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“President Trump said on Monday that he would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum from Brazil and Argentina, a move that would shatter previous agreements with those countries and widen a global trade war that the president had appeared ready to scale back.

Mr. Trump, in a message on Twitter, accused Brazil and Argentina of manipulating their currencies and hurting American farmers. “Therefore, effective immediately, I will restore the Tariffs on all Steel & Aluminum that is shipped into the U.S. from those countries.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/02/business/economy/trump-tariffs-brazil-argentina-metal.html


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U.S. factories are sputtering and conditions are likely to get worse, according to a new economic reading that shows a deepening manufacturing slump.

“The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index fell to 48.1 in November from 48.3 in October.” [Sub 50 denotes contraction].

https://www.barrons.com/articles/american-factories-are-slumping-and-its-getting-worse-51575306402


“The freight index is an excellent indicator of U.S. economic health… Some experts believe fewer goods being shipped could indicate a recession on the horizon.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2019-12-02/freight-slowdown-and-economy-video


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US corporations are sitting on nearly $10 trillion in debt. That’s equivalent to roughly 47% of the overall economy, which is a record, according to date first cited by the Washington Post.

“Since the financial crisis in 2008, corporations have splurged on debt amid historically cheap borrowing costs. In recent months, experts have warning that ballooning corporate debt could worsen a future economic downturn.”

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/us-corporate-debt-10-trillion-record-percentage-economy-expert-warnings-2019-12-1028731031


“Due to the lack of funding, Reykjavík cemeteries [Iceland] are having difficulties providing their services, according to a report by Visir… Currently, the cremation oven is 72 years old and at risk of collapsing. Þórsteinn warns that if the furnace stops working, the only other option for cremation would be to get the service done abroad.”

https://grapevine.is/news/2019/12/02/reykjavik-cemeteries-face-chilling-economic-crisis/


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“Big-name stores are being urged to put opt-out buttons on their websites to stop customers using buy now, pay later schemes to get into unsustainable debt.

Britain’s biggest high street stores are accused of pushing shoppers into record levels of debt as they pocket hundreds of millions of pounds from credit schemes that charge up to 30 per cent interest.”

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/high-street-store-credit-schemes-push-customers-into-record-debt-8f3m06ct7


Eurozone manufacturing activity contracted for a 10th straight month in November….

https://www.cityam.com/eurozone-manufacturing-pmi-factories-shrink-for-10th-successive-month/


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“Clashes erupted on Monday between protesters and Tunisian police who fired tear gas to disperse them in the southern town of Jelma, the third consecutive night of protest against poverty and lack of opportunity, witnesses said.

“Protests began on Saturday, a day after Abdelwaheb Hablani, 25, set himself on fire and died in hospital in protest at poverty and poor living conditions…”

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-tunisia-protests/tunisias-police-and-demonstrators-clash-in-third-night-of-protests-idUKKBN1Y62G3


“At various financial institutions, depositors hardly get cash out. For instance at ECOBANK on Monday, announcement was made to customers that only Liberian dollar L$4,000(Four thousand Liberian dollars) which is about US$20.00) would be paid to individual as there was no sufficient cash.”

http://gnnliberia.com/2019/12/03/as-liberia-drowns-in-financial-crisis-lawmaker-craves-for-u-s-intervention/


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“Most of rural Zimbabwe is now without crops, without livestock and without water. The land is like sand – and the millions trying to live off it are on the brink of starvation.

“This country was once the breadbasket of Southern Africa – but now climate change combined with bad farming practice and wider economic problems have turned it into an arid desert.”

https://www.itv.com/news/2019-12-02/food-crisis-in-zimbabwe-as-the-country-endures-its-worst-drought-in-40-years/


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Lebanese citizen Naji Al-Fulaiti hung himself on Sunday in his house in Arsal, after his 6-year-old daughter asked him for 1,000 Lebanese pounds ($0.66) for school, which he could not afford. The news shocked his family…

“Al-Fulaiti is not the first victim of the livelihood crisis in the country.”

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1593101/middle-east


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“The Syrian pound has hit a record low amid the country´s grinding war and as a financial and political crisis roils neighboring Lebanon, Syria´s economic lung.

“The dollar was worth 920 Syrian pounds at some exchange shops on Monday in the capital, Damascus, a sharp drop from recent days.”

https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/2017791/syrian-pound-hits-record-low-lebanon-crisis-persists


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India‘s central bank may just be days away from bringing down the key lending rates near its historic low of 4.75 per cent, from 5.15 per cent currently.

“The repo rate reached its lowest point in 2009 soon after the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the ensuing global financial crisis.”

https://www.sify.com/finance/rbi-mpc-perilously-closer-to-post-lehman-rates-news-bank-tmcuSvbjcjbgh.html


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The emerging economies are “at the mercy of the big central banks,’’ said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Markit. They have “less room to maneuver.’’

“…policy makers in countries like Mexico and Russia, scarred by recent or distant currency crises, are reluctant to slash borrowing costs — even with inflation around the lowest levels in decades.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-12-02/rich-world-problem-of-lowflation-has-arrived-in-emerging-markets


“Tunghsu Optoelectronic Technology [China] has failed to make good on a bond – its third in less than a month… The latest default has cast doubt on whether Tunghsu could meet its obligations on a US$44 million bond maturing in June 2020, after it defaulted two notes totalling 3 billion yuan on November 18.”

https://www.scmp.com/business/china-business/article/3040265/third-bond-default-chinese-electronics-firm-within-month


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China has suspended visits by US Navy ships and aircraft to Hong Kong after Washington passed legislation last week backing pro-democracy protesters.

“Beijing also unveiled sanctions against a number of US human rights groups. It comes after President Donald Trump signed the Human Rights and Democracy Act into law.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-50626796


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South Korea could suffer from a debt crisis if the country fails to manage surging debt in the private sector, a state-run tax and economic policy research institute warned…

“…the country could go into a debt crisis because of rapidly rising debts in the country’s private sector in the advent of events that negatively affect the economy…”

https://pulsenews.co.kr/view.php?year=2019&no=1008015


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“More Australians are expected to struggle repaying their mortgage next year, despite record-low interest rates.

“Australia’s household-debt-to-income ratio already stands at a record 190 per cent, which is second only to Switzerland. American credit ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service has this week issued a note predicting a rise in delinquencies…”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7749683/Credit-ratings-agency-Moodys-predicts-Australians-struggle-repay-mortgage-2020.html


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Chile‘s economy contracted 3.4% in October from the same month a year ago, the central bank said on Monday, posting the single biggest drop in a decade as weeks of violent protests began sending shockwaves through the Chilean economy.

“Riots in Chile began on Oct. 18 over a hike in metro fares but quickly spiraled into mass protests, arson and looting…”

https://www.voanews.com/americas/chiles-economy-posts-biggest-drop-decade-protests-bite


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“Today, more than a decade on from the crisis, interest rates are close to historic lows throughout much of the developed world. The problem of too much debt has been solved with even more debt.

“The nature of the debt has changed, so too has the make-up of debtors and creditors, but the very low level of interest rates, when compared to 2008, means that small changes in interest rates have a greater impact on the price of credit.”

https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/leveraged-loans%3A-history-rhyming-2019-12-02


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