The Royal Bank of Scotland warned its clients to “sell everything” and exit the stock market as soon as possible, a warning which indicates the global economy is heading towards a 1929-style Great Depression.

“Sell everything except high-quality bonds,” warned Andrew Roberts, the bank’s research chief for European economics and rates. “We think investors should be afraid.”

He said the collapsing price of oil, the impending destruction of Chinese markets and ever-exploding debts – all within the first week of January – were significant red flags revealing the “cataclysmic year” ahead.

To elaborate, the S&P’s 500 had its worst five-day start on record since 1929 and the Dow Jones industrial average never had a start so bad since 1897.

And in China, government officials are demolishing never-used high-rises built in unoccupied “ghost cities” funded by the country’s credit-fueled investment bubble.

011216chinesebuilding

Some of these cities are as large as Austin, Texas, yet completely devoid of human life – a shocking consequence of China attempting to boost its GDP though unsound Keynesian economic policies.

“All this amounted to a rapid expansion in the stock of debt, a large percentage of which became non-performing assets backed by vacant and incomplete infrastructure projects,” Forbes reported. “This became the equivalent of an economy banking on future global demand to justify its rapid current infrastructure investment.”

And oil is declining towards $20 a barrel and experts suggests it may even hit $10, which indicates the collapsing oil prices aren’t just due to Saudi Arabia attempting to bankrupt U.S. shale producers but also because the global demand for crude is following the global economy’s free fall.

In fact, Saudi Arabia now admits the current price of oil is hurting its economy.

“The 13 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will work toward meeting in early March, [Nigeria’s minister of state Emmanuel] Kachikwu said in an interview in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday,” Bloomberg reported. “Members are already engaged in informal discussions with some non-OPEC producers, including Russia, to join any future production cut to shore up prices, he said.”

All these red flags combined show the economy is in worse shape than before the 2008 financial crisis.

“If there’s one thing to take away from this year’s developments in markets and economies so far, it’s that they are all linked, they’re all part of the same thing,” The Automatic Earth reported. “If you can’t see that, you’re not going to understand what’s happening.”

“Looking at falling oil prices as a separate thread is not much use, and neither is doing the same with Chinese stocks, or the yuan, or the millions of Americans who are one paycheck away from poverty, for that matter: it’s all one story.”

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