This past week saw another ominous financial metric released. The total net worth of Americans plunged at the fastest level going back to the financial crisis in the last quarter of 2018. Falling stock market values gnawed away at Americans' collective household balance sheets. The end result was that the net worth cratered down to $104.3 trillion at the year's conclusion. This represented a sharp decline of $3.73 trillion from third quarter 2018, per the Federal Reserve's figures they released. It amounted to an eyebrow raising decline of 3.4 percent, as this chart below clearly shows: Still think the economy is… Read More

In the latest signs of slowing economic growth, very poor U.S. retail sales and wholesale inventories figures have been released showing data not consistent with a growing economy. In the past two weeks, the data emerged showing that American retail sales suffered their largest decline in over nine years back in December. Sales declined consistently across all of the metrics measured --- online, in physical stores, and even in restaurants. Analysts who studied this warned of a significant economic activity slump at the conclusion of 2018. From November to December, the retail sales declined by 1.2 percent. This marked the… Read More

Last Thursday saw yet more bad news coming out from the deteriorating American housing market. For January 2019, United States' home sales collapsed to their lowest point in over three years. Housing prices themselves ticked up just modestly. The statistics are anything but encouraging as they continue to indicate still more weakness and momentum loss within the overall important housing market. Keep in mind that this Real Estate sector is a key leading economic indicator too. The National Association of Realtors revealed the grim statistics. They stated that the critical existing home sales category declined by a sobering 1.2 percent to an… Read More

The news emerged last week that an all-time high number of Americans are now behind on car payments. Last Tuesday, the New York Federal Reserve published its "Household Debt and Credit" report. This much-anticipated publications covered the 2018 fourth quarter. There was more disturbing news in the report still. Indebtedness has at last reached record amounts too, finally surpassing levels not seen since the point immediately predating the Great Recession. At the same time, Americans are struggling more to keep up with their current debt loads. The market where this has become most painfully obvious is the American car market.… Read More

Back just over a decade ago, The Global Financial Crisis of 2008 was in full swing. To combat the devastation caused by the international financial system nearly collapsing, the U.S. Federal Reserve chose to slash American interest rates all the way to zero percent and to print out literally trillions of dollars to grease the system. The results became readily apparent as an unprecedented 10 year long bull market resulted in every asset class imaginable from stocks and bonds to real estate and cryptocurrencies. Some observers claimed that they went too far in their prescribed cures to save the economy.… Read More