Global Economic Crisis Unleashed by Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic Sends Oil Prices Into Free Fall Collapse

March 28th, 2020 Comments off

The quarantines and shutdown of economic life precipitated by the Covid-19 pandemic has devastated the global oil industry. This is due to demand destruction occurring in the wake of panic responses to the coronavirus outbreak. Since the beginning of the year, oil prices have plunged from one half to around two thirds from their peak. On March 27, West Texas intermediate fell nearly 5 % from the previous day, to $21.51 per barrel, while Brent Crude was priced at $27.95. Lower grades of crude have plummeted to below $20.00 per barrel.

The collapse in oil prices has accelerated a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia for market share amid declining demand, further exacerbating downward price pressures.

A global economic crisis that seems increasingly likely to become another great depression spells doom for the oil industry. However, there is one wild card; a war breaking out between Iran and the United States, which economist Nouriel Roubini sees as a high-probability event. This would create a supply shock to complement the demand shock to the global economy that has already occurred, reversing the decline in oil prices and sending them to record highs, at least temporarily before plummeting again. This would unleash a wave of inflation, leading to stagflation: negative growth combined with high inflation. That in turn would further depress economic activity, and impede a recovery in the global economy even after an effective Covid-19 vaccine has become widely available.

U.S. Job Market Implodes As More Than Three Million File For Unemployment, Pointing To A 21st Century Great Depression

March 26th, 2020 Comments off

The U.S. Labor Department released its worst weekly jobs report, demonstrating that the Covid-19 pandemic has unleashed a full-fledged global economic crisis more severe than the financial crisis of 2007-09, and increasingly likely to exceed the Great Depression of the 1930s in its impact.

Since the Labor Department began issuing its weekly jobless claims report in 1967, the previous record for unemployment filings was 695,000 in 1982. The expectation was that the report released today would be very bad, most estimates being in the range of one million. The actual number: 3.3 million. This is worse than devastating; it is a clear sign that we are beyond a severe global recession, and are almost certainly heading into a global economic depression.

As this is only the initial phase of the impact of the coronavirus induced unemployment, the figures just released by the Labor Department suggests the unemployment rate will likely exceed 20 %, possibly even 30 percent. It is not just the U.S. shedding jobs at an unprecedented rate; the entire global economy is being struck by a tsunami of jobs destruction. This economic catastrophe will inevitably lead to a level of severe social and political strife not experienced globally since the 1930s.

 

Global Economy On The Abyss of a Greater Depression Says Leading Economist Nouriel Roubini

March 25th, 2020 Comments off

In a chilling yet cogently delivered live Twitter lecture on likely economic trends stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic, NYU professor and economist Nouriel Roubini gave a harsh yet realistic overview on the unfolding crisis. Professor Roubini was one of the few economists to predict the global financial crisis that occurred more than a decade ago.

The views Roubini relayed in his Twitter presentation can be summed up as follows:

  1. The health policy response will determine whether or not the world faces a severe recession or a greater depression. A global recession worse than the 2007-09 global financial crisis is already baked into the cake. However, perusing a mitigation strategy to contain the coronavirus pandemic will ensure the global economy heads into a severe depression. Only a suppression strategy as implemented by China initially and now Italy can prevent the worst economic damage. Though a suppression strategy that shuts down the economy for 2 or 3 months is very painful, a mitigation strategy will ensure that Covid-19 spreads like wildfire, leading to a temporary reopening of the economy followed by further and deeper shutdowns. Roubini urges policymakers to adapt draconian suppression measures as the only alternative to far more calamitous economic collapse.
  2. The right policy responses will be crucial to preventing a greater depression. The current wave of unprecedented monetary and fiscal measures, adapted in a very short timeframe, are correct. In particular , very large fiscal deficits equivalent to ten percent of GDP, which in turn are fully monetized by the central banks, are necessary in the short-term. However, such extraordinary measures are unsustainable in the long-term, and will lead to stagflation.
  3. The health emergency crippling the global economy is not the only shock confronting it. Roubini identified a geopolitical depression exacerbated by revisionist powers (China, Russia, Iran and North Korea) seeking to further destabilize the United States through cyber warfare. In particular, the emerging cold war between China and the U.S. is leading to decoupling of supply chains and de-globalization, which will increase costs of production and hence inflation.
  4. Professor Roubini sees a great risk that Iran’s regime will initiate a full-scale war with the United States as the only means of preserving itself from being overthrown, if Trump is reelected and the economic sanctions lead to its collapse. Such conflict will close the straits of Hormuz, leading to a massive spike in oil prices.

In summary, a sobering and harshly realistic analysis of the global economic crisis now underway.

Economist Nouriel Roubini Warns Emerging Global Economic Crisis Will Be Possibly Worse Than Great Depression

March 24th, 2020 Comments off

Perhaps the most insightful economist to watch as the Global Economic Crisis unleashed by the Covid-19 pandemic rages is Nouriel Roubini, economics professor at New York University. In the months leading up to the 2008 global financial crisis , his predictions were eerily accurate. Now he has published an essay on what is unfolding regarding the Coronavirus pandemic induced economic disaster on the Project Syndicate website, entitled ominously “A Greater Depression?”

I urge ever sensible person to read it; the link is: https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/coronavirus-greater-great-depression-by-nouriel-roubini-2020-03?

 

Among the points Professor Roubini makes is that the collapse in stock markets has greatly exceed in velocity not only what occurred during the global financial crisis of 2008, but also during the Great Depression during the 1930s. While other prognosticators are predicting a U or L or worst case V trajectory and recovery, Roubini views such happy talk as delusional. He sees every indicator as pointing to a global economy in unrestrained free fall. The hope for an eventual recovery lies in a host of unconventional monetary and fiscal measures. However, as he observes, there are a host of probable white swan events and negative political realities that will likely obstruct the unprecedented policymaking the now full-fledged Global Economic Crisis requires.

 

It Will Take Years To Recover From Global Recession Caused By Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic According To OECD

March 23rd, 2020 Comments off

The secretary general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Angel Gurria, has warned that the global recession unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic will take years to recover from. He stated that the shock to the global economy created by the Covid-19 outbreak had already exceeded the damage created by the 2008 global financial crisis.

The head of the OECD told the BBC that claims by some political leaders that the world will quickly bounce back from the Global Economic Crisis now underway was “wishful thinking.”

There is growing consensus that the world is heading into a full-blown economic depression.

Global Unemployment Rate Skyrocketing Due To Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic

March 22nd, 2020 Comments off

The coronavirus pandemic is not only a public health emergency of massive proportions; the response by governments worldwide has created staggering economic contraction, leading to unprecedented growth in unemployment. Initial data indicates that countries that previously had low single digit unemployment rates are now, within a period of a few weeks, seeing double-digit unemployment statistics, with no end in sight to further hemorrhaging of jobs.

Policymakers have concluded that sever measures are necessary to contain the coronavirus pandemic; shutting down all but the most essential industries , stay-at-home directives and social distancing. This has all led to unprecedented demand destruction, resulting in massive growth in the ranks of the jobless.

The world is increasingly stuck between a rock and hard place. The Covid-19 outbreak is proving so virulent, the absence of desperate measures enacted by policymakers will result in overwhelming and collapsing the public health system, resulting in massive death. What is occurring in Italy reflects this.

On the other hand, demand destruction on the scale we are witnessing will exacerbate the Global Economic Crisis now unfolding, rivaling the Great Depression in its intensity. This will implode tax revenues, ironically also leading to underfunding and ultimately collapsing public health institutions. The short-term fiscal response by governments will undoubtedly bring on the largest public debt crisis in economic history. In other words, the sovereign cannot indefinitely write checks to the hordes of unemployed , whose number will grow along with the victims of the pandemic.

There is a real possibility of mass death due to the impact of covid-19. It also must be recognized that long-term double-digit unemployment risks undermining social and political order, also leading to mass death through social disorder and massive violence by an increasingly desperate population.

Global Economy In Free Fall At Worse Rate Than Beginning of Global Financial Crisis and Great Depression

March 20th, 2020 Comments off

The imposed shutdown of much of the world’s economy, all being done in a frantic effort to contain the rapidly spreading coronavirus, has set the stage for possibly the worst contraction in economic history. JP Morgan has now issued its first projection on the impact of Covid-19 on economic growth. They forecast in Q1 and Q2 of this year combined contraction of negative 14 percent in the United States, and negative 22 % in the Eurozone. This rate of decline exceeds the initial period of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and 1929 stock market crash that unleashed the Great Depression.

What is unique about the 2020 Global Economic Crisis is that is being initiated by self-imposed demand destruction predicated on a public health emergency. We are entering uncharted territory.

Is President Trump the Herbert Hoover of 2020? Global Economy Collapsing in Freefall – Coronavirus Pandemic Is Now an Economic Catastrophe

March 18th, 2020 Comments off

The imposed shutdown and enforced demand destruction unleashed by sovereigns across the global in a frantic effort to contain the Covid-19 virus has now unleashed an economic contagion of devastating virulence. The underlying weakness in the global economy, mainly unprecedented corporate leveraging, hidden by artificially boosted stock market valuations, are now exposed and vulnerable to an extent that will likely exceed the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 in severity.

All indices of global economic trends – oil prices, equity markets, bond yields – are pointing to a massive global economic contraction, which might very likely become a full blown depression.

The social and political consequences will rival those of the public health emergency. One likely casualty will be President Donald Trump, who until recently seemed headed for reelection on the basis of perceived economic strength.

No longer.

As with Herbert Hoover in 1932, President Trump will have to campaign , not on the basis of the “best economy ever,” but with a depressed economy in freefall collapse, shedding jobs by the millions and with bankruptcies soaring.

The world is about to undergo radical change, unforeseen not even weeks ago.

Wall Street Collapses in Biggest One-Day Decline In History: Are Policymakers Destroying the Global Economy In Order To Save Us?

March 17th, 2020 Comments off

The recession that has followed the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic is only in its initial stages, and the path is already pointed towards an economic contraction that will likely exceed the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 in severity. Historians will look back on this period in puzzlement as to how this happened. For, unlike the credit freeze that occurred in 2007-08 due to subprime mortgages poisoning the global financial system, in 2020 the entire planet has decided to commit economic suicide in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The enforced shutdown of the global economy is presented as the only prescription for containing the outbreak of coronavirus, and the Global Economic Crisis now underway is the equivalent of chemotherapy for a cancer patient; toxic to the body, with many negative side effects, but proclaimed as the only way of saving a patient afflicted with terminal cancer.

Historians will look back on this period and render their own judgment if economic suicide was the proper prescription. Be in no doubt, however. The path chosen by policymakers to combat the COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented development in world economic history; an enforced, purposefully designed economic recession of staggering proportions.

On March 16 the Dow Jones dropped 2,997 points, equivalent to nearly 13 percent of the DJIA value. This follows days of precedent -making daily declines, interspersed with a few days of record gains. This wild ride of volatility is headed in only oneĀ  direction, however; massive losses in equities, with central banks and policymakers uncertain as to how to address the massive wave of economic destruction that has been unleashed, hoping that history will judge them righteous for having chosen what they believe is the only sure path towards containing a virus that, though a clear public health threat, was nowhere near as deadly a pandemic as the Black Death of medieval times.

During the Vietnam War, an American army officer explained to a journalist that he had to order the total destruction of a village in order to save it. Hopefully , the massive wave of economic contraction being imposed globally by policymakers will not have a similar outcome.

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Coronavirus Pandemic Leading To Global Economic Crisis Due To Unprecedented Demand Destruction

March 12th, 2020 Comments off

Now that the World Health Organization has declared Covid-19 a pandemic, it seems inescapable that the world will be plunged into a massive economic crises. The initial steps by central banks to slow the bleeding occurring in global equity markets have been blown away by the scale of the cooronavirus outbreak, as the realization seeps in that the combined health and economic crisis will be of an undetermined but unquestionable prolonged duration.
In 2007 a contagion in the form of subprime mortgages froze the world’s credit markets, leading to the Global Financial Crisis of 2008.

This time it is an actual microbe, a virus, that is the contagion. The Covid-19 pandemic has led both sovereigns and consumers into policies and behaviors leading to massive and accelerating demand destruction. Ironically, this demand destruction will also freeze credit markets, perpetuating the character and scale of the unfolding global economic crisis.
It should be noted that the world is far more polarized than in 2008, and this will exacerbate the scale of the economic and financial collapse that is now upon us. As for the possibility that the cooronavirus pandemic will be of short duration, this is not a likely scenario. It will take at least t one and half to two years to perfect a vaccine, if that is even possible. In a worst case scenario, the health and economic emergency could linger for years.