What to Know About Greece’s Potential Eurozone Exit (or “Grexit”)
Is anything more gripping right now than wondering how close Germany will let Greece get to the precipice before a crisis is averted at the last second?
Greece’s six-year recession came to a quiet end at the start of 2014. Since then, its recovery has been anemic. In 2014, the country’s economy expanded by 0.7%. It might gain traction this .
Don’t be fooled by what you hear from the mainstream media and the politicians. The U.S. economy continues to struggle. In fact, looking at the economic data closely, it suggests we are headed for an outright slowdown.
U.S. Economy to Be Fine Without Consumer Spending?
Consumer spending makes up two-thirds of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) and right now, Americans are refusing to spend, as evidenced by meager consumption figures.
The possibility of capital controls coming to the U.S. is not as much of a stretch as you may think. Consider the precedents and don’t be caught off guard.
Capital controls are any measure taken by a government authority that limits the flow of foreign capital into and out of the domestic economy. In its ugliest forms, capital controls in the U.S. would restrict bank withdrawals and limit foreign currency .
Don’t buy into the false optimism. While the mainstream media and economists are convinced there’s prosperity, I am concerned the U.S. economy will enter a recession in late 2015 or early 2016.
The simple fact is that consumer spending is the biggest factor driving the U.S. economy, and it is presently experiencing its own recession.
Retail Sales Declining, Store Inventory Increasing
Wholesale sales in the U.S. economy are plummeting, while .
There are issues brewing in the stock market with interest rates fears and the strengthening greenback that could drive the S&P 500 lower by five percent or more.
When Will the Fed Increase Interest Rates?
First, we have the fears surrounding rising interest rates after the strong improvement in the unemployment rate to a pre-recession low of 5.5%. This is well below the target, previously set by former Federal Reserve .
The chart below shows us that between April and August of this year, home prices in the U.S. declined. The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index is only released 60 days after each month’s end, so while data for September and October are not yet available, based on what I’m about to tell you, five years after the Great Recession, the U.S. housing market is on shaky ground again.
According to .
On November 30, Switzerland’s citizens will cast a very critical vote.
Through a referendum, they will vote for or against the Swiss National Bank increasing its gold bullion reserves to 20%, the central bank halting the selling of gold, and the storing of gold bullion in the country. (Source: Kitco News, September 30, 2014.)
If the results are in favor of the referendum, it will mean Switzerland’s central bank will .
Consumer spending, which is so desperately needed, only increases when consumers are happy—when they are confident about their jobs, savings, investments, and overall wealth.
Right now in the U.S. economy, none of that is present. For consumer spending to increase, you need consumer confidence in the U.S. economy to increase. I don’t see it, even after multiple rounds of quantitative easing and the government adding a significant amount of debt. .
In a sense, the stock market continues to be held hostage by the continuing sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone and the “fiscal cliff” in the U.S. But investor sentiment changed before recent worries regarding these two issues, and corporate earnings growth is slowing. I think we’ll be very lucky to see any gross domestic product (GDP) growth next year from Western economies.
Wall Street still expects broad-based earnings growth .
China may be slowing, but the resource-hungry country is always on the hunt for resources to help fuel its industrial growth in the decades ahead. And if you believe the country and its objective to double its gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020 (read “China’s Golden Years Still to Come”), then you have to believe that reliable resources will be needed. This means internal exploration and the buying of foreign .
Immediate term outlook:
The bear market rally in stocks that started in March 2009, extended because of unprecedented central bank money printing, is coming to an end. Gold bullion is up $1,000 an ounce since we first recommended it in 2002 and we are still bullish on the physical metal.
Short-to-medium term outlook:
World economies are entering their slowest growth period since 2009. The Chinese economy grew last year at its slowest pace in 24 years. Japan is in recession. The eurozone is in depression. With almost half the S&P 500 companies deriving revenue outside the U.S., slower world economic growth will negatively impact revenue and earnings growth of American companies. Domestically, America’s gross domestic product grew by only a meager 2.3% in the second quarter, which will negatively impact an already overpriced equity market.
Estimates Aug. 30, 2015
Trailing 12-month EPS for Dow Jones companies (Most Recent Quarter)