Just Wait Until You See What Happens When They Realize What Is Really Happening To The Economy…

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If stock prices are going to start plunging just because inflation is running a little bit hotter than expected, what is going to happen once the market finally realizes that the entire economy is literally starting to come apart at the seams?  Consumer delinquency rates are spiking, the commercial real estate crisis is rapidly picking up steam, banks from coast to coast are in deep financial trouble, large corporations all over America are conducting mass layoffs, and homelessness has been rising at the fastest pace ever recorded.  But if you ignore all of those little details, you can be just like Joe Biden and pretend that everything is just fine.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 524 points.  It was the largest one day loss since March 2023

U.S. stocks tumbled in a broad sell-off after a hotter-than-expected inflation report may jeopardize the Federal Reserve’s plan to cut interest rates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 524 points or 1.3%, trimming a deficit of over 700 points reached during the session. It is the worst trading day in 11 months.

The benchmark has erased almost half its gains for 2024 with the 10-year Treasury yield hitting 4.3%.

So why did this happen?

Well, we are being told that stock prices fell because the inflation numbers that were just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics were a bit disappointing

The latest Consumer Price Index revealed that prices rose by 3.1% for the 12 months ended in January, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Tuesday. On a monthly basis, CPI rose by 0.3% last month.

Both measures came in hotter than expected: Economists expected inflation to ease to 0.2% from December and slow to 2.9% annually, according to FactSet.

Honestly, I don’t know why anyone gives those numbers any credibility anyway.

Over the decades, the formula that is used to calculate the consumer price index has literally been changed dozens of times.

If inflation was still calculated the way that it was back in 1980, we would still be in double digit territory right now.

Meanwhile, we continue to get more signs that economic activity has reached a major turning point.

During the final three months of last year, Hasbro managed to lose more than a billion dollars

For the last three months of 2023, Hasbro lost $1.06 billion, or $7.64 per share, drastically wider than losses of $128.9 million, or 93 cents, a year earlier. After major adjustments related to goodwill and intangible assets, the company reported adjusted earnings per share of 38 cents, still well below analysts’ estimates.

For the full year 2023, revenue declined 15% to $1.29 billion, including double-digit sales drops in its consumer products and entertainment segments.

I know that times are tough, but I have no idea how a company like Hasbro can possibly lose more than a billion dollars in just three months.

We are talking about a level of incompetence that is absolutely staggering.

Do they have Joe Biden running the company?

Because I don’t know how else to explain it.

Hasbro says that it plans to reduce costs by 750 million dollars by the end of next year, and that means that more mass layoffs are coming

The company now expects to cut $750 million in costs by the end of 2025, up from a previous target of $350 million to $400 million.

In December, the toymaker laid off 1,100 employees after it had already cut 15% of its workforce earlier in the year.

Of course lots of other big names are laying off large numbers of workers as well.

In fact, I was quite surprised to learn that Paramount has decided that it is time for hundreds of their employees to hit the bricks

Paramount Global is laying off hundreds of employees, just one day after the company announced CBS had record Super Bowl viewership, Chief Executive Officer Bob Bakish said Tuesday in an internal memo to employees.

Paramount will lay off about 800 people, or an estimated 3% of its workforce, according to a person familiar with the matter. Paramount Global ended 2022 with about 24,500 full-time and part-time employees.

The days when it was easy to find a decent job are gone.

Right now, corporate executives are discussing layoffs during earnings calls at a higher rate than we have ever seen before

US companies are discussing cost control (i.e., layoffs) on earnings calls at a record rate, amid a push to reallocate funds and invest in new technologies, according to an analysis by Morgan Stanley strategists.

Transcript mentions of “operational efficiency” are at highest ever in the US during this earnings season as companies focus on expense discipline, but also invest in technologies “that can drive future productivity like AI,” a team led by Michael Wilson wrote in a note.

If you have a good job that you value, hold on to it as tightly as you can.

Because things are about to get really crazy out there.

So much of what we are witnessing at this moment reminds me of 2008.

Earlier this week, I was stunned to learn that a very large commercial building in Ohio just sold for 9 dollars a square foot

A 262k sq ft building in Ohio has just sold for $2.4 million, or $9 per sq ft

Yes that’s not a typo – it literally sold for $9 per sq ft

It was the former site of FedEx Custom Critical in Green, Ohio

The commercial real estate ‘correction’ has gone from concerning to an outright apocalypse, primarily impacting office properties in most cities across the US

It is crazy how far commercial real estate prices have already fallen.

And the lower they go, the more financial pressure there is going to be on our banks.

In a desperate attempt to stay afloat, banks have been shedding workers and closing branches at a frightening pace

American banks are continuing to close costly branches this year, notifying their regulator of a total of 36 closures in a single week.

At the head of the pack was US Bank, which between January 28 and February 3 told its regulator it would close 23 branches across the country – seven are in Oregon.

It was followed by Wells Fargo, which reported to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) it would shut five. Two were in California but the rest were scattered across the US.

Oh, but don’t worry.

Everything is fine.

Joe Biden is in control, and he is going to lead us into a new golden age of peace and prosperity.

Of course if you actually believe that nonsense there is a bridge in California that I would like to sell you.

The truth is that the economic difficulties that we have been through so far are not even worth comparing to the tremendous chaos that is ahead.

This crisis has been percolating for a number of years, and now we have finally reached a boiling point.

Michael’s new book entitled “Chaos” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com, and you can check out his new Substack newsletter right here.

 

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