The sell-off has some questioning the strength of the U.S. economy, but few think the world's largest growth center is at risk for a contraction. However, one widely regarded investor says there's little debate: the U.S. is likely already in a recession—and he claims to have hard numbers to bolster his case.
Looking at International Monetary Fund data, "the year-over-year change in global exports is at the second lowest level since 1958," Raoul Pal, Publisher of the Global Macro Investor told CNBC's"Fast Money"this week.
Basically, it means economies around the world are shipping their goods at near historically low levels. "Something massive is going on in the global economy and people are missing it," Pal added.
The steep decline in 2015 exports is second only to 2009, when the global recession led to a 37 percent drop in export growth.