Two weeks into 2019, five Chinese companies are already likely to default on 3.5 billion yuan (US$446.25 million) worth of debt, after a record US$17 billion default wave took the country by storm in 2018 amid a worsening economic slowdown and soaring refinancing costs facing the cash-starved private sector.
Chinese data released overnight show the trade gap between the world's two largest economies was at a record high in 2018, and it may signal a broader global economic slowdown, according to economists.
JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s bond traders just reported their worst quarter in a decade a day after Citigroup Inc. said it was also pummeled by market turmoil.
Corporate debt outstanding ended 2018 at just over $9 trillion, a 64 percent increase over a decade’s time, according to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. The surge came as the Federal Reserve kept its benchmark interest rate anchored near zero and allowed companies to reward shareholders, do deals and invest in their own operations.
While Europe's largest economy probably narrowly avoided a recession at the end of last year, according to the country's statistical agency, weaker German growth is ringing alarm bells across the continent, where swaths of companies are bound tightly to the German export machine.
Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini hit out at the European Central Bank, accusing it of attacking the country’s financial industry. The head of the euroskeptic League said the “new attack” by the ECB shows once again that the banking union causes instability in Italy’s financial system and hits citizens’ savings, in remarks cited by newswire Ansa.“Transparency is needed to quash the suspicion that the ECB is making political use of its power.”
Sources told Reuters last week that Beijing was planning to lower its growth target to 6-6.5 percent this year after an expected 6.6 percent in 2018, the slowest pace in 28 years.
At Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world's busiest, some passengers waited more than an hour to get through checkpoints. The airport reported the long lines on its website Monday morning, showing the hour-plus waits at all three checkpoints in the domestic terminal.
Pallone's letter came in response to an article in Motherboard, which reported last week that some of the largest carriers, including AT&T and T-Mobile, are selling customers' location data to third parties. Motherboard's article detailed how a reporter paid a “bounty hunter” $300 to track a phone's location to a neighborhood in Queens, New York.
Grant Williams – Keynote Speech (thc0655)
Does the financial system need an apex predator to maintain stability, mirroring the hierarchy of the world’s natural ecosystems? Grant Williams, the author of Things That Make You Go Hmmm… and co-founder of Real Vision, believes that gold played a crucial role in the stability of the financial system. Grant’s presentation, Cry Wolf, delivered on 1st October at the 2018 Stansberry Alliance Conference in Las Vegas can be viewed in full on Real Vision’s Think Tank.
These fears have also led London's Metropolitan Police to advise retailers to hire additional security, as worries over the shortages in goods could lead “to a significant increase in customers,” it said in a statement.
Investment-grade defaults are few and far between as the slide to a default is usually drawn out over months, if not years, with companies first dropping out of high-grade bond indexes into sub-investment grade, or junk, before eventually risking nonpayment of their debt obligations.
Though PG&E would bypass junk status altogether in the event of a bankruptcy, its troubles could bring attention to the “fallen angel” phenomenon, when companies slide from investment-grade into sub-investment grade.
The magnetic north pole is wandering away from the Canadian Arctic toward Siberia, and much faster than expected. It’s sped up from about 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) to around 55 kilometers (34 miles) per year, according to Nature. The magnetic north pole is influenced by the movement of liquid iron below Earth’s surface. The World Magnetic Model, which provides a five-year forecast of the planet’s magnetic field, was last set in 2015 and due to be updated in 2020, but these rapid movements mean it’ll have to be updated this year.
On Sunday, just before taking a private jet on an official trip to Russia (all of the state-owned airline’s planes are grounded), Mnangagwa announced a 140 percent increase in fuel prices, raising the cost to $12.53 a gallon and making Zimbabwe by far the most expensive place to gas up in the world. For many Zimbabweans, it was the last straw. They took to the streets, but in another echo of the Mugabe era, so did security forces, looters and unidentifiable armed men.
Insect collapse: ‘We are destroying our life support systems’ (debu, redinr08)
The Puerto Rico work is one of just a handful of studies assessing this vital issue, but those that do exist are deeply worrying. Flying insect numbers in Germany’s natural reserves have plunged 75% in just 25 years. The virtual disappearance of birds in an Australian eucalyptus forest was blamed on a lack of insects caused by drought and heat. Lister and his colleague Andrés García also found that insect numbers in a dry forest in Mexico had fallen 80% since the 1980s.
Gold & Silver
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