As we approach the 10-year anniversary of the 2008 financial crisis, some things don't seem a whole lot different. Everybody is optimistic, and as Peter Schiff noted in his most recent podcast, ignoring all of the warning signs.
"We're seeing a lot of warning signs people should be worried about, but again they're dismissing them, much the way they did 10 years ago You know, we're getting close to the 10-year anniversary of the 2008 financial crisis. Remember, the whole thing started in August of 2008. Here we are August 2018, 10 years later. I think we're heading for an even bigger crisis and the same people are even more clueless."
Peter said there is a lot of data that is being ignored or glossed over. For instance, the July jobs numbers came in much lower than expected at 157,000.
"When they look at this big decline month-over-month in job creation, nobody seems to think it's a problem, because everybody wants to look at the economic glass as half-full."
Average hourly wages rose 0.3, which was the expectation, but last month's number originally reported as up 0.2 was revised to -0.1.
"And for all we know, the 0.3 we just got could be downwardly revised next month. But if you take the average hourly earnings numbers at face value and look at the year-over-year increase, the gain is 2.7%. That's how much nominal wages have gone up over the past year. And that includes, of course, all of these minimum wage hikes."
Meanwhile, the CPI has gone up 2.9% during the same period. Peter said he doesn't think the CPI accurately measures the real increase in the cost of living, but even if it did, wages still aren't keeping up with prices.
"Real wages, despite the 2.7% increase, real wages are actually down during that year. In fact, this is the biggest drop in real wages in six years. Now to hear Donald Trump talk, or anybody else talk, real wages are soaring, right? Everybody is getting a raise. They're not. Inflation - consumer prices are rising faster than wages."
And of course, interest rates are going up. That means consumers who are buying stuff on credit are seeing those costs rise as well. And there are a lot of people buying stuff on credit. In fact, the entire economy is built on working-class debt.
"So, the cost of living is rising much faster than wages. But the information, or the data that's coming out, should give people pause, because if you look at the data, it would indicate a slowdown in the economy is rapidly approaching, which is probably going to result in a reversal of these job gains."
Peter said inflation is masking a lot of the weak economic data that's coming out. In fact, he thinks inflation is increasing faster than the official statistics reveal.
"So, that makes it easier for people to be fooled by the data - the numbers though are higher simply because of underreported inflation rather than real economic growth."
Peter highlighted some other negative news that came out over the last week or so.
- The trade deficit swelled about 7%.
- We're on track for the biggest trade deficit in 10 years.
- If you don't count oil, the US will run the biggest trade deficit in history.
- ISM non-manufacturing index came in way below expectations.
- Construction spending was down.
- There was a big drop in auto sales in July.
Peter spent the last half of the podcast talking about the trade war. As he explains it, the mainstream view is dangerously wrong.