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Thursday, August 11, 2011

8/11/2011 - CAUTION: These 4 things happen just before major stock market crashes (and they're happening RIGHT NOW!)

by Mike Larson

Stop me if you've heard this one before ...
Bank stocks are leading the entire market lower.
The economy is winding down; politicians and the Fed are scrambling to find a solution.
The Volatility Index — the VIX — is at levels not seen in more than two years.
Gold is setting one new record after another.
Sound familiar? It should:

These are precisely the things that happened
just before America's LAST great stock
market crash in 2008!

And boy, oh boy, was it ever ugly!
The S&P 500 average plunged nearly 60%. Many household name stocks lost 80% ... 90% ... up to 100% of their value. Venerable old companies like Lehman simply ceased to exist. Millions of investors were wiped out.
But this time, things are far worse:
In 2008, investors were worried that consumers had taken on too much debt they couldn't pay.
This time around, investors are panicking because our single largest institution — THE U.S. GOVERNMENT — has taken on too much debt it can't pay.
Back then, investors could only hope that Washington would find a way to end the nightmare with bailouts and stimulus.
This time, investors know that government “rescues” only delay the inevitable collapse.
Plus, they realize that our new, fiscally conservative representatives in Congress are sworn to defeat stimulus and bailout bills.
And they have come to the shocking realization that no institution on Earth has enough money to save the U.S. government now.
This is why gold prices just set
another, new all-time high overnight,
hitting $1,808 per ounce.

And this is also why the Dow fell 519 points yesterday — a whopping 4.9% — while the Nasdaq fell 4.3% and the S&P 500 fell 4.4%.
Just as I've been warning you, U.S. bank stocks were hit particularly hard, giving up a whopping 7% of their value in a single day.
Many big banks fared even worse: Morgan Stanley fell 9.7%. Goldman Sachs fell 10%. Citigroup fell 10.5%. Bank of America crashed almost 11% — all in just a few hours of trading.
And yet, it's clear that the bloodletting has only begun:

The European Union, the world's largest economy, is coming unglued at the seams. The U.S. economy is slowing dramatically. Unemployment is rising. Consumers are snapping their wallets shut. Loan defaults are rising again.
And to add insult to injury, the U.S. Federal Reserve just promised to keep interest rates near zero for two, long years — a decision that will drive inflation higher AND severely limit the interest revenues that are the banks' lifeblood.

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