Listen to my 12 minute interview last week on the ‘Loud and Clear’ radio show on how Trump’s Budget + Tax Cuts will lead to rising bond rates that will precipitate a stock market contraction and in turn a credit crunch and recession in 2019.

Go to: https://www.spreaker.com/user/radiosputnik/trump-s-proposal-cuts-social-programs-fo


Listen to my Feb. 23 Alternative Visions radio show discussion of growing warnings by capitalists and their best economic research sources about the growing debt levels and potential for the next recession next year. My explanation that debt levels alone are not the problem, but the relationships between debt, income, price, and terms and conditions for debt servicing are together the key causal variables (as explained in detail in my 2016 book, ‘Systemic Fragility in the Global Economy’, Clarity Press).

To listen to the show, GO TO:


Or go to:



“While the mainstream economists and business sources trumpet US and global growth underway, warnings about accelerating debt and recession from capitalist and more independent research sources are emerging as well. Dr. Rasmus reviews statements by Ray Dalio, CEO of the world’s biggest hedge fund, warning a 70% chance of recession, and by the OEDC researchers that government debt alone has risen $20 trillion more since 2008 just for OECD advanced economies (Another $20 for China and other emerging market economies). Rasmus adds rising net totals for household debt and even more for business debt mean debt levels today are worse than in 2008. What matters, however, is the ratio of income(and therefore prices for assets, goods, and labor wages) to debt, Rasmus explains—as detailed in his 2016 book, ‘Systemic Fragility in the Global Economy’. The show follows up on prior show topics of Trump tax cuts, war spending, the coming $1 trillion a year in US deficits (and debt), growing assets controlled by shadow banks (private equity, hedge funds, etc.), the now escalating interest rates by the Federal Reserve US central bank, and the intensifying attacks on public employee unions in pending US Supreme Court decisions next week. Rasmus forewarns his prediction in recent articles (see his blog, jackrasmus.com) that Fed rate hikes this year will precipitate a recession in early 2019.”

Listen to my analysis of why the Trump tax cuts, war spending, and rising deficits and debt will push the central bank, the Fed, to raise rates four times this year–and how that will precipitate the next recession in 2019. (In the first half of the radio show, the media hype that wages are rising is also debunked).

Listen to my Alternative Visions radio show on the Progressive Radio Network of friday, February 16, 2018.



Or access the podcast at:



Alternative Visions – The Rising Wages Myth + Trump’s Recession 2019? – 02.16.18

Feb 16th, 2018 by progressiveradionetwork

Dr. Rasmus debunks the media hype about wages now rising, showing how in fact real weekly earnings for non-management workers (both full and part time) over the past year amounts to only 6 cents to 8 cents per hour, based even on government Dept. of Labor data. And the trend is downward, as wage(hourly wage x hours worked) earnings change have been zero or negative for five of the last six months. Wages are flat or declining, not rising. In the second half of the hour, Rasmus predicts a Trump Recession will occur in 2019, as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates four times in 2018. The rate hikes are not due to rising wages and inflation, but are necessary to finance the more than $1 trillion a year deficits annually that are now coming. The deficits and debt in turn are due to Trump’s $5 trillion tax cuts for corporations, businesses, and investors, the acceleration war spending, continued price gouging by health insurance companies and drug companies for Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, program costs, and now the rising interest on the debt the Fed will be paying. The deficits and debt servicing are causing the Fed to raise rates. Rasmus reiterates his prediction that Fed rates cannot rise another full percentage, and US 10 yr. Treasury bond rates cannot exceed 3.5%–without precipitating another general credit crunch (as in 2007) that will set off the next recession. (for a print article explanation of the analysis, go to the blog, jackrasmus.com, or the article posted here on PRN website as well).

Jack Rasmus
Copyright 2018

“Lies and misrepresentation of facts have become the hallmark of American politics in recent years more than ever before. Not just lies of commission by Trump and his crew, but lies of omission by the mainstream media as well.

In Trump’s recent package of tax cuts for corporations, investors and millionaires, the lie is that the total cuts amount to $1.5 trillion—when the actual amount is more than $5 trillion and likely even higher. And in his most recent announcement of budget deficits the amounts admitted are barely half of the actual deficits—and consequent rise in US national debt—that will occur. Even his $1.5 trillion so-called infrastructure spending plan, that Trump promised during his 2016 election campaign, and then throughout 2017, amounts to only $200 billion. The lies and exaggerations are astounding.

The mainstream media, much of it aligned against Trump, has proven no accurate in revealing the Trump lies and misrepresentations: They echo Trumps $1.5 trillion total tax cut number and provide no real analysis of the true total of the cuts; they low-ball the true impact of Trump’s budget on US annual budget deficits and the national debt; and they fail to expose the actual corporate subsidy nature of Trump’s ‘smoke and mirrors’ infrastructure plan.

Trump’s multi-trillion dollar tax cuts for business, investors and the wealthiest 1%, plus his annual trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, plus his phony real estate industry handouts that parade as infrastructure spending together will lead the US economy into recession, most likely in early 2019. Here’s the scenario:

The massive deficits will require the central bank, the Federal Reserve, to raise short term interest rates. What’s called the benchmark federal funds interest rate will rise above 2% (currently 1.5%). The longer term 10 year US Treasury bond rate will rise to 3.5% or more. Those rates have already been rising—and their rise already provoking stock and bond market corrections in recent weeks which should be viewed as ‘dress rehearsals’ of more serious financial asset market retreats and contractions yet to come.

As this writer has argued repeatedly in recent publications, both the US real economy and financial markets (stocks, junk bonds, derivatives, etc.) are ‘fragile’ and increasingly susceptible to a significant downturn. In 2007-08 central bank interest rates rose to 5% and that precipitated a crash in subprime mortgage bonds and derivatives that set off the contraction in the economy. With the US economy not fundamentally having recovered from 2008-09 still to this day, and with household and corporate debt well above levels of 2008, it will take less of a rise in interest rates to provoke another similar reaction.

The US real economy is already weak. GDP numbers don’t reflect this accurately. Important sectors like autos and housing are softening or even stalling already. Consumption will falter. Consumers have loaded up on household debt. At $13.8 trillion, levels are equal or greater than 2007. They have also been depleting their savings to finance consumption in 2017-18. And despite all the recent media hoopla, there’s been no real wage gains occurring for 80% of the workforce in the US. Moreover, renewed inflation now occurring will reduce households’ disposable income and buying power even more this year. Rising taxes for tens of millions of households in 2018-19 will also negatively impact consumption spending. Don’t expect consumption to rise in 2018 as interest rates, taxes, and prices do. Just the opposite. Consumption makes up 70% of the US economy and it is now nearly exhausted. It will stagnate at best, and even retreat steadily beginning in the second half 2018.

Like the real economy, the US financial markets are fragile as well. They are in bubble territory and investors are getting increasingly edgy and looking for excuses to sell—i.e. take their super capital gains of recent years and run to the sidelines. A rise in rates much above the 2% and 3.5% noted will provoke a significant credit contraction (or even freeze). Money capital (liquidity) will dry up for non-bank companies, investment and production will be scaled back, layoffs will rise rapidly, and consumption will collapse—together bringing the economy down. It’s a classic scenario the forces behind which have been steadily building. And it won’t take too much more to provoke the next recession—likely in early 2019. The Federal Reserve’s plans to hike rates four more times this year will almost certainly set the scenario in motion.

Trump’s $5 Trillion Business-Investor Tax Cuts

Trump & Congress—with the mainstream media in train—say the Tax Cut Act just passed amounts to $1.5 trillion. But that’s not the true total value of the business tax cuts. That’s what they claim is the deficit impact of the tax cuts. (But even that deficit impact is grossly underestimated, as will be shown shortly).

Here’s the true value of the business-investor tax cuts:

1. $1.5 trillion cut due solely to reducing the corporate nominal tax rate from 35% to 21%.

2. Another $.3 trillion for the new 20% tax deduction for non-corporate businesses (lowering their effective tax rate from 37% to 29.6%).

3. $.3 trillion more for ending the business mandate for the Affordable Care Act

4. Still another, at minimum, $.5 trillion for a combined accelerated business depreciation writeoffs (a form of tax cuts for writing off all equipment added by business in the year purchased instead of amortized over several years); plus repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax for Corporations: and a roughly halving of the AMT for individuals. But that’s not all.

5. The wealthiest 1% households, virtually all investor class, get their nominal individual income tax rate reduced from 39.6% to 37%. Moreover, the 39.6% did not kick in until an income level of $426,000 was reached. Now the threshold for the even lower 37% does not start until $600,000 income is reached. All that amounts to at least another $.5 trillion in tax cuts.

That’s a total of $3 trillion so far in tax cuts in the Trump Plan. But the further, really big tax cuts come for US Multinational Corporations. Their ‘take’ will be another $2 trillion in tax reduction over the next decade.

The Multinationals have hoarded between $2-$2.7 trillion in cash offshore in order to avoid paying taxes on their earnings. But that $2 trillion is a gross underestimation. First of all, it’s a figure for only the 500 largest US multinationals. What about the hundreds of thousands of other US corporations that also have foreign subsidiaries in which they park their cash to avoid taxes? And what about the unreported cash and assets they’re hoarding in offshore tax havens in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Vanuatu and elsewhere? That too is not part of the $2.-$2.7 trillion. Another reason to doubt the $2 trillion is accurate is that they already had $2 trillion stuffed away offshore back in 2011-12. According to the business periodical, Financial Times, the largest US corporations by January 2012 “are collectively sitting on an estimated $2,000bn of cash”. Does anyone believe they stopped diverting profits and cash offshore after 2011-12 for the past five years?

If one conservatively estimates there’s $4 trillion in cash stuffed offshore to avoid taxes (accumulating since 1997 when Bill Clinton conveniently allowed them to begin doing so), the new Trump tax act allows them to pay a tax of only 10% on average if they ‘repatriate’ (bring back) that cash. If they paid the prior 35% tax rate, it would cost them $1.4 trillion in 2018-19, the first year of the Trump tax. But estimates of this provision in the Trump bill show they plan to pay only $339 billion. So they will be saving approximately $1.061 trillion in the first year alone. Thereafter for the next nine years they pay only 8% to 15.5%, instead of the 35%. That amounts to at minimum another $1 trillion in tax savings for multinational US corporations under the Trump tax.

6. In short, US multinational corporations will get a tax reduction of at least $2 trillion

The Trump tax cuts for businesses and investors thus total $5 trillion over the next decade!

So how do Trump, Congress, and the media get to only $1.5 trillion? Here’s how they do it:

They raise taxes on the middle class by $2 trillion in the Trump tax plan. That leaves the $5 trillion in business-investor cuts, minus the $2 trillion in middle class tax hikes, for a net $3 trillion in cuts. But they admit to only $1.5 trillion in net tax cuts. So where’s the difference of the other $1.5 trillion? That difference is assumed to be ‘made up’ (offset) by the US economy growing at a GDP rate of 3-3.5% (or more) for the next ten years—i.e. more than 3% for every year for ten more years without exception!

That 3-4% annual overestimated economic (GDP) growth for the US economy is based on ridiculous assumptions: that slowing long term trends in US productivity and labor force growth will someone immediately reverse and accelerate; that the US will now grow at double the annual rate it did the previous decade; and that there’ll be no recession for another decade when the historical record shows the typical growth period following recession is 7-9 years and the US economy is already in its 8th year since the last recession. (If there’s a recession, then the annual GDP growth for nine years will have to average close to 5% a year—a figure never before ever attained!).

It’s all Trump ‘smoke and mirrors’, lies and gross misrepresentations. But no matter, for its really all about accelerating the subsidization of corporations and capital incomes for the wealthiest 1% by means of fiscal policy now that the central bank’s 9 years of subsidization of capital incomes by monetary policy (i.e. near zero rates, QE, etc.) is coming to an end.

Trillion $Dollar US Deficits for Years to Come

The US budget deficit consequences of the Trump tax cuts are therefore massive. Instead of averaging $150 billion a year on average (the $1.5 trillion) the effect will be three to four times that, or around $300 to $400 billion a year!

On top of that there’s Trump’s latest US budget, which projects another $300 billion for the next two years alone. With the majority of that total $150 billion a year caused by escalation of the Defense-War budget as the US builds up its tactical nuclear, naval and air forces in anticipation of more aggressive US moves in Asia. Last year’s budget deficit was $660 billion. The Congressional Budget Office estimates deficits of $918 billion by 2019. Independent estimates by Chase bank put it at $1.2 trillion. And that’s just the early years and assuming there’s no recession, which will balloon deficits by hundreds of billions more in reduced tax revenues due to a contracting US economy.

Independent projections are for US deficits to add $7.1 trillion over the next decade. But that’s an underestimate that assumes not only no recession, but also that defense-war spending will not rise beyond current projection increases, and that government costs for covering price gouging by the healthcare and prescription drug industries (for Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP, government employees) will somehow not also continue to accelerate. The likely true hit to US deficits—and therefore the US national debt—will well exceed $12 trillion! The US could easily see consecutive annual budget deficits of $1.5 trillion. That will mean a US debt total rising from current $20 trillion to $32 trillion (or more) over the coming decade.

From Tax Cuts, Deficits & Debt to the Next Recession

How does this potentially translate into recession? Here’s a very likely scenario:

The US central bank, the Fed, has already begun raising interest rates. That has already begun slowing key industries like auto and housing. It will soon impact consumers in general, who are near-maxed out with credit card, auto, student loan, and mortgage debt, and facing further accelerating inflation in rents, healthcare costs, transport, state and local taxation, and prices for imported goods.

The massive deficits will require the central bank to raise interest rates perhaps even faster and higher than before. Slowing foreigners’ purchases of US government bonds to pay for the accelerating debt, may require the Fed to raise rates still further. It’s 2007-08 all over again!

Rising Fed interest rates and inflation will also continue to depress bond prices. That has already begun, and to spill over to stock prices as the major contraction in stock prices in February 2018 has revealed. Both bond and stock prices are headed for further decline.

Should stock market prices correct a second time this year, this time by 20% or more, the contagion effects across markets will result in a general credit crunch for non-financial corporations and businesses. US corporate debt has risen even more than US household or government debt since 2009. The corporate junk bond markets will experience a crisis, as US Zombie companies (i.e. those in deep debt, an estimated 12% to 37% of all US corporations, depending on the source) cannot get new financing and begin to go bankrupt.

These stock and bond market effects, and emerging Zombie company defaults, will result in a general investment pullback by non-financial corporations. That will mean production cuts that result in layoffs and further wage stagnation and slowing consumption spending. The next recession will have begun.

The Central Bank (FED) Will Precipitate the Next Recession—As It Did in 2007

This scenario is all the more likely if the general argument that the US economy is both financial and non-financially weak and fragile is accurate. The weakness in the real economy and fragility in the financial markets mean that Fed interest rate hikes cannot exceed 2.0%, and longer term rates (10 year Treasury bonds) cannot exceed 3.5%, before the system ‘cracks’ once again and descends into recession. With the Fed rates at 1.5% and approaching 2% and the Treasury at 3% and approaching 3.5%, the US economy today is well on its way to approaching its limits.

Just as it was interest rates peaking in 2007 that precipitated (not caused) the crash in (subprime) mortgage bonds, that then spilled over through financial derivatives to the rest of the credit system—today the bond markets may once again be signaling the ‘beginning of the end’ of the current cycle. The new contagious derivatives may not be mortgage based bonds and CDO and CDS financial derivatives, as in 2008; the new financial contagion will be driven by the new financial derivatives—i.e. Exchange Traded Funds(ETFs), and related ETNs and ETPs—with their effects amplified by Quant hedge funds’ automated algorithm-based trading.

In summary, Trump tax cuts and Trump’s budget will exacerbate US budget deficits and debt and cause the central bank to raise interest rates even faster and higher. Those rate hikes cannot be sustained. They will lead to another credit crisis—this time even sooner than they did in 2007 given the even weaker US economy and more fragile financial markets. The next recession may be sooner than many think.

Dr. Jack Rasmus

Dr. Rasmus is author of the recently published books, ‘Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression’, Clarity Press, August 2017, and ‘Systemic Fragility in the Global Economy, Clarity, 2016. His forthcoming book later in 2018 is ‘Taxes, War & Austerity: Neoliberal Policy from Reagan to Trump’, Clarity Press. He blogs at jackrasmus.com and tweets at @drjackrasmus

Listen to my analysis of this past week’s record fall in US and Global Stock prices. What set off the fall? Longer term causes? What’s next.

Go To:


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“Dr. Rasmus delves deeper into this past week’s US and global stock crash. Is it another 2008? Or more like the dotcom tech bust of 2000? Rasmus argues the current decline has characteristics of both 2000 and 2008 and may be therefore even more significant. How tech stock speculation drove 2000 and how property based financial speculation-engineering in derivatives drove 2008. Rasmus explains the role of the new derivatives: ETFs/ETNs/ETPs (the new subprime mortgages-CDO-CDS), and how new developments in recent years of passive index stock buying, momentum trading, and ‘Quant’ hedge fund automated algorithm selling is the new dangerous combination. Rasmus then discusses the three level of causation behind the stock bubble and now bust: precipitating causes during last week; medium term enabling causes of Trump tax cuts, stock buyback and dividend payouts, return of massive stock margin buying, and more fundamental causes of central bank policies, corporate debt financing, and the longer term relative shift to financial asset investing globally. Rasmus warns to beware of continued derivatives volatile trading tied to stocks (ETFs, Risk Parity, Vix options), Emerging Markets’ currency and capital flight, China currency devaluation, and highly leveraged US junk bond dependent ‘zombie’ companies, now 37% of all US corps. (Next week: Is there really a recovery of wages in the US? And maybe more on finance markets).”

Today the US stock market plummeted another 1,000 points. As this writer forewarned after last monday’s 1175 pt. fall, the recovery would be a classic ‘dead cat bounce’. Well, the cat bounced the past two days–just not very high or for very long. And now it’s flopped again. The Question: will it roll over on its back, legs up? Or get up and run around a little more, before flopping again? Make no mistake, the cat is tired and can no longer jump. It may not even be able to get back up on its feet.

Investors’ psychology will now have changed. Now it’s clear, the financial markets’ last weekend collapse was not a ‘one off’ event. This realization will have a big effect going forward. It’s all a different level now. And all the talk by pundits this week trying to pump the market back up, i.e. go ‘buy on the dip’, now look quite stupid and self-serving. Should investors now ‘buy on every dip’ as each dip goes down further and further? It’s a 10% correction in less than a week, well on the way to 20% (and who knows how much more).

In the intervening days since last weekend, reports also began to emerge (somewhat) that the markets were responding to problems with the new derivatives–i.e. Exchange Traded Funds/Products (ETF-Ps)–that were being dumped automatically by what are called ‘quant sellers’ (aka professional investors) in big volumes. This automated selling was responsible for the big movements in price. But all this was quickly hushed up in the mainstream business media.

Last Monday’s collapse was also followed by China currency (Yuan) beginning to fall precipitously. Clearly, China investors are dumping Yuan, buying foreign currencies, and trying to get out in anticipation of more financial instability in China. Capital flight from China is ‘on again’. This could lead to competitive currency devaluations throughout Asia economies. (Shades of 1998’s Currency Crisis!).

And what about other Emerging Market economies? They are extremely fragile and capital flight will almost certain emerge there again, once the US Fed raises rates in March, as it has promised to do. (The Fed also promised to raise rates three more times this year. As I have predicted, however, if the stock markets keep falling, that will not happen, as it will almost certain result in a global credit crunch.) For eight years the Fed has propped up the stock markets with free money; it won’t abandon that fundamental policy at this point. It only backed off temporarily because of fiscal-tax cuts in the trillions taking up its (Fed’s) prior role of subsidizing capital incomes.

And what about Europe (and the even weaker UK) with its $2 trillion in non-performing bank loans? Watch out Italy.

And then there’s the junk bond markets in the US, where some estimates are that nearly a fifth of junk bond borrowing companies are ‘zombies’. They’ve been put on life support by borrowing to repay interest and principal on past debt, laying ever more debt on debt. At some point defaults will appear as the free money from the Fed lowers the liquidity level and the rocks appear in the junk bond market.

The downward momentum in US stock prices will also be fueled in the next stage by the massive buildup in margin buying of US stocks that has been occurring since 2014, and the even more rapid rise in margin buying since Trump took office. Debt balances on margin accounts has risen from an annual average of less than $10 billion a year from 2009 to 2013, to $200 to $300 billion a year the last four years. That’s the greatest margin buying bubble since 1980. Margin buyers will prove desperate stock sellers, driving stock prices even lower in coming weeks, entering yet another new phase.

Listen to my weekly radio show tomorrow, friday, February 9, 2pm eastern time, on the Progressive Radio Network in NY, when I’ll be discussing these events (and tomorrow’s) further. Go online to: http://prn.fm/?s=Alternative+Visions
Or listen to the podcast posted at the same location after).

by Dr. Jack Rasmus
Copyright 2018

“Today, February 5, 2018 the main US stock market, the DOW, fell another 1,175 points, the largest drop in its history. That followed a major decline of 665 points the preceding Friday. The total two day decline amounts to 7.5%. The other major US stock markets, the Nasdaq and S&P 500 also registered significant declines of similar percentages. Markets in Japan and Europe followed suit over the weekend in response to Friday’s US drop; and are expected to fall comparably to the US when they open for Tuesday, February 6. What’s going on? More important still, what will go on—in the next few days and in the weeks to come?

The business press and media trotted out all the experts today. The ‘spin’ and message was “don’t panic” folks. This is to be expected, they say, given the bubble price run-up through 2017, and especially since last November 2017, after which the bubble accelerated still faster. In the month of January alone, the DOW rose nearly 7%. That’s considered a good ‘year’s gain’ in ordinary times. Yet mainstream economists say it hasn’t been a bubble, while they give no definition of what a bubble exactly is—because they don’t know. But certainly a DOW run-up from around 16,000 lows in 2016 to more than 26,000 in little more than a year constitutes as a bubble.

But the media talking heads parading in front of cameras today sing the same song, “don’t panic”. It comes in various keys: “It’s a welcome pullback”, a “constructive sell off”, an “opportunity to buy on the dip” and other such nonsense. But when asked why now the collapse, they have nothing to add.

What it represents, however, is professional institutional investors decided to ‘take their money and run’, leaving the small investors to take the losses. And more are coming. The professionals realize that the central bank, the Fed, is going to raise interest rates 3-4 times this year. That has already begun to send the bond markets into a tailspin. And now stocks are following suit. The stock markets have risen to bubble territory for several reasons:

One is the 9 year massive injection of free money by the Fed and other central banks. More than necessary to invest in real production, so it flows into financial markets in the US and worldwide. Corporate profits since 2010 have nearly tripled, and capital gains taxes have been steadily reduced by trillions of dollars since 2010 as well. Corporations have kept a steady flow of money capital to their shareholders with 7 years of stock buybacks and dividend payouts—averaging a trillion dollars a year for seven years! Profits, dividends, buybacks, capital gains tax cuts resulted in trillions flowing into financial markets. Add to that record levels of margin buying of stocks by small investors (always a sign of bubbles) and that’s the source of the record price appreciation of stock markets. And, of course, let’s not forget the Trump business-investortax cuts of more than $4 trillion (not $1.5) that are coming on top of it all—that will subsidize profits with an immediate 10%-31% profits boost, on top of the record profits that US corporations had already attained. Massive money capital injections surging into stock and other financial markets. That’s why the bubble.

But what of the bust? Why now—not before or later? It’s because of changes in the markets themselves: the advent of what’s called ‘momentum trading’ by big institutions like quant hedge funds and others; by the shift to passive investing and what’s called index funds; by derivatives like ETFs driving stock prices as well. All the above result in rising prices sucking in more money capital just because prices are rising….which results in still more prices rising.

Until of course the central bank convinces them that the ‘punchbowl of free money’ is being drained. Then the professionals take their money and run, leaving the ‘herd’ of small investors holding the empty bag.
What’s most interesting is that the Fed’s interest rates haven’t even reached 2% and the system has cracked. In 2007, Fed rates had to exceed 5% before the credit crash was set in slow motion. But this writer predicted that would be the case, i.e. that the Fed rates could not rise above 2-2.25% (and the 10 year Treasury bond much above 3%) without precipitating another credit crisis.

But the stock crash of February 2 and 5 is not the beginning nor the end of what’s coming. There may be a further decline in coming days but it will stabilize. There will be a recovery or sorts. But it will be a ‘dead cat bounce’, as is always the case in such events. Some weeks, or even months later, the real contraction will begin. And that will be the real one.

To recall events of 2008, it was the collapse of Countrywide Mortgage and Bear Stearns investment bank in early 2008 that were the warning signs. Recovery temporarily followed, until Fannie Mae and then Lehman Brothers set the real forces in motion. The precipitating events may not even originate in the US but outside. Japan and Emerging Market economy stock markets are especially vulnerable. But financial markets are global and tightly integrated in today’s capitalist system. Contagion is built into the system globally. And investors move their money around worldwide in an instant. They will eventually pull back, wait and see, and the markets temporarily restabilize. Is it an opportunity to scoop up the losses of the smaller herd investors that will have lost trillions this week? That’s what the professional investors, the big institutional investors, the hedge funds, private equity, the big capitalists will now be asking themselves. Or is it the real contraction that will drive the markets down at least 20% in coming days and weeks? They will also ask themselves will the Fed hold to its plan to continue to raise rates? If it does, the they’ll decide the great stock bull run of 2010-18 and its bubble is over and they’ll move to the sidelines for the foreseeable future, not temporarily. They’ll take their trillions of dollars and run. And when they do, the real contraction will begin….and the road to the next recession.

In the meantime, watch the dead cat as it bounces. How high. And when it lands will it flop over dead or get up and run again?”

Jack Rasmus

Dr. Rasmus is author of the 2017 book, ‘Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression’, Clarity Press, August 2017, and Systemic Fragility in the Global Economy, Clarity Press, 2016