A McKinsey study shows Obamacare insurers lost money in 2014 and the losses doubled in 2015. Amazingly, the study concludes there’s nothing to worry about because “30 percent of insurers nationwide were profitable.” Meanwhile, outright refusals to accept Obamacare mount. “Sorry, We Don’t Take Obamacare” is now a frequent response.
The following chart from Citi shows the last century of US non-financial leverage in context. As of this moment, consolidated US non-fin debt/GDP is about 275%, or roughly where it was US when the great depression stuck. For those curious about the "tipping point" threshold levels, keep an eye on 300% - that's when the system collapsed last time leading to a devastated economy.
Perhaps the world will have to wait it out to finally be graced with leaders who are willing to stand by their convictions and make hard, maybe even unpopular, choices. Such leaders might have to risk sacrificing everything political to be crowned the next true champions of conviction, giving us all a shot at a once again storied fate. Where does that leave us? Apparently angry. Very, very angry.
Is there anyone on the planet who's actually stupid enough to believe these New Normal charts are healthy and sustainable? We doubt it. Rather, the apologists, toadies, apparatchiks and flacks are being well-paid to cheerlead, and the "leadership" (using the term lightly) of the discredited institutions are terrified of what will happen when people finally catch on. The New Normal is not sustainable.
While the Arab countries floated themselves on oceans of petro-dollars forty years ago, they have little need for them now. So we must now turn our attention to China, which is well positioned to act as white knight to Saudi Arabia. China’s SAFE sovereign wealth fund could easily swallow the Aramco stake, and there are good strategic reasons why it should. A quick deal would help stabilise a desperate financial and political situation on the edges of China’s rapidly growing Asian interests, and keep Saudi Arabia onside as an energy supplier. China has dollars to dispose, and a mutual arrangement would herald a new era of tangible cooperation. The US can only stand and stare as China teases Saudi Arabia away from America’s sphere of influence.
Hundreds of school children in East China's Jiangsu Province have fallen mysteriously ill, suffering from nose bleeds, itching, rashes, coughing, and other complicated symptoms, whose cause has not been determined. CRI reports that some of the parents alleged that they noticed irritant smells at the school. They suspect that the smell comes from chemical factories near the school.
Are interest rates low because of the action of central banks or because of unresolved debt deflation?
While three million fast food workers across the country have an automation potential of 74%, and heavy truck driving activities can be 69% automated, a new study by McKinsey finds that automation potential doesn’t correlate with low-skill, low-wage jobs as much as one may think. In fact, high-paying jobs are not necessarily robot-proof, as doctors (23%), nurses (29%), and even CEOs (25%) all have significant amounts of their jobs that can be automated with current technology.
“The McKenzie study also noted that on average “analysts’ forecasts have been almost 100% too high” which leads investors to make much more aggressive bets on the financial markets. “
Valeant Throws Its Former CFO Under The Bus; Accuses Him Of Cooking The Books After Coming Over From Goldman SachsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/21/2016 09:22 -0400
Back in October, we tried to "tie the Valeant roll-up together by presenting The Goldman "Missing Link" in which we showed that Howard Schiller, Valeant's CFO from December 2011 to June 2015, previously ran Goldman Sachs’ health-care practice until 2009, when he became the chief operating officer of Goldman’s investment bank. The next year, the bank advised Valeant on its breakout purchase of Biovail Corp. Today, as part of its stunning announcement earlier today, the company - in looking for easy scapegoats - also threw its former CFO under the bus and accused him of cooking the books.
The two concepts - NIRP and deficits - dovetail in a fairly terrifying way: All the new debt we take on to rekindle growth will have to be refinanced in the future. So the more we borrow now the more we’ll have to roll over then — and the bigger the impact on government budgets of an eventual rate normalization. Unless the ultimate plan is to never raise rates to old-school positive levels, in which case the world of the future is so different from that of the past that we may as well toss existing theories of market dynamics and individual freedom out the window.
That the world's largest hedge fund, Ray Dalio's Bridgewater, just announced the appointment of an hardware engineer, even one as enlightened as former NeXT and Apple executive Jon Rubinstein, should tell you all you need to know about what is really going on in the "market."
China's velocity of money is now the lowest in the entire world, a world in which China provided 40% of the entire credit impulse since 2008: "In the last seven years, China has accounted for around ~40% of entire global incremental debt creation. Such a rapid accumulation of debt in less than a decade, when combined with the capital-intensive nature of the economy and a less sophisticated financial sector, drove China’s velocity of money to one of the lowest levels globally (~0.5x, i.e. below that of Japan)."
The world of our future will be one where manufacturing will be completely customized, on demand and at the retail level.