Weekly Market Update by Retirement Lifestyle Advocates

          As the year 2022 comes to a close, and we look forward to next year, it is difficult to move ahead, anticipating a better year economically speaking.

          That might seem too negative since the year 2022 wasn’t great economically.  This past year saw negative economic growth in the first two quarters of the year, raging inflation, and now, as the year draws to a close, the evidence suggests that the economy is deteriorating despite the claims of some politicians to the contrary.

          We have been discussing the economy and investing markets in this publication each week all year, and some of what will be discussed this week is a review of past discussions.  However, this past week, Michael Snyder wrote a well-sourced piece documenting the strength of the economy as we move into 2023.

          Here is a bit from the piece (Source:  http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/15-facts-that-prove-that-a-massive-economic-meltdown-is-already-happening-right-now/):

Economic conditions just keep getting worse. As we prepare to enter 2023, we find ourselves in a high inflation environment at the same time that economic activity is really slowing down. And just like we witnessed in 2008, employers are conducting mass layoffs as a horrifying housing crash sweeps across the nation. Those that have been waiting for the U.S. economy to implode can stop waiting because an economic implosion has officially arrived. The following are 15 facts that prove that a massive economic meltdown is already happening right now…

#1 Existing home sales have now fallen for 10 consecutive months.

#2 Existing home sales are down 35.4 percent over the last 12 months. That is the largest year-over-year decline in existing home sales since the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

#3 Homebuilder sentiment has now dropped for 12 consecutive months.

#4 Home construction costs have risen more than 30 percent since the beginning of 2022.

#5 The number of single-family housing unit permits has fallen for nine months in a row.

#6 The Empire State Manufacturing Index has plunged “to a reading of negative 11.2 in December”. That figure was way, way below expectations.

#7 In November, we witnessed the largest decline in retail sales that we have seen all year long.

#8 Even the biggest names on Wall Street are starting to let workers go. In fact, it is being reported that Goldman Sachs will soon lay off approximately 4,000 employees.

#9 The Federal Reserve is admitting that the number of actual jobs in the United States has been overstated by over a million.

#10 U.S. job cuts were 417 percent higher in November than they were during the same month a year ago.

#11 A recent Wall Street Journal survey found that approximately two-thirds of all Americans expect the economy to get even worse next year.

#12 A newly released Bloomberg survey has discovered that 70 percent of U.S. economists believe that a recession is coming in 2023.

#13 Inflation continues to spiral wildly out of control. At this point, a head of lettuce now costs 11 dollars at one grocery store in California.

#14 Overall, vegetable prices in the United States are more than 80 percent higher than they were at this same time last year.

#15 Thanks to the rapidly rising cost of living, 63 percent of the U.S. population is now living paycheck to paycheck.

In a desperate attempt to get inflation under control, the Federal Reserve has been dramatically increasing interest rates.

Those interest rate hikes are what have caused the housing market to crash, but Fed officials insist that such short-term pain is necessary in order to tame inflation.

          If you’d like to learn more details, visit www.RetirementLifestyleAdvocates.com and view the 12/26/2022 “Headline Roundup” webinar, where I go into detail on each of these 15 points.

          As I have discussed frequently in the past in this publication and on the “Headline Roundup” webinars, inflation cannot be brought under control until the Washington politicians balance the budget.

          Rather than taking inflation and the budget deficit seriously, the Washington politicians recently rammed through a 4,000+ page piece of legislation that will set the country back $1.7 trillion.

          True to form, given the time frame between the introduction of the bill and its passage and the sheer volume of the bill, there is not one politician that voted for the bill that could have read it.

          As I noted last week, the politicians are not only wildly spending on a deficit basis, but they are also fabricating the reported deficit numbers.  Last week, in “Portfolio Watch”, I shared an excerpt from a piece written by Egon von Greyerz, who noted that as the reported deficit was $1.4 trillion, the national debt increased by $2.5 trillion. 

          It must terribly frustrate Washington politicians that there are still citizens that can actually do math.  Sigh, it’s probably only a matter of time before the reported debt numbers are also manipulated to make them seem more favorable.

          I liken this to the decades-old metaphor of re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.  It might seem more comfortable for a brief period, but the ship is still going to sink.

          Michael Snyder, in the piece referenced above, comments:

This week, an abominable 1.7 trillion dollar omnibus spending bill is being rammed through Congress, but not a single member of Congress has read it.

The bill is 4,155 pages long, and U.S. Senator Rand Paul just held a press briefing during which he wheeled it out on a trolley…

After the grossly bloated $1.7 trillion Omnibus spending bill advanced in the Senate by a vote of 70-25, GOP Senator Rand Paul held a press briefing during which he wheeled in the “abomination” on a trolley and demanded to know how anyone would be able to read it before the end of the week.

Paul, along with the only other dissenting Senate Republicans Mike Braun, Ron Johnson, Mike Lee, and Rick Scott highlighted how ludicrous the fast tracking of the bill has been.

Unfortunately, this absurd spending bill has broad support on both sides of the aisle, and that just shows how broken Washington has become.

Our system of government has failed time after time, and our politicians continue to spend money on some of the most ridiculous things imaginable.

The following examples that were pulled out of the 1.7 trillion dollar omnibus spending bill were discovered by the Heritage Foundation

-$1.2 million for “LGBTQIA+ Pride Centers”
-$1.2 million for “services for DACA recipients” (aka helping illegal aliens with taxpayer funds) at San Diego Community College.
-$477k for the Equity Institute in RI to indoctrinate teachers with “antiracism virtual labs.”
-$1 million for Zora’s House in Ohio, a “coworking and community space” for “women and gender-expansive people of color.”
-$3 million for the American LGBTQ+ Museum in New York City.
-$3.6 million for a Michelle Obama Trail in Georgia.
-$750k for the for “LGBT and Gender Non-Conforming housing” in Albany, New York.
-$856k for the “LGBT Center” in New York.

And have you noticed that our politicians often prefer to push these types of bills through just before major holidays when hardly anyone is paying attention?

            Ironically, the bill that established the Federal Reserve in 1913 was jammed through congress and signed into law just before the Christmas holiday as well.

          Because of the actions of the politicians and the Fed, it’s my firm belief that severe deflation and economic pain lie ahead.

          Make sure you educate yourself and take action to protect yourself.

 


The radio program and podcast this week features an interview with the host of the “Mid-week Reality Check” podcast and frequent television commentator, Michael Pento. You can listen to the show now by clicking on the "Podcast" tab at the top of this page.

 

“In politics, absurdity is not a handicap.”

                                                -Napoleon Bonaparte

 

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