Budget Deficit

In Latest Humiliation For Illinois, Fitch Downgrades State's Credit Rating To BBB+

Last week, beleaguered Illinois Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger admitted that, thanks to the bitter budget battle going on in Springfield, the state would miss a $560 million pension payment in November. Now, in a move that shouldn't exactly surprise anyone, Fitch has cut the state's GO rating citing the budget impasse. The move affects some $27 billion in debt.

Getting History Right - Saving Capitalism From Monetary Mismanagement

Capitalism isn’t – wasn’t – the problem. The culprit instead was unsound finance and deeply flawed monetary management. In short, Capitalism cannot function effectively within a backdrop of unfettered cheap finance. Things appear miraculous during the boom, and then the bust discombobulates. Contemporary central bank rate administration essentially abandoned the self-adjusting and regulating market system for determining the price of finance – so fundamental to Capitalism.

Saudis Poke The Russian Bear, Start Oil War In Eastern Europe

"[Putin] hopes that when its ally Iran re-enters the global oil and gas market, Russia will somehow share in the profits, perhaps through new pipelines across Syria. He also wants to stop the Saudis from establishing export routes in Syria. Now that Russian energy supremacy in Europe also is at stake, Putin's determination to resolve the Syrian conflict on his terms can only grow."

Here's What Happened When Venezuela Imposed Gun Control Laws

A few years ago, in response to national outcry, the government of Venezuela took steps to fix this problem. There was too much death, too much crime. So they imposed strict gun control laws to stop the murderers and thieves. The end result? Violent crime actually increased. And Caracas is now one of the most dangerous cities in the world. But across the Andes is another city that used to be one of the most dangerous in the world - Bogota.

Venezuela Is Now The Most Expensive Country In The World

Forget Norway. Japan. Iceland. Switzerland. Or any of the other places around the world that are notorious for being painful on the wallet. Venezuela is now the most expensive country in the world, hands down. To give you an idea, the cost of a 15-minute taxi ride to the beach yesterday afternoon totaled an eye-popping $158.

Saudi Arabia Declares Spending Moratorium As Oil Rout Bankrupts Kingdom

Last month, when King Salman arrived in Washington to a fleet of Mercedes S-Classes, we asked if, considering the current circumstances, cutting back on spending might be in order. Indeed, in the wake of Saudi Arabia's move to tap debt markets, rumors have been circulating for months that the kingdom has enlisted the help of "advisers" to help rein in the ballooning deficit. Now, Riyadh has effectively declared a spending moratorium in the face of self-inflicted crude carnage.

World's Largest Sovereign Wealth Fund Is Forced To Begin Liquidating Assets

While Reverse QE, or QT, or whatever one wants to call it has become traditionally associated with Emerging Markets and petroleum exporters, nobody had linked it with one of the most advanced Developed Markets in the world which also happens to be an oil exporter, the market with the largest sovereign wealth fun in the world: Norway. That is about to change because as Bloomberg report, "the future may already be here", a future in which Norway's gargantuan $830 billion sovereign wealth fund, the product of two decades of capital accumulation courtesy of Norway's vast petroleum reserves and oil trade, is forced to begin liquidating its vast assets.