Nightmare Scenario - Expanded War Spirals Global Financial Crisis

News Image By Michael Snyder/Economic Collapse Blog October 25, 2023
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It is happening again.  All over America, borrowers are getting behind on their payments.  In particular, subprime borrowers are having a very difficult time paying the bills.  Does that ring a bell?  That should, because the last time we witnessed anything like this was during the last financial crisis.  

When things start to go bad, those at the bottom of the economic food chain feel it first, and that is why the numbers that have been coming out lately are so alarming.

For example, the percentage of subprime borrowers that are at least 60 days behind on their auto loans reached 6.11 percent last month.

That figure is the highest ever recorded...

The percent of subprime auto borrowers at least 60 days past due on their loans rose to 6.11% in September, the highest in data going back to 1994, according to Fitch Ratings.

"The subprime borrower is getting squeezed," said Margaret Rowe, senior director with Fitch.

Let this sink in for a moment.

We never saw a number this high during the Great Recession.

And we never saw a number this high during the COVID pandemic.

So this is really bad.

Credit card delinquency rates at small banks have also hit an all-time record high...

Credit Card Delinquency rates at small banks have reached 7.51%, the highest level ever recorded

Once again, we never saw a number this high during the Great Recession.

And we never saw a number this high during the COVID pandemic.

Needless to say, it isn't the wealthy that are getting behind on their credit card payments.

Instead, it is ordinary Americans that are deeply struggling to pay the bills in this harsh economic environment.

Alarmingly, early-stage mortgage delinquencies are also spiking...

Meanwhile, early-stage delinquencies (30 and 60 days past due) continued to increase. In September, 48,800 (+5.1%) additional borrowers were 30-days late on their mortgage payments, while 8,700 (+3%) were 60-days late on their mortgage payments. These rates have been going up for the past four months and six months, respectively.

And foreclosures have started to jump at a pace that is absolutely breathtaking...

Home foreclosures are on the rise as Americans continue to grapple with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

That is according to a new report published by real estate data provider ATTOM, which found that foreclosure filings - which includes default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions - surged 28% in the third quarter to 124,539.

Foreclosures are up 34% from the same time one year ago.

Just like we witnessed in 2008 and 2009, millions upon millions of Americans have gotten way too overextended.

Even though everyone knew that the cost of living was rising much faster than paychecks were, a lot of people out there just kept spending like they always had been.

They thought that things would eventually work out okay in the long run, but instead they just kept getting deeper and deeper into debt.

Now a day of reckoning has arrived, and there are many that simply cannot keep up with all of their payments.

And many are falling out of the middle class altogether.

In all my years of writing, I have never seen poverty increase in the U.S. as fast as it is rising right now.

Recently, we learned that the percentage of Californians living in poverty jumped from 11 percent in 2021 to 16.4 percent last year...

Poverty has increased dramatically in California and the nation, a surge that new studies attribute to the expiration of pandemic-era federal relief programs such as the expanded Child Tax Credit.

The spike has been particularly steep among Black and Latino Californians and children across all ethnicities.

Researchers found 16.4% of Californians were living in poverty last year, up from 11% in 2021. The rate of child poverty more than doubled last year.

What will the final number for 2023 be?

Will it be above 20 percent?

The economy is moving in the wrong direction very rapidly now, and the war in the Middle East hasn't even fully erupted yet.

So what in the world will conditions look like once that happens?

Our economic prosperity is completely and utterly dependent on cheap energy.

Without it, everything will change.

Once the flow of Middle Eastern oil stops due to the war, the price of oil is going to go completely nuts.

And once that happens, a nightmare scenario could quickly unfold.

In a recent article, Tuomas Malinen detailed what he thinks might happen...

- The conflict escalates into a regional war with the U.S. becoming directly involved.
- OPEC responds with an oil embargo.
- Iran closes the strait of Hormuz.
- The price of oil reaches $300/barrel.
- Europe succumbs into a full-blown energy crisis due to LNG shortage.
- Massive spike in energy prices reinvigorates inflation with central banks responding accordingly.
- Financial markets and the global banking sector collapse.
- Debt crisis engulfs the U.S. forcing the Federal Reserve to enact yet another financial market bailout.
- Petrodollar trade collapses.
- Hyperinflation emerges.

I don't think that he is too far off the mark.

We were already facing a major crisis even without the war in the Middle East.

As I discussed the other day, U.S. banks are closing hundreds of branches and are laying off thousands of workers.

And the truth is that the banks are the beating heart of our entire financial system.

We are so close to a full-blown economic meltdown.

The only thing that could really save us now is if peace broke out in the Middle East.

Unfortunately, this is not going to be a time of peace.

This is going to be a time of war.

So that means that extremely harsh economic conditions are ahead of us, and most Americans are completely and utterly unprepared for such a reality.

Originally published at The Economic Collapse Blog - reposted with permission.

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