at Zero Hedge

Yesterday, on the way to documenting the malaise China’s hard landing has inflicted on Minnesota’s mining country, we discussed the dramatic impact falling crude prices have had on the American and Canadian oil patches.

Take Texas, for instance, where a year of crude carnage has wreaked havoc upon what, until last year anyway, was the engine driving the “robust” US labor market.  As we showed in November, layoffs in Lone Star land far outrun job losses in any other state. In Houston (which was already staring down a worsening pension crisis), vacant office space is “piling up.” As WSJ wrote last week, “the amount of sublease space on the market in the Houston area hit 7.6 million square feet, or the size of more than two Empire State Buildings.”

“The unemployment rate in Texas rose sharply to 9.2% in 1986, an all-time high for the state,” Goldman wrote recently, recalling a previous period of low oil prices in a note entitled “How Bad Can Texas Get?”

“Real house prices fell 30% peak to trough, and the number of bankruptcy filings (including both business and non-business filings) more than doubled from 1984 to 1986,” the bank added.

North of the border, things are even worse.