The International Monetary Fund issued a stark warning on Tuesday about the coronavirus’s economic toll, saying that the world is facing its worst downturn since the Great Depression as shuttered factories, quarantines and national lockdowns cause economic output to collapse.
The grim forecast underscored the magnitude of the shock that the pandemic has inflicted on both advanced and developing economies and the daunting task that policymakers face in containing the fallout. With countries already hoarding medical supplies and international travel curtailed, the I.M.F warned that the crisis threatened to reverse decades of gains from globalization.
In its World Economic Outlook, the I.M.F. projected that the global economy would contract by 3 percent in 2020, an extraordinary reversal from early this year, when the fund forecast that the world economy would outpace 2019 and grow by 3.3 percent. This year’s fall in output would be far more severe than the last recession, when the world economy contracted by less than 1 percent between 2008 and 2009.
The world is confused and frightened. COVID-19 infections are on the rise across the U.S. and around the world, even in countries that once thought they had contained the virus. The outlook for the next year is at best uncertain; countries are rushing to produce and distribute vaccines at breakneck speeds, some opting to bypass critical phase trials. Meanwhile, unemployment numbers remain dizzyingly high, even as the U.S. stock market continues to defy gravity. We’re headed into a global depression–a period of economic misery that few living people have experienced.
We’re not talking about Hoovervilles. Today the U.S. and most of the world have a sturdy middle class. We have social safety nets that didn’t exist nine decades ago. Fortunately, that’s true even for developing countries. Most governments today accept a deep economic interdependence among nations created by decades of trade and investment globalization. But those expecting a so-called V-shaped economic recovery, a scenario in which vaccinemakers conquer COVID-19 and everybody goes straight back to work, or even a smooth and steady longer-term bounce-back like the one that followed the global financial crisis a decade ago, are going to be disappointed.
Let’s start with the word depression. There is no commonly accepted definition of the term. That’s not surprising, given how rarely we experience catastrophes of this magnitude. But there are three factors that separate a true economic depression from a mere recession. First, the impact is global. Second, it cuts deeper into livelihoods than any recession we’ve faced in our lifetimes. Third, its bad effects will linger longer.
A depression is not a period of uninterrupted economic contraction. There can be periods of temporary progress within it that create the appearance of recovery. The Great Depression of the 1930s began with the stock-market crash of October 1929 and continued into the early 1940s, when World War II created the basis for new growth. That period included two separate economic drops: first from 1929 to 1933, and then again from May 1937 into 1938. As in the 1930s, we’re likely to see moments of expansion in this period of depression.
Depressions don’t just generate ugly stats and send buyers and sellers into hibernation. They change the way we live. The Great Recession created very little lasting change. Some elected leaders around the world now speak more often about wealth inequality, but few have done much to address it. Large segments of society, particularly people who weren’t already on the verge of retirement, were able to hunker down and later return to the same approach to saving and investing they practiced before the crisis. They were rewarded with a period of solid, long-lasting recovery. That’s very different from the current crisis. COVID-19 fears will bring lasting changes to public attitudes toward all activities that involve crowds of people and how we work on a daily basis; it will also permanently change America’s competitive position in the world and raise profound uncertainty about U.S.-China relations going forward.
Gerald Celente, the popular publisher of The Trends Journal, is sounding the alarm on what he sees as a coming economic catastrophe. “They are killing us,” says Celente referring to the current lockdown of many businesses. In the interview with Stansberry Research anchor Daniela Cambone, Celente discusses what he is doing to protect his assets. He also details how he is preparing for what he considers the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression.
What’s a recession?
You might best remember a recession from your experience in 2008 to 2009, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average bottomed out at less than 50 percent of its 2007 high. But, unlike bear and bull markets, you don’t define a recession solely on market index performance.
Recessions are hard to quantify, but economists typically define them as two or more consecutive quarters of negative growth of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), or the total value of everything that the country produces.
They generally happen when there’s a significant decline in economic activity. Indicators include a drop in employment, manufacturing activity, consumer confidence and, yes, stock prices—all of which were happening in March 2020, in large part as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Indeed, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and others now say the U.S. is already in a recession. Goldman Sachs released a revised forecast in mid-March projecting that the U.S. economy would shrink by 6 percent in the first quarter and a stunning 24 percent in the second quarter as a result of the pandemic.
How long does a recession last?
On average, a recession lasts about 11 months, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. But they can be shorter and milder, or longer and more severe, as we know from the Great Recession of 2008 and the Great Depression of 1929. Still, even in extreme cases, the stock market has always recovered. And so has the economy.
In the case of the Great Recession, it took about four years for the Dow Jones Industrial Average to reach a new high after bottoming out in 2009. But along the way, investments still made gains, and long-term investors who maintained regular contributions throughout the recession were best poised to reap them.
What happens in a recession?
Typically, unemployment rises and hiring slows. You may also see wages stagnate or even decline. Companies may announce mass lay-offs, as has already happened at some businesses that have been hit hard by the shutdowns in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Consumer spending typically falls as Americans have less money to spend and even those who are still working may worry about their continued employment. Government debt tends to rise as the government passes bills to stimulate the economy and help those in need. (Congress is currently considering a nearly $2 trillion stimulus package.)
Stocks and other assets can lose value as investors panic sell, or sell investments for needed cash, and the demand for certain assets declines. If Americans lose their income, or fear they may in the near future, they’re less likely to buy a new home or new car, for example.
As the economy starts to recover, those trends will shift.
How do you prepare for a recession?
Just because you know that historically all recessions have ended and led to even greater economic growth, that doesn’t make the prospect of facing one any easier. But there are a few simple steps you can take now to recession-proof your life.
1. Build up an emergency fund
Most of us probably know we should have an emergency fund equivalent to three to six months of living expenses. But when the economy’s doing well, it can be easy to shrug it off as something you’ll get around to eventually.
As talk of a recession grows, though, it’s wise to turn your attention to your emergency fund. Unemployment is rising, and should you find yourself out of work for a few months, you’ll want to be able to tap into cash reserves.
First, take stock of your income and spending. Make note of your bare essentials, or fixed costs. That’s probably your rent or mortgage payment, utilities, cell phone, internet, essential groceries and insurance.
Tally up your expenses for the month and then multiply that by three, four, five or six, depending on how many months’ cushion you’re aiming to give yourself.
If that number looks intimidating to begin with, don’t stress. Set a goal to reach at least a $1,000 fund and start small with a recurring daily, weekly or monthly deposit into your savings account. (Research tells us it’s much easier for us to build savings when we automate it.)
From there, continue to increase your contribution if you’re able until you’ve reached at least three to six months of expenses.
Bonus: To help protect your money from inflation (the amount the cost of goods and services increases), look for high-yield savings accounts. These accounts can offer interest rates 10 to 20 times higher than the national average of .09 percent, better helping your money maintain value over the long term.
How do you prepare to survive an economic collapse? You can reduce the potential impact that an economic collapse may have on you and your family by following these simple principles:
Stock the supplies necessary to sustain life
Stockpile valuable tools
Grow your own food
Prepare to provide for yourself or do without
Prepare to live with little or no electricity
Strengthen your financial status
Learn basic skills
Prepare to share
Be ready to protect your family
Maintain a current passport
Hope for the best and prepare for the worst
Basic Staple Foods with a Long Shelf Life
Storing at least a year or two of basic staple foods that can last for 25-30 years in storage can sustain your family during an economic challenge whether it is hyperinflation, loss of employment, food shortages or any other crisis. To learn what to store for your family, click here.
Basic staples like wheat, rice, oats, pasta, beans, sugar, and dehydrated or freeze-dried foods specifically packaged for long term storage are great options. You can learn how to package your food storage and more about the ideal storage conditions here. For current pricing on long term food storage from Augason Farms click here. Check out our personal recommendations for long term food storage shelving and suppliers here.
Shelf Stable Everyday Foods
A supply of short term shelf stable foods that you use every day will help minimize the impact when you are unable to shop at the grocery store as you normally do. We call this short term food storage because while these foods are shelf-stable, they will not store for 25-30 years like the long term staples will. It is important to have both to successfully protect against hunger.
Short term everyday food storage includes canned goods, boxed mixes, packaged dinners, cold cereal, ketchup, and similar items. These foods will remain good for 1-7 years depending on the food, packaging and storage conditions. Learn more about building a supply of short term everyday foods here.
Food takes up a lot of space and it can be a bit challenging to find a place to store it all that still allows for good organization and rotation. Check out some ideas from our friends here.
Food storage is an incredibly wise investment. Let’s take the scenario of hyperinflation in Venezuela, where product prices (on average) have doubled every 19 days. That means that if you purchase a case of six #10 cans of rolled oats today for $24, that case would cost $12,582,912 in one year…crazy huh? Most importantly, you would have that case of rolled oats to feed your family when food is scarce or prices are outrageous.
Basic Non-Food Staples
Stock up on personal sanitation items such as toilet paper, feminine products, shampoo, soaps, contact solution, and other items that you use every day. What non-food items do you purchase regularly? This article on personal sanitation may give you some ideas of items you will want to make sure gets put on your list.
Medication and First Aid Supplies
Are you on a prescription medication for a chronic medical condition? You may want to talk to your doctor to see if you can work out a way to keep a little extra on hand. Most insurances will refill at 25 days. Take advantage of that 5-day buffer and refill as soon as you are eligible to build up a backup supply. Your doctor may also be willing to give you samples to help you build up your supply.
What over-the-counter medications do you use regularly? Stock a back-up supply of over-the-counter pain relievers, allergy medications, cold and flu remedies, or whatever other medications would be appropriate for you to stockpile for your family. Stocking a supply of vitamin supplements may also be a good idea.
Be prepared to treat minor injuries without medical help. Keep a well-stocked first aid kit with all the supplies that you may need.
Make good health a priority. The people of Venezuela are suffering greatly due to a lack of medical care. Exercise regularly and eat healthfully. Get adequate rest, fresh air and sunshine. Stay current with medical and dental appointments, and do the other things that build health and resiliency.
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Grow Your Own Food
Make growing even a small amount of food part of your daily life. It takes years to build your soil and your skill set to the point where you are able to produce a reliable, abundant crop. Even if your busy life will only allow you to grow a few potted tomatoes, it is a good place to start.
Prepare to Provide for Yourself or Do Without
During an economic collapse, it is important that you do everything that you can to take care of your needs without depending on others. In addition to the resources you have stored, you may need to be creative and make do with what you can make yourself. Create a personal reference library with valuable books that you can refer to when Google fails you.
Prepare to Live with Little or No Electricity
You may or may not have access to power during an economic collapse. Even if you do have power, you may not have the financial resources to pay for it. Prepare now by taking steps to reduce your energy consumption. Look at alternative energy resources (such as solar electric, solar thermal, propane, etc.) as a possible part of your plan. Be prepared to survive with little or no heat. You can find some helpful ideas here.
Enjoy the total peace of mind that comes with knowing you have a constant and reliable power supply for your home or business in with a standby generator from Alternate Power Solutions. From everyday necessities like heating, cooling, refrigeration and lights, to daily essentials like cooking, laundry or kids bath times. Power outages are occurring more frequently than ever and lasting longer with devastating effects.Stand up to unpredictable weather and unforeseen outages with the most trusted name in residential Alternate Power Solutions If the power ever goes out, your General standby generator goes on – automatically – protecting you and your home 24/7.
Learn Basic Skills
When the economy crashes, basic skills will become even more valuable. The ability to do your own home and car repairs (or other services) will save you much-needed money. You may be able to earn quick cash by offering those services to others.
Baking bread from scratch, growing tomatoes, mending torn jeans, fixing a leaky faucet, caring for a sick child, repairing a broken lock, fermenting vegetables, and bottling peaches are just a few examples of basic skills that will save money and improve your quality of life when times are tough.
What skills do you have that you may be able to barter with? Perhaps it is time to learn a new hobby that will help you develop important basic skills.
Be Ready to Protect Your Family
One of the reasons Venezuelan citizens gave for fleeing the country was violent crime. The citizens do not have the ability to defend themselves with firearms due to strict gun control laws. You may need to be prepared with alternative methods to protect and defend your family from dangerous people.
Secure Your Home
Physically secure your home and make it a less appealing target for thieves. Strengthen and secure all entry points to your home, plant thorny barriers (roses, thorny bushes) as a deterrent, build strong fences, keep valuables out of sight and secured, and install alarm systems if appropriate.
A great way to find vulnerabilities in your home is to involve the entire family. Encourage family members or even a close friend to gain access to your home or valuables without breaking anything. This is a great way for everyone to look at your home with a new set of eyes and find areas that need to be fortified. We like to dress the part to add a bit of excitement, but it is not required.
Learn Self-Defense Skills
Become proficient in your choice of self-defense skills. Make sure that you have the appropriate alternative self-defense tools (stun gun, pepper spray, knives, metal baseball bat, cast iron frying pan, big dog, etc.) in the event that firearms are confiscated. When people are without hope, hungry, and desperate they may pose a serious threat to your safety. Offer help and hope whenever possible but be prepared to defend yourself when necessary.
READING ARTICLES IS NOT ENOUGH. YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED THIS BOOK TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IS HAPPENING IS YOU ARE TO SURVIVE WHAT IS COMING.
Survival MD (Best Post Collapse First Aid Survival Guide Ever)
Conquering the coming collapse (Financial advice and preparedness )
Liberty Generator (Build and make your own energy source)
Backyard Liberty (Easy and cheap DIY Aquaponic system to grow your organic and living food bank)
Bullet Proof Home (A Prepper’s Guide in Safeguarding a Home )
Family Self Defense (Best Self Defense Strategies For You And Your Family)
Sold Out After Crisis (Best 37 Items To Hoard For A Long Term Crisis)
Survive The End Days (Biggest Cover Up Of Our President)
Drought USA(Discover The Amazing Device That Turns Air Into Water)