If virtually everyone is expecting a recession, and most people start acting accordingly, do you think that will make an economic downturn less likely or more likely?
Needless to say, the answer to that question is obvious. Right now, banks all over the country are getting really tight with their money, large corporations are laying off workers at a frightening pace, and consumers are cutting back on their spending. In other words, it really is starting to look a lot like a recession out there, and economic conditions are only going to get even more harsh in the months ahead.
I know that this is not good news. Things are already far from great, and one recent survey found that 70 percent of all Americans are “feeling financially stressed”…
Inflation, economic instability and a lack of savings have an increasing number of Americans feeling financially stressed. Some 70% of Americans admit to being stressed about their personal finances these days and a majority — 52% — of U.S. adults said their financial stress has increased since before the Covid-19 pandemic began in March 2020, according to a new CNBC Your Money Financial Confidence Survey conducted in partnership with Momentive.
Unfortunately, the truth is that the financial stress is just beginning for many families, because a significant economic downturn is on the way.
At this point what is approaching is so obvious that the Federal Reserve is even publicly admitting that a recession will start “later this year”…
Federal Reserve economists believe that recent banking turmoil will trigger a mild recession later this year, a potentially ominous sign for President Joe Biden as he heads into an election campaign. Their projection was for “a mild recession starting later this year, with a recovery over the subsequent two years,” according to the minutes, released Wednesday. That would spark a jump in unemployment. They estimated the economy would fully recover by 2025.
I honestly cannot remember the last time that the Federal Reserve actually predicted that a recession would be coming.
Normally, the Fed is wildly optimistic with their projections because they want us to have faith that their policies are working.
But now even they have thrown in the towel.
Bank of America is also sounding the alarm. Analysts at the bank recently shared 12 charts “that show that the economy is about to enter a full-blown recession”, and I was particularly interested in what they had to say about tightening credit conditions…
“US banks have been tightening lending standards to small companies past few quarters. Credit crunch to intensify and highly correlated with small business demand for workers. Should May SLOOS report show drop in loan availability to -10 or below = unambiguous credit crunch,” BofA said.
A major credit crunch is here, and that is going to send major shockwaves throughout the entire economy.
The last time we witnessed anything like this was in 2008, and we all remember what happened back then.
If you still believe that our leaders will magically find some way out of this economic mess, you are definitely in the minority at this point. According to a survey that KPMG conducted not too long ago, 91 percent of corporate CEOs in the U.S. “are convinced we are heading toward a recession in the next 12 months”…
Just when it seemed there was a light at the end of the tunnel with pandemic-related disruptions subsiding, the vast majority of U.S. CEOs (91%) are convinced we are heading toward a recession in the next 12 months. Moreover, only about a third of U.S. CEOs (34%) believe this recession will be mild and short.
Just think about that.
And many CEOs have already started laying off workers in anticipation of what is coming.
In fact, we just learned that Best Buy will be giving the axe to workers “in hundreds of stores”…
Best Buy is cutting workers in hundreds of stores across the US as the electronics retailer looks to cut costs and shift focus towards e-commerce. Last week workers who specialize in selling complex products in stores, sometimes called ‘consultants’, were told they would lose their job, according to the Wall Street Journal. The layoff will affect jobs across the more than 900 stores Best Buy operates in the US. Those laid off were invited to reapply for open positions within the company or receive severance.
Sadly, the entire retail industry is in huge trouble at this point.
The “retail apocalypse” that we went through a few years ago will be nothing compared to what we will soon experience. According to analysts at UBS, we could eventually see more than 50,000 retail stores in this country permanently close their doors…
Tens of thousands of store closures are looming across the U.S., according to analysts. More than 50,000 retail locations could permanently shut their doors over the next five years, according to UBS analysts.
This is one nail in the coffin for commercial real estate.
A second nail in the coffin for commercial real estate is the fact that so many restaurants are in trouble all over the nation.
For example, dozens of Burger King locations will soon be shut down as the entire chain grapples with disappointing sales…
Last month, Meridian Restaurants Unlimited, which has 118 Burger King locations across the US, filed for bankruptcy having racked up $14 million in debt. It is set to close 27 locations in Minnesota, Utah, Montana, Kansas, Nebraska and North Dakota. It came as another franchisee, EYM King, announced it was closing 26 restaurants in Michigan and 90-unit operator Toms King was sold out of bankruptcy for $33 million.
A third nail in the coffin for commercial real estate is the record high office vacancy rates that we are seeing all over America.
In San Francisco, the vacancy rate is almost up to 30 percent…
A sobering report from Coldwell Banker (available to pro subs in the usual place) reveals that San Francisco’s office vacancy rate hit a record high of 29.4%, as net absorption (total new square footage leased minus the total square footage of vacated space) registered -1.56 million sq. ft. To that end, software giant Salesforce has put the last of its San Francisco office space up for sublease as part of its January plan to lay off approximately 7,000 employees and reduce office space, SF Gate reports.
A lot of people thought that I was overstating things when I said that we are heading into the greatest commercial real estate crash in U.S. history.
But I wasn’t.
And many others are now issuing similar warnings. The following comes from Fox Business…
The commercial real estate market may be headed for a crash that rivals the 2008 financial crisis this year. Office and retail property valuations could plummet as much as 40% from peak to trough this year as higher interest rates make it harder for investors to refinance trillions in looming debt, according to Lisa Shalett, chief investment officer for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.
The recession of 2023 won’t just be the end of a typical business cycle.
The truth is that what we are witnessing is the culmination of many long-term economic trends that I have been watching for a long time.
Our leaders have been making disastrous decisions for decades, and now we are going to reap what they have sown.