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.
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.
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.
- Lacking new ideas, G7 to agree on 'go-your-own-way' approach (Reuters)
- Japan's Aso tells G7 FX stability vital, no competitive devaluations (Reuters)
- Snubbed by West, Russia rolls out red carpet for Asian leaders (Reuters)
- The Fed Has Something to Prove to Wall Street (BBG)
- Trump's Supreme Court list: all conservative, some provocative (Reuters)
- Nasdaq Raises Lawsuit Threat Over SEC’s IEX Speed-Bump Plan (WSJ)
It turns out that Puerto Rico's plan to default on its debt and beg congress for help is working out as planned. After a slight delay, House Republicans have reached an agreement with the Obama administration to provide a path to restructure Puerto Rico's $70 billion debt load. The bill would offer the island a legal out similar to bankruptcy and wouldn't commit any federal money according to the WSJ.
FOMC Minutes Show Cornered Fed "Likely" To Hike Rates In June, Concerned Market Underpricing Risk Of HikeSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/18/2016 15:11 -0400
The supposedly dovish April FOMC statement - as global fears fell and turned domestically - has left bonds and bullion the winners and stocks the losers as investors lose faith in The Fed's forecast and economic promises. Today's FOMC meeting minutes suggest an increasingly cornered Fed will pull the trigger iun June with member disagreements brewing: MOST FED OFFICIALS SAW JUNE HIKE `LIKELY' IF ECONOMY WARRANTED; FED: RANGE OF VIEWS ON WHETHER DATA WOULD SUPPORT JUNE HIKE. Of course, no matter what narrative the market perceives from these minutes, tomorrow's speeches by Dudley and Fischer (who has been conspicuously quiet recently) will likely give the biggest hint as to what happens next...
If you want to get a sense of what’s motivating Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders voters, it’s a desire to take people like Robert Shapiro, remove them from the halls of power, and toss them into a cardboard box on the street. Of course, that won’t be happening any time soon, but that’s what a lot of people want. As we detail below, confirmed recently by Congressman X, Washington is infested by the secretive world of the dark money groups representing mercenary hedge funds in their insatiable quest for more and more money. In many ways, it’s merely a microcosm of America in 2016. A culture in which ethics has become so irrelevant, it isn’t even a nuisance; it simply never factors into the equation.
“At this point I’m not ready to jump in, but I hope we can get there."
Moments ago, the 2016 edition of the Sohn Investment Conference started, a feeding frenzy for traders and hedge fund managers such as Gundlach, Einhorn and Chanos who descend on this popular annual "round table" to pitch their best and worst ideas. As always, the moment a company's name is mentioned in a bullish or bearish context, its stock is sure to surge or slump, as the headline-hungry algos immediate pounce in the current reactionary market environment. But is following the advice of these hedge fund gurus such a good idea?
2008 Deja Vu? Treasury Warns Congress - Bailout Puerto Rico Or Risk "Chaotic Unwinds... Cascading Defaults"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/02/2016 14:39 -0400
In a disappointingly similar tone to the warnings, threats, and promises sent to Congress in 2008 when demanding the banks get their bailout (or else), Treasury Secretary Jack lew has released a letter he sent to Congress warning that if Puerto Rico's situation is not "fixed" in an "orderly" manner "quickly" then the nation will face "cascading defaults."
Atlantic City Avoids First NJ Municipal Default Since Great Depression, Makes $1.8 Million Bond PaymentSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/02/2016 10:55 -0400
It is only Puerto Rico who will be on the default docket today because in the last possible minute, Atlantic City's mayor Don Guardian announced that his city had made the required $1.8 million in interest payments due May 1, averting what would have been New Jersey’s first municipal default since the Great Depression as state lawmakers bicker over how to assist the troubled gaming hub.
- Puerto Rico Development Bank Won’t Make Most of a Debt Payment Monday (WSJ)
- Why the jump in futures? Tokyo slide keeps mood downbeat (Reuters)
- Indiana to test Donald Trump’s staying power with evangelicals (Reuters)
- Gold Rallies Above $1,300 for First Time Since January 2015 (BBG)
- This Tech Bubble Is Bursting (WSJ)
There has been a bevy of negative news in the past 48 hours which perhaps explains why futures are fractionally in the green as of this moment.