At least 22 states are facing budget shortfalls thanks to a combination of fiscal mismanagement and falling oil prices. The negative impact on the public sector has been dramatic suggesting that in the event of a sustained economic downturn, citizens' patience for austerity could wear thin leading to political instability and social unrest.
As data on non-performing loans at Chinese banks shows the biggest sequential increase on record in Q1, Fitch wonders if perhaps the data actually obscures a far larger problem. Official figures on China's NPLs are obscured by a number of factors and may be grossly understated the ratings agency suggests. Furthermore, Fitch says "a protracted downturn in property markets could threaten the solvency of Chinese banks, given their modest loss-absorption capacity."
- Full picture of Clinton charities' foreign government funding remains elusive (Reuters)
- Greece Readies for Another Week of Deadlines (BBG)
- Greece says deal will be 'difficult' at Eurogroup meeting (Reuters)
- Saudi Arabia’s Rulers Snub Arab Summit, Clouding U.S. Bid for Iran Deal (WSJ)
- Saudi Aramco Said to Plan Spending $80 Billion Overseas (BBG)
- The $900 Billion Influx That’s Wreaking Havoc in U.S. Bills (BBG)
- Cameron rules out another Scottish independence vote (Reuters)
- Banks Prep Defense for Anti-Wall Street Campaigns (WSJ)
The market is currently engaged in the longest bull run in history without a 10% correction. The decline in momentum, the weakness in economic underpinnings and lack of Central Bank interventions (not to mention the threat of an increase in overnight lending rates) certainly provide the necessary ingredients for a sharper than expected correction this summer.
Despite record-er stock prices, weather excuses for current economic weakness, and The Fed promising that growth is here and everything will be awesome, it appears the message has not reached the US Consumer. Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index plunged 9 points last week (the largest week-to-week drop since last July) to its lowest weekly score since December. The main driver was a collapse of hope as 'outlook' fell to November lows.
Americans might be quite surprised to know that even with all the U.S. Government sanctions and threats of war with Russia, America still imports a significant amount of petroleum from the former communist country. How much petroleum does the United States import from Russia? Actually, a lot more when we focus on net imports...
There is little advantage to be gained by being aggressively allocated during the summer months. However, in reality, there are few individuals that can maintain a strict discipline of only investing during seasonally strong periods consistently. Also, time frames of when you start and when you need your capital for retirement make HUGE differences in actual performance. However, a willful disregard of "risk" will inherently lead to the destruction of the two most precious and finite assets that all investors possess – capital and time.
And just as things in Baltimore were quieting down...
We thought that at least the federal government would be interested in keeping the employment dream alive for the millions of students to whom it has loaned hundreds of billions of dollars in tuition money, which is why we assume this graphic is simply the result of someone making a very poor design choice...
Recently, France decided to crack down on those people who make cash payments and withdrawals and who hold small bank accounts. The reason given was, not surprisingly, to “fight terrorism,” the handy catchall justification for any new restriction governments wish to impose on their citizens. French Finance Minister Michel Sapin stated at the time, “[T]errorism feeds on fraud, money laundering, and petty trafficking." What we are witnessing is the creation of totalitarian control of your finances. The implication that you may have some sort of terrorist involvement is a smokescreen.
Texas A&M Professor Irwin Horwitz was fed up with what he perceived to be disrespect and general incompetence on the part of his strategic management class so he did what many a college professor across the country has at one time or another dreamed of doing: he failed everyone.
Greek deposits fall €2.5 billion in March to the lowest level since 2005 as the cash crunch intensifies ahead of looming payments to government employees and the IMF. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank sees a referendum on a "reluctant" reform agreement as the most likely "solution" (although most Greeks reportedly oppose such a step) but says the chances of a less favorable outcome are still at least 30%.
Some borrowers are allowed to remain in a perpetual state of default even as they avoid actual payment default and in the end, their loans are legally discharged at the expense of the US taxpayer. Meanwhile, the payments they aren't making appear to be classified by the Department of Education as both "in repayment" and "current."
It has been a story of two markets so far, with China's Shanghai Composite up another 3% in today's continuation of the most ridiculous, banana-stand driven move of the New Normal (and there have been many ridiculous moves in the past 6 years) on the previously reported hints that the PBOC is gearing up to start its own QE, while Europe and the Eurostoxx are lagging, if only for the time being until Citadel and Virtu engage in today's preapproved risk-on momentum ignition, on Greek jitters, the same jitters that last week were "fixed"and sent Greek stocks and bonds soaring. Needless to say, neither Greek bonds nor stocks aren't soaring following what has been the worst week for Greece in months.
With the USDJPY's ascent to 125, 150 and higher having seemingly stalled just under 120, with concerns that the BOJ may not monetize more than 100% of its net debt issuance suddenly surfacing, the BOJ and the Nikkei would take any help they could get. They got just that an hour ago when Fitch downgraded Japan's credit rating from A+ to A, citing lack of sufficient structural fiscal measures in FY15 budget to replace deferred consumption tax increase.