Tuesday, August 9, 2011
‘Aftershock’ Book Predicts Economic Disaster Amid Controversy: 50% unemployment, 90% stock market drop, 100% inflation. See the Evidence
Initially screened for a private audience, this gripping video exposed harsh economic truths and garnered an overwhelming amount of feedback.
“People were sitting up and taking notice, and they begged us to make the video public so they could easily share it,” said Newsmax Financial Publisher Aaron DeHoog.
But that wasn’t as simple as it seems. Various online networks repeatedly shut down the controversial video. “People were sending their friends and family to dead links, so we had to create a dedicated home for it,” DeHoog said.
(Editor's Note: Watch Bob Wiedemer’s Aftershock Survival Summit video)
This wasn’t the first time Wiedemer’s predictions hit a nerve. In 2006, he was one of three economists who co-authored a book correctly warning that the real estate boom and Wall Street bull run were about to end. A prediction Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his predecessor, Alan Greenspan, were not about to support publicly.
Realizing that the worst was yet to come, Wiedemer and company quickly penned “Aftershock.” However, just before it was publicly released, the publisher yanked the final chapter, deeming it too controversial for newsstand and online outlets such as Amazon.com.
“We got lucky,” DeHoog said. “I happened to read the original version, which contained this ‘unpublished chapter,’ which I think is the most crucial in the entire book. Wiedemer gave Newsmax permission to share this chapter with our readers.”
With daily economic forecasts projecting doom and gloom and no recovery in sight, people need to learn how to survive economic disaster. During the past quarter alone, unemployment skyrocketed to 9 percent. Inflation continues to soar and the U.S. national debt crisis is still on the fence between raising the debt ceiling or massive budget cuts, with no resolution in sight.
During Newsmax’s Aftershock Survival Summit video, Wiedemer discusses the dire consequences of Washington, D.C.’s, bipartisan, multi-decade “borrow-and-spend” agenda. He also explores the inflation nightmare, the impending plunge in home prices, the looming collapse of the stock and bond markets, a possible historic surge in unemployment, and how to survive what life in America will be like in the days of the “Aftershock.”
Despite appearances, Aftershock is not a book with the singular intention of scaring the heck out of people. Although it does provide a harsh outlook for the economic future of America, the true value lies in the wealth of investment tips, analyses, predictions, budget advice, and sound economic guidance that people can act on immediately, offering a ray of recovery hope and an indispensable blueprint for life after shock.
Viewers of Newsmax’s Aftershock Survival Summit video heard detailed advice for handling credit card debt, home and car loans, life insurance, unemployment issues, how to beat inflation, making personal budget cuts and many more recovery tools to survive the economic aftershock. They also took advantage of a special Newsmax offer for a free copy of the new edition of “Aftershock,” which includes the final “unpublished chapter.”
(Editor's Note: Watch Bob Wiedemer’s Aftershock Survival Summit video)
For a limited time, Newsmax is showing the Aftershock Survival Summit and supplying viewers with free copies of the “Aftershock” book (while supplies last).
The stock market's "fear gauge" staged its biggest one-session rise in four years Monday as U.S. stocks careened lower in the first trading session since Standard & Poor's Ratings Services cut the credit rating for the United States.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility index, or VIX, climbed 39% to 44.55 recently as investor fled stocks and pushed Dow Jones Industrial Average down as much as 605 points. Monday's VIX jump marks the biggest percentage rise since Feb. 27, 2007, when the VIX soared 64%.
Monday's intraday highs touched levels not seen since the aftermath of the May 2010 "flash crash," when the measure pushed as high as 48 on an intraday basis. The VIX broke 40 in intraday trade for the first time since May 25, 2010. The VIX measures the price investors pay for protective options contracts on the Standard & Poor's 500 index and tends to rise when stocks fall.
A VIX reading over 40 "says that right now there's uncertainty, there's panic," said Luke Ribahri, partner at Stutland Volatility Group in Chicago. "With the Dow down 500 points on Thursday, nearly 600 points now -- it's scary."
Traders said Standard & Poor downgrade of the U.S. credit rating late Friday to double-A-plus from triple-A compounded fears that global economic growth is slowing.
"It's outright panic," said Andrew Wilkinson, senior market analyst at Interactive Brokers in Greenwich, Conn. of Interactive Brokers.
"Right now, investors are stretching in all directions trying to protect themselves," Mr. Wilkinson said. "Liquidation of portfolios and a general risk-off appetite is causing panic in traditional measures of risk."
Trading volume was robust in the options market as investors heavily favored bearish put options contracts. Nearly 3 puts changed hands for every 2 calls across the options market, a ratio far above the average for the last month, Trade Alert data show.
Options volume was on pace to hit record levels for the third-consecutive session, according to data from OCC, the industry's clearinghouse.
Traders in the options market piled into puts of trading vehicles like the SPDR S&P 500 exchange-traded fund.
In one large options trade in the ETF, traders set up a bearish two-part trade that profits most from a decline in the SPY to $110 by the end of the week. The SPY shed 5.2% to $113.81 in recent trade. Another large options trade in the SPY saw traders close out of an existing September $121 put and extend the hedge into more pessimistic September $115 puts, according to derivatives strategists at Susquehanna Financial Group.
Puts grant the right to sell an underlying security at a set price by a fixed expiration date, while calls grant the right to buy.
Everyone's favorite cartoon is back after the silver bears make yet another return appearance, this time number 7, in which more than anything,zt is made clear that the name of Blythe Masters will live in infamy long after she no longer has anything to do with the price of silver, and, allegedly, its ongoing suppression.
Forget Uncle Sam, I put my faith in the AAA U.S. Corporation, with liberty and justice for all.AOL's DailyFinance beat us to the story, so here's what they have to say -- We've had a wild few weeks leading up to a big debt-ceiling deal, which some have hailed as a historic compromise, and others as a "Satan sandwich." The threat that major credit rating agencies might downgrade the United States of America from its top rating of AAA to something less perfect lent extra urgency to the negotiations.
While two of the main agencies have left our rating unchanged, the S&P did indeed demote it, despite the debt deal. That means there are now four companies whose AAA status leaves them rated higher than the U.S. government.
The cream of the crop
There are 500 large companies in the S&P 500, and more than 8,000 stock securities that trade on the NYSE Arca platform, including Nasdaq-listed stocks. Out of all that, only Johnson & Johnson (NYS: JNJ) , Microsoft (NAS: MSFT) , Automatic Data Processing, and ExxonMobil (NYS: XOM) hold the top credit rating! What makes them so special?
Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude fell $5.57, or 6.4 per cent, to settle at US$81.31 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That is the lowest settlement price of the year for crude, but it's still higher than the US$71.63 a barrel it closed at on Aug. 24, 2010, its low of the last 12 months.
Brent crude, used to price many international varieties of crude, fell $5.63, or 5.2 per cent, to settle at US$103.74 a barrel Monday on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
Anxious traders pulled money out of oil and stocks and bought assets considered to be safer during times of economic uncertainty, such as U.S. Treasurys and gold. Gold topped $1,700 an ounce for the first time, while stocks were down more than five per cent in New York.
Standard & Poor's on Friday cut the Triple-A credit rating for long-term U.S. government debt. Monday's trading session was the first chance traders and investors had to react, and many of them sold off.
In the past two weeks, oil prices have dropped nearly US$16 a barrel. Analysts think oil remain volatile this week as traders look for some clarity about the direction of the world economy and demand for oil. The U.S. Department of Energy is scheduled to release its Short-term Energy Outlook on Tuesday, and OPEC is expected to issue an updated forecast for global oil consumption as well.
Traders also are concerned about debt problems in Europe, where the European Central Bank said it will intervene to prop up the sagging economies of Spain and Italy.
Some analysts believe that global oil demand, particularly in emerging markets like China, will continue to support prices. The share of global oil demand in emerging markets has risen from 44 per cent in 2008 to 48 per cent this year, Barclays Capital said in a report for clients. China's share of global oil demand has increased more than two per cent in the same period.
Goldman Sachs analysts also believe oil prices will rise next year. They told clients in a note published Friday that the risk of a U.S. recession has risen, but their revised U.S. economic outlook remains consistent with a recovery at a slower pace, "which is typical following a housing bust."
In addition, Goldman said the outlook for economic growth in China and other emerging markets is positive.
U.S. gasoline futures have fallen between 35 cents and 40 cents a U.S. gallon (3.79 litres) in the last two weeks. That will translate into a savings at the pump of about US$140 million to US$160 million a day for U.S. motorists, according to Cameron Hanover energy consultancy.
In other Nymex trading for September contracts, heating oil fell 14 cents to settle at US$2.8017 a U.S. gallon, gasoline futures dropped 11.36 cents to settle at US$2.6916 a gallon and natural gas rose 0.6 of a cent to settle at US$3.935 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Over the past 48 hours we had heard pervasive rumors that at least one, maybe more, banks in Europe are on the verge of collapse. Our thought was, naturally, Dexia, which is the modern equivalent of AIG, not to mention the bank most rescued by none other than the Federal Reserve. Well, we were wrong. And if the Daily Mail is correct, the two banks about to kick the bucket are French SocGen and Italy's UniCredit. While the fact that these two banks are in trouble has not been lost on the market, which has been sending their CDS to near record highs, the speculation that they are far closer to implosion likely means that the equity value of the European banking sector is about to be decimated. As the News reports: "The merest hint a major bank might fall is likely to reignite panic tomorrow in the stock market, which is already feared to react badly to the credit downgrade of the U.S. by rating agency Standard & Poor’s." Well, it's now tomorrow.
More from the UK mag:
Fears are growing this weekend that two of Europe’s largest banks may require a bailout, having been hugely damaged by the worsening crisis across the eurozone.
In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy is having to confront the possibility that the country’s second-biggest bank, Societe Generale -commonly known as SocGen - is on the brink of disaster after huge losses over loans made to Greece.
The chilling possibility of the largest bank in Italy, UniCredit Banca, suffering a similar collapse if a bailout is not implemented comes as Silvio Berlusconi already faces an increasingly dangerous national economic situation.
Next up: bank runs.
In Britain, a senior Government source described the position of the two banks as ‘perilous’, although an official Treasury spokesman declined to comment. Should either bank collapse, British customers with deposits of up to about £85,000 would be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Naturally, no depositors will wait for this to happen, or for these news to be confirmed or denied. They will merely walk up to the teller window, submit a withdrawal ticket and proceed to close their accounts.
And here is where the story gets downright surreal:
David Cameron last night broke off from his holiday in Tuscany to talk to President Sarkozy about the crisis in the markets.
News of the planned talks emerged as Business Secretary Vince Cable appeared to back calls from China for the dollar to be eventually replaced as the main global reserve currency by a new international currency unit to be based around the IMF.
He said: ‘It would be a sensible way for the world to move but it’s not something to do overnight.’
But Mr Cable added: ‘In the short run, the U.S. dollar is the key international currency and although, frankly, the American legislators made a terrible mess of things a few weeks ago, they have now got back on track. They have undertaken to manage their debt in a prudent way.’
Remember where we said that the last thing left is for China to float the CNY? Well, pushing for the SDR is pretty much the same thing.
In the meantime, keep an eye on the price of Unicredit and SocGen tomorrow. Despite SocGen's and UniCredit's repeated statements that the article in Mail on Sunday was “false, irresponsible” the damage may have already been done. And something tells us the downside limits will be hit very quickly, leading to a Lehman-like self-fulfilling prophecy.
We wonder if in addition to PIIGS bonds, the ECB is ready and prepared to buy stocks of insolvent European banks...
I've seen panic. I traded through panic in the late 90's, as well as the late and early aughts. Panic isn't a friend of mine but we sometimes see one another at the same parties. This sell-off is not panic. Not yet anyway, but we're getting close.
Until we get a genuine blow off fear-based dumping of stocks at any price, stocks won't find a bottom. The market today is seeing horrendous, painful, gut-wrenching selling, but no real fear. The President spoke with the ostensible goal of easing the market's pain. He showed up late, complained about S&P's downgrade, and then spoke in the third person of problems being caused by Washington. The market sold off nearly another percentage point when he took the dais but no one was particularly outraged. We closed very near the lows of the day but no one was afraid.
As investors, we're mostly just bored, angry, and jaded. This sell-off is being treated like theater. Market crashes happen every five years; all that changes are the catalysts and the cast of characters. If stocks were a movie franchise it wouldn't be Wall Street, with some ham-fisted morality lesson interspersed with a bunch of cool people and sexy toys. Market crashes are now Batman; once we grow tired of the main actors we kick them out and "re-boot" the franchise after a couple years. Michael Keaton... Val Kilmer... George Clooney... Christian Bale. Long Term Capital... Internet Stocks... Housing Bubble... and this sell-off to be titled later (I'm going with "European Meltdown").
Matt Nesto, Aaron Task, and I groped around for some sort of solution and/or sign that this sell-off will come to an end in the near-term. We didn't find any as a group, so let me take a stab at it myself: Dow 10,000, a 10% down day, or July 12, 2012 with the release of Batman: The Dark Knight Rises. Whichever comes first.
If you want a positive omen consider this: the S&P closed down 6.66%, a dark nod to the March '09 bottom of 666. That's the best we have for now.