50 Numbers From 2014 That Reflect On The Times
By Michael Snyder at End Of The American Dream blog
2014 was quite a bizarre year, wasn’t it? The past 12 months brought us MH370, Ebola, civil war in Ukraine, civil unrest in Ferguson, the rise of ISIS and the fall of the Democrats in the midterm elections. Our world is becoming crazier and more unstable with each passing day, and I have a feeling that things are going to accelerate greatly in 2015. But for the moment things are relatively quiet as much of the world stops to celebrate the holiday season, so now is a good time to look back and see where we have been over the past year. The facts that I am about to share with you sound false, but they are all quite true. If you doubt any of these facts, just click the link on the number to find the source. It has been said that truth is stranger than fiction, and that was definitely the case during the past 12 months. In no particular order, the following are 50 numbers from 2014 that sound fake but that are actually real…
2.5 – Researchers have discovered that characters in cartoons for children are 2.5 times more likely to die than characters in adult dramas. But as long as those characters look cute and make funny noises it must be okay.
$4.20 – The price of ground beef just hit a brand new record high of $4.20 a pound. Exactly 10 years ago, it was just $2.21 a pound. What do you think Clara Peller would say about this?
19.8 percent – This holiday season, nearly 20 percent of all American families are on food stamps. But since the stock market is soaring, most of the rest of the country doesn’t seem to care.
$20 – If you want to “lock down that new man for Christmas”, you can buy a positive pregnancy test on Craigslist for just 20 dollars.
29.0 years – The average age when a man in America first gets married has reached an all-time high of 29.0 years. Thus the need for the fake pregnancy tests.
31.1 percent – An astounding 31.1 percent of all U.S. young adults in the 18 to 34-year-old age bracket are currently living with their parents. But the good news is that demand for tacky basement decor is at an all-time high.
33 percent – According to the Wall Street Journal, close to one-third of all Americans have a file in the FBI’s master criminal database.
34.6 percent – According to the CDC, 34.6 percent of all men in America officially meet the criteria for being obese.
36 – At this point only 36 percent of the U.S. population can name all three branches of government.
43 – The new EPA regulations issued while Barack Obama has been president are 43 times as long as the entire Bible.
45 percent – One survey discovered that 45 percent of all Americans “dread” the Christmas season.
48 percent – Only 48 percent of Americans can immediately come up with $400 in emergency cash without borrowing it or selling something.
50 – An MIT research scientist is warning that if current trends continue 50 percent of all children in America will be autistic by the year 2025.
50 percent – Half of all college graduates in America are still financially dependent on their parents when they are two years out of college.
52 percent – According to a survey that was conducted earlier this year, 52 percent of all Americans cannot even afford the house that they are currently living in right now.
54 percent – For the first time ever, more than half of all U.S. doctors support the legalization of assisted suicide.
57 percent – A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 57 percent of all Americans consider race relations in America to be “bad”. That is the worst number in 20 years.
59 percent – One very disturbing recent poll discovered that 59 percent of Americans are in favor of torturing our prisoners.
60 percent – In the United States today, 60 percent of all bachelor’s degrees are earned by women.
64 percent – It would be a great understatement to say that pornography is popular with men in America. This is true even among men that are supposed to be religious. For example, one survey discovered that 64 percent of all Christian men ages 31 to 49 look at porn at least monthly.
65 percent – One shocking new poll found that 65 percent of Americans believe that the government is “broken”. The shocking part of the survey was that it was only 65 percent.
65 percent – According to a Census Bureau report that was released in December, 65 percent of all children in America are living in a home that receives some form of aid from the federal government.
70 percent – Right now, about 70 percent of all government spending goes toward dependence-creating programs.
78 percent – According to a Pew Research Center study that was released earlier this year, 78 percent of U.S. women “want a spouse with a steady job”. Apparently the other 22 percent want an unemployed bum that stays home all day playing video games.
85 percent – 85 percent of all artificial Christmas trees are now made in China, and there is a rumor that Santa and his elves are considering a permanent move to the Chinese city of Shenzhen.
1979 – The United States has become the nation of the “permanent emergency”. In fact, there has been at least one “state of emergency” in effect in this country since 1979.
7,500 – The worldwide Ebola death toll has surpassed 7,500 for the first time, but most Americans seem to believe that the crisis is over. The truth is that it may just be beginning.
20,000 – Right now McDonald’s has 14,267 locations in the United States, but payday lenders have more than 20,000.
$30,000 – According to the Social Security Administration, 52 percent of all American workers made less than $30,000 last year.
80,000 – Back in 1980, there were only about 3,000 SWAT raids conducted in the United States. But today, there are more than 80,000 SWAT raids per year in this country.
100,000 – It is estimated that there are at least 100,000 underage sex workers in the United States. In case you were wondering, yes that means that we are a very sick nation.
$1,000,000 – We are supposed to be a government “of the people, by the people and for the people”, but at this point more than half the members of Congress are millionaires.
1,400,000 – Thanks in large part to unchecked illegal immigration, there are now 1.4 million members of criminal gangs living in our cities.
2,400,000 – There are currently more than 2.4 million people behind bars in America, and since 1980 the number of people incarcerated in our prisons has quadrupled.
2,500,000 – According to the National Center on Family Homelessness, there are now 2.5 million homeless children in the United States.
4,000,000 – Right now there are more than 4 million adult websites on the Internet, and they get more traffic than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined.
9,700,000 – Almost 10 million more Americans have enrolled in Medicaid since Obamacare first launched.
15,000,000 – More than 15 million Americans have cosmetic procedures done each year, and Christmas is the busiest season of the year for plastic surgeons.
30,000,000 – In America today, more than 30 million Americans are taking antidepressants. And keep in mind that antidepressants are only one class of pharmaceutical drug. Overall, nearly 70 percent of all Americans are currently on at least one prescription drug according to the Mayo Clinic.
$40,000,000 – More than 40 million dollars has been spent just on vacations for Barack Obama and his family since he has been in the White House.
49,000,000 – An astounding 49 million Americans are considered to be facing food insecurity at this point.
110,000,000 – Approximately one-third of the entire population of the United States (110 million people) currently has a sexually transmitted disease according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
156,600,000 – The population of Bangladesh (156,600,000) is actually larger than the population of Russia (143,500,00). But nobody is scared of Bangladesh.
3,000,000,000 – For the first time ever, there are now more than 3 billion people on the Internet around the globe. I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing.
$600,000,000,000 – Americans will spend more than 600 billion dollars this Christmas season. That is an amount of money greater than the entire GDP of Sweden.
$1,200,000,000,000 – Student loan debt has hit a grand total of 1.2 trillion dollars in the United States. That number has grown by about 84 percent just since 2008.
$2,000,000,000,000 – The war in Iraq cost U.S. taxpayers more than 2 trillion dollars, but now a radical jihadist terror organization known as ISIS controls nearly a third of the entire country.
5,000,000,000,000 – There are now 5 trillion little pieces of plastic floating around in the oceans of the world, and lots more plastic is being dumped into our oceans every single day.
$18,031,021,541,347.52 – The current size of the U.S. national debt. It increased by more than a trillion dollars during the fiscal year that ended a few months ago, and it is on pace to approximately double during Obama’s eight years in the White House.
$40,000,000,000,000 – There are five “too big to fail” banks in the United States that each have more than 40 TRILLION dollars worth of exposure to derivatives. This is a “sword of Damocles” that could destroy our financial system and our entire economy at any time. Let’s just hope that it does not happen in 2015.
So what numbers would you add to this list?
We have been reporting to you that we thought the biotechs were part of the fed-induced bubble. Bubbles are simply mispriced assets brought on by the greed of all parties. Bubbles occur when investors and traders will buy at any price as long as they believe there is someone to buy at a higher price. I am sure you remember people in Miami lining up in front of trailers to put down their deposit on a condo that would never be built…in order to sell the next day. It worked for a while until the music stopped. Back in 99…well, you know what happened in 99 with the tech/internet bubble.
Biotechs are now being sold down hard. The supposed catalyst was bad news for Gilead (GILD) after a pharmacy benefit manager dropped the company’s Hepatitis C drug in favor of a rival’s product. Maybe that’s the reason…maybe not. All we know is that we have studied bubbles and believe the recent actions by both investment bankers and investors basically defines a bubble. As always, time will tell. This second, at the very least, it may be time to be reviewing this group.To refresh your memory, here is last week’s report.
Here is another big bubble!
Posted by Gary Kaltbaum on December 16th, 2014
We have told you for quite a while that the biggest bubble in history is the bond market. Central banks have spent trillions to keep rates down. To their credit, it has worked. But the final outcome? Remember, all bubbles eventually pop…and they pop when everyone is on one side of the trade. We are already seeing a small pop of the bubble in junk bonds as yield and price have been distorted for the past few years.
This is a warning shot on another area. We have mentioned this before but have now dug deeper. But a disclaimer first. WE DO NOT KNOW WHEN THINGS END. BUT WE WILL BE ON WATCH FOR WHEN THEY END. We are talking BIOTECH. We are not talking about the Amgens or Biogens. We are talking about the lovely investment banking community that in their infinite wisdom has brought approximately 124 BIOTECH companies public in the past 2-3 years…with that number ramping up in the past year. This by itself is no biggie but digging deeper is a biggie. But first: Back in 98-99, as the bull matured, investment banks hurriedly brought a ton of internet names public. Many of them were suspect. Many were money losers. Some had no sales. They were able to bring these suspect companies public because the sector was hot and the public bought it. Remember, if there is demand, it will be supplied. Some of these companies doubled on the open and went up 5 and 10-fold. Of course, we know the final outcome. When things ultimately turn, the curtains come down. Many of those names are either gone or trading for pennies.
Fast forward to today. The hottest sector is the Biotechs. Many IPOs are coming public at $15…$25…and so on. The common denominator is most are opening strong. Some are doubling…some are tripling…some are even up more than that. But…ok, let’s capitalize it…BUT there is one huge issue. MOST OF THESE IPOs HAVE NO SALES. We did not say no earnings. We said NO SALES. A handful have a small amount of sales. All have massive losses. A quick glance of the total market cap of all these names is approximately $55-60 billion. Yes…$55-60 billion dollars of market cap with hardly any sales and a ton of losses.
We have no clue when the music stops. We just know that from the study of history of the markets, the music will eventually stop…and when it does, it will not be pretty. We are not telling you to buy, sell or hold. In fact, they can continue higher and we may just see a few buyouts. Yes…buyouts of companies with no sales is also a characteristic of bubbles. This is just a word to the wise as fear and greed look and act the same in every bull and bear market. Bubbles suck you in and then spit you out. Do not be the last one in. For now, the music is still playing.
As far as the markets, they are deteriorating more and more. We continue to scratch our head at the outlier move in energy and currencies around the globe. These are not normal moves and worry the central banks-induced markets from around the globe are now seeing blowback of silly policy. We are not sure this is good news at the end of the day. But short term, markets are becoming beyond oversold as we head into the Fed meeting and the supposed holiday bias. Yippee!
No core. No conscience. Just marbles in their head. Do they even remember their past articles.
ECB printing…Yellen not raising…Japan printing…China lowering…England printing…and the beat goes on.
It’s the holiday. It’s the end of year window dressing. It’s central banks. It’s a bull. Case closed!
The V-shaped, central bank induced moves remain unprecedented. Enjoy.
Just one negative note. On top of all the ridiculous IPO froth in biotechland, biotechs hit a decent air pocket yesterday on some news on GILD. This has happened before…only for the group to turn right back up. Just something to watch.
To be blunt, we have been at this for a good long time, but the central bank-induced action we have been seeing as of late pretty much wins some sort of a championship belt. These v-shaped moves based on printed money, easing money and non action continue to trump all. This past week, it was the ECB announcing a trillion at the same time our Fed announces nothing…which means our thoughts remain the same; they will never raise rates and in fact, we believe the next move will be QE4…which will be based on any market correction of consequence or a blip in our fake economic numbers.
That all said, we are in another outlier v-shaped move. The hope is a settling down in here to build some sort of base until another move higher into the positive seasonality of year end. But market doesn’t give a — about what we want.
We are most asked about energy stocks. Last week, they finally had a decent rally. Just be careful. Energy remains in a bear market. To our eye, it looks just like a stretched, extended and oversold rally into the declining 50 day average. Nothing more just yet.
We are also being asked about small caps as they have lagged forever. We suspect there may be some sort of “January effect” but a quick glance at the Russell continues to show relative underperformance.
Market should quiet down by tomorrow as we enter the holiday week but everything counts.
Watch this video of Neil Cavuto talking about and interviewing one hell of a courageous woman!
We have studied every bull and bear market since the stone age. We have seen most everything. But we have never experienced the printing of trillions while rates stay at 0% forever. Leave no doubt about the firepower the Fed continues to have. Every time one thinks their firepower is diminished, it shows up again…and this time…a 700 Dow point frenzy off of important moving averages. We expected a move into the end of year…but 700 points should happen over a 3 month period…not 2 days. It just tells you how much hot money and itchy fingers are out there.
Enjoy the weekend. Need a nap. Oh yeah…my Knicks are now 5-23.
Leave no doubt, the end of the year combined with a Fed that will never ever ever raise rates…and we get juiced off support for many major indices at the all-important 50 day average.
Massive sell mode has again turned into massive buy mode as the Fed teases raising of rates but never does. We were amazed to read a headline saying Fed sets the stage for rate hikes! Where? When? Ain’t happening. And due to the fact that the markets adore easy money, another ugly sell-off negated and negated easily. Add in the report this morning that the ECB is guaranteed to print in the trillions in January and the Swiss showing negative rates…and we continue to get an all-in.
We would love to give you a tutorial on how to play massive sell-offs…which abort immediately and turn back up but we haven’t found that manual yet. Just realize the same areas we have been bearish on for months…remain bearish…notwithstanding their massively oversold condition which are now leading to their oversold rallies.