Welfare spending in Britain has risen 28 billion pounds ($43 billion) since Prime Minister David Cameron took office due to people living longer and increased spending on sickness and disability.
Yet that goal, a marker of the city's return to full self-government, could be endangered by the City Council's decision last week to reject a hike in water rates. The move would blow a $27 million hole in its already approved and balanced budget, potentially triggering a review by the state-appointed Financial Review Commission that could start the three-year clock ticking all over again.
While the deficit has been dropping, the province’s total debt outstanding has been rising and now stands at about C$315 billion, according to the Ontario Financing Authority. Ontario’s C$250 billion of long-term bonds rated by Moody’s Investors Service is the most of any province, state or local government in the world, the New York-based company said last year.
While money managers ignored the precious metal’s allure as a haven, demand from Greek customers for Sovereign gold coins was double the five-month average in June, the U.K. Royal Mint said June 29.
The Federal Reserve risks stalling the U.S. economy by raising interest rates too early, the International Monetary Fund warned Tuesday as it detailed further its call for the central bank to delay a move until 2016.
The measure, which comes after the exchange made it more expensive to speculate on stock-index contracts, is intended to curb short selling and won’t work, according to Xinhu Futures Co. China’s state-run media has blamed rumor-spreading short sellers and foreign investors for a stock-market rout that erased more than $3.2 trillion of value in less than a month.
Almost 200 stocks halted trading after the close on Monday, bringing the total number of suspensions to 745, or 26 percent of listed firms on mainland exchanges, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Most of the halts are by companies listed in Shenzhen, which is dominated by smaller businesses.
The four largest Greek banks have failed and would also have defaulted without capital controls, Fitch Ratings analysts wrote in a note July 2. Liquidity and solvency are very weak and some banks may be nearing a point where unwinding them becomes a real possibility. Loans overdue by 90 days or more accounted for 36 percent of domestic loans at the end of March and arrears probably have increased significantly since then.
In a report released Tuesday, the IMF said that prolonged low interest rates "pose a slow burning solvency risk" for life insurers. If low rate stay until 2018, 11 out of 18 life insurance groups would report negative shareholder equity, the IMF said.
The Federal Reserve should hold off raising interest rates until there are "clear signs of wage and price inflation," the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday. In an assessment of the U.S. outlook, the IMF added more detail to its call that the Fed hold steady until the first half of 2016.
Chicago homeowners could face up to a 30 percent hike in their property taxes to pay for the city's financial problems. Not only is that much of a city property tax increase possible, there are efforts under way on the state and county levels to raise income and sales taxes, all because politicians are running out of options to pay their public worker pension debt.
Since 2013, single-family home water bills have increased 30 percent. And more increases may be in store, sources say. LADWP is making up lost revenues by refinancing bonds to lower rates and acquiring grant monies, she said.
Bangkok's tap water supply may run out in a month, as the country waits for long overdue rains to replenish sources depleted by drought and threatened by seawater creep, the chief of the capital's water authority said.
Even extraordinary emergency measures unveiled Monday, such as a $19-billion rescue fund organized by the country's regulators and funded by China's top brokerage firms, failed to stem the fear among retail investors who conduct 85 percent of the market's transactions.
“That would be a state bankruptcy, a default in English,” Ewald Nowotny said in an interview with Austrian state television news program ZiB 2. “In this situation, it would no longer be possible for the ECB to provide further liquidity.”
From Sweden to Switzerland, central banks are battling to contain an appreciation of their currencies versus the euro. Greek risks are also infiltrating markets in Eastern Europe after Greece’s decisive vote against austerity this week. Even the Bank of England, whose economy is showing signs of a gradual recovery, may find itself compelled to delay tightening monetary policy, while Japan has signaled it may boost stimulus if the yen strengthens.
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