TRENDS ON THE ECONOMIC AND MARKET FRONT
As we had long forecast when politicians locked down civilization to fight the COVID War, it would destroy the lives and livelihoods of billions across the globe.
The U.S. treasury borrowed another $1 trillion in this year’s third quarter, straining a bond market already reeling from a crash not seen in decades.
At the last meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s rate-setting Open Market Committee, a majority predicted the central bank would need to hike rates again when it meets at the end of this month.
The U.S. government’s $33-trillion debt is the result of “unsustainable” fiscal policies, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned, and is the “most worrying” among the world’s major economies, IMF research director Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas said in a 3 October press briefing.
Consumers’ pessimism about the economy has grown significantly this month, according to the University of Michigan’s monthly survey of consumer sentiment.
Consumer prices grew by 0.4 percent in September from August and 3.7 percent on the year, the U.S. Labor Department reported. Dow Jones had estimated 0.3 and 3.6 percent, respectively.
Consumers charged 11 percent less to their credit cards in September than they did in August, marking the fourth consecutive month of declining charges and the largest monthly drop this year, Citi reported.
Last week, the mortgage interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 7.57 percent, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac), up from 7.49 percent the week before.
Corporate bankruptcies are increasing, as we noted in “Corporate Bankruptcies Could Reach 13-Year High” (26 Sep 2023). Even more worrying, a larger number of very big businesses are going bust.
Although the U.S. economy added a startling 336,000 jobs last month, most of the gains were in just three sectors: government, health care, and leisure and hospitality, according to labor department figures.
Dick’s Sporting Goods and Macy’s are two of many major retailers hiring fewer seasonal workers this year, indicating a gloomy outlook for what traditionally is retailers’ make-or-break selling period.
TRENDS ON THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC FRONT
In this year’s third quarter, the proportion of office space standing vacant in San Francisco reached 20 percent, compared to 6.3 percent before the COVID War and the highest since 2003. New York City’s share of empty offices was 13.4 percent, also close to a 20-year record.
As we have continued to note with facts and figures, the three-year COVID War destroyed much of the world economy.
In recent times, the economic landscape has presented an array of challenges that have profoundly affected the business community.
Sustained high interest rates, the war in Ukraine, the unraveling of global trade networks, and now the new Mideast war have left the global economy “limping along, not sprinting,” the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in an overview at its annual meeting last week.
The price of benchmark Brent crude oil broke through $90 on 13 October as Israel prepared to launch an armed assault in Gaza and speculation grew that Iran might intervene on behalf of terrorist group Hamas.
Economic growth in both advanced and emerging economies has ground to its slowest pace since the COVID War, according to the Brookings-Financial Times Tracking Index for the Global Economic Recovery.
Higher interest rates lasting for a longer period around the world means a hard slog for the global economy, World Bank officials warned at the beginning of the bank’s annual meeting last week.
Inflation in the Eurozone is stuck at too high a level and wage growth is keeping upward pressure on prices, Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank (ECB), said in a speech last week at the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund in Morocco.
On 12 October, natural gas prices in Europe shot up to their highest since March as traders worried that the new Mideast war will sharpen global demand for fossil fuels. Also, Finland speculated that a leaking pipeline between it and Estonia had been sabotaged.
Luxury conglomerate LVMH reported sales grew 9 percent in this year’s third quarter, falling by almost half from the 17-percent gain in the second quarter.
Britain’s economic output grew 0.2 percent in August after contracting 0.6 percent in July, the Office of National Statistics reported. The increase matched the expectations of economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.
China exported 6.2 percent fewer goods in September than in August, notching the fifth consecutive month of declines, although the rate of decline slowed from 8.8 percent the month before. Imports also shrank by 6.2 percent, according to customs data reported by the Associated Press.
As we have noted since the Central Banksters started to rapidly raise interest rates, the decade’s long merger and acquisition spree is over. However, the “Bigs” will still get bigger, as they buy out overleveraged companies that can’t afford to borrow at high rates to refinance while, at the same time, recessionary pressures erode their profitability.
THE ISRAEL WAR
The Hamas attack on Israel earlier this month was condemned by Western countries, but many others saw the invasion as an act of revenge after many years of mistreatment and abuse by Israel.
Many Arab social media users had a different take on what the Western media and politicians described as a well-organized “surprise terror attack” by Hamas last week, and referred to it instead as a “prison break.”
A newly released poll out of Israel found the majority of Jewish Israelis say Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must resign at the end of the war in Gaza.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has condemned Israeli airstrikes in Syria as a “gross violation of the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic and the basic norms of international law.”
Major cities around the world clamped down on pro-Palestinian protests amid the latest uptick in violence in Israel and Gaza.
It has been a challenging few years between Democrats and Jewish voters in the U.S. given the rise of The Squad and other progressive members of Congress who tend to consider the plight of Palestinians more than their establishment peers.
Videos emerged on social media last week that showed Israeli forces using white phosphorus in their bombing campaign over Gaza.
News reports out of Gaza said those looking to flee the Israeli bombardment after last week’s Hamas attack learned quickly that there was nowhere to go and they were stuck there—hoping to find refuge inside the city’s main hospital or UN schools.
Shortly after Hamas carried out a major military attack on Israel, Western countries pinned blame on Iran, despite having no concrete evidence that Tehran was involved and early reports that Iranian leaders were just as surprised about the attack as Tel Aviv.
Russian President Vladimir Putin showcased how Russia’s relationship with Israel has taken a hit in recent years by not condemning the high-profile Hamas attack from last weekend and not picking up the phone to contact Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has been a major war hawk during the Ukraine War, uncharacteristically called for a ceasefire in the early hours after Hamas carried out a major offensive on multiple fronts across Israel that has jolted the region.
Janet Yellen, the U.S. Treasury secretary, told reporters that Washington’s top priority is to provide support for Ukraine and Israel and she believes there is “substantial bipartisan support” in Congress.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, the warmongering U.S. Republican, identified the Israel-Hamas war as a “religious war” and said he stands squarely behind Israel in its revenge attacks in Gaza.
Mark Levin, the Fox News host, said Israel may consider going nuclear during an interview on the cable channel saying that Israel could go nuclear if it finds itself on the losing end of a multi-front war with Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran.
UKRAINE WAR TREND UPDATE
Israel and Ukraine need not worry, the U.S. can help support two large-scale wars thousands of miles away, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said last week.
The U.S. announced last week that it will provide Ukraine with another $200 million in weapons as the war enters a new phase and countries begin to grow tired of the long war.
The failure of Ukrainian troops to win a decisive victory against Russia during its long-awaited counteroffensive has Western officials prepared to accept the reality that the war is a stalemate as Kyiv enters the winter months.
TRENDS IN THE MARKETS by Gregory Mannarino
Today in this twisted environment nothing is what it appears to be, question everything.
FEATURED TRENDS GUEST ARTICLE by Philip Giraldi
It’s amazing how America’s thought-controlled media is able to come up with a suitable narrative almost immediately whenever there is an international incident that might be subject to multiple interpretations.
FEATURED TRENDS GUEST ARTICLE by John & Nisha Whitehead
“Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great staffs, both of the old parties have ganged aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare they have become the tools of corrupt interests which use them in martialling [sic] to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.”—Theodore Roosevelt
FEATURED TRENDS GUEST ARTICLE by Dr. Joseph Mercola
Inflammation is your body’s built-in emergency response to assaults resulting in injury or infection. In the acute state, inflammation is an important and vitally necessary part of your body’s healing mechanism.
TRENDS IN TECHNOCRACY by Joe Doran
Body and Spirit might be in heaven one day. But your mind might continue to live on (in a hell or otherwise) on earth.
Something's gotta give. New EU regulations giving authorities unprecedented political control to decide what’s “misinformation” and “disinformation,” is now at loggerheads with several major American social media platforms.
TRENDS IN CRYPTOS
The crypto sector was pleasantly surprised this past week by an SEC decision not to challenge a court ruling regarding the creation of a possible spot bitcoin ETF (Electronically Traded Fund).
Yes, the latest Fed conspiracy surrounding Bitcoin is that the Chinese are using Bitcoin mining operations located in the U.S. to somehow glean intelligence.
TRENDS IN THE COVID WAR
Most Americans—even the ones who previously scrambled, or submitted out of pressure, to take a COVID jab—are now saying no to the shots.
TRENDS IN HI-TECH SCIENCE by Ben Daviss
Small groups of scientists around the world are pioneering a new field called "hybrid peptide-DNA nanostructures." The purpose: to create nano-scale life forms that can patrol your body to fight invading viruses and bacteria, diagnose illness, and deliver medicines.
After looking at chickens’ genome to see what makes them susceptible to avian flu, researchers at the University of Edinburgh have used the CRISPR gene editing technique to create chickens better able to resist the infection.
In March, California-based Universal Hydrogen announced a successful maiden flight of the world’s largest airplane powered by a fuel cell burning hydrogen. In late September, the company began a series of test and demonstration flights to show that hydrogen can be a viable aviation fuel for regional cargo and passenger transport.
TRENDS IN AI
Last year, scientists in Australia grew a colony of 800,000 human brain cells on a computer chip. It took the cluster of cells five minutes to learn to play the old video game Pong.
OpenAI, the company that created ChatGPT and started the current AI revolution, is mulling a plan to make its own chips, people familiar told Reuters.
Amazon has committed to invest up to $4 billion in Anthropic, an AI startup founded by siblings who formerly worked for OpenAI in the development of ChatGPT.
Hackers are combining AI with encryption tools to make cyberattacks even more stealthy as well as more devastating, Tom Burt, Microsoft’s vice-president for security, told The Wall Street Journal.
Today’s AIs can suggest books, movies, podcasts, and television shows to suit your tastes—but not the way Bill Gates’s new “Pix” chatbot will.