Back in April 2013, during the height of the IPO scramble, the NYT gushed about Fairway's just concluded IPO: "Until recently, Fairway was not much more than a popular market on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where residents went for goods like smoked salmon, medjool dates and cheeses. Today, it is a fast-growing 12-store grocery chain with ambitions of opening 300 outlets across the country." Just over three years later, the once successful IPO is now a distant memory and soon enough, so will the company behind it because overnight Fairway Group Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection,
- Global stocks slide as yen, euro gains question policy potency (Reuters)
- U.S. Index Futures Signal Stock Losses as AIG Drops on Earnings (BBG)
- EU Sees Weaker Growth in Eurozone and Wider EU as China Slowdown Weighs (WSJ)
- Euro Set for Longest Run of Gains Since 2013 as Fed Focus Fades (BBG)
- German Bonds Advance as EU Cuts Euro-Area Inflation Outlook (BBG)
Central bankers have the unchaperoned power to create the greatest fortunes ever known to mankind at will and to invest that money wherever they want. With trillions of dollars at their disposal and trillions more whenever they want to conjure it into existence, what is to stop them from controlling the oil market just as they have stocks and bonds?
As of today, we now have three consecutive quarters of tightening lending standards. In fact, based on the latest survey, net lending standards tightened even more than during Q4 as shown in the chart below, and are now the tightest on net since the financial crisis. Needless to say, if a recession and a default cycle has always followed two quarters of tighter lending conditions, three quarters does not make it better.
If the world’s economies were really out of intensive care, why would ultra-radical monetary policies like helicopter money be increasingly debated at the highest level of governments? Also, how come 70% of Americans believe the US economy is on the wrong course? And why do almost half of US citizens admit they couldn’t come up with $400 to meet an unexpected need? Yes, I know why ask why? And it is what is, and a bunch of other clichés. But this isn’t normal, it isn’t healthy, and - at least in the opinion of this author—it isn’t going to end well.
Following this weekend's bankruptcies of Ultra Petroleum and Midstate Petroleum which added $3.1 billion to the mushrooming high-yield energy bond default volume tally, in addition to the $1.5 billion of credit facility defaults, the energy high-yield default has soared to a record 13% rate, surpassing the 9.7% mark set in 1999, according to Fitch Ratings.
Debt, if used for productive investments, can be a solution to stimulating economic growth in the short-term. However, in the U.S., debt has been squandered on increases in social welfare programs and debt service which has an effective negative return on investment. Therefore, the larger the balance of debt becomes, the more economically destructive it is by diverting an ever growing amount of dollars away from productive investments to service payments. The relevance of debt growth versus economic growth is all too evident as shown below...
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.
Update: PR Governor Padilla has spoken...*PUERTO RICO GOVERNOR SAYS WON'T PAY DEBT TOMORROW, CALLS ON U.S. CONGRESS, PAUL RYAN FOR HELP, CRISIS WILL GET WORSE IF U.S. CONGRESS DOESN'T HELP
“If the weather forecast suggests it might rain, wouldn’t you carry an umbrella?”
The most important fact investors need to know about the Forex market - The Federal Reserve Bank of the United States of America has a Big Red Forex Button that can halt all US Dollar denominated commerce.
China’s historic post-2009 debt binge flew largely under the radar - fooling most observers into thinking the global economy was recovering rather than just re-leveraging. Now Beijing is back at it, borrowing over $1 trillion in this year’s first quarter, buying up commodities and creating the illusion of global growth. But this time the scam hasn’t gone unnoticed. Reporters, editors and money managers seem, at last, to be catching on. So think of today’s relative calm as the eye of yet another storm, and what’s coming as a return to the hyper-leveraged new normal.