Iin Q1, US total Federal debt rose by $250 billion, to a record (duh) $17.6 trillion. This debt "bought" a negative $74 billion in GDP, which declined to $17.0 trillion. Said otherwise, this was the first quarter since the end of the recession when debt rose (by a whopping amount), and when GDP declined sequentially in nominal terms.
While news of high-ranking financial executive suicides in the west have become week to week news, the troubling trend has spread to Asia. A string of Chinese officials have killed themselves in recent months, with speculation linking many to a crackdown on graft. However, as SCMP reports, this weekend saw the head of China's largest copper producer 'fell to this death' from a hotel owned by his company with a state-run newspaper claiming the 52-year-old committed suicide (due to work pressures) following corruption allegations. The timing of Wei Jianghong, chairman of state-owned Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group, suicide appears catalyzed by the growing anxiety over the widespread implications of China's rehypothecation commodity-finance scandal. That leaves one question - what did he know that markets remain ignorant of for now?
"An Unforgettable Winter" - Bank Of America's "Explanation" For The 17th Worst GDP Print In US HistorySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/25/2014 14:03 -0400
And so the polar bears penguins come out of hibernation, "explaining" today's disastrous GDP print. Randomly selected for your reading pleasure, here is Bank of Frigid America's Ethan Harris spiking the Kool Aid with an above Surgeon General recommended dose of hopium.
Well, at least someone gets it. While just about every other central bank on the planet is giving everyone two thumbs up on the economy, the deputy chair of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (Lim Hng Kiang) said last night at a dinner that “an uneasy calm seems to have settled in markets” and that “we remain in uncharted waters.” It was quite surprising to see such pointed language from a central banking official. Mr. Lim jabbed at the “obvious” risks and said there would be “bumps on the road” ahead.
Now that Eric Cantor is history, crushed by an unexpected Tea Party "David" (literally and metaphorically) as the US population finally begins to say no to an artifical "two-party" system which is quite united in only serving its Wall Street masters, it is time for that other republican, none other than the consummate folding lawn chair John Boehner, to scramble fearing for his own political career. And since the only way the GOP knows to challenge the implosion of the US republic is by making loud noises and providing hours of hollow theatrical entertainment, here comes Boehner with the biggest soap opera he could muster: moments ago the speaker announced he plans to sue Obama "on behalf of the House over his frequent use of executive actions that Republicans believe are beyond his authority."
Ahead of tomorrow's make-or-break FIFA World Cup game against Portugal, the Ghana "Black Stars" are not happy. Amid controversy over match-fixing, the players have demanded that the World Cup appearance fees they are owed be paid; and as Bloomberg reports, "The players insisted that they will want physical cash." The Ghanaian government has chartered a plane and the dollars are on their way to Brazil. Perhaps the players want to invest it in the latest grand idea - Ghana's first hedge fund has just been launched (prepare for more emails).
"According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's reference scenario, domestic oil production is going to peak at 14.6 million barrels a day in 2019 and then drop to 12.7 million barrels a day in 2040. Given the 2013 consumption level of 18.9 million barrels of crude a day, the U.S. will never be a net oil exporter under this scenario,... The U.S. crude producers need the flexibility of exporting oil or selling it domestically. As for the political dreams of making the U.S. a major oil exporting power, or even of energy independence backed by the shale boom, they are just that -- dreams."
Now that both Hillary and Chelsea have managed to insert their feet deep inside their mouth when discussing their relative wealth (or lack thereof) and/or their perception of money, it is up to ole' slick himself to pull their feet out of the fire so to speak. Watch him opine live on the US economy, immigration and certainly Hillary's bank account in the following live Bloomberg webcast from the Clinton Global Initiative.
Presented with little comment (since putting into words an open-mouthed gasp is difficult) but Treasury Secretary Jack lew has chimed in on the IRS "Lost Emails" scandal:
LEW: SOMETIMES A BROKEN HARD DRIVE IS JUST A BROKEN HARD DRIVE
Perhaps the NYPost put it best: "The thing about dogs eating homework is, it could actually happen. This can’t. This is "The dog ate my hard drive, broke into another building, ate the backup of the hard drive, then broke into six other top officials’ offices and ate their hard drives also."
Janet Yellen has dismissed rising inflation figures. They were “noisy,” she said. She didn’t like the sound of them. Valid numbers are harmonious. Invalid ones are cacophonous. But after so many years of listening to such loud noise coming from her own colleagues, poor Ms. Yellen may be tone deaf. At least, that is one explanation for her nonchalance toward the threat of inflation.
Moments ago, in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court gave the NSA monopoly rights to electronic data, communication and exchange after it decided that Police must obtain a warrant before searching mobile devices after arresting someone, stating "privacy interest outweigh police convenience". So... Americans still have privacy rights despite all the Snowden revelations - amusing. According to the WSJ, "the court, in a unanimous ruling by Chief Justice John Roberts, said both the quantity and quality of information contained in modern handheld hand-held is constitutionally protected."
The conventional view of the Baby Boomers' retirement is a happy story: since we're living longer and remaining productive longer, Boomers will not be as much of a burden on Gen-X and Gen-Y as doom-and-gloomers assume. Not only are Boomers staying productive longer, they will draw upon their vast generational wealth as they age, limiting the financial burden on younger generations. This happy story is wrong on multiple counts.
Markit's US Services PMI printed at 61.2 (massively beating the 58.0 expectations) and soaring to its highest since records began. In other words, it doesn't get any better than this. This, based on Markit's analysis, implied a Q2 GDP surge to +6% - we can only wait. There's one thing though... Business expectations (the line item that represents company's confidence in the future) plunged from 79.3 to 75.9 - not what Yellen needs... furthermore, margins continue to come under pressure as prices charged drop as input prices rise. One wonders how long before this miracle is revised due to a technical glitch?