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Zero Hedge
ZeroHedge
1 Apr 2023


NextImg:"Blind Faith" - These Economic Numbers Are Staggering

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

If you are struggling to make it in this economy, you are not alone, because there are millions of other Americans in the exact same boat. 

Needless to say, the cost of living has become extremely oppressive, and that has put a tremendous amount of financial stress on U.S. families.

Unfortunately, the Federal Reserve has chosen to fight inflation by aggressively hiking interest rates, and that is starting to cause massive problems.  The money supply is actually shrinking, the banking system has been thrown into a state of chaos, and we are witnessing a tsunami of layoffs that is unlike anything that we have seen since the Great Recession.

For most Americans, employment is the only thing standing between them and poverty.  In fact, one recent survey discovered that 44 percent of Americans actually work more than one job…

Forty-four percent of Americans work a second job, a 13 percent increase relative to the Trump administration, a LendingClub report revealed Tuesday.

The recent increase under President Joe Biden is highlighted by a survey from FlexJobs, which found 69 percent of employed professionals either have a side job or want one.

This is our economy now.

Tens of millions of Americans have to work multiple jobs just to survive.

And at this point more than 60 percent of the population is living paycheck to paycheck

The LendingClub report also revealed 62 percent of Americans, including 48 percent of high-income consumers, were living paycheck to paycheck in February, up two percentage points from the month prior.

But if you are able to find a way to scrape by from month to month, you should be quite happy, because according to author Matthew Desmond approximately 18 million Americans have been living in a state of “deep poverty”…

In his book, Desmond, analyzing data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other sources, reports that 1 in 18 people in the U.S. live in what’s considered “deep poverty,” or what he calls “a subterranean level of scarcity.”

In 2020, this category included people who make less than $6,380 a year, or families of four living on less than $13,100. In 2020, almost 18 million people in America lived in these conditions, including some 5 million children.

As I sit here, I am having a difficult time comprehending these numbers.

They are just so bad.

Unfortunately, economic conditions are rapidly getting worse.  On Thursday, we learned that Roku will be conducting a second round of layoffs

Streaming device company Roku is planning to lay off another 200 workers, just months after it cut the same number of positions in 2022.

In a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing this week, Roku, Inc. wrote that it has “approved a restructuring plan to lower the Company’s year-over-year operating expense growth and prioritize projects that the Company believes will have a higher return on investment, which is expected to impact approximately 200 employees, approximately 6% of the Company’s workforce, and result in the exit and sublease, or cease use, of certain office facilities that the Company does not currently occupy.”

And EA has just announced that it wil“lay off about 6% of its workforce”

Videogame publisher Electronic Arts said on Wednesday it will lay off about 6% of its workforce and reduce office space in an attempt to cut costs.

EA had about 12,900 staff as of March-end last year.

The Madden NFL publisher also said it will move away from projects that do not contribute to its strategy.

I was quite alarmed when I heard that.

I thought EA was doing well.

Burger King will also be giving the axe to large numbers of workers as it closes 26 locations

Burger King has announced it will lay off 424 members of staff as it gears up to close 26 restaurants through April.

Store closures began on 17 March and will continue through next month as the chain shuts doors due to ‘unforeseen business circumstance’.

And if Bed Bath & Beyond is unable to raise hundreds of millions of dollars, the entire company may soon go belly up…

Bed Bath & Beyond will sell up to $300 million of its stock to repay creditors and fund its business as it struggles to avoid bankruptcy.

If it’s not able to raise sufficient money from the offering, the home furnishings giant said Thursday it expects to “likely file for bankruptcy.”

There are going to be so many stories like this in the months ahead.

After years of super low interest rates and easy money, our leaders have thrown things into reverse.

At this point, our money supply is actually “falling at its fastest rate since the 1930s”

U.S. money supply is falling at its fastest rate since the 1930s, a red flag for the economy and financial markets. Money supply has now been shrinking year-on-year since December, an unprecedented development in modern times that should make investors sit up and take notice – growth, asset prices and inflation could all weaken.

According to Reuters, It is largely a consequence of the reversal of the liquidity generated by massive post-pandemic fiscal and monetary stimulus, the Federal Reserve shrinking its balance sheet via quantitative tightening, falling bank deposits, and weak demand for and provision of credit.

Needless to say, the 1930s were not a good time for our economy.

And as our historic banking crisis rolls on, small and mid-size banks all over the nation are going to get really tight with their money.

That means that they will be issuing fewer mortgages, fewer commercial real estate loans, fewer auto loans and fewer credit cards.

In other words, economic activity is really going to slow down.

The good news is that we can see what is happening in advance, and so those that are wise will be able to make preparations to weather the coming storm.

Unfortunately, most of the population still trusts our leaders when they say that everything is going to work out just fine somehow.

So many people have blind faith in the system, even though the system is now starting to crumble all around us.

*  *  *

Michael’s new book entitled “End Times” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com, and you can check out his new Substack newsletter right here.