Stock prices around the world took a nosedive on Monday, January 4, 2016 — the first trading day of the year — signaling an ominous possible confirmation of what many experts have been predicting: that this will be the year when the global economy plunges into a complete freefall.
After years of surviving on artificial life support (read quantitative easing) while debt has continued to spiral in nearly every country, the global economy’s demise may be imminent — despite the recent rosy forecasts from mainstream media pundits who have been cheerleading the alleged recovery in the United States and elsewhere.
The day’s trading troubles started when the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 6.9 percent overnight to a three-month low of 3,296.66. This prompted the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets to stop trading for the rest of the day, marking the first time China has implemented its new “circuit breaker” mechanism — a measure designed to mitigate the kind of panic selling that was beginning to occur in the country’s stock markets on Monday.
The circuit breaker mechanism automatically halts trading in China if the index drops or rises more than 5 percent, but the freeze wasn’t enough to prevent shock waves from affecting the European markets and subsequently the Dow Jones as well.
U.S. stocks started 2016 with their biggest intra-day selloff since September 2015. The Dow dropped 423 points, or 2.4 percent, to 17,002 at 12:25 p.m. Eastern. The S&P 500 shed 2.3 percent, or 48 points, to 1,995 and the Nasdaq fell 2.8 percent, or 141 points, to 4,866.
In June 2015, a dive in prices in China caused unrest in global stock markets and the government has been trying to restore confidence in the country’s economy ever since. But a multi-billion-dollar bailout has not been enough to do the job, and, on Friday, figures indicating a “persistent contraction” in manufacturing were the main trigger for Monday’s stock sell-off.The latest unrest in the Middle East was also a contributing factor in the market plunge and an increase in oil prices:
Saudi Arabia said Sunday it is severing diplomatic relations with Iran, a development that could potentially threaten oil supply. The world’s largest oil supplier executed a prominent Shiite cleric that prompted protesters to set fire to the Saudi Embassy in Tehran and Iran’s top leader to criticize Saudi Arabia.
The general consensus among analysts is that the markets will continue to remain volatile throughout 2016, and that assessment may prove to be an enormous understatement.
Many observers predict that the house of cards known as the global economy is about to come tumbling down on a scale that will make the Great Recession look like a minor correction in comparison.
Just today, China halted trading on its markets as stocks plunged to emergency levels. The Dow, meanwhile, opened with a 450-point plunge, and world markets are showing signs that the end of the cheap money bubble is rapidly approaching. According to Adams, “the global debt pyramid is on the verge of unraveling,“ and when it does, the crash will be far worse than anything that happened in the 2008 housing bubble implosion.
Adams successfully predicted the 2008 housing bubble crash two years before it occurred, and has lately been warning people that they should consider liquidating their investments before it’s too late.
At any rate, it would seem to be the time to at least start paying close attention to what is happening in the global markets — the recent volatility is not an indication of any sort of “recovery,” at least as far as most legitimate experts are concerned.