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Red Flags Everywhere: Banks, Small Businesses & Retailers All In Trouble

News Image By Michael Snyder/Economic Collapse Blog June 14, 2024
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If the economy is fine, why are so many signs of trouble erupting all around us?  

Those that keep insisting that the U.S. economy is heading in the right direction conveniently ignore the very troubling facts and figures that I regularly share with my readers.  

When you take an honest look at the cold, hard numbers that the economy keeps producing, there is only one logical conclusion.  Our entire system is crumbling, and it appears that conditions will soon get significantly worse.

Just look at what is happening to our banks.

The FDIC's most recent report tells us that there are 63 "problem banks" in the United States, and collectively our banks now have 517 billion dollars in unrealized losses...

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's first quarter report, the US banking system is sitting on a collective $517 billion in unrealized losses and has 63 "problem banks."

Those losses have been sparked primarily by a surge in interest rates over the past two years, which have driven down the price of fixed-income securities held by banks.

Unrealized losses held by banks increased by $39 billion in the first quarter relative to the fourth quarter of 2023.

"Higher unrealized losses on residential mortgage-backed securities, resulting from higher mortgage rates in the first quarter, drove the overall increase," the FDIC said.

I would love to know what banks are on that list.

Wouldn't you?

But the FDIC will not tell us.


As Daisy Luther has accurately noted, the FDIC won't release that information because they are afraid of bank runs...

We don't get to know which banks are in trouble.

It could be my bank. It could be yours. Or maybe it's not.

Are they big banks? Small ones?

The list is confidential to inhibit the likelihood of bank runs finishing off these institutions.

So we just don't know.

If Americans had the truth, there would be bank runs all over the country tomorrow morning.

That is a rather comforting thought.

And the condition of our banks just continues to deteriorate because mountains of commercial real estate loans are going bad.

At this point, it has become clear that we have never faced a commercial real estate crisis of this magnitude in our entire history...

The CRE sector faces the triple whammy of falling prices, falling demand, and rising interest rates. The post-pandemic rise of telecommuting and work-at-home programs crushed demand for office space. Vacancy rates in commercial buildings have soared.

This has put significant stress on commercial real estate companies. The biggest bankruptcy in 2023 was the failure of the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust. The company had loaded up with more than $1 billion in liabilities.

The collapse of the commercial real estate market could easily spill over into the financial sector. That's because a lot of loans are coming due.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, around $1.2 trillion of commercial real estate debt in the United States will mature over the next two years.

A lot of financial institutions will fail during the months and years that are ahead of us.

Just hope that your money is not in one of them.


Meanwhile, one recent survey discovered that approximately two-thirds of all small businesses in the United States are teetering on the brink of disaster...

A new survey reveals that over two-thirds of small business owners are terrified of the state of the economy under Joe Biden's watch, fearing that current conditions and ongoing downward trends will lead to them having to close their businesses.

As reported by the Daily Caller, the poll from the Job Creators Network Foundation (JCNF) shows that 67% of small business owners maintain such fears about the economy as it stands today, marking a 10-point increase from sentiments two years ago. 

In the same poll, participants' perceptions of economic conditions for their own businesses fell from 70.2 to 68.1. Perception of national conditions fell even more drastically, from 53.2 to 50.4.

Maybe you don't care about what is happening to our small businesses.

But you should, because close to half of all workers in the United States are employed by small businesses...

Forbes estimates that at least 46% of all employees in the United States, around 61.6 million people in total, are employed by small businesses.

I think that it is quite an ominous sign that the household survey showed that the U.S. economy lost a whopping 408,000 jobs last month.

Sadly, I think that a lot more months like that are coming.

Retailers are also really struggling right now.

In fact, as Mark B. Spiegel recently discussed, major retailer after major retailer has been reporting disappointing sales numbers...

The U.S. economy seems to finally be cracking. This month a slew of retailers (off the top of my head: Target, Lowe's, Macy's, Kohl's, Best Buy and Foot Locker) reported negative year-over-year sales comps, and that's before adjusting for the inflation that makes them 3% to 4% more negative in "real" terms. 

Others (Dollar General and Burlington) reported same-store sales comps in the +2% range, but that too was negative when adjusted for inflation, while Walmart and Nordstrom comps managed to roughly keep pace with inflation, but were unable to exceed it.

At one time, Walmart was an unstoppable retail behemoth.

But now even Walmart is closing down stores...

WALMARTS are closing across the country - and retail experts say the cuts are signals of a bleak future for shoppers.

The multi-million dollar corporation has closed nine stores so far this year, which could be a warning sign for other retail giants.

Of course the stores that Walmart is shuttering are just a drop in the bucket compared to what other chains are doing.


As I detailed in an article that I posted last week, we are on pace to lose 7,800 stores in 2024.

When the Drudge Report used the term "retail apocalypse" in one of their headlines on Monday morning, that was not an exaggeration at all.

We really are in the early stages of a historic meltdown.

And the outlook for the months ahead is extremely bleak.

In fact, Harry Dent just told Fox News that we should brace ourselves for "a bigger crash than we got in 2008 to '09"...

Speaking in an updated interview with Fox News Digital, Dent cautioned that the "everything" bubble has still yet to burst, and it may be a bigger crash than the Great Recession.

"In 1925 to '29, it was a natural bubble. There was no stimulus behind that, artificial stimulus per se. So this is new. This has never happened," Dent said on Tuesday. "What do you do if you want to cure a hangover? You drink more. And that's what they've been doing."

"Flooding the economy with extra money forever might actually enhance the overall economy long-term. But we'll only see when we see this bubble burst," he added. "And again, this bubble has been going 14 years. Instead of most bubbles going five to six, it's been stretched higher, longer. So you'd have to expect a bigger crash than we got in 2008 to '09."

Our leaders were able to keep the game going for years by pumping trillions upon trillions of dollars into the system.

But they didn't fix anything.

Instead, they just delayed the inevitable.

Our entire system really is crumbling all around us, and as it crumbles we are going to see chaos on a scale that most people don't even want to imagine.

Already, major cities from coast to coast are being terrorized by theft, violence, drugs, homelessness, gangs and anarchy.

If things are this bad already, what is America going to look like once our leaders completely lose control of the economy?

Originally published at The Economic Collapse Blog




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