When it comes to economic growth, 2016 is looking a lot like 2015 — and probably even worse.» Read More
The debt ceiling does not seem to have many friends these days.
John McDermott at FT Alphaville , the blog Self-Evident , and Felix Salmon have all issued thrashings . The gist of the complaints is that since the debt ceiling will eventually be raised, all the political debate leading up to the eventual raise is just political posturing at best, and dangerous demagoguery at worst.
The fears of the debt contagion spreading throughout Europe has been a source of concern this week as investors question which are countries too big to bail out. The acronym for the countries in question—Portugal,Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain is perfect—PIIGS .
These countries oinked out spending like it was going out of style and now they can't pay their debts. But unlike sending off a fat pig to slaughter, the economic ramifications of letting any of these pigs going belly up could create what many fear an economic catastrophe for the euro itself.
I decided to speak with Jim Rickards, Senior Managing Director for Market Intelligence at Omnis, about this threat.
Here is an aspect of the mortgage foreclosure story you may not have heard about: US banks are apparently booking income on cash flow that they have not yet received, according to a recent article on Forbes.com
The CEO of AngloGold Ashanti surprised even Joe Kernen this morning with his comment that it cost “more than $1000 an ounce across the industry to produce an ounce of gold.” Surprised me, too so I did a little research.
Sort of rich people feel bad about themselves because the truly rich are really richer.
That, in a nutshell, is the conclusion one economics blogger reached based on an analysis of income distribution data.
And the internets have been buzzing about it ever since.
Hedge fund regulation is having a seriously perverse—if entirely predictable—effect. Large hedge funds are growing larger, well-known star managers are accumulating more assets under management, and competition from start-ups is becoming scarcer.
Barrier to entry and costs of regulatory compliance have risen dramatically. A new fund must start its life with at least $100 million of assets under management to be commercially viable, according to Hester Plumridge of Heard On The Street . A few years ago, the price of entry was just $50 million.
US Foreclosures above 1 Million Mark for the First Time since 2010 [CNBC via Reuters] "Banks seized more than a million U.S. homes in one year for the first time last year, despite a slowdown in the last few months as questions around foreclosure processing arose, a leading firm said Thursday. Banks foreclosed on 69,847 properties in December, bringing the year's total to 1.05 million, topping the prior record of 918,000 homes seized in 2009, real estate data firm RealtyTrac said."
Eurozone Interest Rates Remain at 1 Percent, Questions Remain [CNBC via Reuters] "The European Central Bank will face a grilling on its assessment of the euro zone debt crisis and firming price pressures in the bloc after it left interest rates on hold at 1 percent on Thursday. The decision was correctly forecast by all economists polled by Reuters and keeps rates at the record low they have been at since May 2009."
Happy 3-day weekend Friday eve \(just sounds better\). Before you slosh through snowy slush, here's what missed and need to know to power through the day:
Muni Bond Smackdown! Bill Gross versus Meredith Whitney [Bloomberg] "Bill Gross, who manages the world's biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co., clashed with Meredith Whitney, the banking analyst, when he said he doubted there would be many local-government bankruptcies."
Bumping our Heads on the Debt Ceiling: And the Folks Don't Like it One Bit [CNBC] "The U.S. public overwhelmingly opposes raising the country's debt limit even though failure to do so could hurt America's international standing and push up borrowing costs, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Wednesday. Some 71 percent of those surveyed oppose increasing the borrowing authority, the focus of a brewing political battle over federal spending. Only 18 percent support an increase."
If Clinton doesn't release her speech transcripts, she'll look like she's hiding something, Politico's Ben White says.
Jeff Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James, said the stock market looks like it's searching for a bottom.
The U.S. economy created just 151,000 jobs in January amid multiple other signs that growth is slowing, though the unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent.