Things are happening so fast that it's sometimes difficult to keep up. Everywhere you look, the lights are flashing and alarms are sounding. The only question is whether or not anyone is paying attention. We are entering into unchartered waters and where all this will lead is anyones guess. The only thing that I know for sure is that I'm scared, afraid of what the future holds and wondering if this is indeed, The Great Unraveling?
1. The Airlines Are Dying- It's been clear for a long time that the major air carriers were living on borrowed time, but the past few weeks appear to have been the beginning of the end. The past few weeks have seen a number of small carriers go out of business and just this week, Delta and Northwest agreed to merge, becoming the worlds largest airline. The reason for the merger and the future ones that will come is the rising cost of fuel. It's quite possible that I will never again ride on an airplane.
2. Russia In Decline- For the past decade, Russia has been the one saving grace with regards to global oil production. After years of underproduction during the Soviet regime, Russian oil fields saw surging output and helped move Russia to the top of the list. The past three months have seen declining Russian production and the Vice President for Russian oil major Lukoil says that Russia has peaked. Not good.
3. Retail Bankruptcies- They just keep coming and coming and coming. Right now, it's pretty much the lower spectrum of the retail industry but as prices continue to rise in the fuel and food category, there is less and less money to spend on crap we don't need.
4. Global Food Ritots- Food is becoming more and more expensive (increase in fuel prices for shipping, increase in price of fertilizer due to natural gas shortages and of course, biofuels) and the poorer countries are being outbid for the basics. We are at Peak Food as well.
5. Housing Crisis Continues- US home foreclosures surged 57% during March and it's only going to get worse: ``We're not near the bottom of this at all,'' said Kenneth Rosen, chairman of Rosen Real Estate Securities LLC, a hedge fund in Berkeley, California and chairman of the Fisher Center for Real Estate at the University of California at Berkeley. ``The foreclosure process will accelerate throughout the year.'' Of course, some parts of the country aren't affected by this. My next door neighbor sold her home in 4 days and got more than she asked. The house across the street sold in about a month and got the asking price. Head to the suburbs however and it's a different story.
6. US Government Might Lose It's AAA Credit Rating- Freedie and Fannie have taken over the home mortgage market as their share of new mortgages rose to 82% in January. Read here why this is bad news for our credit rating.
I could go on and on, it's all out there in the open, but after a while, it just gets too depressing. I'm not sure what it's going to take to wake people up but if they don't soon, real life is going to beat them over the head.