Health insurance companies that sell coverage to Idahoans say they’re still losing money on their plans, so they want to raise individuals’ premiums an average of 27 percent next year.
We’ve expected the hike since last year, as the massive debt load and unfunded pension crisis prompted the City of Chicago to pass a $588 million property increase, which will take place through 2018. This year’s $363 million bill represents the largest bill.
Venezuela has borrowed over $50 billion from China under the financing arrangement created by late socialist leader Hugo Chavez in 2007, in which a portion of its crude and fuel sales to the world’s second-biggest economy are used to pay down loans.
In Chicago’s case, the new total debt reported on the city’s balance sheet will likely be well over $10 billion higher than reported in recent years. And in accounting, with a balance sheet showing the balance between assets and liabilities, leading to a “net position” (basically assets less liabilities), we are likely to see a dramatic change in the city’s reported net position for fiscal year 2015.
Canada’s corporate sector is being weighed down by a mountain of junk debt worth at least US$70 billion. Bloomberg News’ Allison McNeely reports.
New York state’s $178.1 billion retirement system eked out a 0.19 percent return for the year that ended March 31 as stock prices declined, falling far short of what it expects to earn on its investments each year.
The numbers are daunting if not shocking: $12.3 trillion of money printing, nearly $10 trillion in negative-yielding global bonds, 654 interest rate cuts since Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008.
The first chart shows the lowest global interest rates going all the way back to 3,000 B.C. Michael Hartnett, chief investment strategist, and his team at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, say that’s down to a combination of quantitative easing, zero interest-rate policies and negative interest-rate policies. That means borrowing costs are lower than what was on offer at the time of the Pharaohs of the First Dynasty of Egypt (3,000 B.C.) to Napoleon through to Alexander Hamilton and right up to those living through the crash of 1929:
The 10-year JGB yield fell as low as minus 0.185 per cent and the 15-year yield was in negative territory at minus 0.038 per cent. Yields on 30-year JGBs hit a record low of 0.223 per cent.
The European Central Bank has contributed to the fall in bund yields through its massive bond-buying program, aimed at lowering financing costs across the eurozone.
The share of mortgage liabilities to total credit market debt reached 65.6 percent in the first quarter, “continuing an unbroken upward trend that began in the first quarter of 2010,” the agency wrote. The last time the ratio reached that level was in the second quarter of 1997.
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