Oh, I am not suppose to say that because this is a crisis of confidence.
No it isn't. It is the chickens coming home to either roost or peck eyeballs out. Houston and Texas may seem a safe haven now but next year the energy companies will be taxed hard to fund government.
Special Midyear Update The Great American Nightmare: What Washington Won't Tell You About This Unfolding Financial Debacle
Martin Weiss: This is the first stage of the dangerous bear market we've been warning you about. And just as we've warned, the market is being driven down by the single most important sector: Financial companies, the heartbeat of our economy.
Nearly every major bank, brokerage and lender you can name is up to its eyeballs in leveraged investments whose value is going up in smoke. They're borrowing hundreds of billions from the Fed. They're raising billions more from investors, diluting their shares. They're selling massive amounts of assets — scrambling any way they can to raise cash to survive.
Merrill Lynch, America's largest brokerage firm, has lost more than two thirds of its stock value. Citigroup, once America's largest bank by market cap, has lost even more. Washington Mutual has given up nine tenths of its value. On average, even including the strongest of the banks, half of the wealth of bank shareholders has been wiped out.
This is the first stage of the deep recession we've been warning you about. Banks have no choice but to deny loans to all but the most highly qualified borrowers; and as a result, corporations and consumers have no choice but to cut back on their spending.
Consumer confidence is the worst since 1980. Mortgage default rates are the worst since the 1970s. Even the government's highly suspect official numbers show that the growth of the U.S. economy is grinding to a halt.
This is also bringing the runaway inflation we've been warning you about, with oil and energy leading the way. This time, unlike the 1970s when we had artificial energy shortages created by OPEC or by Iran, the planet is confronting chronic, long-term energy shortages.
But at each step of the way, what truly angers me is that our government leaders — the very people we elect to protect our interests — continually minimize, downplay and sugarcoat this crisis.