While Democrats are nursing hopes of control of one or both houses of Congress, victory might contain a poison pill that could redound to the Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans benefit two years down the road.
Make no mistakes. The warning signs are already quite clear, as embodied in this series of 10-year graphs we’ve assembled from the marvelous resources of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis:
First up, housing prices are soaring again, already reaching well above the levels of the 2007-9 Great Recession [indicated by the shaded areas of the charts], a crash triggered by shady mortgage lending by the nation’s leading banks [click on the images to enlarge]:
And as housing prices rise, so does mortgage debt, which has also topped pre-Great Recession levels as the Trump Administration slashes protection passed under the Obama administration::
Credit card debt is also soaring:
Yet another form of debt is also rising as states and the federal government slash colleges and university funding, sending tuition rates through the roof:
The next graphs is particularly ominous.
While Donald Trump claims that under his administration, unemployment levels have hit record lows.
But that’s only because soaring numbers of folks have simply given up and dropped out of the labor force:
For our final graph we look at the growing amount of U.S. debt held overseas, trillions of dollars that could explode in the face of Donald Trump’s self-declared trade wars:
And now, with this graphic introduction we turn to a very important documentary from VPRO Backlight, a creation of producer Marije Meerman for Dutch public television and a warning of dark times ahead:
Lessons from Lehman and the Coming Crash
Have we learned the Lessons from Lehman and could we have predicted the Coming Crash? Ten years ago, the crash on Wall Street took us by surprise when Lehman Brothers’ bank went bankrupt. The financial crisis that followed this crash on Wall Street was like a chain reaction; a pole dancer with her five mortgages turned out to be connected to the huge gap in the Greek national budget. Is it possible to predict the coming crash? What are the lessons learned from the collapse of Lehman Brothers? Can we predict the coming crash of Wall Street by looking back to the last 10 years and take a lesson from Lehman?
Sometimes, it is important to look back in order to predict what we might be heading for. Ten years ago, we were taken by surprise when Lehman Brothers’ investment bank went bankrupt. In the followinf months, banks needed saving. Millions of tax payers money was used. Worldwide, banks, villages, cities, and even countries went bankrupt or were hanging by a thread. Few, if any, bankers were convicted. Crypto currencies like bitcoins thrived on the growing suspicion towards banks and governments. Finally, central banks around the world set up buying asset purchasing programmes in order to create cash out of nothing. A strategy to pump money into the financial system, hoping to keep it afloat. What have we learned from this crash and its consequences? Over a period of ten years, VPRO Backlight reported on the snowballing financial crisis. It turned out that a journalist, a former banker and an economist had predicted the 2008 credit crash and are now warning against a new crash. We pay them another visit to find out what they had seen, where many others were blind.
If we look hard enough, can we see why we are now in the calm before the next crash?
With: Nomi Prins [author and former banker for Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers], Ann Petifor [economist] and Isabella Kaminska [journalist for the Financial Times] with cameos by Jim Rogers [super investor], Roger Ver [bitcoin-evangelist], Joris Luyendijk [journalist], and Yanis Varoufakis [former Greek Minister of Finance].