Perhaps the U.K.'s leading economic commentator is The Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. Somewhat schizophrenic, Evans-Pritchard vacillates between pandering to the banksters of London and New York (along with their servants in government) and condemning them.
His July 4th commentary is an example of the latter. Evans-Pritchard supplies some alarming data (and astute research) which totally repudiates the noise from the U.S. propaganda-machine that an “economic recovery” is imminent.
Evans-Pritchard focuses on alarming unemployment data, and the efforts of governments (particularly the Obama regime) to hide the truth about this jobs-catastrophe. Regular readers will note that this has long been one of my own regular themes.
Evans-Pritchard begins by noting recent data which was totally ignored by other, media talking-heads: the number of hours worked by Americans has plunged by 6.9% over the last year – to an average of only 33 hours/week. Thus, in addition to massive job-losses, those Americans who still have jobs are rapidly being transformed into a part-time workforce.
Like many other commentators (including myself), he rejects the absurd, “official” U.S. unemployment figure of 9.5%, quoting the Center for Labor Market Studies (in Boston) which calculates current U.S. unemployment at 18.2%. Those attempting to provide a realistic number for U.S. unemployment range in their estimates from slightly over 15% to slightly over 20%.
Meanwhile, several of the smaller European nations which also allowed their economies to spawn large (and dangerous) asset-bubbles have unemployment problems of similar severity. Evans-Pritchard notes that Spain is reporting unemployment at 18.7%, while Latvia suffers from unemployment at 16.3%. What separates these European economies from the U.S., however, is that none of them are experiencing the exponential growth in both national debt, and out-of-control deficits.
As someone who has openly stated that the U.S. economy is already in a Greater Depression, I took particular note of Evans-Pritchard's comparison of the U.S. housing market between the Great Depression of the 1930's and the Greater Depression of today. In 1932, during the worst of the Great Depression, only 273,000 families suffered foreclosure during the entire year. Meanwhile, in April of this year (i.e. just one month) there were 342,000 foreclosures.
In my own commentaries, I have pointed out on numerous occasions that U.S. house prices have been falling more than three times as fast as during the Great Depression - based on data compiled by Robert Shiller. Sadly, Shiller himself has caved-in to Wall Street group-think – and just called a “bottom” in the U.S. housing market.
Such a “bottom” isn't even possible until the middle of next decade, with the stronger probability being that the U.S. housing market will remain depressed for an entire generation. Thus, in any and every respect, the current collapse in the U.S. housing market is several times as bad as what occurred during the Great Depression.
Evans-Pritchard then suggests to the bankster-oligarchs of New York and London that they “take a teacher's salary for a few years, until the storm passes.” This comes only weeks after Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) arrogantly boasted that it expects “record bonuses” this year. In one of the most self-evident predictions in history, he states that should the banksters once again plunder tens of billions of dollars from their corporate coffers (after having TRILLIONS of taxpayer dollars stuffed into those coffers) that this would lead to a “ferocious backlash”.
Unfortunately, Evans-Pritchard ends an otherwise commendable commentary by suggesting that the U.S. is “fortunate” to have Barack Obama as president. As the man who gave Wall Street lackey, Tim Geithner the “keys” to the U.S. Treasury, who is poised to reappoint Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Fed, and who plans on giving that same cabal of private bankers even greater authority over the U.S. economy, Obama has clearly established himself as part of the problem.
In a final note, Evans-Pritchard notes the dramatic rise of U.S. militia groups, as a response to the much milder recession of the early 1990's. In a nation with far more guns and far more suffering than during the Great Depression, this is clearly a recipe for violent unrest.
The U.S. government has recently violated one of its most-cherished laws – and officially deployed a unit of the U.S. Army inside the United States. It has also encouraged the explosion in the number of private prisons all across the U.S. (the new, favorite investment of Dick Cheney and Alberto Gonzales).
It's quite obvious how the U.S. government plans to “cope” with the Greater Depression – and those plans do not involve providing jobs for Americans.