For those who need a quick and easy recap of all the main events that took place in the oil and gas services sector, here it is courtesy of Credit Suisse's James Wicklung who present the various "things we've learned this week."
The Libertarian Party has seen a sustained surge of new members joining, with first-time registrants in May on pace to increase 20-fold over the same period from last year.
April is the most important revenue month for states because it contains the tax filing deadline and taxpayers tend to wait until the last minute to pay any taxes that may be owed from the prior year. This April, personal income tax revenue fell by an average of 9.88 percent compared to the same period last year in the 32 states for which Reuters has data (Puerto Rico as well). Due to the drop in income taxes, and April being near the end of the fiscal year for many states, states that were depending on a strong inflow of revenues in April are now left scrambling to fill budget gaps.
A buck’s a buck, or is it?!
Since the turn of this century, debt-financed share buybacks have severely tested the character of those charged with growing publicly-traded U.S. firms. Should she ignore the potential for further QE-financed share buybacks to exact more untold economic damage, it would be akin to intentionally corrupting Corporate America. The time, though, has come for these wayward companies’ banker and enabler, the Fed, to hold the line, no matter how difficult the next inevitable test of their character may prove to be. It’s time for the Fed to defend the entire Union and end a civil war that pits a chosen few against the economic freedom of the many.
Today’s presidential hopefuls must jump through a series of hoops aimed at selecting the candidates best suited to serve the interests of the American police state. Candidates who are anti-war, anti-militarization, anti-Big Money, pro-Constitution, pro-individual freedom and unabashed advocates for the citizenry need not apply. The carefully crafted spectacle of the presidential election with its nail-biting primaries, mud-slinging debates, caucuses, super-delegates, popular votes and electoral colleges has become a fool-proof exercise in how to persuade a gullible citizenry into believing that their votes matter. Yet no matter how many Americans go to the polls on November 8, “we the people” will not be selecting the nation’s next president.
In Chicago, where homicides are out of control and estimated to top 550 in 2016 (the most since 2012), police are so desperate to correct the problem that they are throwing good old fashioned police work to the wind, and turning to 'Minority Report'-esque algorithms to do the work for them.
This past Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of the US stock market’s death when stocks saw their last high. Market bulls have spent a year looking like the walking dead. They’ve tried to push back up to that distant high that means new life several times, but each time the market falls into a pit again to where the market is once again lower than it was a year ago. These are the last gasps of a stock market (and economy) that is struggling to rise again, which it simply cannot do now that QE has been turned off and the oxygen tank of zero interest is being slowly turned down.
407,000 private sector workers are about to lose most of their pensions. When private pension plans go broke, they go broke. Public pension expect a bailout.
Government as we know it is doomed. It will not recognize this reality until markets and/or citizens force it. This time is likely close and the process will not be painless. The more government ignores what is inevitable the greater the pain will be. One hopes that civilization does not enter an economic and anarchical Dark Ages. To the extent that government refuses to respond to the fantasy world they have created, the more likely that is to be the outcome.
While the warning flags are raging in Illinois and Connecticut, JPMorgan's Michael Cembalest states that New Jersey's problems are "not mathematically solvable." The stunning admission from a status-quo-sustaining bank that is “very focused on the total indebtedness of US states," should be worrisome enough but as Cembalest explains the answer to a debt problem is not always piling up more debt - "when debt reaches a certain level, the can kicking is over and difficult decisions need to be made;" the issue is to address the root of the problem, which can be a delicate and at times politically incorrect topic.
New accounting rules show Chicago has understated its pension liabilities by $11.5 billion. At the end of 2015 the stated liability was $7.1 billion. Today it’s $18.6 billion. That’s a jump in net liabilities of 168%. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has hopes pinned on union concessions and help from the state legislature. Neither is likely. Let’s stop pretending there is another solution, because there isn’t.
This could not have come at a more perfect time, with the Fed once again flip-flopping about raising rates. After appearing to wipe rate hikes off the table earlier this year, the Fed put them back on the table, perhaps as soon as June, according to the Fed minutes. A coterie of Fed heads was paraded in front of the media today and yesterday to make sure everyone got that point, pending further flip-flopping. Drowned out by this hullabaloo, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve released its delinquency and charge-off data for all commercial banks in the first quarter – very sobering data.
Illinois state workers are the highest paid in the nation. Yet, despite the fact that Illinois is for all practical purposes insolvent, the AFSCME union demands four-year raises ranging from 11.5 to 29 percent, overtime after 37.5 hours of work per week, five weeks of vacation and enhanced health care coverage.
While America was so focused on whether or not there is a recession in the US manufacturing and oil & gas sector, it completely ignored the depression in America's farming heartland.