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In his testimony before Congress last week, Ben Bernanke lifted the Fed’s skirt and gave us a glimpse of the disasters now sweeping through the U.S. economy.
But there are four bombshells he did NOT talk about:
FIRST and foremost, what’s CAUSING the economy to sink? The stock market has not yet crashed. Interest rates have not yet surged. Gasoline prices have not skyrocketed. There has been no recent debt collapse, market shock, or terrorist attack.
Undoubtedly, the most timely indications of recession risk are based on composites of multiple indicators, which is one of the reasons I've focused recent comments on the ECRI Weekly Leading Index (WLI). Last week, the growth rate of that index slipped again, to -10.5%, which we've never observed outside of actual or oncoming recessions, though the ECRI notes that there are two unpublished data points in the early post-war years that weren't associated with recessions.