November Budget Deficit $150.4 Billion, Worse Than $138 Billion Consensus, Biggest November Deficit On RecordSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/10/2010 14:25 -0500
The Treasury has released the November deficit, which at $150.4 billion was about $12 billion worse than expected. Total receipts were $148 billion, of which individual income taxes were $64.3 billion, while the government actually refunded $3.1 billion for corporate taxes in the month. While cumulative receipts since the start of the new fiscal year are better than in the prior year period ($135.7 billion compared to $109.1 billion), it is the expense side that is far more important: in November the government spent $299.4 billion, the bulk of which going to the Department of Health and Human Services ($72 billion), social security ($64 billion), and Defense ($57 billion). The department of education saw a whopping $7.6 billion in funding in November. What is more troubling is that the interest expense is starting to rise: in the two months ended November 30, the US government paid $43.5 billion compared to $40.8 billion last year. Of course, this is to be expected, as total US debt is about $1 trillion higher now than it was last year. And, as always, what is most notable is that in November total debt increased by $192 billion to $13.861 trillion from $13.669 trillion. In other words, we are now at a point that every dollar in receipts is matched by 1.3 dollars in incremental debt.
An Insecure White House Releases A List Of Pundits, Economists And Journalists Who Greet Its Decision To Boost The DeficitSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/08/2010 14:16 -0500
Next time you swing by the White House, remember to tell your now desperately insecure president that he has your support, or else we may get another temper tantrum like the one yesterday. It appears that now none other than the White House has the (in)security issues of a 14 year old girl. In what has to be the epitome of a surreal joke, the official White House website has released a list of actual individuals and institutions (among these, shockingly, the New York Times, Market Watch, Harvard and, no shit, Bank of America) who have voiced their "statements of support on the framework agreement on middle class tax cuts and unemployment insurance." Oddly, nowhere in this list is even a passing mention of the Zero Hedge reminder that just the tax cut extension portion of the deal is likely to boost the deficit, and thus the US funding need, by $5 trillon over the next decade. In other news, the market is up because consumer confidence is higher... and consumer confidence is higher because the market is up. The adventures of Alice through the looking glass have nothing on America's blind meanderings through the depression zone.
White House Says Tax Deal "Does Not Worsen The Medium- And Long-Term Deficit" Even Though Full Cost Will Be Over $5 TrillionSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/07/2010 11:52 -0500
Perhaps for the best demonstration of what cutting education budgets in the US means for our nation's current and future mathematical capabilities, look no further than the White House's Propaganda, pardon Fact Sheet on the tax extensions. The only notable item is the following (which is stunningly added as an accomplishment): "The plan has three key accomplishments: Does not worsen the medium- and long-term deficit.
These are responsible, temporary measures to support our economy that
will not add costs by the middle of the decade. The President does not
believe it is affordable to make the high-income tax cuts permanent and
will continue to have that debate in the years ahead." Alas, that is a flat out lie. According to the Congressional Research Service, the cost of keeping the tax cuts will be just over $5 trillion over the next 10 years. And it will be at least 10 years: after Obama loses the 2012 presidential election, Republicans will have a carte blanche to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, and will likely do so. And, furthermore, this figure does not include the cost of the Unemployment Insurance extension.
Moody's Investors Service has today downgraded Hungary's foreign- and local-currency government bond ratings by two notches to Baa3 from Baa1. The key drivers for the downgrades are: 1. Increased concerns about the country's medium- to long-term fiscal sustainability; and 2. Higher external vulnerabilities than most of Hungary's rated peers. "Today's downgrade is primarily driven by the Hungarian government's gradual but significant loss of financial strength, as the government's strategy largely relies on temporary measures rather than sustainable fiscal consolidation policies," says Dietmar Hornung, a Moody's Vice President -- Senior Credit Officer and lead analyst for Hungary. "As a consequence, the country's structural budget deficit is set to deteriorate." Next up: Austria
Look at any international comparison of taxes to GDP, and one can always find the United States at the bottom of the table. The average amount of tax paid by the top 400 US tax payers came to under 17%, less than half the maximum Federal rate of 35%. Why Warren Buffet pays a much lower tax rate than his secretary. My plan for balancing the budget.
Folker Hellmeyer, the chief analyst with the Bremer Landesbank, gives an exclusive interview to chaostheorien.de on his take on the global currency wars and China's role in the global economy moving forward.
Ben Bernanke: Economic Recovery May Not Be Self-Sustaining, May Buy More Bonds Depending On InflationSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/05/2010 19:23 -0500
Bernanke: Economic Recovery 'May Not Be' Self-Sustaining
Bernanke: Could Buy More Bonds Depending On Inflation, 'How Economy Looks'
Bernanke: Getting 'Awfully Close' To Range Where Prices Start Falling
Bernanke: Could Be 4-5 Years Before US Sees 'More Normal' Unemployment Rate
Bernanke: Defends Plan To Buy Treasury Securities
Bernanke: High Unemployment Rate 'Primary Source Of Risk' To Economy
Bernanke: Double-Dip Recession 'Doesn't Seem Likely'
IMF Tells Eurozone To Buy More, More, More Bonds And That It Needs A Bigger Boat, Er, Rescue Fund; Belgium Wants A Bigger Pie TooSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/05/2010 12:50 -0500
It appears that one way or another, the IMF will provide a lot more American money to the European rescue. Reuters reports that according to the IMF the euro zone should have a bigger rescue fund and the European Central Bank should boost its bond buying to prevent the sovereign debt crisis from derailing economic recovery. "International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn
will present the report on the economy of the 16 countries using
the euro at a meeting of euro zone finance ministers and
European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet on Monday." And presumably, and we are speculating here, if the Euro zone can not afford it, the IMF will be more than happy to step in. After all recall that on August 30, the IMF extended the duration of the Flexible Credit Line (FCL), "concurrently removing the borrowing cap on this facility, which previously stood at 1000 percent of a member’s IMF quota, in essence making the FCL a limitless credit facility, to be used to rescue whomever, at the sole discretion of the IMF's overlords." We would think that an infinite amount of money should be enough to rescue even Spain when the time comes. Which begs the question: with everyone expecting muni bonds to be the purchasing target of QE3, will Bernanke again fool everyone and instead opt for direct European bond monetization? After all, the destruction of dollar value is and always has been the Fed's primary imperative, and what better way to achieve this than to collateralize the greenback with Greek bonds?
The Irish government is doing its citizens a disservice by accepting a bail-out. The “National Recovery Plan 2011-2014? intends to save EUR 15bn (“front-loaded” 6-5-4bn for the years 2011-13) by cutting expenses (10bn) and raising taxes (5bn) in order to reduce the budget deficit to less than 3% by 2014. The budget plan sees GDP increasing by 1.75%, 3.25%, 3% and 2.75% in the years 2011-14. Can anybody explain to me how an economy, which was shrinking by 11% (GNP) last year, that will be saddled with austerity (demand-reducing) measures of another 10% of GNP is supposed to grow? Not only have government tax revenues declined by 33% since 2007 but also will increased interest burden (because of the bail-out loans) eat up 20% of revenues by 2014 (up from 8% in 2009).
The sanity of the authors of this “recovery plan” has to be questioned.
From CNBC: UK ‘Vindicated’ for Refusing Euro: Chancellor Osborne... Whaaaattt????!!!! That’s not the way I remembered it.
EU Buys Ireland on Cyber Monday, Comes with Free Shipping, 6 Pack of Guinness, and Plenty of Broken DreamsSubmitted by MoneyMcbags on 11/29/2010 23:44 -0500
Hells yeah, Money McBags is back from his Thanksgiving break where he basted some turkeys, watched consumers run up more debt during Black Friday sales that they won't be able to pay off until the dollar hyperinflates to whatever is just below infinity (perhaps Bernankity), and furiously read...
We very much enjoy the view of Michael Cembalest (CIO, JPM Private Bank) when it comes to the sensitive topic of geopolitics, as it tends to provide that incremental perspective over and above what otherwise his and other banks would skirt around due to conflicts of interest (after all they are banks). Today, in his Eye on the Market report, Cembalest looks again at the Irish bailout. And while his summary of the 4 key dynamics (in his opinion) is certainly spot on, it is his footnote that caught our attention, as it carries in it the most pertinent information: namely, that since its bankruptcy and currency devaluation, Iceland's economy and stock market have surged, unbound by the shackles of a zombie monetary system and exponentially growing debt. Ireland, to the contrary, can only hope for at best a gradual decline in its economic output instead of an outright collapse now that European Commission council is the country's new politburo. It can also, at best, hope that its pension fund will have a few penny farthings left for the aging population once it is done rescuing Europe's banks. It is precisely this option that a formerly democratic country refused to offer its citizens, and is the reason why its entire government should be tried for treason: instead of using empirical evidence that default and devaluation is the best outcome, Ireland crumbled to the interests of a few parasite plutocrats, which have just their own interests in mind, and never those of the host nation (which ends up being abused and discarded like a used condom off the side of the road).
Ireland’s Bailout Is Finalized, The Indebted Gets More Debt As A Solution But The Fine Print Is Glossed Over – Caveat Emptor!Submitted by Reggie Middleton on 11/29/2010 12:48 -0500
The bailout of Ireland is destined to for failure, or it fails to solve the issues that have brought it about. The amount of debt in comparison to likely future GDP Ireland is mired in is literally staggering, and that's without the little secret slipped passed some in whispers and fine print in regards to the so called bailout.
Moody's Expects Multi-Notch Downgrade Of Ireland, As Green Party Abdication Sends Irish CDS Wider On DaySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/22/2010 08:06 -0500
Earlier today Moody's finally woke up from its slumber, threatening it would do a "multi-notch downgrade, albeit one that would leave the country still with an investment grade rating", which the people who have made a business model of being behind the curve said is now the most likely outcome of the review of Ireland's sovereign credit rating. Moody's (which rates Ireland Aa2 and has the country on review for downgrade) said that an aid package from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund would shift the burden of supporting Ireland's banks onto the Irish sovereign, and would therefore be "a credit negative for Ireland." Apparently bankruptcy is not covered under the "credit negatives" for Ireland. And while what Moody's does or thinks is completely irrelevant, what the Irish Green party (whose prior opinion we presented in a very distinct clip last night) has announced it will quit the Irish government in January, leaving PM Brian Cowen without a majority in the government, and leaving the door open for elections, and thus a complete undoing of the bailout. Looks like yesterday's announcement will be the shortest rescue in history. CDS is already seeing that, as Irish CDS was last seen lifting offers of 520 and wider, after a 507 close on Friday. And Futures already following the action. It will be another busy day for Brian Sack.
Vigilantes Home In On Portuguese Beacon As Opposition Claims Government Understated Debt And Deficit Figures By About 25%Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/21/2010 14:45 -0500
With Ireland now a lost cause, the next country which will see its bond yields surge to new records is Portugal. And just so vigilantes don't miss the hint, the Portuguese opposition party has stated that the country's budget deficit and public debt are "higher than those reported by the government." The claim is that Portuguese debt is about 30% higher than claimed by official statistics: instead of 82% of GDP, it is actually 112%. With bankrupt Greece having lied about virtually every aspect of its comatose economy, it is not as easy to dismiss the announcement as merely political bickering, and is sure to leads to at least a modest double digit basis point jump in Portuguese spreads. And once Portugal is rescued, just after New Year's, then it will be time for those last two countries of the peripheral block: Italy and Spain. And after them, it's the core's turn.