Ten Events That Could Trigger a Stock Market Crash in 2022
Surprises aren't surprises if you're prepared
It is unlikely that the American stock market will crash in 2022.
Consumer spending is ramping back up, inflation is soaring, credit’s cheap and easy, and politicians are so desperate to keep this hot potato from dropping on their watch that they’ll go to nearly any length to avoid a crash.
That said, there’s no excuse not to be vigilant and extremely wary in these economically absurd times.
We can only be certain about one thing: Uncertainty.
With that in mind, let’s look at ten of the most likely surprises that could crash the stock market despite all attempts to keep the house of cards rising ever higher.
1. No more free money
The Biden administration has signaled its intention to stop printing as many stimulus trillions this year as they did last year. This is a good thing for the economy, but passive market extractors don’t like it one bit.
If the Dems fully shut down the printing press, it could trigger a market crash. But they won’t. They’ll slow it down for a bit, watch the markets totter, then fire it back up again and say, “Well hey, we tried.”
Can you blame them? Wouldn’t you print free money if you owned the money printer and could use it to get yourself re-elected?
All that is necessary to extinguish the human race is for winter to blow a little colder, a little longer.
No, I’m not talking about a Day After Tomorrow situation.
More of a Texas energy fiasco, which left 4.5 million without power and water, cost tens of billions, left thousands with crippling debt, and saw more than 200 people (including a baby) freeze to death.
Anti-human corporations rarely let a good crisis go to waste, and several energy companies made billions off the two-week emergency, with some companies jacking prices 180X. (I’m of the opinion that corporatists should go to prison for putting profit over people, but “the free market is always right,” remember?)
Don’t pretend this can’t and won’t happen again.
In fact, natural gas prices in Europe have already spiked 10+X this winter and the heavy snow hasn’t even arrived yet.
It’s the same for New England.
With all the accidental and purposeful supply chain shortages — and, let’s be honest, corporations price-testing consumers who’ve been saving for the past year — if we have a particularly cold or long winter, it could be economically disastrous for millions of people.
The problems are many and obvious: Most houses are poorly insulated and bleed heat; they don’t have woodstoves; they don’t have grid-independent backup generators; they don’t provide occupants with a way to survive without reliance on faraway fossil fuel corporations. That’s the whole point.
If winter hits hard and long and the cost of heating spikes 100+X for the duration, millions of people will be forced into bankruptcy, which will almost certainly crash the stock market.
3. Rising interest rates
The Feds are desperate to slow down this “transitory” inflation. (Don’t tell your Congressperson, but words actually have meanings. Transitory means brief, momentary, fleeting. If this yearlong inflation is just a passing cloud, then why are they so worked up about trying to fix it?)
If politicians cared about the masses — which they do not — all they’d need to do is aggressively tax corporate profits and billionaire wealth, but such things are unthinkable in hyper-individualist America.
That understood, their go-to mechanism is raising interest rates. But as Data-Driven Investor points out, a 1% interest rate hike could scythe 30–40% off the stock market. I don’t expect them to do so, but if house, stock, and food prices jump another 30% in the year ahead, it’s crazy to think that they’d rather crash the markets than tax the billionaires who benefit from all these outrageous price increases in the first place.
Sometimes I forget that we’re still in the middle of a global pandemic and a quarter of the American population refuses to understand that vaccines aren’t the hill to die on.
But with any luck, Omicron will burn through the global population with minimal carnage and give us enough immunity to get back to normal-ish life.
That said, another mutation could create a significantly more deadly variant that could make the Bubonic plague look like the man flu.
(The big philosophical question I keep asking myself is: If COVID-19 had a 90+% infection rate and a 90+% kill rate, would there be any anti-vaxxers left or would they drop the charade and get serious about their health?)
If a hyper-deadly coronavirus emerges this year, we’d likely see a stock market crash.
5. Petty politicians
There’s obviously a huge amount of anti-vax hysteria on the far right, but there’s also an outrageous amount of hysteria on the far left as well.
All the social isolation has gone to our heads, with social media turning our brains to mush, causing a mental health crisis that could take a whole generation to flush from our collective system.
Human beings are generally control freaks who love to tell others what to do, and in the year ahead, we may see totalitarian-leaning “progressives” try to lock down their populations once again.
If they do so, expect riots in the streets as people reach a breaking point… followed by a market crash.
6. Ch!na and/or Russia
There’s no telling what could happen to the markets if Putin does, indeed, decide to invade Ukraine this year.
Same if Ch!na makes a play for the Taiwan Strait.
Or if the US-Ch!na world continues to bifurcate and makes the rest of the world choose sides, essentially creating a two-economy Earth.
7. Real estate
The Ch!nese housing bubble could implode at any moment.
Same for Canada.
And the United Kingdom.
And much of the developed and developing world.
Shelter prices have risen to lethal heights on the backs of lifetime debt for the masses, Airbnb’s colonization of former family homes, and the hyper-financed institutional land-lorders who are turning the contributive working class into lifetime subscription serfs.
But if one domestic real estate market falls, it could set off a chain reaction that could take down the stock market as well.
Bitcoin and his/her/brrr buddies are now a $3 trillion Ponzi scheme, and if something (or someone) spooks the markets bad enough, it could cause a sell-off that crashes the real market.
(Think: The Fed announcing crypto is now illegal and anyone caught holding $BTC faces a $250,000 fine or five years in prison.)
9. Extreme weather events
Dang it, climate change, why can’t you just be fake?
2021 saw record fires out west and record flooding out east, plus hellish heat domes over Canada and Russia, and we can only expect such events to get worse in the year ahead.
The question is: How much can the markets handle?
As in, how much can speculators afford to gamble that the meme stock known as Tesla will tick a few points higher while they rack up credit card debt to pay for 24/7 air conditioning, more expensive food, and flood and/or fire insurance?
If next summer’s fires reach LA, or a bad drought scorches Midwest crops, or rains pummel Manhattan and flood the subway system, or the Texas oil refineries get wiped out by a hurricane, it could set off a chain reaction that crashes the market.
Or Yellowstone could finally just put America out of its misery.
10. A major cyberattack
Cyber attacks happen literally thousands of times every single day, but if an army of foreign hackers managed to hijack one of America’s three power grids and keep it down for a week or more, there’s a good chance we’d see a major market plunge.
(Though, honestly hackers, the world would be a far better place if war criminal Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook went down forever. Just saying.)
There’s good news, dear reader: The stock market isn’t everything.
In fact, I sometimes wish we could get rid of grow-forever corporations and move forward solely with local/regional companies and partnerships and co-ops and for-benefits.
Sure, multinational corporatism has proven wildly profitable for the hyper-elites (and brutally punishing on the working class and the environment), but there comes a point when you realize that capitalism has reached an inflection point and doesn’t deliver the widest-spread wellbeing it promised.
At some point, stability for the masses must take precedence over one more digital zero on the net worths of the spoiled few. The idea that an economy can grow forever inside a finite ecological system is not only dangerous and stupid but scientifically impossible.
An added bonus? A tanking stock market gets rid of price inflation.
In reality, the stock market won’t even really be “crashing” — it’ll just be resetting to temporary sanity… before blasting off to the moon again, leaving tens of millions of hard-working Americans burned and suffering in its wake.
The modern global economy simply isn’t designed to promote human flourishing. It exists to extract wealth from people and the planet, enslave the working class, and steal our time.
This year, our work as common serfs is to build the world in which we want to live — a world free of unsustainable, anti-democratic, monopolistic, tax-evading multinational corporations.
In other words, a world where stock market crashes simply don’t matter to us, and don’t affect us, because we no longer need them.