The American Dream
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
If you are not aware of how rapidly the global economic situation is unraveling you need to snap out of it and start paying attention. The world economy was relatively stable in 2010, but here in 2011 things are deteriorating very quickly. Right now there is major civil unrest in at least a dozen different nations in Africa and the Middle East. The civil war going on in Libya has sent the price of oil skyrocketing and the protests that are scheduled to begin in Saudi Arabia later this month could send oil prices even higher. Meanwhile, the sovereign debt crisis in Europe just seems to get worse by the day. Several nations in Europe are suddenly finding that it has become extremely expensive to finance more debt. It appears that it will only be a matter of time before more bailouts are needed. Meanwhile, the United States is also covered in a sea of red ink and the economic situation in the largest economy on earth continues to deteriorate rapidly. It is as if the entire world financial system has caught a virus that it just can’t shake, and now it looks like another massive wave of financial disaster could be about to strike. Does the global economy have enough strength to weather a major oil crisis in 2011? How much debt can the largest nations in North America and Europe take on before the entire system collapses under the weight? Will 2011 be a repeat of 2008 or are we going to be able to get through the rest of the year okay? Only time will tell.
But it is quickly becoming clear that we are reaching a tipping point. If the price of oil keeps going up, all hopes for any kind of an “economic recovery” will be completely wiped out. But if the globe does experience another economic slowdown, it could potentially turn the simmering sovereign debt crisis into an absolute nightmare. The U.S. and most nations in Europe are having a very difficult time servicing their debts and they desperately need tax revenues to increase. If another major economic downturn causes tax revenues to go down again it could unleash absolute chaos on world financial markets.
The global economy is more interconnected than ever, and so a major crisis in one area of the world can have a cascading effect on the rest of the globe. Just as we saw back in 2008, if financial disaster strikes nobody is going to escape completely unscathed.
So what should we expect for the rest of 2011? Well, the truth is that it doesn’t look good. The following are 21 signs of impending doom for the 2011 economy….
#1 The civil war in Libya now looks like it could drag on for an extended period of time, and that is likely to drive the global price of oil even higher.
#2 Barack Obama is publicly saying that NATO is now considering “potential military options” for solving the crisis in Libya.
#3 Kuwait exports more oil than Libya does, and it looks like the civil unrest that has been sweeping the rest of the Middle East is now starting to spread to that country.
#4 In Saudi Arabia, protest groups are planning a “Day of Rage” on March 11th. If a revolution breaks out in that nation the entire global economy is going to be thrown into turmoil.
#5 The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States increased by 33 cents during the two-week period that ended last Friday.
#6 According to the Oil Price Information Service, U.S. drivers spent an average of $347 on gasoline during the month of February, which was 30 percent more than a year earlier.
#7 It is being reported that the average price of a gallon of gasoline in Europe has hit an all-time record of $8.63 a gallon.
#8 Ivory Coast produces nearly 40 percent of all the cocoa in the world and protests against the government there are becoming increasingly violent. If this violence continues to escalate you will soon be paying a lot more for chocolate.
#9 The yield on 10-year Portuguese bonds has increased to 7.6%.
#10 The yield on 10-year Irish bonds has soared to 8.1%.
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#11 The yield on 10-year Greek bonds has skyrocketed to a whopping 12.8%.
#12 Moody’s Investors Service has reduced the rating of Greek government debt three levels all the way down to B1.
#13 According to the United Nations, the global price of food set another brand new record high during the month of February. That was the 8th month in a row that global food prices have gone up.
#14 According to the World Bank, global food prices have soared 29% over the last 12 months.
#15 The United Nations is projecting that the global price of food will increase by another 30 percent by the end of 2011.
#16 23 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage in the U.S. were in negative equity as of the end of 2010.
#17 In the state of Nevada, approximately 65 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.
#18 Two years ago, the average U.S. homeowner that was being foreclosed upon had not made a mortgage payment in 11 months. Today, the average U.S. homeowner that is being foreclosed upon has not made a mortgage payment in 17 months.
#19 Since 2005, the United States has shelled out 1.1 trillion dollars for products from China but China has only spent 272 billion dollars on products from the United States. This trade imbalance is causing the global financial system to become increasingly unstable.
#20 Collectively, the 50 U.S. state governments are facing a budget shortfall of 125 billion dollars for fiscal 2012.
#21 The U.S. government had a budget deficit of 233 billion dollars during the month of February, which was the largest federal budget deficit ever recorded for a single month.
We are living in the middle of the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world, and a major oil crisis could potentially be the needle that bursts it for good. But if the global debt bubble bursts it is going to be a financial disaster unlike anything we have ever seen before.
Let’s hope that things can hold together for the rest of 2011, but right now things look really shaky.
You might want to make sure that your assets are protected and that you are not overexposed because a lot of people are going to get wiped out if things take a turn for the worse.
The economic good times that so many of us have enjoyed for decades are not guaranteed to last forever. The world is changing and it is becoming increasingly unstable.
Nobody is quite sure what is going to happen next, but at this point just about anything is possible.
This article was posted: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at 10:04 am