How Artificial Intelligence Triggered The Stock Market Plunge

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How Artificial Intelligence Triggered The Stock Market Plunge

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Experts are warning that artificial intelligence (AI) may trigger the next stock market or financial crash – especially in light of Monday’s freefall that was triggered in part by computers.

The financial industry’s rush to replace human traders with AI can intensify market shocks and make crashes worse, a panel of financial experts said.

“Taken as a group, universal banks’ vulnerability to systemic shocks may grow if they increasingly depend on similar algorithms or data streams,” a November 1 report from the Financial Stability Board (FSB) warned. The FSB is a group of experts that advises central banks like the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England on risks.

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The FSB is worried about next-generation trading technologies that use advanced software algorithms based on AI and machine learning to make financial decisions, Bloomberg Markets reported.

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“These risks may become more important in the future if AI and machine learning are used for ‘mission-critical’ applications of financial institutions,” the FSB warned. “Moreover, advanced optimization techniques and predictable patterns in the behavior of automated trading strategies could be used by insiders or by cyber-criminals to manipulate market prices.”

On Monday the Dow Jones plunged 800 points in about 10 minutes. It ended the day down 1,175 points.

“The explosive speed of the fall … that is done by machines,” Tom Stevenson of Investment Director at Fidelity Personal Investing told the BBC.

A major fear is that AI might start making trades so fast that humans will be unable to keep up with the process. Another is that hackers or terrorists would be able to sabotage the markets.

Artificial intelligence is closer to taking over the financial industry than many people believe. The world’s first hedge fund run by artificial intelligence, Numerai, went online last year.

Since then, at least two other efforts to create AI hedge funds, Sharpe Capital and Algo Marketplace, have been proposed.

“If computing power and data generation keep growing at the current rate, then machine learning could be involved in 99 percent of investment management in 25 years,” Luke Ellis of the British investment firm Man Group Plc told Bloomberg.

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5 Things You Better Know About The Stock Market Freefall

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5 Things You Better Know About The Stock Market FreefallThe Dow Jones plunged Monday by 1,175 points and continued that slide Tuesday morning. Not surprisingly, many investors are confused by the freefall.

Here are five things you should know about the present panic on Wall Street:

1. The Dow Jones industrials suffered its worst one-day point drop ever on Monday. It even was down by 1,600 points at one point. This was actually worse than the memorable decline on Sept. 29, 2008, during the Great Economic Meltdown, CNBC reported. The market lost 777 points back then. Still, as a percentage of the market (4.6 percent), it was not a record.

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2. Interest rates might be to blame. Bond traders believe the sell-off, which began Friday, was triggered by speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve is set to raise interest rates. The fear is that higher interest rates would lead to lower home sales and less new construction, which can trigger a downturn.

3. This might not be a correction. A correction would require the Dow to lose around 10 percent of its value, Vox pointed out. The Dow only lost 6.5 percent of its value on Monday. However, stock market strategist Steve Stovall told Vox that a 20 percent drop in the market is possible.

4. The real estate market might be worse than stocks right now. U.S. home sales fell sharply in December, the National Association of Realtors reported. Home sales fell by around 3.5 in the final month of 2017. The number of previously owned homes fell by 11.4 percent to 1.8 million, the lowest number since January 1999.

5. Advisors are telling people to sell their stocks. Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts gave investors a “sell indicator” Friday, CNBC reported. The indicator means that the market is overheated and primed for a big fall.

The Bank of America Merrill Lynch Bull & Bear or sell indicator is one of the most accurate predictors of market activity, CNBC reported.

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7 Reasons to Keep Prepping (Even Though Trump is President)

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When Barak Obama was president, preparedness was a very popular topic. Many people were certain that Obama’s policies would eventually crash the economy, so they wanted to be ready. And although preparedness is still a popular topic, now that Donald Trump is president, most conservatives aren’t as worried as they used to be. In fact, […]

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A Mystery Investor Has Made A 262 Million Dollar Bet That The Stock Market Will Crash By October

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A Mystery Investor Has Made A 262 Million Dollar Bet That The Stock Market Will Crash By October While no one in their right mind would dare set a date for the collapse, as we have seen that fail time and time again, there are watchers out there. I would gladly refer to this author …

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The W’s of Buying Silver!

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The W’s of Buying Silver! Ray Becker “Renaissance Man” Audio in player below! Ray, also known as Renaissance Man takes some time to discuss buying Silver. When you think of Silver, try not to think of it as money. Silver and Gold are store of value. All we’re doing is converting our fiat Federal Reserve Notes … Continue reading The W’s of Buying Silver!

The post The W’s of Buying Silver! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

5 Good Reasons To Believe A Stock Market Crash Is Looming

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5 Good Reasons To Believe A Stock Market Crash Is Looming

Many investment experts believe that a major decline or even crash in the stock, real estate and bond markets is imminent – despite what the Dow Jones is telling us.

The Dow jumped more than 300 points Tuesday to finish above 21,000 – a record – but if you dig a little deeper you’ll discover that things aren’t all that rosy.

In fact, some of the smartest brains on Wall Street are convinced that a major fall is just around the corner.

Jim Rogers, George Soros’ partner in the Quantum Fund, believes a $68 trillion crash will occur in 2017 or 2018, Investopedia reported. Swiss economist Marc Faber has said the market will fall after the S&P 500 (an index of stocks in America’s 500 largest corporations) hits 2,300; the S&P was at 2,390 early Wednesday.

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“Get prepared,” Rogers said in an interview with MacroVoices. “We’re going to have the worst economic problems we’ve had in your lifetime or my lifetime and when that happens a lot of people are going to disappear.”

Here are five good reasons why you should be afraid of the current bull market:

1. The increase in stock prices is largely artificial. Stock prices are rising because corporations are using their own cash to buy back their own stocks. Companies spent $500 million on stock buybacks between 2014 and 2016, HSBC analysts determined. Since 2010, corporate America has spent $2.1 trillion on stock buybacks. Walmart alone has plans to repurchase $15 billion worth of its stock. When the buybacks end, stock prices will fall back to earth.

2. The increase in stock and real estate prices over the last seven years has been driven largely by the Federal Reserve’s printing of money. This is done by keeping interest rates artificially low, which spurs borrowing. If the fed raises interest rates, the boom will end and real estate and stock prices will collapse. The Fed started raising interest rates on Dec. 14, and many observers think it will keep doing so to prevent inflation.

3. Economic activity and the number of jobs are actually declining. Massive cutbacks are taking place in some industries, including retail. JC Penney last week announced plans to close 130 to 140 stores — 14 percent of its operations — and eliminate 6,000 jobs. Macy’s is closing 100 of its stores and Sears is closing 150 stores, including 108 Kmarts. Walmart eliminated 7,000 back office jobs last year and is laying off 1,000 people at its headquarters. And it’s not just retail; last year; Bank of America closed 112 branches, Citibank closed 116 locations and JPMorgan Chase shuttered 161 branches.

4. There are similarities between today’s market and 1987. That year, the Dow lost 30 percent of its value in a crash. Experts told CBS that the Dow hit 10 record highs in 1987, and then crashed after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates. Another similarity: Some investors’ might have unrealistic expectations about President Trump and Congress. Back in 1987, the market was expecting tax cuts that did not occur for more than a year.

5. Some investors have quietly cashed out of the market or parts of it. Warren Buffett sold all of his Exxon Mobil stock last year and got rid of $900 million worth of Walmart stock this year. Nor is it just Buffett; prices in alternative investments that speculators use as a hedge or protection against market losses are going up. Gold prices soared to $1,250 an ounce on Feb. 24, and bitcoin reached a high of $1,204.77 on the same day. That’s a sure sign that investors are looking seriously at liquid investments.

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Report: Billionaires Are Hoarding Record Amount Of Cash – What Do They Know?

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Report: Billionaires Are Hoarding Record Amount Of Cash – What Do They Know?

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Billionaires are hoarding more cash than ever due to growing economic uncertainty, according to a new report.

The world’s billionaires are now holding 22.2 percent of their wealth in cash (around $1.7 trillion), consulting firm Wealth-X’s “Billionaire Census” indicates. It is the highest percentage since the survey began. The world has 2,473 billionaires.

“Billionaires are taking money off the table where available, while uncertainties in the economy and the historical highs found in deals have resulted in cash-flush portfolios,” a Wealth-X report reads.

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The billionaires’ cash hoard is roughly the size of Brazil’s gross domestic product, CNBC reported. A GDP is a measure of the value of all the goods and services sold in a nation. Brazil has a population of around 200 million people.

Average people should be concerned when the wealthy hoard cash, because it means that the super-rich think assets such as stocks, bonds, precious metals and real estate are about to lose value. They want to protect their wealth, and be in a position to snap up bargains when the market hits bottom.

Warren Buffett made most of his $66.4 billion fortune by buying up low-priced stocks during the economic crises of the 1970s and in 2008. Many other billionaires did the same.

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The Growth Equity Phase Is Over While Optimism Will Rapidly Lead To Despair

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According to Goldman Sachs (via a report), the “growth” phase is behind us, we are now in [ending] the “optimism” phase, and it is only a matter of time before “despair” sets in. For Goldman to sound the alarm is actually quite interesting. Are they actually warning us? Most of us who have been […]

Major Bank Warns: Prepare For A Stock Market Crash

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Major Bank Warns: We’re Headed For A Stock Market Crash

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Investors need to sell all of their stocks because a cataclysmic crash, like that of 2008, is imminent – so say economists at one of the world’s largest banks, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

“Sell everything except high quality bonds,” The European Rates Weekly, prepared by RBS’s Rates Research Team states. “We have been warning in past weeklies that this all looks similar to 2008. We dust off our old mantra: this is about ‘return of capital, not return on capital.’”

A combination of low oil prices, the collapse of commodities prices, growing income inequality and the economic slowdown in China will cause a repeat of the financial meltdown of 2007-2008, RBS’s head of European economics, Andrew Roberts, predicts.

Roberts says such a meltdown is imminent in the near future.

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Following is a more detailed look at why RBS says a crash is coming:

The plummeting price of oil. RBS’s experts believe oil will drop to $16 a barrel (it was trading at around $30 a barrel on January 14). Falling oil prices are driving down the value of oil stocks and hurting oil companies. Royal Dutch Shell saw its income drop by $11.87 billion over the summer of 2015. Oil companies have already laid off around 90,000 people in the United States. Some experts, including The Wall Street Journal’s Nicole Friedman, think oil prices could drop even down to $10 a barrel.

Commodities prices are devastating entire industries, such as mining and agriculture. Bloomberg estimates that mining stocks lost $1.4 trillion in value between 2011 and 2015. The prices for America’s two main export crops, soybean and corn, have fallen by half since 2012, Bloomberg said.

The Chinese economy is falling. Commodities prices are dropping in part because the economy is slowing in China, the world’s largest market for commodities including minerals and foodstuffs. The LA Times reported that scores of factories in Shenzhen, one of China’s largest industrial centers, have closed in recent months. Even Apple is considering slashing iPhone production because of falling demand. Some Chinese factories have shut down without even paying their workers. Chinese stocks lost 10 percent of their value in 2016.

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The world has too much debt. China’s debt quadrupled between 2007 and 2014, growing from $7 trillion to $28 trillion. That means China’s debt now exceeds the economic output of the United States.

Other economies elsewhere in the world are dragging. Venezuela is already suffering hyperinflation — it was 180 percent in October – and Russia had a rate of inflation of 12.9 percent in 2015 and the ruble lost half its value during the year. Brazil in early January was experiencing a rate of inflation of 10.67 percent, according to Bloomberg.

It looks as if 2016 is not going to be a very good year for investors.

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Warren Buffett Predicting Upcoming Stock Market Crash?

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Warren Buffett Predicting Upcoming Stock Market Crash?

Warren Buffett Predicting Upcoming Stock Market Crash?

Billionaires Dumping Stocks; Stock Market Crash on the Way

When it comes to investing in the stock market, we’re told to follow the smart money. Who might that be? The most influential investors/businessmen in America today are Warren Buffett, John Paulson, and George Soros. Their investing acumen has helped them amass billions of dollars and millions of followers.

With the stock market trading at record highs one would think they’re still snapping up U.S. stocks. The NASDAQ is up 275% since the markets bottomed in March 2009, and the New York Stock Exchange is up 165%.

The most important stock market indices are keeping pace. The S&P 500 has climbed more than 210% (and closed above 2,000 for the first time ever in August 2014). The Dow Jones Industrial Average has increased 175%.

But should we follow the smart money when they’re shedding American stocks? Some of the most visible and vocal billionaire investors are turning their backs on U.S. stocks. Are they preparing for a stock market crash in 2015? And should we follow suit?

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Over the last couple of years, Warren Buffett’s holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, has been dumping its exposure to American stocks that rely on consumer spending.

For example, at the end of the second quarter of 2012, Berkshire Hathaway held 10.33 million shares of Johnson & Johnson.(1) At the end of the second quarter of 2014, it held only 327,100 shares.(2) Over a two-year period, Buffett’s holding company sold off 96.8% of its holdings in Johnson & Johnson.

Berkshire Hathaway also culled its holdings in Kraft Foods Group, Inc. (NASDAQ/KRFT). In the second quarter of 2012, Warren Buffett’s holding company held 58,826,390 shares; two years later, it held just 192,666 shares. That represents a 99.7% sell-off.

In position number six, The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE/PG) is still one of Warren Buffett’s top holdings. That said, Berkshire Hathaway currently owns 52,793,078 shares of Procter & Gamble, or two percent of the company. But two years ago, it held 59.6 million shares. In just two years, Warren Buffett has dumped 11.5% of his holdings in Procter & Gamble.

What stocks does Warren Buffett think will do well in a correction? Since the second quarter of 2012, Berkshire Hathaway has increased its holding in Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE/WFC) by 225%, American Express Company (NYSE/AXP) by 193%, U.S. Bancorp (NYSE/USB) by 21%, and The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE/BK) by 31%.

It appears as though other well-known billionaire investors are predicting a major correction and shedding their once-heavyweight U.S. stocks, too. Billionaire investor John Paulson’s hedge fund, Paulson & Co., is unloading certain U.S. stocks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE/JPM), Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE/FDO), and The Sara Lee Corporation.

illionaire business magnate George Soros is the Chairman of Soros Fund Management, which sold out its holdings in several banking giants in the first quarter of 2014, including JPMorgan, Bank of America Corporation (NYSE/BAC), and Citigroup Inc. (NYSE/C). Between the three banks, Soros Fund Management sold more than a million shares.(3)

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It didn’t take long for Soros to lose faith in the U.S. markets. The divestiture comes only a quarter after his fund purchased a stake in JPMorgan and Citigroup. The fund also eliminated its stakes in Alcoa Inc. (NYSE/AA) and J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE/JCP), and decreased its stakes in Liberty Global plc (NASDAQ/LBTYA), General Motors Company (NYSE/GM), and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ/MSFT). The fund’s decreased holding in Microsoft comes just two quarters after it actually increased its stake significantly.

Stock Market Lurching Toward Crash as Economic Outlook Weakens

Despite the stock market’s record run and Washington’s assurances that the economy is getting better, some of America’s wealthiest billionaires aren’t convinced. In fact, their recent actions suggest some sort of market crash is on its way. Do they know something you don’t? Not really. The data is out there for everyone to see. Unfortunately, Wall Street is too busy ignoring the warning signs.

The stock market is supposed to be a reflection of the economy, but right now, it isn’t. That’s because most Americans aren’t even aware we’re in the midst of a recovery.

Not unlike the stock market, the U.S. economy looks good on paper. The U.S. unemployment rate is under six percent, interest rates are low, and the economy is picking up steam.(4)

Dig a little deeper, though, and you’ll discover that the underemployment rate is still at an unacceptable 12%, wages are stagnant, personal debt levels are high, and 15% of Americans are on food stamps. Plus, most Americans (76%) are still living paycheck to paycheck.(5)

For the world’s biggest economy, these are not the makings of an economic recovery. Nor are they the foundation for sustainable economic growth, especially when you consider the fact that the U.S. gets more than 70% of its gross domestic product (GDP) from consumer spending. This might explain why some of the country’s wealthiest investors are dumping certain U.S. stocks.

It’s quite possible that Warren Buffett, John Paulson, and George Soros also think U.S. stocks are in a bubble. And why not? Stocks have a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.67. Over the last 10 years, that average has been 15. Stocks are currently priced 71% higher than their 10-year average.(6)

If the economy and strong corporate earnings and revenues haven’t been driving the stock market higher, then what is? The stock market has been doing well because it’s the only avenue investors can turn to.

Federal Reserve Shuts off Tap That Propelled Stock Market Higher

In 2008, the Federal Reserve introduced its first round of quantitative easing (QE) to help kick-start the U.S. economy after it slipped into a recession. It was hoped that by artificially lowering the short-term lending rate to nearly zero, banks would more readily lend money to both businesses and individuals.

The low-interest-rate environment did three things: it essentially took “income” out of once-reliable, stable, fixed-income investments like Treasuries, bonds, and CDs; it made it easy to borrow money; and it also meant that the stock market was the only avenue for investors looking to make money.

After six years, the Federal Reserve has turned the easy money taps off. This is bad news for investors since the low-interest-rate environment is generally recognized as being the fuel that has propelled the stock market increasingly higher.

Overvalued stocks are going to have to rely on real revenues and earnings to propel them higher. Judging by the shape of the U.S. economy, this is going to be a difficult task. In 2013, the year that the overall markets soared, U.S. GDP growth was just 1.9%. For 2014, U.S. GDP growth is expected to climb modestly to 2.2%. In 2015, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts U.S. GDP growth of 3.1%, which is much healthier and closer to historical norms, but also a tad too optimistic.(7)

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The global economy could have a real drag on the U.S. economy in 2015. The IMF cut its outlook for global growth in 2015 to 3.8%. It also said there is a 38% chance the eurozone, the world’s biggest economic region, will fall back into a recession in 2015.(8) This is bad news when you consider that roughly 40% of the public companies that make up the S&P 500 get sales from Europe.

The outlook for the stock market looks bleak. Buffett, Paulson, and Soros understand this. And the reality of the U.S. economy has led them to see there is a real good chance the U.S. markets could experience a crash or serious correction in 2015.

Hopefully, everyday investors will be able to see the same thing and put their money in more stable investments. After all, there’s never been a crash the stock market hasn’t recovered from.



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About the author :

John Whitefoot is an editor at Lombardi Financial, specializing in low-priced investment opportunities. He contributes to Lombardi’s Profit Confidential and Daily Gains Letter newsletters.

John has been a financial writer since the late 1990s and has written on everything from penny stocks to blue chip stocks to the broader issues that affect the stock market.  Read full Bio Here



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The Dow Is Plunging (And Here’s 5 Other Reasons We’re Teetering On Another 2008)

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The Dow Is Plunging (And 5 Other Reasons The Economy Is Teetering On Another 2008)

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The economy could be on much shakier ground than you think, and the stock market may be only the latest indication.

With the Dow Jones falling 392 points Thursday and 252 points Wednesday, there are a number of indications that 2016 could see an economic meltdown much like the one in 2008. In fact, this year is off to the worst four-day start — down 910 points — on the stock market ever.

Here are five very good reasons why the present state of the economy should frighten you:

1. The Chinese stock market is collapsing — and it could bring down our stock market with it. Trading on the Shanghai stock exchange was halted on January 7 after the Shanghai Composite Index (China’s Dow Jones) lost 7 percent of its value in just 29 minutes of trading, The Wall Street Journal reported. Officials stop trading to prevent panic and a stock market crash.

“This is insane,” Chen Gang, the chief investment officer at an asset management company in Shanghai, told Bloomberg. “We were forced to liquidate all our holdings this morning.”

The plunge in Shanghai caused US markets to fall as well. Other markets, including Japan’s Nikkei, also fell.

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Manufacturing in China is down, and the country’s government has been trying to stimulate economic growth with massive amounts of stimulus money.

2. One of the world’s most successful investors, billionaire George Soros, thinks such a crisis has already begun. Soros told conference goers in Sri Lanka that he believes China’s currency, the Yuan, is about to collapse and bring the markets down with it.

The Dow Is Plunging (And 5 Other Reasons The Economy Is Teetering On Another 2008)

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“China has a major adjustment problem,” Soros said. “I would say it amounts to a crisis. When I look at the financial markets, there is a serious challenge which reminds me of the crisis we had in 2008.”

Soros previously has successfully predicted such collapses. In 1992, he correctly predicted that Britain was about to devalue the pound, and he made $1 billion betting against it.

3. The price of oil is collapsing and causing serious damage to the economy around the world. The cost of a barrel has fallen by half since June 2014. On January 7, oil prices had dropped to around $32 a barrel, the lowest in 12 years. Around 200,000 oil industry workers in the US have already lost their jobs, according to The New York Times.

Cheap oil is wreaking havoc elsewhere, including in Alaska, where the state government has seen its revenues fall by 81 percent since 2012, the Empresa-Journal reported. The state’s governor is so desperate for money he’s even proposed bringing back the income tax, which Alaska abolished 35 years ago.

Saudi Arabia has had to cut government spending and raise the price of utilities and gasoline to cover an $87 billion budget deficit.

4. Several top economists interviewed by Politico think that the economy will tank in 2016. Tyler Cowen, a professor of economics at George Mason University, believes we are facing “what could be the beginnings of a major global recession.”

Others agreed.

“The next president will inherit an economy teetering on the edge of recession,” former Labor Secretary Robert Reich told Politico.  Reich thinks the economy is in trouble because people simply don’t have enough money to pay for all the goods and services being produced.

“American consumers account for almost 70 percent of economic activity, but they won’t have enough purchasing power in 2016 to keep the economy going on more than two cylinders,” Reich said. He noted that the average wage in the United States is now four percent lower than it was in 2000.

5. The retail apocalypse is heating up. Major retailers are closing hundreds of stores and laying off thousands of workers. After lousy sales over Christmas, Macy’s announced plans to eliminate 4,800 jobs and shut down 36 to 40 stores.

It is not just Macy’s. JC Penney is planning to close 39 stores and lay off 2,250 workers, CBS Money Watch reported. Sears has closed around 235 stores in the past year, and some observers predict that chain could go out of business completely in 2016.

Are you worried about the economy? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Has the Great Economic Collapse Begun?

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Over the last two weeks, major movements have been taking place economically across the globe.  These events are moving international markets into “correction” territory, but cumulatively, could quickly spiral into