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Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. You can pull sub-categories from this feed by adding a ?tags=a,b,c,... style parameter. The category tags (which can be given as numbers or handles) are : id handle category description 1 housing_finance "Housing Finance News/ML-Implode Main" 2 hedge_funds "Hedge Funds News" 3 fed "The Fed, Central Banking and fin. reg." 4 foreclosures "Foreclosures (News)" 5 chavez "Hugo Chavez Watch (News)" 6 builders "Home Builders News" 7 banks "Banks News" 8 credit_bubble "Credit Bubble and Crash (News)" 9 peak_oil "Peak Oil and Energy Security (News)" 10 BRIC_v_us "BRIC countries vs. U.S. (News)" 11 gov_bk "Government Bankruptcy (News)" 12 mediawatch "Mainstream Media Watch" 13 Our commentary "IEHI Original Commentary" 14 rebalancing "Economic Rebalancing (News)" 15 pm "Precious Metals News" 16 inflation "Inflation and Deflation News" 17 nr "Natural Resources News" 18 consumer "Consumer Capitulation/Issues and Populism" 20 pe "Private Equity Implosion (News)" 21 recession "Recession/depression News" 22 ML_implosion "Mortgage Lender IMPLOSIONS" 23 HF_implosion "Hedge Fund IMPLOSIONS" 24 HB_implosion "Home Builder IMPLOSIONS" 25 Bank_implosion "Bank IMPLOSIONS" 26 ML_update "Mortgage Lender UPDATES" 27 HF_update "Hedge Fund UPDATES" 28 HB_update "Home Builder UPDATES" 29 Bank_update "Bank UPDATES" 30 RFWS "Radio Free Wall Street" 31 FHA "FHA and Mtg Regulation (News)" 32 martial_law "Martial Law/Big Brother/NWO Watch" 33 pension "Retirement Implosion (News)" 34 mtgindustry "Mortgage Industry (News)" 35 econlists "Econ insider lists" 36 iehi_fb "IEHI facebook feed" 37 robin_fb "robin facebook" 38 IEHItwitter "IEHI Twitter Feed" 39 ak_linkedin "akrowne LinkedIn (mtg industry)"
Updated: 36 min 24 sec ago

13 Ways to Strengthen America's Economy

Sun, 08/20/2017 - 15:52
``The list of policies is eclectic. It draws on ideas from multiple ideologies, from social democracy to free-market neoliberalism to industrialism. It contains some items that are supported by Democrats, and others that Republicans like. It leans toward support for those at the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder, but if enacted it would probably lift incomes for all classes. And many of the policies, like more jobs, less lead pollution, housing for the homeless and universal health care, would have positive social benefits in addition to their economic effects -- reducing crime, increasing dignity and creating a healthier, happier populace.''

The Stock Market Has Been Magical. It Can't Last.

Sun, 08/20/2017 - 13:15
The stock market has been so placid that declines of a mere 1.5 percent have been treated like real news. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index dropped that much on Thursday. Days like that can be unsettling, but in the span of market history, they amount to the slightest of headaches.

The deeper news isn't immediately visible day to day, but it is this: The stock market has been operating in an extremely rarefied world of heightened calm, one that is unlikely to continue. It is as if, after the election in November, Wall Street entered an enchanted zone. That is bound to end.

NAFTA Negotiations Start in Secrecy; Corporate Lobbying Heats Up

Sun, 08/20/2017 - 12:45
``The first round of re-negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement between the US, Canada, and Mexico began on Wednesday and is scheduled to last through Sunday. And the one thing we know about it is this: Despite promises in March by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (USTR) that the negotiations would be transparent, the USTR now considers the documents and negotiations "classified" and they'll be cloaked in secrecy. But corporate lobbyists have access. And they're all over it... One big topic is the inclusion of an Investment State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) procedure... ISDS is an arbitration procedure outside of the national court system. Its rulings force legislatures to change laws in favor of foreign corporations, and the courts are helpless...''

China moves to curb overseas debt-fueled acquisitions (+ENCOURAGE "NEW SILK ROAD" INVESTMENTS)

Sun, 08/20/2017 - 12:39
The curbs were announced in a document released on Friday by the state council, China's cabinet, in the latest move to halt a string of foreign acquisitions. This week the International Monetary Fund described China's credit-fuelled economic strategy as dangerous, in a strongly worded statement warning that the country's approach risks financial turmoil.

Raising concerns that some of the companies involved may be taking on too much debt, the council said: "There are great opportunities for our nation's companies to embark on foreign investment, but they also face numerous risks and challenges."

...

The document limits overseas investments in areas such as hotels, cinemas, the entertainment industry, real estate and sports clubs. It also bans outright investments in enterprises related to gambling and the sex industry. The Chinese government had already flagged hotels as an area of concern, having reportedly asked the insurance group Anbang to sell the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York.

...

At the same time, the document encourages companies to plough money into projects related to the "Belt and Road" project, President Xi Jinping's signature foreign policy initiative that seeks to link China with other parts of Asia and eastern Europe through multibillion-dollar investments in ports, highways, railways, power plants and other infrastructure.

We're racing towards another private debt crisis - so why did no one see it coming? (UK)

Sun, 08/20/2017 - 12:15
Corporations are just raking in the profits and sitting on them. The household sector, on the other hand, is a rolling catastrophe. Austerity has meant falling wages, less government spending on social services (or anything else), and higher de facto taxes. This puts the squeeze on household budgets and people are forced to borrow. As a result, not only are households in overall deficit for the second time in British history, the situation is actually worse than it was in the years leading up to 2008.

And remember: it was a mortgage crisis that set off the 2008 crash, which almost destroyed the world economy and plunged millions into penury. Not a crisis in public debt. A crisis in private debt.

The situation is not much different in the states...

Fed-2nd Fischer: Unwinding Stimulus & Reform "Short-Sighted"; U.S. Treading Empire-Decline Path of Great Britain

Sun, 08/20/2017 - 10:56

Having led a worldwide effort to strengthen financial regulation after the crisis, US politicians are now attempting to throw things into reverse -- something Fischer bluntly describes as "extremely dangerous and extremely short-sighted". America's role as guarantor of global organisations such as the IMF can no longer be taken for granted, he fears. "I had a picture of the world economy in which the United States was an anchor, not a source of volatility," Fischer says. "This really changes things."

This verdict is striking coming from a top US policymaker, but Fischer has seen a similar story play out before. Born in the former UK protectorate of Northern Rhodesia in the 1940s, Fischer grew up in the twilight of the British empire. America is losing its status as the world's hegemonic power -- just as Britain did before it, he suggests.

...

Human beings, says Fischer, borrowing from Milton Friedman, are not rational, but they are great at rationalising things. He agrees with Greenspan, saying the persistently low level of real long-term interest rates is a conundrum. "I don't feel I understand it fully, and therefore I feel uncomfortable," he says, referring to the rapid ascent of equities. Part of the reason for the post-election stock market surge was a belief that Trump would push through tax reform and infrastructure. That justification for booming equities has evaporated, however, Fischer says. "The truth is our political system doesn't look like it is going to deliver very much in the way of what we hoped it was going to deliver on November 8 2016."

What Republican control of Congress and the White House may well herald, however, is deregulation. Recently the US Treasury put forward a document proposing ways of easing capital standards underpinning banks. The Fed has also been facing Congressional attacks on its independence -- both attempts to curb its ability to lend in an emergency and demands that it pay greater attention to monetary policy rules.

Fischer is openly incredulous, describing the moves to unwind the post-crisis system as "mind-boggling". The US political system "may be taking us in a direction that is very dangerous", he says. For example, the big US banks passed their stress-tests -- the annual Fed-led exercises that gauge their health -- and the cry goes up that it is time to reduce their capital requirements or make the tests more transparent.... ``the pressure I fear is coming to ease up on large banks strikes me as very, very dangerous,'' [Fischer said].

Don't Forget About The Red Swan - Stockman

Sun, 08/20/2017 - 10:45
``Half of the world's GDP growth since the 2008 crisis has been in China, and that, in turn, was purchased by the greatest credit eruption in recorded history... In sum, during the last 19 months the Red Ponzi propagated a false upturn in the global economy that is already decisively reversing. This comes at the same time that central banks of the major developed world economies are finally bringing their printing presses to a halt.''

Donald Trump Finally Comes Out of the Closet

Sun, 08/20/2017 - 08:07
At this point, something has become undeniable. Trump voters who supported him based on the idea that he would bring forth an agenda of economic populism got played. I understand that many other people just voted for him as a middle finger to the system, but for the true believers who thought he had their backs, it's now long past the time to pack up your bags. I don't say this out of pleasure, I genuinely hoped he would push forth an agenda of economic populism, but now we know for certain this is never going to happen. That much is pretty undeniable.

...

Populism isn't dead in America, but right populism as it exists today is. I just hope the next iteration is a lot more genuine, and a lot more sane.

Wells Fargo troubles shift from phony bank accounts to real ones

Sun, 08/20/2017 - 07:45
A Reuters review of the regulator's complaints database found several instances of customers reporting financial hardship in recent years after Wells Fargo unexpectedly froze or closed their accounts.

...

The complaints had consistent themes of confusion about why accounts were frozen or closed, and reflected desperation over being unable to access money, as well as frustration over not getting help from Wells Fargo's customer service.

Doug Noland: Crisis of Confidence

Sat, 08/19/2017 - 16:38
...before we segue to the mess in Washington, there are as well major near-term uncertainties with respect to global monetary management. There were indications this week that both the ECB and Federal Reserve lack the confidence and consensus necessary to communicate a plan for unwinding what have been years of unprecedented monetary stimulus. It's not confidence inspiring.

...

There should be little doubt that the boom and bust dynamics experienced over recent decades have taken a toll on our nation's social and economic fabric. And while many want to blame "globalization," I believe much that we label "globalization" would be more accurately understood as fallout from years of unfettered global finance. Could NAFTA have been so destabilizing to U.S. manufacturing without endless cheap finance flooding into Mexico (and EM more generally). How dominant would China be today without essentially limitless amounts of virtually free "money" to finance over-investment the likes of which the world has never experienced?

I strongly believe that unfettered finance has been instrumental in the long period of U.S. deindustrialization -- the transformation from a manufacturing powerhouse into an experiment in a consumption and services-based economic structure. Bubbling securities markets and booming Wall Street finance were integral to this fateful structural shift.

Ditech Parent Walter Investment Could Be Kicked Off NYSE

Sat, 08/19/2017 - 13:22
NYSE Threatens To Boot Ditech Owner Walter Investment From Exchange

New York State Buying 400 Mortgages

Sat, 08/19/2017 - 11:31
New York State Buying 400 Mortgages With Plans To Modify Loan Terms For Struggling Homeowners

So When Will China's Debt Bubble Finally Blow Up?

Sat, 08/19/2017 - 09:41
[According to analyst Charlene Chu], by the end of 2017, bad debt in China could hit 51 trillion yuan, or $7.6 trillion. Or about 68% of GDP! It would take the bad-debt ratio to an astronomical 34% of all loans, and way above the 5.3% that the authorities are proffering. And the authorities -- the government, the central bank, supported by the state-owned banks -- are now pulling all levers to keep this under control.

"What I've gotten a greater appreciation for is how everything is so orchestrated by the authorities," she said. "The upside is that it creates stability. The downside is that it can create a problem of proportions that people would think is never possible. We're moving into that territory."

5-Must See Charts For Retirement

Sat, 08/19/2017 - 09:29
``Since 1877, secular bull years have totaled 80 vs. 52 for bears, which is a 60/40 ratio. Surprised? Bear markets happen more often than investors are led to believe. They usually occur at times of overvaluation which makes recent retirees or those close to retirement at greater risk of experiencing negative or poor future returns. Bad luck or rotten timing. Either way, it's going to be important to remain cognizant of portfolio distribution rates, place renewed priority on risk management, and adjust spending accordingly perhaps over the next ten years.''

Deutsche Bank, Bank of America settle agency bond rigging lawsuits

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 15:10
Deutsche Bank AG and Bank of America Corp agreed to pay a combined $65.5 million to settle investor litigation accusing large banks of rigging the roughly $9 trillion government agency bond market over a decade.

...

The collusion allegedly ran from 2005 to 2015, and forced customers to accept unfair prices on bonds they bought and sold, court papers show.

BNP Paribas SA, Citigroup Inc, Credit Agricole SA, Credit Suisse Group AG, HSBC Holdings Plc, Nomura Holdings Inc, Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank were also sued, and all sought dismissals.

...

Late Wednesday night, another group of investors sued six banks, claiming they rigged the more than $1 trillion stock lending market.

Rickards: The Elites Will "Freeze" the Financial System in Next Crisis

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 15:08
Eventually, the entire financial system will be frozen solid and investors will have no access to their money.

Some of my readers were skeptical of this scenario. But I researched it carefully and provided solid evidence that this plan is already in place -- it's just not well understood. But the ice-nine plan is now being put into practice.

Consider a recent Reuters article that admitted elites would likely shut down the entire system when the next financial crisis strikes.

The article claimed that the EU is considering actions that would temporarily prevent people from withdrawing money from banks to prevent bank runs.

Seems likely that they will attempt this -- there's just to much dependence built up in the decades-accumulated stock of debt-fueled paper assets to "admit" that they are near-worthless...

'Simply doesn't cut it': Elizabeth Warren slams Wells Fargo's board changes

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 15:03
``"Letting a few board members retire early and shuffling around current board members simply doesn't cut it," Warren said in an email.   "The Fed should remove all remaining board members who served during the fake-accounts scandal."''

The Stock Market Bubble is So Big Even the Fed's Talking About It

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 14:58
``This is simply incredible. Remember, we're talking about the Fed here... a group of people who go above and beyond to ignore risks in order to maintain the status quo... They say you don't ring a bell at the top. But what the Fed did yesterday is DARN close.''

Why is Gary Cohn Still Hanging Around Trump? Probably To Snag Yellen's Post...

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 14:47
`` Cohn wants Trump to name him chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, replacing Janet Yellen, whose term expires next February. It would be the perfect way for him to fulfill his boundless ambitions and also give him a graceful exit out of the White House. If he got the job--which he isn't particularly well qualified for; he's not an economist, not that that is a prerequisite (Summers is far better qualified but not under consideration)--he would become the first Goldman Sachs alumnus to become Fed chairman. (Goldman Sachs alumni head up the Bank of England and the European Central Bank.) That would put him in truly rarefied air--above Rubin, Mnuchin and Hank Paulson, all of whom have served as Treasury secretary. It would also remove him from the political fray and put him in a job from which it would be very difficult for Trump to fire him.''

Hospitals in Trump Country Suffer as Muslim Doctors Denied Visas to U.S.

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 14:17
"This year, we had about 34 J-1 refusals that were reported to us. This is kind of a historic number," said Iqbal, who chairs the Committee on Young Physicians, which is a part of the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America. APPNA only knows about denials that rejected applicants reported to them, so it may be just the tip of the iceberg. Many reapplied, starting from scratch, and were successful, but started their programs late.

...

Small-town America has relied on foreign-born doctors for years, but, like the rest of the country, the demand for doctors exceeds the supply. By 2025, the U.S. will have a physician shortfall of between 61,700 and 94,700 physicians, according to a 2016 AAMC report. The dearth of doctors is one reason to be concerned about the Pakistani doctors' visa denials, Shick said. "As we face shortages, denying any physician that is accepted into a residency program is a bit shortsighted," he said.