By Michael Snyder
Major employers all over America are announcing mass layoffs, but the mainstream media continues to insist that everything is just fine. Every month the Biden administration gives us numbers that suggest that the economy is stable, and most mainstream reporters willingly go along with that narrative. But anyone with half a brain should be able to see that we are headed for big economic trouble. The housing bubble is imploding, food prices just keep rising, and we haven’t seen a wave of layoffs like we are currently witnessing since the days of the Great Recession.
One of the things that I appreciate about Challenger, Gray & Christmas is that they don’t have a political axe to grind. They just report the facts, and their latest report tells us that announced job cuts in the United States are running 427 percent higher than they were at this time in 2022…
So far this year, employers announced plans to cut 180,713 jobs, up 427% from the 34,309 cuts announced in the first two months of 2022. It is the highest January-February total since 2009 when a total of 428,099 job cuts were announced in January and February.
Let those figures sink in for a moment.
When the number of planned layoffs is running 427 percent higher than a year ago, your economy is moving in the wrong direction very rapidly.
And the latest report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas doesn’t even include any of the job cut announcements that we have seen so far in March.
For example, it is being reported that General Motors will be offering a “voluntary” exit to the majority “of its 58,000 U.S. white-collar employees”…
General Motors will offer voluntary buyouts to a “majority” of its 58,000 U.S. white-collar employees, as it aims to cut $2 billion in structural costs over the next two years, according to a letter sent to workers Thursday from CEO Mary Barra.
The “Voluntary Separation Program,” or VSP, will be offered to all U.S. salaried employees who have spent five or more years at the company as of June 30. Outside of the U.S., the automaker will offer buyouts to executives with at least two years of time at the company.
General Motors is insisting that these are not “layoffs” because employees will get an opportunity to make a choice.
But we are also being told that workers will be “strongly encouraged to consider” the program.
In other words, nobody will be forced out the door, but a significant amount of arm-twisting will be taking place.
Meanwhile, I just learned that Johnson & Johnson has decided to lay off hundreds of workers…
Johnson & Johnson is letting go of nearly 350 employees in the surgical robotics space, according to layoff notices filed in California at the beginning of this month.
The WARN notices list layoffs involving 292 workers at Auris, 47 at Verb Surgical, and four at Ethicon Endo-Surgery. All of the jobs were based in Santa Clara County; the layoffs are effective April 30.
The “tsunami of layoffs” that we have been warned about is here.
It is really happening.
If you lose your job in the months ahead, you can blame the Federal Reserve.
After pushing interest rates all the way to the floor and flooding the system with unprecedented amounts of new money, the Federal Reserve has reversed course.
Now Fed officials are dramatically hiking interest rates and are rapidly reducing the size of their balance sheet.
As a result, money supply growth has actually turned sharply negative…
Money supply growth fell again in January, falling even further into negative territory after turning negative in November 2022 for the first time in twenty-eight years. January’s drop continues a steep downward trend from the unprecedented highs experienced during much of the past two years.
Our system is not designed to handle this sort of a rollercoaster ride.
So there will be more layoffs.
And the housing market will continue to crash.
And more major financial institutions will be in peril.
In fact, it is being reported that a very important bank in California could potentially be on the verge of collapse…
Is the bursting of the tech bubble finally spilling over to the financial system?
One day after the biggest crypto-focused bank, Silvergate Capital, announced plans to unwind and liquidate after a deposit run effectively killed its core business model, this morning its far larger peer – the parent company of the venerable Silicon Valley Bank, SVB Financial Group – saw its shares plunge the most in more than two decades after the company took “steps to bolster its financial position” that included not only a highly dilutive stock offering but also a panicked asset sale that sparked fears of a liquidity crisis at one of the biggest and original providers of funding to the Venture Capital industry.
The Santa Clara-based company’s shares sank by as much as 60% on Thursday, their biggest decline in the company’s history since going public in 1987.
This is a really big story.
It has even been suggested that this could possibly be another “Lehman Brothers moment” if the financial position of the institution cannot be stabilized.
This news was part of the reason why stock prices were way down once again on Thursday…
The S&P 500 slid 1.85% to end at 3,918.32, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average dove 543.54 points, or 1.66%, to settle at 32,254.86. The Nasdaq Composite shed 2.05% to finish at 11,338.35.
Thursday’s losses brought the Dow to close below its 200-day moving average for the first time since Nov. 9. For the week and year, the 30-stock index is down 3.4% and 2.7%, respectively.
I am going to be watching the financial markets very carefully in the weeks ahead.
Trouble is brewing.
Hopefully the recent slide that we have been witnessing will not become an avalanche.
But if the Federal Reserve continues to go down this road, it will inevitably cause a tremendous amount of chaos.
For a very long time, the Fed artificially propped up our financial system. Unfortunately, now the artificial support has been removed, and that is really bad news.
We all knew that a day of reckoning would arrive eventually, but hopefully we have at least a little bit more time before our financial system starts coming apart at the seams.