Reading time: 674 words, 3 pages, 2 to 3 minutes.
Update: Tues. Jan. 12, 2016
An observant reader (H/t: Ken J.) sent me a link to an article titled, Historic First: North Atlantic EMPTY of Cargo Ships in-transit – ALL anchored along coasts; none moving
It takes a lot to make me snort coffee through my nose!
You see, I’m a life-long Logistics specialist. Given that and a background in finance, etc., I understand the critical importance that commerce and trade play in national and global economies. Any economy, whether it’s local, national or global, relies on trade and commerce the way bodies rely on various circulations of food, material and waste for the sustenance of life. It’s a rough analogy, but you get the point.
Coincidentally, I happen to be preparing a couple of articles for future publication that look at the connections and correlations between the northern European tribes stopping Roman expansion and the eventual collapse of Rome, not by barbarians, but by Muslim pirates who turned the Mediterranean Sea, the world’s largest trade and commercial system into a battleground which destroyed Rome’s economy and plunged Europe into the Dark Ages. No trade = no commerce = no economy.
Immersed in this eye-opening research, Ken J.’s link to that news article arrived with an explosion! There has never NOT been trade in the North Atlantic.
I had to verify this before sounding an alert. I found several other articles all citing the one above. The clinch was these two vessel-finder sites. Even on Sunday, January 10, 2016, the only vessels in the North Atlantic were at anchor including at the Azores mid-Atlantic. Click on the sites below.
The article goes on to say, “This has never happened before. It is a horrific economic sign; proof that commerce is literally stopped.
“The reason commerce has stopped is simple: People are not buying things. When people do not buy things, retailers do not sell things, so they do not order more goods for stock.
“When retailers do not order goods, manufacturers don’t make anything because there are no orders to fill. When manufacturers do not make goods, they don’t order raw materials for manufacturing.
“When there are no orders for raw materials, commodities sellers do not sell raw materials. When no raw materials are sold, there is no shipping by large cargo ships, (or railroads or tractor trailers) to move anything.
“Put simply, the global economy is LITERALLY stopping. Right now. Today.
“How things go from this point forward is simple: Without sales, retailers are not even “turning dollars” so they will have to layoff employees and close stores. Without orders, manufacturers will have to layoff employees and shut down. When manufacturing shuts down, suppliers of commodities will have to layoff employees and cease operations. As all of this economic activity comes to a halt, then the disaster REALLY takes off:
“When businesses are not even “turning dollars” they cannot pay back their loans. Retailers, manufacturers and commodities suppliers will begin defaulting on bank loans within 30 days. When enough of them default, it begins taking-out banks. As banks begin to fail, others will run to their banks to withdraw money for fear THEIR bank will fail too; and therein starts “bank runs.”
“We are literally standing at the edge of an abyss. It appears we are about to go over that cliff . . .”
This slow-down in trade and commerce is no surprise because Friday it was reported that the Baltic Dry Index of shipping rates (a leading economic indicator) had plunged “20% lower than the previous record low in 1986.”
Chart: Zero Hedge
Dry-bulk carriers’ bankruptcies will continue as we circle closer to the drain of economic collapse. Stay tuned: 2016 will be an eye-opening year.
Update: Tues. Jan. 12, 2016
(H/t to reader Dan) Mish Shedlock wrote there is freighter traffic albeit very little volume. He says, “Contrary to popular myth, shipping has not ground to a halt. However, shipping volumes and shipping rates have both plunged. 2015 was a disaster by any measure.
“There’s no need to exaggerate. Reality is bad enough.”
Remember the mantra:
We cannot borrow our way out of debt.
We cannot spend our way to prosperity.
We cannot pretend our way out of trouble.
January 10, 2016
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