• Steve H. Hanke
    05/04/2016 - 08:00
    Authored by Steve H. Hanke of The Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke. A few weeks ago, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) sprang a surprise. It announced that a...

Fitch

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Aeropostale Files Chapter 11: Latest Retail Bankruptcy After American Apparel, Cache, Wet Seal And Quiksilver





Aeropostale's decline was swift. The brand was established in 1987, went public in 2002, and by 2010 it had a market cap of nearly $3 billion. However, by January 2015 the company of 21,000 employees had posted losses in its last three fiscal years, and with 2015 being the fourth consecutive year of losses, its market cap imploded to just $2.9 million.

 
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The Energy Junk Bond Default Rate Just Hit An All Time High





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.

 
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Soros Warns China Credit Cycle Has Gone "Parabolic" Just To Keep Zombies Alive





After warning last year of a "practically unavoidable" hard-landing to come in China, George Soros unleashed his central-planner-crushing self last night on the great red ponzi. As we noted last night, Soros warned the "parabolic" rise in credit  is very worrisome, and "eerily reminiscent of US in 2007-8," specifically adding that "most of the money that banks are supplying is needed to keep bad debts and loss-making enterprises alive." Soros' full discussion can be found below...

 
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Futures, Crude Unchanged Ahead Of Draghi As Parabolic Move In Steel, Iron Ore Continues





One day after stocks were this close from hitting new all time highs on what have been either ok earnings, if looking at non-GAAP data, or atrocious earnings, based on GAAP, and where any oil headline is now immediately translated as bullish by the oil algos, so far futures are relatively flat, while European stocks were at their moments ago in anticipation of the latest ECB announcement due out in just one hour.  However, unlike last month's "quad-bazooka", this time the market expects far less from Draghi. “Having pulled put the monetary bazooka in March, the market is sensibly expecting no further policy measures from the ECB,”

 
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$14 Billion In Junk Bond Defaults Push April Total To Highest Since 2014





Following yesterday's bankruptcy of Peabody Energy and today's Chapter 11 filing of XXI Energy, defaults among American junk bonds just topped $14 billion in April, the highest monthly volume in two years according to Fitch calculations, and that is only for the first two weeks. April's surge in bankruptcy filings is not unexpected: according to JPM's default tracker, the number of bankruptcies was on a tear in both the month of March and the first quarter.

 
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A "Massive" New Headache For Banks Has Emerged





It's not just the shale drillers who are in danger as they see their liquidity evaporate. As the WSJ writes today, and as covered here since January, it is the lenders themselves whose unfunded revolver exposure may suddenly become funded and expose them to even greater risks from the energy sector should oil not rebound far more forcefully and put US oil and gas companies back in the black. How big is the exposure? Very big: $147 billion.

 
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Fitch Downgrades Chicago After "Worst Possible Outcome" In State Supreme Court Pension Reform Bid





Dear Mayor Emanuel, it may be about time to get on the phone with Detroit and ask for pointers on how to efficiently navigate the bankruptcy process...

 
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Bad - But Better Than What's Coming





Very simply, if you borrow too much money life gets harder and the things that used to work stop working. For a country, lower interest rates no longer induce businesses and individuals to borrow and spend, and government deficits no longer translate directly into more full-time private sector jobs. Growth slows, voters get mad, politics gets crazy, and generally bad times ensue. The only question is why this is a surprise to the people whose choices brought us to the edge of the abyss.

 
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Day Of Reckoning Looms





Stock markets are said to “discount the future.” Maybe they see something we don’t. Or maybe they are simply preparing for a more spectacular day of reckoning by drawing more mom-and-pop investors into deeper water; as always, we wait to find out.

 
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"No Signs Of Recession" Says Agency That Always Fails To Predict Recession





The top economist for Moody’s (one of the largest rating agencies in the world) said yesterday, as he unleahed the latest jobs guess, that there are absolutely zero signs of recession. These sameguys were so drunk on their own Kool-Aid that in October 2007, Moody’s announced that “the economy is not going to slide away into recession.” Everyone assumed that the good times would last forever. This is what virtually assures negative interest rates in America.

 
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Brazil Cut To Junk By All Three Ratings Agencies After Moody's Joins The Fray





Back in December we warned that Brazil faced a "disastrous downgrade debacle" that would eventually see the beleaguered South American nation cut to junk by all three major ratings agencies. Moments ago, that prediction was borne out.

 
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Horror Stories Emerge After A Cursory Look At Chinese Corporate Leverage





In any other case debt/EBITDA at or higher than 10x - certainly 15x - in a world in which cash flows are rapidly deteriorating would be an excuse for bondholders to take to the hills. But when you have such leverage ratios as 83x one can only quietly stand back, find a place behind which to hide, and hunker down ahead of the coming explosion.

 
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Meet China's Latest $1.8 Trillion "Problem"





China's mid-tier banks are piling up exposure to the riskiest subset of borrowers at a time when economic fundamentals are deteriorating on a near daily basis. Meanwhile, this exposure is being carried on a line item that allows the banks to avoid provisioning for the losses that will almost certainly materialize in the not-so-distant future. At one bank, this one line item is larger than the entire Philippine banking system.

 
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The Islamization Of America In 2015, Part 2





More than half (51%) of Muslims in America believe they should "have the choice of being governed according to Sharia." Only 39% of those polled said that Muslims in the U.S. should be subject to American courts. Nearly a quarter believed that, "It is legitimate to use violence to punish those who give offense to Islam by, for example, portraying the prophet Mohammed."

 
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