for van loads sank 20% in May year over year, according to…

How the Coup in Venezuela and the US Housing Crisis are Inextricably Connected

The United States economy is organized such that all commodities, including both weapons and housing, drive the lion’s share of profits upward, into the pockets of a wealthy elite class, at the expense of the masses of working people who generate those profits through their labor power. The functioning of this system in the interest of a tiny few at the expense of the many is made equally apparent by the orchestration of war against Venezuela by the U.S. ruling class and the orchestration of a massive housing crisis within U.S. borders by wealthy developers. The smallest minority in the…

Torrential Rain Of Biblical Proportions Is Causing Immense Devastation For Midwest Farmers

The wettest 12 months in all of U.S. history was followed by the second wettest May on record, and for some parts of the Midwest the month of June will be even worse.  Some portions of Ohio and Indiana have gotten 10 more inches of rain since Friday, and more rain is literally falling on the Midwest as I write this article.  When I describe what we have witnessed as “torrential rain of Biblical proportions”, I am not exaggerating even a little bit.  Even before we got to the month of June, farmers in the middle of the country were…

They Are Calling This A “Bloodbath” For The $800 Billion Trucking Industry As U.S. Economic Activity Dramatically Declines

The U.S. trucking industry has not experienced a downturn of this magnitude since the last financial crisis, and this is one of the clearest signs yet that the U.S. economy is steamrolling into a severe economic downturn.  When economic activity is increasing, the trucking industry sees rising demand for their services and freight rates tend to go up.  That is precisely what we witnessed in 2018, and truckers were hoping for more of the same in 2019.  But when economic activity is on the decline, the trucking industry sees decreasing demand for their services and freight rates tend to go…

4 Regional New York Newspapers to Fold…

Tight times are driving serious consolidation at the North Country’s largest newspaper company. The Northern New York Newspapers group announced Thursday that it’s closing four newspapers in this region — the biweekly Ogdensburg Journal and the weekly Carthage Republican Tribune, St. Lawrence Plaindealer and South Jeff Journal — and dropping the Monday print edition of its flagship Watertown Daily Times. The company also launched a consolidated news website called NNY360. Northern New York Newspapers will now focus on NNY360, the WDT and its four other newspapers in the region: the Malone Telegram and the daily Courier Observer in Massena and…

Fifth Third to close 44 Chicago-area branches in July after completing MB bank merger

Fifth Third Bank is closing 44 branches in the Chicago area next month in the wake of its $4.7 billion acquisition of MB Financial. Nearly 1 in 5 locations of the combined bank will close on July 9 and 10, Fifth Third spokesman Larry Magnesen said Monday, a cost-saving move aimed at eliminating branch overlap. Customers of the closing branches, which include both Fifth Third and former MB locations, have already been notified, with 26 of the 44 locations less than a mile from another branch, Magnesen said. “We picked the ones that were better, newer, with better lobby space,…

How to Retire Rich Without Social Security

It’s no secret that our country’s Social Security program is running out of money. The Social Security system is paying out in benefits more than it’s collecting in tax revenue and as a result they’re dipping into the Social Security trust fund to make up the difference. If Congress takes no action to fix the problem, starting in 2034 retirees are going to see a 23% cut in social security payments. Today, the average retiree receives about $1,300 per month from SS. If this massive cut happens, your SS cheque will drop to about $1,000. This will lead to an…

Grim New Report Shows Rent Is Unaffordable In Every State

Plenty of evidence shows how widespread and devastating America’s housing crisis is, but perhaps none quite as starkly as this: There’s not a single state, metropolitan area or county in the U.S. where a full-time worker earning the minimum wage can afford the rent for a modest two-bedroom apartment. Affordable housing is fundamental to a safe, healthy, stable life. It brings a host of advantages, including better physical and mental health outcomes, better access to education for children, and a better chance at upward economic mobility. Yet, for a huge swath of the population, it remains completely out of reach.…

Evidence That The U.S. Economy Could Be Plunging Into A Very Deep Recession Is Rapidly Mounting

Not since 2008 have we seen so much bad economic data come rolling in all at the same time.  Even without a war with Iran, which by the way is looking increasingly likely with each passing day, it definitely appears that the U.S. economy is steamrolling toward recession territory.  The employment numbers for last month were abysmal, global trade has collapsed to the lowest level that we have seen since the last recession, and manufacturing numbers just keep getting worse and worse.  In fact, the New York Fed’s Empire State manufacturing index just suffered the worst one month decline in…

Boeing records zero new plane orders…

Boeing knew the Paris Air Show would be slow, but this may have been worse than they expected. On day one of the show, Boeing did not announce a single new order for any of its airplanes, while Airbus recorded orders and options for 123 planes, according to the aviation consulting firm IBA.iQ. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg admitted to CNBC that this air show would not be about orders, but instead be an opportunity for his company to reassure customers and suppliers that Boeing is making progress getting the grounded 737 Max back in the air. “We’ll get it back…

CALI DOOM: The California exodus is speeding up due to taxes and skyrocketing housing costs…

People have long dreamed of moving to California, but increasingly the people in the state are looking to get out. According to recently released data from the US Census, about 38,000 more people left California than entered it in 2018. This is the second straight year that migration to the state was negative, and it’s a trend that is speeding up. Every year since 2014, net migration has fallen. California’s population did still increase in 2018 by almost 160,000 people, largely due to the 480,000 people born in the state. But while migration out of the state has accelerated over…

Misplaced Pride: Most of the “Middle Class” Is Actually Working Class

The conventional definition of working class is based on income and education:the working class household earns between $30,000 and $69,000 annually, and the highest education credential in the household is a two-year community college degree or trade certification. The definition of the middle class is also based on on income and education, but adds financial security as a metric: the middle class household earns $80,000 or more, holds 4-year college diplomas or graduate degrees, owns a home, has a 401K retirement account and so on. (My own definition is much more rigorous, as I reckon “middle class” today should have the same basic assets as…

CA Pension Fund Faces Crisis After Shunning Guns, Tobacco

California’s public pension fund is facing an internal crisis over its past decisions to restrict its investments to socially conscious causes. A report from the Wall Street Journal indicates it is considering pivoting away from its socially conscious divesting to address its increasing budget crisis. The California Public Employees Retirement System, simply known as Calpers, is wrestling with a budget deficit that is partially a result of the fund’s decision to ban investments in tobacco companies, the report states. The fund missed out on more than $3.5 billion due to its divestment from tobacco stocks, a December 2016 recommendation found. The Journal…

Econ Professor: “The Growing Risk of a 2020 Recession” Could Be Triggered By “Shock To Markets”

An economics professor at NYU and perhaps the media’s favorite permabear, Nouriel Roubini, is now saying that the world “has an even bigger problem on its hands.” Roubini says that a 2020 recession could likely be triggered by a “shock to the markets.” The Federal Reserve is once again going dovish on the economy too.  The central bank has signaled that there could be another rate cut as early as July and according to Market Watch, 40% of economists are expecting the Fed to cut interest rates again. While most believe the central banks won’t be able to do anything…

The UK government gave away cheap money for property purchase deposits, which the wealthy abused, driving up property prices and leaving UK taxpayers exposed

In 2013, the UK coalition government of David Cameron’s Tories and the Libdems’ Nick Clegg launched a “Help to Buy” scheme that gave incredibly cheap, taxpayer subsidised loans to first-time homebuyers, who got their money interest free for five years and thereafter had to repay it at 1.75% interest. Now, six years and billions of pounds later, the National Audit Office has published its report on the scheme, revealing that 63% of those who got free government money actually needed it to buy a house (4% of those who got the loans were on incomes of more than £100,000/year), and…

“It’s A Disaster Like I’ve Never Seen Before”: 2019 Could Be The Worst Year EVER For U.S. Corn Farmers

The amount of corn produced in the United States this year is going to be way below expectations.  The Department of Agriculture just slashed its harvest estimates quite dramatically in its June report, but some farmers in the Midwest believe that those reduced projections are still way too optimistic.  As I have previously detailed, millions upon millions of acres will go unplanted this year, but that is only part of the story.  Much of the corn that has actually been planted is coming up very slowly due to the exceedingly poor conditions, and corn farmers all over the Midwest are…

The World Is Facing A $400 Trillion Retirement Shortfall By 2050

Though many Americans are probably more worried about an immediate financial emergency than their long-term prospects for retirement, the World Economic Forum, an organization comprising jet-setting billionaires and corporate captains of finance and industry, has published a study to remind ordinary Americans they better get used to the idea that they will be working until they die, unless Elizabeth Warren improbably succeeds in her campaign to be the next president and simply bails out everybody who is drowning in student loan debt, millennials will likely continue to see the ‘retirement gap’ – the ‘shortfall’ between how much money one has…

Credit Card Debt Spikes In Hawaii As Economy Falters

Total credit card debt among American consumers jumped 29% since 2015, reaching a whopping $807 billion in 1Q19, according to the latest Experian data. In the past year, as the economy cycles down, overall credit card debt rose 6%. More than 60% of Americans used credit cards for basic purchases in 1Q19. That’s an 11% increase when compared to 1Q16, and a 3% increase from 1Q18. The average American carries four credit cards with a balance of $6,028. Experian said all 50 states plus Washington, DC, saw an increase in its average credit card debt on a YoY basis. Hawaii…

Nearly 102 Million Americans Do Not Have A Job Right Now – Worse Than At Any Point During The Last Recession

Wouldn’t it be horrible if the number of Americans without a job was higher today than it was during the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009?  Well, that is actually true.  As you will see below, nearly 102 million Americans do not have a job right now, and at no point during the last recession did that number ever surpass the 100 million mark.  Of course the U.S. population has grown a bit over the last decade, but as you will see below, the percentage of the population that is engaged in the labor force is only slightly above the…

Corporations Suddenly Realize That Once-Coveted Millennials Are A “Screwed Generation”

Right now, millennials represent the largest single consumer group in the United States: they number 83.1 million and they represent a full quarter of the US population. When it comes to corporations targeting consumers, millennials are at the top of the list for those obvious reasons, according to a new article by Adweek. But now, generational expert Alexis Abramson, who has 25 years experience in the field, is claiming that corporations aren’t getting the ROI that they anticipated from millennials. “There was a great deal of interest [in millennials], but there wasn’t as much due diligence around that group,” she…

Fear Porn: Trump warns of epic stock market crash if Dems win in 2020

President Trump Opens a New Window. — just days before his official campaign launch — warned that stock markets will crash if he is not re-elected in the 2020 presidential election Opens a New Window. . “The Trump Economy is setting records, and has a long way up to go….However, if anyone but me takes over in 2020 (I know the competition very well), there will be a Market Crash the likes of which has not been seen before!” Trump wrote in a tweet on Saturday. Trump is expected to kick off his campaign on Tuesday in Florida. His tweet…

Midwest corn farmer on planting season: ‘Disaster like I’ve never seen before’

It’s a tough decision that many of the Midwest’s farmers had to make this month: To plant, or not to plant. James McCune’s corn fields Opens a New Window. in western Illinois are typically covered with rows of hardy, knee-high corn this time of year. Instead, in 2019, five of every six acres he farms sit unplanted, pockmarked with water and mud. “It’s a disaster like I’ve never seen before,” McCune told FOX Business. “My neighbors didn’t get 90 percent of their corn planted.” After non-stop rain plagued the region this spring – when corn farmers typically get seed in the…

The 10 commandments of retirement

We’re faced with a host of thorny retirement issues: Keep Social Security solvent. Make Medicare affordable. Many Americans aren’t saving enough. They want to retire earlier than they can reasonably afford. They’re effectively financially illiterate. But in the end, you don’t need to worry about all Americans. Instead, what you need to worry about is you. Want a comfortable retirement? Here are my 10 commandments: 1. If your preretirement lifestyle is set with a view to what you can sustain after you quit the workforce, you’re likely on track. If not, retirement could mean a sharp drop in living standards.…

Americans are not doing well at saving for retirement — and it’s only going to get worse

Many Americans haven’t saved as much money as they need for retirement — and the gap is expected to widen dramatically in the next 30 years. The retirement savings gap — between what people have and should have — was $28 trillion in the U.S. in 2015, but by 2050, it’s expected to swell to $137 trillion, according to the World Economic Forum, a Cologny-Geneva, Switzerland-based nonprofit that researched international financial affairs. The disparity grows $3 trillion every year in the U.S. The organization calculated this gap assuming most individuals’ retirement income sources would include a combination of government-provided pensions…

Retail Workers Nationwide Are Forming a Coalition to Demand a Just Economy

Toys ‘R’ Us workers won a crucial severance pay victory last year after the company closed its U.S. stores. Private equity firms KKR, Bain, and Vornado had bought up the legendary toy store just a decade before, saddled the company with debt, and left the 33,000 laid-off employees without access to the millions they were owed in severance. But rather than letting private equity vultures enrich themselves on the backs of employees who’d been with the store for decades, workers fought back, taking creative actions across the country and pushing legislators and pension funds to get on board — and…

Morgan Stanley’s Business Conditions Index Just Suffered The Biggest One Month Decline In History

We continue to get more indications that U.S. economic conditions are going to deteriorate rapidly during the second half of this year.  Yesterday, I reported on a brand new survey which found that 69 percent of U.S. CFOs believe that a recession is coming “by the end of 2020”, and today we learned that Morgan Stanley’s Business Conditions Index has fallen dramatically.  In fact, according to CNBC the sudden drop in the index was “the largest one-month decline on record”… A reading of the economy from Morgan Stanley is signaling “June gloom.” Morgan Stanley’s Business Conditions Index, which captures turning…

Dollar Stores will account for more than half of store openings this year

Dive Brief: Discount retailers, led by dollar stores and Aldi, will account for more than half of retail store openings this year, according to data from Coresight Research cited by CBS News. Out of the almost 2,780 new locations slated for 2019, about 1,800 belong to discount chains. Dollar General leads growth by a wide margin, with 975 openings planned in 2019, followed by Dollar Tree, which is planning 350 new stores, then Family Dollar, Aldi and Five Below, according to the report.  Discount retailers are gaining the most traction in rural areas where there are fewer store options and where…

Gold is Money: Why US Trying to Nix Yellow Metal’s Use in Global Transactions

The decision by Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, and the Bank of England to withhold Venezuela’s gold was politicised, say American economic analyst Pye Ian and Turkish scholar Dr Mehmet Ozkan, suggesting that the banks had seized Caracas’ bullions on behalf of Western governments who want to “corner” Nicolas Maduro and replace him with Juan Guaido. On 4 June, Bloomberg reported that Deutsche Bank AG had confiscated 20 tonnes of Venezuelan gold as collateral citing Caracas’ failure to make interest payments on a 2016 gold swap agreement valued at $750 million. Although the agreement was due to expire in 2021 the bank closed out the contract earlier. In much…

Many Americans say their financial situation is worse since the Great Recession

The Great Recession has officially been over for a decade. For many Americans, there’s little reason to celebrate. Many people’s finances haven’t recovered from the recession’s blows, according to a new survey by personal finance website Bankrate.com. “There are still tens of millions who are struggling to even get back to where they were before the economy took a turn for the worse,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com. More than half of Americans who were adults amid the Great Recession said they endured some type of negative financial impact, Bankrate found. And half of those people say…

Elizabeth Warren to introduce bill to ‘cancel’ student debt for millions (keep dreaming, political propaganda)

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren – a 2020 presidential candidate – intends to bring her plan to “cancel” student debt Opens a New Window. for millions of Americans to Congress Opens a New Window. . Warren’s office said on Thursday she will introduce a bill, similar to what she proposed as part of her presidential platform, in Congress. Rep. James Clayburn, D-S.C., will introduce companion legislation in the House. The text of the bill has not yet been released, but she said it would eliminate up to $50,000 in student loan debt for 42 million Americans – canceling debt entirely for…

How NeoCon Billionaire Paul Singer Is Driving the Outsourcing of US Tech Jobs to Israel

Several U.S. tech giants including Google, Microsoft and Intel Corporation have filled top positions with former members of Israeli military intelligence and are heavily investing in their Israeli branches while laying off thousands of American employees, all while receiving millions of dollars in U.S. government subsidies funded by American taxpayers. Whitney WEBB With nearly 6 million Americans unemployed and regular bouts of layoffs in the U.S. tech industry, major American tech companies like Google, Microsoft and Intel Corporation are nonetheless moving key operations, billions in investments, and thousands of jobs to Israel — a trend that has largely escaped media…

New Survey: 69% Of U.S. CFOs Believe That A Recession Will Start “By The End Of 2020”

Throughout 2017 and most of 2018, U.S. corporate executives were generally very optimistic about the future of the economy, but now that optimism has been replaced by a deep sense of doom and gloom.  And of course there are very good reasons for all of the doom and gloom.  The trade war with China looks like it is going to last for an extended period of time, recent global manufacturing numbers have been absolutely dismal, and it is being projected that corporate earnings will be down significantly in the second quarter.  The economic environment is tough and it is rapidly…

For Countless Americans, Living In Their Vehicles Has Become “The New Normal”

Once again tonight, countless numbers of Americans will sleep in their vehicles, and this is a problem that is getting worse with each passing year.  According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the homeless population in the United States hit 552,830 in 2018, but many believe that the true number is actually a lot higher.  Because in order to accurately count the homeless you have got to find them first, and many homeless do not want to be found.  But even if the HUD figure is accurate, it is still a great national tragedy to have such a…

States With The Most Mortgage Debt

A home is the largest purchase most Americans make in their lifetimes. The typical American home now costs over $200,000 — significantly more money than most people have on hand. This disparity means that many homeowners must take on a mortgage, which usually leaves them hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, to buy a house. As long as the owner or owners have properly planned and budgeted their income, they should not face a severe financial burden from the debt. Yet not all Americans plan their finances correctly, and sometimes unforeseen circumstances get in the way. Just as home…

What to Do If You’re House Rich but Cash Poor

If you are “house-rich” but “cash poor,” a reverse mortgage might be a way to access some additional cash for your retirement years. On the other hand, it could be a costly temptation with upfront and ongoing expenses that erode the equity in the home you spent years paying off. Basically, a reverse mortgage is the opposite of a regular mortgage where you gradually pay off the original principal and accruing interest of the home loan. With a reverse mortgage, you already own the house (or at least a good amount of equity). The loan amount for a reverse mortgage…

Government taking cash out of circulation at a rapid pace

Because of my work I have a lot to do with currency, precious metals and so on. What I noticed this year is that a lot of clients speak about cash becoming useless in a lot of countries. They are unable to pay with large denominations, unable to deposit cash money in the bank.. When I think about this subject it scares me. Here is why: countries in Scandinavia are taking cash out of circulation. Only thing that is left is digital money, credit cards etc. In my country they are taking the largest denomination out of circulation, which looks…

Over Taxed: 1/3 Of Americans Need A “Side Hustle” To Make Ends Meet

Imagine a world in which you could keep every single penny that the fruits of your own labor produced. That would be a world without income taxation making it much easier for the average American to get by. Instead, we live in a world where nothing goes untaxed. About 1/3 of Americans say that their expenses are so high that after the theft of the federal government from their paychecks, they need a “side hustle” to make ends meet. According to Bankrate, side hustlers make $1,122 per month on average from their part-time work — up from $686 last year.…

They ditched America to retire by a lake in Chile on about $3,000 a month — and rarely come back

The shimmering waters of a Chilean lake call to the Dorchaks these days. The American couple — who six years ago retired to Puerto Octay, a village on Lake Llanquihue, the second largest lake in Chile — say that their lives as real-estate appraisers and investors in South Carolina used to involve a lot of running around, but those days are long gone. “The sun will come out, and I’ll say, ‘Let’s go get our kayaks and go to the lake,’ ” says Lori Dorchak, 55. “Maybe I’ll think, ‘Well, we’ve really got to finish some project.’ But to heck…

Americans are too poor to survive whether or not they’re working

A new study from the United Way claims that 43% of American households are in a status called “asset limited, income constrained, employed” (ALICE), which denotes employed people who can’t afford housing, food, childcare, healthcare, transportation, and a cellphone — the basics of modern living. Umair Haque (previously) connects this to the idea of America as the world’s first poor rich country, a country that is awash in wealth, yet so unequal that nearly half its residents sink deeper into debt every month — and most Americans die in debt. As Haque says, if you work hard all your life…

Gun Seller That Bet Big on Hillary Clinton Getting Elected Goes Bankrupt

Firearms distributor United Sporting Cos. loaded up on guns ahead of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, expecting a surge in sales that would likely follow the election of a Democrat. Then Hillary Clinton lost. The miscalculation sparked a multi-year decline that has reached the courthouse steps in Delaware, where United filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday. When Republican Donald Trump emerged victorious in the election, United posted lower-than-expected sales as well as high inventory carrying costs, Chief Executive Officer Bradley P. Johnson said in a court declaration. United, which sells an array of outdoor equipment, is seeking protection from creditors…

16,000 people in L.A. now live in cars, vans and RVs

Two years ago, Los Angeles began testing an alternative to homeless shelters called safe parking, giving people living in their cars a secure spot to sleep at night. The first site was quickly deemed a success, so the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority agreed to fund nine more lots in the pilot program, with promises to expand. Earlier this year, before the release of new data showing more than 16,500 people living in their vehicles, the authority put out a request to providers across the county to help them make good on that promise. But the details of the request…

Forget lower jobs growth, the number of people who’ve stopped looking for work is much more worrisome

The latest jobs report showed a lackluster gain in jobs in May that was worse than economists had predicted. While the sudden slowdown in jobs growth after many months of strong numbers is worrying and signals a weakening economy, a more long-term concern is the persistently low labor force participation rate that has not recovered in the decade since the onset of the Great Recession. I’ve been studying labor market issues for over much of my 30 year career as an economist. Let me explain why you should be paying more attention to the participation rate. Participation matters Strong employment…

California Poised To Spend $1 Billion On Healthcare For Undocumented Immigrants

As California moves closer than ever to offering free health care to low-income undocumented adults — at a potential cost of $1 billion — battle lines are being drawn about who should benefit, and who ultimately will pay the price. On the surface, the arguments are familiar, with supporters insisting this is the humane thing to do, and opponents demanding that state tax dollars go only to citizens. But there are deeper questions to consider. Among them: • If California keeps denying preventative and basic health care to hundreds of thousands of immigrants here illegally, does that put the health…

What to Do if You Are Forced into Early Retirement

Will you still be working by age 70? It’s a fair question. According to a recent survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, nearly one-third of workers predicted they’d be working until age 70 or older, and only 10% expected to retire before 60. The reality is only 7% of the retirees surveyed worked until at least 70, and more than one third quit work before age 60. And this wasn’t a fluke scenario either. Corporate downsizing, health problems and other unexpected events have led to more than 50% of U.S. workers, over the age of 50, having to retire…

These American Cities Have The Most Vacant Homes

A new report identifies American cities that are experiencing a post-housing crisis hangover. 24/7 Wall St., a financial news website, used tax assessor data from ATTOM Data Solutions to examine the number of single-family homes and condos that are empty in 15,957 ZIP codes, to determine which American cities had the most vacancies. Twenty-nine cities were found to have at least 5,000 single-family homes and condos abandoned. In most of the cities on this list, the rate is well beyond the national vacancy rate of 1.52%. Gary, Indiana; Detroit, Michigan; and Baltimore, Maryland, were identified as some of the cities…

How Many People Will Be Retiring In The Years To Come?

The post-WWII baby boom in the US peaked in 1960, when 4,257,850 live births took place. Those who were born in that year will reach the standard retirement age of 65 in about six years (2025). With this impending milestone set to tax the resources of the Social Security Administration at a level not yet experienced in the system’s 84-year-existence, researchers at the St. Louis Fed shared a few calculations that not only showed how many people can be expected to file for retirement benefits in the years between now and 2025, but also how economists should take this information…

Before You Pay Your Hospital Bill, Read This

Have you run up a huge hospital bill that you’re having difficulty paying? The stress can be overwhelming, especially while you’re recovering from a complicated procedure and feeling like you’ve been hit by a truck.  But you’re not alone… The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) found that 43 million Americans have overdue medical debt on their credit reports. You may have already pleaded with your insurance company and battled with debt collectors. But you still can’t get a break. One resource you might consider is… Hospital Financial Assistance As part of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), all nonprofit hospitals must…

IBM to cut 1,700 jobs…

IBM said Thursday that it’s laying off a small percentage of employees, confirming reports that appeared earlier in the day on TheLayoff, an online message board. A person familiar with the matter said the cuts affect about one-half of 1% of employees. IBM has more than 340,000 employees, according to its last proxy statement, which means the cuts would affect around 1,700 employees. “We are continuing to reposition our team to align with our focus on the high-value segments of the IT market, and we also continue to hire aggressively in critical new areas that deliver value for our clients and…

This Wasn’t Supposed To Happen: U.S. Employment Growth Just Plunged To The Lowest Level In 9 Years

If the U.S. economy was heading into a recession, we would expect to see a slowdown in the employment numbers, and that is precisely what is happening.  According to payroll processing firm ADP, the U.S. economy only added 27,000 new jobs in May, and that is way below the number that is needed just to keep up with population growth.  Of course some in the mainstream media are attempting to put a positive spin on this, but there really is no denying that this is a truly awful number.  In fact, we have not seen a number this bad in…

Almost 80% of US workers live from paycheck to paycheck. Here’s why

The official rate of unemployment in America has plunged to a remarkably low 3.8%. The Federal Reserve forecasts that the unemployment rate will reach 3.5% by the end of the year. But the official rate hides more troubling realities: legions of college grads overqualified for their jobs, a growing number of contract workers with no job security, and an army of part-time workers desperate for full-time jobs. Almost 80% of Americans say they live from paycheck to paycheck, many not knowing how big their next one will be. Blanketing all of this are stagnant wages and vanishing job benefits. The…

This Wasn’t Supposed To Happen: U.S. Employment Growth Just Plunged To The Lowest Level In 9 Years

If the U.S. economy was heading into a recession, we would expect to see a slowdown in the employment numbers, and that is precisely what is happening.  According to payroll processing firm ADP, the U.S. economy only added 27,000 new jobs in May, and that is way below the number that is needed just to keep up with population growth.  Of course some in the mainstream media are attempting to put a positive spin on this, but there really is no denying that this is a truly awful number.  In fact, we have not seen a number this bad in…

Goodbye Middle Class…

The middle class in America is being systematically eviscerated, and it is getting worse with each passing year.  As you will see below, one new study has found that 10 percent of Americans now own 70 percent of all the wealth.  Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most vibrant middle class in the history of the world, but pretty soon we are just going to have the ultra-wealthy and everyone else.  Our system has been designed to funnel as much wealth as possible to the very top of the financial pyramid, and that means that…

Economic Chaos Erupts! – Global Manufacturing Plunges, The Trade War Expands And The Nasdaq Enters Correction Territory

The global economic slowdown is really starting to accelerate.  Just within the past few days, we have gotten more really awful global manufacturing numbers, the trade war has expanded to more nations, and the Nasdaq has officially entered correction territory.  We have not witnessed this sort of global economic environment since the Great Recession, and if the economic chaos continues to escalate it won’t take too much to spark a brand new financial crisis.  Of course the global financial system is far more vulnerable than it was back in 2008, and so if we stay on the path that we…

Mall Meltdown Continues; Retail hell…

Retailers’ earnings season has gone from bad to worse. The bleeding intensified last week, with shares of Abercrombie & Fitch plummeting 26% on Wednesday, the biggest percentage decline since the company went public. PVH Corp., owner of brands including Van Heusen, Tommy Hilfilger, and Calvin Klein, dropped 10% that day, too. On Thursday, women’s wear chain J.Jill was down a jaw-dropping 53% and on Friday, Gap Inc. slid 9%. It is hard to miss what all of these retailers have in common: They are mall-based. While retailers posted generally strong numbers in 2018, raising hopes of a retail renaissance, this…

US Ambassador Confirms Trump Lining Up US-UK Post-Brexit Trade Deal

On the eve of his UK state visit, US President Donald Trump vowed to “go all out” to swiftly secure a free trade deal between the UK and US within months of Britain exiting the EU. US Ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson has revealed that Washington has “lined up” preparations for a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK and will be “ready to go” as soon as Britain resolves its exit from the EU. Speaking on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, Johnson asserted that “whatever happens” with Brexit, the US and UK will enjoy a “great relationship”. The Ambassador claimed Donald Trump’s office was currently negotiating with the UK trade…

Domino #2: Chinese Bank With $105 BN In Assets On Verge Of Collapse

While the western world (and much of the eastern) has been preoccupied with predicting the consequences of Trump’s accelerating global trade/tech war, Beijing has had its hands full with avoiding a bank run in the aftermath of Baoshang Bank’s failure, scrambling to inject massive amounts of liquidity last week in the form of a 250 billion yuan net open market operation to thaw the interbank market which was on the verge of freezing, and sent overnight funding rates spiking and bond yields and NCD rates higher. Unfortunately for the PBOC, Beijing is now racing against time to prevent a widespread…

Laid Off GM Workers in Ohio Fed Up with Ruling Class: ‘Nobody Has Our Backs’

Middle-class Americans whose livelihoods have been thrown off course after being laid off by General Motors (GM) in Lordstown, Ohio, are fed up with the country’s political and business ruling class in Washington, DC. For months, the community of Lordstown has had to grapple with GM closing the region’s assembly plant, which has resulted in the immediate layoff of about 1,600 American workers, and since 2017, GM has laid off about 4,500 American workers in Ohio. The GM plant closure is also expected to leave more than 8,000 American workers jobless in and around Lordstown as well as cut out about $8 billion in economic activity in the area.…

Net worth of Americans aged 18 to 35 has dropped 34 percent since 1996

The net worth of the average 18- to 35-year-old has plummeted 34 percent since 1996, according to new study from accounting group Deloitte. Despite stereotypes that millennials overspend on entertainment and dining out, the Deloitte study found that the generation is paying more for education, food, transportation and other basic needs, while their incomes have stayed steady. The group’s average net worth is now below $8,000, putting today’s millennials in a worse financial position than previous generations. Deloitte researchers told The Washington Post that the study’s findings “debunk many conventional wisdoms about the new-age consumer.”  “The narrative out there is that millennials are…

US energy department rebrands fossil fuels as ‘molecules of freedom’

America is the land of freedom, as any politician will be happy to tell you. What you don’t hear quite so often is that the stuff under the land is also apparently made of freedom as well. That is, at least according to a news release this week from the Department of Energy (DoE). Mark W Menezes, the US undersecretary of energy, bestowed a peculiar honorific on our continent’s natural resources, dubbing it “freedom gas” in a release touting the DoE’s approval of increased exports of natural gas produced by a Freeport LNG terminal off the coast of Texas. “Increasing…

California Gov. Gavin Newsom Pushes for $2 Billion in New Taxes and Fees

As California enjoys a historic budget surplus of more than $21.5 billion, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom is pushing for more than $2 billion in new taxes and fees. His plan calls for instituting a water tax, phone tax, and health care penalty known as the “individual mandate.” “Without the mandate, everybody’s premiums go up,” Newsom said when pitching his plan. Citizens would begin to be penalized in 2020 for not having health insurance in order to provide further subsidies for Covered California, the state insurance exchange. Within three years, the revenue is expected to top over $1 billion. “We’re talking…

The US is no longer the world’s most competitive economy

The United States no longer has the most competitive economy Opens a New Window. in the world, according to annual rankings compiled by the Switzerland-based business school IMD. For the first time in nine years, Singapore replaced the U.S. as the world’s most competitive economy. The U.S. dropped down to third on the list, thanks to higher fuel prices, weaker high-tech exports, fluctuations in the value of the dollar and the fading impact of President Trump’s Opens a New Window. massive tax overhaul. Hong Kong, meanwhile, remained in second place. China was ranked fourteenth. “In a year of high uncertainty…

A new credit bubble gets ready to burst

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell gave a speech a couple of weeks back that showed that financial regulators have learned many lessons from the 2008 financial crisis, but not the most important one, namely: If regulators wait to act until they can say with certainty that a credit bubble is about to burst, they’ve waited too long. That’s particularly true when it comes to the opaque and unregulated “shadow” banking system on Wall Street that has now supplanted regulated banks as the leading source of credit for businesses and consumers. This shadow system gets its money from big investors rather…

Bay Area Homeless Move to Tree Houses…

The occupants of five to six ramshackle tree houses built in a private industrial park near Stevenson Boulevard and I-880 in Fremont are facing eviction. Crews equipped with chainsaws and handsaws have begun clearing out the structures and cutting off limbs in order to make it harder to reoccupy and easier to spot the homeless who are taking refuge in the trees. They are about halfway through the long line of more than 60 eucalyptus trees. Neighboring business owners say the first tree house went up in February and started multiplying over the next three months. The structures vary in…

Average millennials’ net worth is $8,000, study finds

Millennials have a much lower net worth than previous generations, according to a new study. The average net worth of Americans between the ages of 18 to 35 is less than $8,000 — about 34 percent lower than in 1996, a Deloitte study published Wednesday found. Despite clichés that millennials are “ruining everything from movies to marriage,” the study found millennials are actually under more economic pressure because of numerous increased costs over the last decade. According to The Washington Post, education costs have increased by 65 percent in the last 10 years. The study found that student debt has…