The Global Growth Slowdown Spells Trouble for Bank Stocks

Be Warned: The phrase “the time of Jacob’s trouble” is a quote from Jeremiah 30:7 which says, “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it” (KJV).

In the previous verses of Jeremiah 30, we find that the Lord is speaking to Jeremiah the prophet about Judah and Israel (30:3-4). In verse 3, the Lord promises that one day in the future, He will bring both Judah and Israel back to the land that He had promised their forefathers. Verse 5 describes a time of great fear and trembling. Verse 6 describes this time in a way that pictures men going through the pains of childbirth, again indicating a time of agony. But there is hope for Judah and Israel, for though this is called “the time of Jacob’s distress” (NASB), the Lord promises He will save Jacob (referring to Judah and Israel) out of this time of great trouble (verse 7).

In Jeremiah 30:10-11 the Lord says, “‘I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid. I am with you and will save you,’ declares the LORD.”

Also, the Lord says He will destroy the nations who held Judah and Israel in captivity, and He will never allow Jacob to be completely destroyed. However, it should be noted that the Lord describes this as a time of discipline for His people. He says of Jacob, “Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.”

World markets finished 2018 on a sour note, which inspired a policy U-turn from most central banks in the developed world. The United States Federal Reserve has indicated that a rate hike in 2019 is extremely unlikely. On April 24, the Bank of Canada maintained the benchmark rate of 1.75% and indicated that it had adopted a dovish outlook when it came to the prospect of rate hikes in the near term.

The BoC warned of slower-than-anticipated growth in the first half of 2019, even below its pessimistic target set in January. The global situation is no better. In early April the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that the prospects for the global economy were “precarious” in 2019. “Only two years ago, 75% of the global economy experienced an upswing,” IMF managing director Christine Largarde said. “For this year, we expected 70% of the global economy experience a slowdown in growth.”

“The reality is that many economies are not resilient enough. High public debt and low interest rates have left limited room to act when the next downturn comes, which inevitably it will,” Lagarde added.

Canada possesses one of the highest debt-to-income ratios in the developed world. Its vulnerability to credit normalization is one of the reasons its financial sector has attracted the interest of short sellers. Several top bank stocks were identified by infamous short-seller Steve Eisman in March and April. This is not the first time Canadian banks have attracted short attention, and more often than not, they have proven robust even in the face of severe headwinds.

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX:TD)(NYSE:TD)

TD Bank is the second-largest financial institution in Canada. It boasts the largest U.S. footprint of any of its peers. The bank has benefited from the windfall after US tax reform, but this “sugar rush” has started to wear off in 2019. U.S. growth is projected to slow in 2019 and into the next decade.

In early March TD Bank senior economist Brian DePratto warned that “Things are probably going to get worse before they get better” in a client note. DePratto said that Canada was at risk of a “technical” recession, which is what happened to Canada in 2015 in the wake of the oil price collapse. These so-called “solo” recessions may become more common in the future.

TD Bank and its peers are actively preparing and are beefing up provisions for credit losses, and investors should also be prepared. Valuations on the TSX have ballooned to kick off 2019, but economic realities may creep into the market sooner rather than later.

The next round of bank earnings is right around the corner. TD Bank is still trading at the high end of its 52-week range as of close on April 24. The stock had an RSI of 51 as of this writing, which puts it in neutral territory in this hot market. Improved market conditions should provide a boost for bank earnings in Q2 2019, but investors should actively prepare for turbulence as we head into the next decade. Source

Jeremiah 30:7 says, “That day is great, so that none is like it.” The only time period that fits this description is the period of the Tribulation. This time is unparalleled in history. 

Jesus described the Tribulation using some of the same imagery as Jeremiah. In Matthew 24:6-8, He stated that the appearance of false christs, wars and rumors of wars, famines, and earthquakes are “the beginning of birth pains.” 

Paul, too, described the Tribulation as birth pains. First Thessalonians 5:3 says, “While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” This event follows the Rapture and the removal of the Church, in 4:13-18. In 5:9, Paul reemphasizes the absence of the Church from this time period by saying, “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The wrath spoken of here is God’s judgment on the unbelieving world and His discipline of Israel during the Tribulation.

These “birth pains” are described in detail in Revelation 6-12 Part of the purpose of the Tribulation is to bring Israel back to the Lord.

For those who have received Christ as Savior from sin, the time of Jacob’s trouble is something for which we should praise the Lord, for it demonstrates that God keeps His promises. He has promised us eternal life through Christ our Lord, and He has promised land, seed, and blessing to Abraham and his physical descendants. However, before He fulfills those promises, He will lovingly but firmly discipline the nation of Israel so that they return to Him.

The tribulation is a future seven-year period of time when God will finish His discipline of Israel and finalize His judgment of the unbelieving world. The church, made up of all who have trusted in the person and work of the Lord Jesus to save them from being punished for sin, will not be present during the tribulation. The church will be removed from the earth in an event known as the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-181 Corinthians 15:51-53). The church is saved from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 5:9). Throughout Scripture, the tribulation is referred to by other names such as the Day of the Lord (Isaiah 2:1213:6-9Joel 1:152:1-313:141 Thessalonians 5:2); trouble or tribulation (Deuteronomy 4:30Zephaniah 1:1); the great tribulation, which refers to the more intense second half of the seven-year period (Matthew 24:21); time or day of trouble (Daniel 12:1Zephaniah 1:15); time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7).

An understanding of Daniel 9:24-27 is necessary in order to understand the purpose and time of the tribulation. This passage speaks of 70 weeks that have been declared against “your people.” Daniel’s people are the Jews, the nation of Israel, and Daniel 9:24 speaks of a period of time that God has given “to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.” God declares that “seventy sevens” will fulfill all these things. This is 70 sevens of years, or 490 years. (Some translations refer to 70 weeks of years.) This is confirmed by another part of this passage in Daniel. In verses 25 and 26, Daniel is told that the Messiah will be cut off after “seven sevens and sixty-two sevens” (69 total), beginning with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem. In other words, 69 sevens of years (483 years) after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem, the Messiah will be cut off. Biblical historians confirm that 483 years passed from the time of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem to the time when Jesus was crucified. Most Christian scholars, regardless of their view of eschatology (future things/events), have the above understanding of Daniel’s 70 sevens.

With 483 years having passed from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem to the cutting off of the Messiah, this leaves one seven-year period to be fulfilled in terms of Daniel 9:24: “to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.” This final seven-year period is known as the tribulation period—it is a time when God finishes judging Israel for its sin.

Daniel 9:27 gives a few highlights of the seven-year tribulation period: “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” The person of whom this verse speaks is the person Jesus calls the “abomination that causes desolation” (Matthew 24:15) and is called “the beast” in Revelation 13Daniel 9:27 says that the beast will make a covenant for seven years, but in the middle of this week (3 1/2 years into the tribulation), he will break the covenant, putting a stop to sacrifice. Revelation 13 explains that the beast will place an image of himself in the temple and require the world to worship him. Revelation 13:5 says that this will go on for 42 months, which is 3 1/2 years. Since Daniel 9:27 says that this will happen in the middle of the week, and Revelation 13:5 says that the beast will do this for a period of 42 months, it is easy to see that the total length of time is 84 months or seven years. Also see Daniel 7:25, where the “time, times, and half a time” (time=1 year; times=2 years; half a time=1/2 year; total of 3 1/2 years) also refers to “great tribulation,” the last half of the seven-year tribulation period when the beast will be in power.

For further references about the tribulation, see Revelation 11:2-3, which speaks of 1260 days and 42 months, and Daniel 12:11-12, which speaks of 1290 days and 1335 days. These days have a reference to the midpoint of the tribulation. The additional days in Daniel 12 may include the time at the end for the judgment of the nations (Matthew 25:31-46) and time for the setting up of Christ’s millennial kingdom (Revelation 20:4-6).

In summary, the Tribulation is the 7-year time period in the end times in which humanity’s decadence and depravity will reach its fullness, with God judging accordingly.

StevieRay Hansen
Editor, Bankster Crime

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A Long Journey Home

A book about a fourteen-year-old boy, the son of a Baptist pastor, thrown from his home at age 14. This boy, StevieRay, would later become a multimillionaire. Now he gives orphans a second chance at life.