“Germany’s deepening economic slump is squeezing the life out of the nation’s struggling banks, a little more than a decade after a crippling financial crisis from which many never fully recovered.
“Lenders ranging from Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG to HSBC Holdings Plc’s German subsidiary all reported deteriorating second-quarter earnings.
“They had to set aside more money for loans to companies reeling from the impact of global trade disputes, Brexit uncertainty and distress in the autos sector. All are now doubling down on cost cuts to offset the rising threat to profitability.
““Headwinds from interest rates and the economy are intensifying,” HSBC’s Germany head Carola von Schmettow said on Wednesday. There is an “increased danger of credit defaults” in the second half of the year, according to the bank.
“The growing threat could hardly come at a worse time for a banking industry already debilitated by years of sub-par profitability and failed turnaround plans…”
“Confidence drained away from British businesses and consumers in August as the Brexit crisis deepened, according to surveys that suggested the political ructions are increasingly taking a toll on the economy.
“The Lloyds Bank Business Barometer slid to 1% from 13% in July, its lowest level since December 2011, when Britain was struggling to recover from the global financial crisis.”
““It will look like a kind of nightmare, the day after. We don’t know what will happen with people, with trade, with traffic, it will not be good,” declared Pekka Haavisto, the Finnish foreign minister, contemplating the scenario of a no-deal Brexit.”
“The political crisis could not have occurred at a worse time [for Italy], with the economy flatlining for more than a year… with the growth outlook, unemployment and government finances all scoring less than half the maximum points available…
“…the manufacturing sector purchasing managers’ index has stayed below 50, indicating contraction for the past 10 months, highlighting how Italy’s weak economy has become the norm.”
“Turkey’s economy is expected to shrink in the second quarter, its third straight quarterly contraction as it grapples with the effects of recession, and a Reuters poll on Thursday also pointed to zero growth in 2019 as demand and investment slows…
“The poll of 18 economists showed the economy shrinking 2% year-over-year in the second quarter…”
“Half-a-million Kazakhs are to have their debts paid by the government as a “one-time action” to help some of the central Asian country’s poorest, ministers announced.
“Svetlana Zhakupova, Kazakhstan’s Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Protection, said the state would use budgetary funds to repay up to 105 billion Kazakh tenge (KZT) — equivalent to about €245m — owed on loans or other arrears.”
“India’s prolonged consumption slowdown and a deteriorating global environment are delaying a recovery in Asia’s third-largest economy, nudging its government into action to supplement the central bank’s monetary stimulus.”
“The yuan resumed its decline against the dollar on Friday and was on track for its worst month since China’s currency reform in 1994, due to trade tensions with the United States and a slowdown in the domestic economy.
“In August, the yuan has lost more than 3.7% versus the dollar.”
“The Bank of Korea hinted it was considering further action to support the economy should risks continue to rise, after leaving its key interest rate unchanged Friday.”
“Standard & Poors announced on Thursday that it was slashing Argentina’s long-term credit rating another three notches into the deepest area of junk debt, saying the government’s plan to “unilaterally” extend maturities had triggered a brief default…
“Argentina’s bonds sunk on Thursday and country risk soared to levels unseen since 2015.”
“It’s not hard to pinpoint our unquenchable thirst for cattle, soy, timber, palm oil and other commodities as the main driver of Amazonian deforestation and the underlying cause of the record number of fires this year.
“What’s more difficult is figuring out what to do about it.
“The sheer scale of the global economy and the complexity of the supply chains and financial systems that make it work mean that nearly every company, corporation and banking and investment institution on the planet is complicit in the destruction of the Amazon and other forest ecosystems around the world.”
“Gross domestic product increased at a 2.0% annualized rate, the Commerce Department said in its second reading of second-quarter GDP on Thursday. That was revised down from the 2.1% pace estimated last month.
“The economy grew at a 3.1% rate in the January-March quarter. It expanded 2.6% in the first half of the year.”