“In the Great Recession, authorities faced enormous pressure to “do something.”.
“The Fed cut a quarter-point from 5.25% where it had stayed for some time. A year later, it was down to 2%, and soon to zero.
“But the bigger and even more aggressive policy move was in asset purchases. It included but wasn’t limited to quantitative easing.
“The stimulus went on for too long and gave the economy time to go from “dependence” on easy money to outright “addiction.”.
“This will eventually lead to a worldwide default, which I’ve dubbed the Great Reset…
“The Fed is now at least pausing that experiment and appears set to reverse it later this year. I fear it is acting too late.
“The latest corporate earnings news and lots of other data suggest the cyclical weakening has begun. The next marker will be some high-profile debt defaults, probably among lower-rated issuers.
“I don’t know who: WeWork, Tesla, name your favorite. But somebody is going to run out of cash and find themselves unable to refinance for the 97th time. And then the real fun will begin.”
“The years since the financial crisis have been peppered with warnings about history repeating itself. Investors have sounded an alarm about the return of highly leveraged corporate buyouts by aggressive private equity firms.”
“Investors are flocking back to a complex debt-derivatives product blamed for amplifying losses in the financial crisis, reckoning that the securities are safer now that they are no longer backed by subprime mortgages.”
“The government oversight board leading Puerto Rico through its $123 billion debt crisis sued dozens of banks and financial firms on Thursday.”
“April, a new coalition of former regulators, researchers and landowners called the Alberta Liabilities Disclosure Project stepped up the fight to make the oil and gas industry do more [to clean up orphan wells].
“Using freedom of information laws, it dug up internal AER documents that revealed the estimated cost of cleaning up Alberta’s oil and gas wells would be between $40 billion and $70 billion. That’s far more than the $18.5 billion the AER has publicly suggested.”
“Fuel distribution workers in Tunisia began a three-day strike on Thursday to demand higher wages, leading to long queues and empty pumps at petrol stations across the North African nation.
“The government is facing rising public demands for more pay as price rise, with inflation at about 7 percent. It is also contending with pressure from international lenders to cut the public wage bill and other spending to shore up state finances.”
“Turkey’s energy sector has $12-13 billion worth of loans that require restructuring, out of a total of $70 billion, lender Garanti Bank’s deputy managing director Ebru Edin said on Thursday.
“Last month, Finance Minister Berat Albayrak unveiled a plan to transfer some of the banking sector’s problem loans to off- balance-sheet funds…”
“Like many Iranians, the 44-year-old Bahktiari doesn’t trust the country’s troubled banking system to safeguard his money. The public’s distrust is especially high when it comes to foreign banknotes.
“Officials in Iran estimate the country’s citizens have between $10bn and $25bn in foreign banknotes stuffed under mattresses or kept in safes.”
“To hear many investors tell it, Greece is in the midst of a supercharged recovery after being the euro debt crisis’s poster child and suffering under years of recession and austerity.
“But Greeks like Dimitra D. are not buying the turnaround story…”
“The idea of a squeezed middle certainly resonates in the suburban households that have been feeling the pinch during the long and incomplete recovery from the crash of 2008.
“For sure, it sums up what has been going on in Britain’s “flexible” labour market, where the gig economy flourishes. But the hollowing out of the middle is happening in most business sectors, in the housing market and in politics. It is not confined to the UK and the US – it’s happening, albeit at different speeds, just about everywhere in the developed world.”
“[Australian] New vehicle sales slumped in April as part of an ongoing trend tied to housing market woes, natural disasters and this month’s federal election.
“The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries’ figures showed a 22 per cent monthly decrease in sales for April… About 320 less vehicles are being sold a day compared to a year ago.”
“Container freight rates fell 4.2% in April…
“The rate falls were across the board with European imports fell by 4.8%, while exports declined by 1.9%; for Asia the import benchmark dropped by 2.1% while exports slumped 3.6%; and for the US the export benchmark fell by 2%, while the import index dropped by 3.4%.”