Economy 14 Dec 2018 Global Debt = $86,000 Per Person

“Global debt hit a record $184 trillion last year, equivalent to more than $86,000 per person — more than double the average per-capita income. Borrowing is led by the U.S., China, and Japan, the three biggest economies, the International Monetary Fund said Thursday, highlighting potential risks to global expansion given that their share of debt exceeds that of output.

“Overall, the amount of worldwide public and private debt is equal to about 225 percent of gross domestic product.”

“Once again, British Prime Minister Theresa May has returned from Brussels empty-handed.

“An EU diplomat told CNN before the meeting that the other 27 EU nations were looking to May to “convince” them she can get the withdrawal agreement through the UK Parliament, something she appears to have failed to do.

“”We’ve seen what happened (on Wednesday). Convince us that what you ask will make a difference. If she pulls that off then we can talk… in the end they are politicians and they will want to help her. We are ready to be convinced,” the diplomat said.

“The diplomat added that the “most likely scenario is stumbling into a no deal.”

“French business activity plunged unexpectedly into contraction this month, retreating at the fastest pace in over four years in the face of violent anti-government protests, a monthly survey showed on Friday…

“Companies have seen business drop after nearly a month of nationwide demonstrations that have triggered the most violent street protests seen in decades.”

“European carmakers couldn’t shake the slump that’s shadowed them since September as new car registrations declined for the third month in a row — adding fresh worries to an industry already facing declines in its largest market.”

Registrations fell 8.1% yoy.

“Since March 2015, the ECB commanded purchases of €2.6 trillion ($3 trillion) of debt, mostly sovereign, from across the euro zone. Today (Dec. 13) marks the end of an era of unprecedented monetary stimulus in the region’s economy.

“It finally puts Europe on the same path as the US, which for the past few years has been unwinding its own stimulus from the 2008 financial crisis.”

“Wall Street banks are offloading leveraged loans at discounted prices and demanding that borrowers accept less advantageous terms, as they move to protect themselves from rapidly weakening demand.”

“The risk of a U.S. recession in the next two years has risen to 40 percent, according to a Reuters poll of economists who also found a significant shift in expectations toward fewer Federal Reserve interest rate rises next year.”

“Between 2012 and 2015 — a period when the recovery seemed to be gaining speed — nearly half of all counties nationwide saw flat or declining growth, according to new government data. More broadly, the Commerce Department figures highlight a stark and worrisome reality: While a handful of places around the U.S. are thriving, most regions are barely trudging ahead.”

“The national housing slowdown is spreading to markets like Las Vegas and Phoenix, where prices still haven’t reclaimed their pre-crisis peaks. After home values rose sharply this year, the market has shifted in recent weeks.

“Prices fell slightly in November while the inventory of unsold homes in the Las Vegas region has roughly doubled compared with a year earlier, according to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors. Existing home sales slowed nearly 12% in November compared with a year earlier.”

“Beijing had high hopes that tax cuts for individuals would lift consumer spending and boost an economy which is showing the effects of the trade war, but overall retail sales in November proved disappointing.

“Even record spend on Singles’ Day’ on November 11 could not prevent retail sales from posting their weakest growth rate in 15 years.”

“A synchronised, global fiscal expansion may be able to moderate the pace of an eventual slowdown by some degree, or put it off longer than otherwise would have been the case.

“But with a trade war between the US and China unresolved (and starting to bite), Brexit chaos, riots in France and an Italian debt crisis, there’s certainly no shortage of strife weighing on global sentiment.

“In the words of top IMF official David Lipton, “storm clouds” are gathering. Time to grab that umbrella.”

Read the previous ‘Economy’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here.

Economy 13th Dec 2018 Firms Stockpile for No Deal Brexit

“Companies and industry groups in Britain issued strident warnings against further political turmoil Wednesday after a challenge to Prime Minister Theresa May’s leadership underscored the strength of opposition in her own party to her government’s plan for Brexit.

“Underscoring the high stakes for business, a major UK manufacturing firm confirmed it has activated contingency plans. Airplane engine maker Rolls-Royce said that it has begun stockpiling parts to help minimize the damage from a disorderly Brexit.

“There are only 107 days to go before Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union, but parliament remains deeply divided on how to break with Britain’s biggest trading partner.

“Our firms are worried, investors around the world are baffled and disappointed, and markets are showing serious strain as this political saga goes on and on,” he added.

“Companies across the country have already taken steps to prepare for Brexit…

“The most worrying scenario for business is one where Britain crashes out of the European Union without a deal, leading to new trade barriers.

“Aerospace giant Airbus has said it could be forced to quit the country if there’s no deal on EU trading arrangements. Carmakers such as Nissan, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover are also heavily exposed.

“Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said that confidence among the group’s members has fallen to its lowest level since the financial crisis.

“”We don’t know what economic environment we’ll be operating within in only 100 days’ time … that makes planning ahead impossible,” he said, adding that firms are “crying out for some certainty about the future.”

“The deepening confusion over Brexit comes at a terrible time for the British economy.

“Data from the Office for National Statistics show the UK economy grew just 0.1% in October compared to the previous month. Industrial production fell 0.6% and manufacturing slumped 0.9%.

“The UK government says its Brexit deal will hurt the economy

The UK government says its Brexit deal will hurt the economy

Trading conditions are likely to worsen when Britain leaves the European Union on March 29.”

“Brexit is battering the UK property market, pushing it to its weakest level in more than six years, with almost half of surveyors reporting that sellers and buyers are sitting tight because of political uncertainty.

“The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said its monthly indicators for demand, supply and prices fell to multiyear lows in November.”

“Bonmarche’s chief executive Helen Connolly said: “The current trading conditions are unprecedented in our experience and are significantly worse even than during the recession of 2008/9.

“I hope that in the fullness of time, our cut to the forecast may prove to have been overdone, but in the current market, this seems the appropriate stance to adopt.”

“It seems that in Italy misery loves company. In the midst of their own budget travails, Luigi di Maio and Matteo Salvini, Italy’s two powerful deputy prime ministers, now seem to be rejoicing in France’s budget problems. Before doing so, they might want to consider that far from reducing the chances that Italy will suffer another round of its sovereign debt crisis, recent French political developments heighten the chances that such an Italian debt crisis might occur sooner rather than later.”

“The European Central Bank is fully expected on Thursday to affirm its plan to end its bond-buying program at year-end. But investors expect less clarity when it comes to signaling when Mario Draghi and fellow policy makers will move to nudge up ultra-low interest rates… The ECB’s key lending rate, known as the refi rate, stands at 0%, while the rate on deposits held overnight at the central bank is at negative 0.4%.”

“Citi economist Dana Peterson detailed the shocking rise of global debt in a report called “Global Debt Clock – Are We Headed for a Global Debt Crisis?” “In 1999, global debt tallied to US$79 trillion, but has since swollen to US$247 trillion as of 1Q 2018 – a more than three-fold increase in level terms or by 211 percent… Ms. Peterson included Canada among nations most at risk of a credit crisis… the report concludes that households and corporations, not the banking system, are most at risk of credit upheaval in the next 3 years.”

“Chief financial officers at companies are pessimistic heading into 2019, with nearly half expecting a recession by the end of that year, according to a survey released Wednesday. Duke University’s look at where 212 CFOs stand showed that 48.6 percent think the next negative growth period is less than 12 months away. If the U.S. manages to make it through the year without a recession, 82 percent figure one will start by the end of 2020.”

“U.S. government debt is on track this year to rise at the fastest pace since 2012, as a stronger economy fails to keep pace with the wave of red ink that’s rising under the Trump administration. Total public debt outstanding has jumped by $1.36 trillion, or 6.6 percent, since the start of 2018, and by $1.9 trillion since President Donald Trump took office, according to the latest Treasury Department figures. The latter figure is roughly the size of Brazil’s gross domestic product.”

“Default risk for Chinese companies has climbed to the highest in 13 years as Beijing seeks to rein in its post-crisis construction boom, according to Moody’s Analytics…

“China has already seen a record pace of bond defaults this year, a consequence in part of policy makers’ efforts to reduce leverage in the financial system.”

““A cooling of the global economy will reduce demand for oil…” said former Lebanese Minister of economy and trade Nasser Saidi. More than 80 per cent of the revenue of the six nations – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – comes from energy trade…

“World Bank senior vice-president Mahmoud Mohieldin said that the unemployment rate among Arab youths is 30 per cent.”

“The obsession with US shale oil is leading the world into an energy crisis. The world’s leading forecasting agencies have hailed shale’s tremendous growth as key to meeting oil demand in the coming decades.

“But by focusing on volume rather than quality, they are missing the point.”

Read the previous ‘Economy’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here.

Economy 12 Dec 2018 Brexit Descends into Chaos (More So)

“Conservative MPs have triggered a vote of no confidence in Theresa May, plunging the Brexit process into chaos as Tory colleagues indicated they no longer had faith in the prime minister to deliver the deal.

“Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee, has received at least 48 letters from Conservative MPs calling for a vote of no confidence in May. Under party rules, a contest is triggered if 15% of Conservative MPs write to the chair of the committee of Tory backbenchers.

“A ballot will be held on Wednesday evening between 6pm and 8pm, Brady said, with votes counted “immediately afterwards and an announcement will be made as soon as possible”.”

“UK officials have been warning EU27 nations that a “no-deal” Brexit places a high risk of financial disruption to their banks, Sky News understands. It forms part of a move seen by some close observers as a perceived form of attempted leverage over the Brexit negotiation.

“Dozens of banks, including some of Europe’s biggest in Germany and France, have complex outstanding financial contracts, known as derivatives, notionally worth tens of trillions of pounds, operated through the City of London. The bulk of them will mature after March 2019.”

“The litany of risks for global investors in the euro area keeps growing as France joined Italy in putting its spending interests ahead of the European Union’s budget rules.

“The extra yield traders seek to hold French 10-year notes over those of Germany increased Tuesday to the widest since the 2017 election…”

“Turkey is almost certainly experiencing its first economic recession in almost a decade, posing a significant challenge to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as he seeks to solidify his power base at local elections in March.

“The economy contracted by a quarterly 1.1 percent in the three months to September as private consumption and investment slumped…”

“Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s declaration of war on “neo-liberal” economics has shaken investors holding Petroleos Mexicanos bonds, fueling concern about the future of the highly-indebted state oil company he has pledged to revive…

“Fitch and Moody’s have in recent weeks flagged concerns about Pemex’s $106 billion of financial debt – the highest of any state oil company in Latin America.”

“Goodyear employees in Venezuela are each to be given 10 tyres as part of their severance payment, as the US firm halts operations in the country.

“Quality tyres are valuable on the black market, in a country where there is a chronic shortage of all sorts of goods. A number of foreign firms have pulled out of Venezuela, citing a growing economic crisis and US sanctions.”

“Nigerian lenders are in retreat.

“Rising costs and declining appetite to lend are prompting banks to repay dollar borrowings. Brent crude prices near their lowest levels in a year have slashed earnings from Nigeria’s main source of foreign income, reducing the amount of foreign exchange banks need to fund deals.”

“Australia’s tumbling property prices could shave up to 1.2 percentage points from economic growth in 2019 as the decline hits housing construction and consumer spending, according to AMP Capital Investors Ltd. Sydney and Melbourne prices will drop a further 10 percent next year, taking their peak-to-trough fall to 20 percent as a “perfect storm” smacks housing, AMP Chief Economist Shane Oliver said in a research report Wednesday.”

“Car sales in China continued to decline in November, placing them on course to mark their first annual decline in 28 years as homegrown brands from state-owned manufacturers struggle to compete with foreign rivals.”

Which would seem to give lie to the suggestion that the trade war is having a direct impact on sales.


Given that Yellen said this last summer:

“Gundlach noted that consumer confidence readings lately versus economists’ expectations are falling short by a magnitude and consistency last seen prior to the recession in 2007.

“This continued disappointment could be a sign of economic weakness ahead… The Fed seems to be on a “suicide mission,” raising rates while the government deficit increases as a share of GDP, Gundlach said.”

“American farmers have been forced to warehouse a bumper crop of soybeans, or sell at a loss, while a Midwest medical supply company is considering shipping production overseas amid growing uncertainty…

“We have been told by some local Chinese manufacturers that it ‘feels’ like they’re entering a slowdown and that they are being hurt already due to higher export costs and overcapacity.”

“Signs the US expansion may have peaked shook global stock markets in recent weeks and Wall Street’s main indices have erased all the gains posted this year.

“The US recovery will soon become the longest in recorded history but the boost provided from last year’s tax cuts is dwindling. Rising interest rates and a shortage of workers are crimping the housing market.

“Meanwhile, Europe faces political and economic upheaval and Japan remains in a long-term funk.

“The global economy may be hit by a hangover in 2019 that will last well beyond New Year’s day.”

Read the previous ‘Economy’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here.

Economy 11 Dec 2018 Financial Crisis of 2019?

“For moneyed Americans, most of the past year has felt like 1929 all over again — the fun, bathtub-gin-quaffing, rich-white-people-doing-the-Charleston early part of 1929, not the grim couple of months after the stock market crashed.

“After a decade-long stock market party, which saw the stocks of the S. & P. 500 index create some $17 trillion in new wealth, the rich indulged in $1,210 cocktails at the Four Seasons hotel’s Ty Bar in New York, in $325,000 Rolls-Royce Cullinan sport-utility vehicles in S.U.V.-loving Houston and in nine-figure crash pads like Aaron Spelling’s 56,000-square-foot mansion in Los Angeles (currently on the market for $175 million, more than double what it fetched just five years ago).

“Will it last? Who knows. But in recent months, the anxiety that we could be in for a replay of 1929 — or 1987, or 2000, or 2008 — has become palpable not just for the Aspen set, but for any American with a 401(k).

“Overall, stocks are down 1.5 percent this year, after hitting dizzying heights in early October. Hedge funds are having their worst year since the 2008 crisis. And household debt recently hit another record high of $13.5 trillion — up $837 billion from the previous peak, which preceded the Great Recession…”

“As the average American household’s credit card debt soars and interest rates rise, a debt problem appears closer than ever. In its study of American debt load in the third quarter, personal finance site WalletHub found that the average U.S. household now has $8,284 in credit card debt… According to WalletHub, which analyzed debt against average income, the current debt load is just $177 away from being “unsustainable,” suggesting a debt crunch could be in the offing.”

“Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is worried about excessive leveraged lending and the level of corporate debt across Wall Street. “Corporate indebtedness is now quite high and I think it’s a danger that if there’s something else that causes a downturn, that high levels of corporate leverage could prolong the downturn and lead to lots of bankruptcies in the non-financial corporate sector,” Yellen said.”

“Global equity markets could struggle to come to terms with a dramatic slowdown from the world’s largest economy next year, one Goldman Sachs strategist told CNBC on Monday, with trade tensions elevating the risk of near-term volatility.

“Fresh signs of slowing global growth, and emerging pockets of weakness in the U.S., rattled financial markets last week.”

“U.S. government debt yields fell on Monday while the so-called yield curve continued to flatten amid projections of slowing economic growth and weaker inflation…

“Investors are increasingly concerned about a possible economic slowdown…”

“Toronto’s cooling real-estate market is on track to cost its municipal government nearly $100-million in tax revenue…

“…something critics of Mayor John Tory warn could force the city to choose between higher property-tax hikes or cuts to services in next year’s city budget.”

“Property price declines in Sydney and Melbourne are no longer confined to expensive dwellings, with the price falls spreading to middle and lower segments of the market.

“Bureau of Statistics figures show property prices in Australia’s eight capital cities fell 1.5% on average in the September quarter, marking nine consecutive months of price declines.”

“UK economic growth slowed in October as car sales went into reverse, while factory output stalled amid heightened uncertainty over Brexit. According to the Office for National Statistics, GDP growth cooled to 0.4% during the three months to October… In a sign of the continuing woes on the British high street and the worst period for car sales since the financial crisis, the retail and wholesale sector also recorded a drop in growth of 0.02%.”

“According to the November PMI, Italian private sector output declined at the sharpest pace in five years. 

“Our survey data suggest the Italian economy will decline once again in the fourth quarter following a 0.1% quarterly contraction in GDP in the third quarter, meaning the country will enter a technical recession for the first time since 2013.”

“China’s automobile sales fell about 14 percent in November from a year earlier, the country’s top auto industry association said, marking the steepest such drop in nearly seven years in the world’s largest auto market. The drop in sales to 2.55 million vehicles, a fifth straight decline in monthly numbers, comes against a backdrop of slowing economic growth and a crippling China-U.S. trade war…

“The November drop comes on the heels of almost 12 percent declines in each of the past two months, putting China on track for an annual sales contraction not seen since at least 1990.”

“The global growth drivers that produced the [Asia-Pacific] regional upturn have started to fade. And with that, the economic picture has darkened in recent months with expectations building for a sharper slowdown in 2019, according to a report by S&P Global Ratings titled, “Asia-Pacific Crystal Ball–Mild Economic Slowdown Should Extend Through 2019″. Further, the report does not expect global growth drivers to pick up in 2019 and so growth should keep slowing…”

“Oil prices dived on Monday, erasing Friday’s gains following an output cut deal between OPEC and its allies, as further global stock markets weakness spurred concerns over slowing global economic growth… Analysts cautioned that the stock market slump would turn to undermine oil market, as the negative status quo stoked fears of a slower-than-expected global economy and a worsening demand outlook.”

“One of the International Monetary Fund’s top officials warned on Tuesday that storm clouds were gathering over the global economy and that governments and central banks might not be well equipped to cope.”

Read the previous ‘Economy’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here.

Economy 10 Dec 2018 Global Stocks Slump

“Losses in global stock markets snowballed on Monday, with U.S. equity futures and Asian shares sliding on worries over slowing growth and fears that a rise in tensions between Washington and Beijing could torpedo chances of a trade deal…

“Traders returned from the weekend to face a growing wall of worry, with the world’s largest economies — the United States, China and Japan —all reporting weaker-than-expected data which pointed to moderating activity.

“Investors were also bracing for a Tuesday vote on British Prime Minister Theresa May’s European Union divorce deal, which looks set to be rejected by parliament, raising fears of a chaotic exit in March.”

“European banks face a crucial two-week period before finding out if they will receive formal notice to begin closing £45tn of derivatives positions UK clearing houses, further raising their anxiety about access to London’s capital markets post-Brexit…

“The EU has to formally recognise UK clearers as being properly regulated and supervised. Without approval, EU banks and brokers cannot use UK venues to trade derivatives and face a hefty rise in trading costs — or an inability to hedge their market exposures.”

“The crisis on Britain’s high streets is to intensify this Christmas,with shopkeepers preparing themselves for the quietest festive period since the credit crunch, according to forecasts… Footfall – a measure of the number of shoppers visiting stores – is expected to decline by 4.2% this month compared with the same time in 2017, when visitor levels fell by 3.5%.”

“On Friday, the French retail federation told Reuters news agency that retailers had lost about €1bn since the protests first began on 17 November. Mr Le Maire said last week, before the most recent protests, that the restaurant trade had declined by between 20% and 50%. And Francois Asselin, head of the confederation of small and medium-sized businesses, told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper (in French) that overall the protests could cost his members €10bn. There are concerns that the protests could lead to a drop in tourism.”

“The president of euro zone finance ministers group said in an interview published on Monday that he hoped the Italian government would be able to submit a revised draft budget to the European Union. “The rules of the Stability and Growth Pact apply to all. I hope that the Italian government will be able to revise its budget draft,” Mario Centeno, Portugal’s Finance Minister and head of the Eurogroup, was quoted as saying by German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.”

“…creditors want their money back with interest. So while the interest ratesrise, and prices of raw materials fall, more and more Africancountries are caught in the debt trap.”

“Turkey’s economy roared into 2018 with growth rates that were the envy of the world—and vulnerabilities that had been building over years. It was like a car that could still reach high speeds, so long as the driver ignored the multiple warning lights flashing on the dashboard. And then it crashed, suffering a classic run on its currency and a brutal credit crunch.”

“Fast-track courts set up in Iran to fight economic crime have jailed 30 men for as long as 20 years each, the judiciary said on Sunday, as the country faces renewed US sanctions and a public outcry against profiteering and corruption. Iran’s rial currency has lost about 65percent of its value in 2018 amid revived US sanctions [and lower oil prices!].”

“Venezuela held municipal elections to elect some 2,500 counsellors on Sunday, though the mainstream political opposition boycotted the vote and widespread apathy kept most people at home during a devastating economic crisis. In Caracas and other cities around the country, many polling stations appeared near empty and few had queues.”

“About 20 million Yemenis are food insecure, UN agencies said on Saturday,adding that the conflict ravaging the impoverished country is the key driver behind rising hunger levels… “Thousands of Yemeni children could die from severe malnutrition if conditions, including conflict and economic crisis, do not improve soon. Warring parties must choose whether to end the fighting, and save lives, or fight on,and cause more children to die.””

“China suffered another economic blow on Sunday with the return of thedeflation threat, a day after it reported slower than expected growthin exports and imports. A fall in both consumer and producer priceindexes was a result of weakness in demand from both Chineseconsumers and investors and reflected their reluctance to spend asconfidence in future growth is undermined by the trade war with theUS.”

“Data this morning showed Japan’s economy shrunk in the September quarter at more than double the rate previously thought. It follows a preliminary reading for Japan’s Q3 economic growth about a month ago,which wasn’t pretty. The figures indicated Japan’s economy shrunk atan annualized rate of 1.2%, partially dragged down by naturaldisasters which slowed production. But given the export-intensivenature of Japan’s economy, it also raised doubts around the outlook for global trade and economic activity.”

“Bank of America Merrill Lynch has forecast the slowdown will continue for the five countries — Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand… “The list of risk factors is just too long tomention,” Mohamed Faiz Nagutha, the bank’s Southeast Asia economist, told reporters Thursday.”

“Australia’s regulators have been warned to prepare “contingency plans for asevere collapse in the housing market” that could lead to a “crisissituation” in one or more financial institutions… CoreLogic datashows house prices in Sydney fell another 0.5 per cent in the firstweek of December, bringing the total decline to 10 per cent from thepeak in July last year. That surpasses the previous record set duringthe last recession between 1989 and 1991 when prices fell 9.6 percent, making it the worst decline since the firm began collectingdata in 1980.”

Economy 7 Dec 2018 QT Means Worse Market Turbulence Ahead

“Wherever Mark Connors looks at markets, from stocks to currencies to oil, he sees signs of the unknown.

“Equity investors got whipsawed this week during two rough and volatile sessions, but Connors, global head of risk advisory at Credit Suisse, had seen worrying signs long before that. A key technical measure he tracks, the correlation between the price of stocks and currencies, had broken down starting in April. That, along with sharp drops in the price of oil, point to one thing, he says: Uncertainty about the future as central banks around the world unwind programs that bought trillions of dollars of assets.

““We’re seeing two of the biggest asset classes, stocks and currencies, exhibit a degree of uncertainty in their relationship in 2018 that we’ve never seen before,” Connors said. “Crude just exhibited something very unusual in the context of the last 40 years.”

“The unwinding of central banks’ programs a decade after the financial crisis brought economies to the brink is known as quantitative tightening. J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said in July that one of his biggest fears is around how markets would behave as central banks removed their unprecedented stimulus.

““If quantitative tightening continues, guess what’s going to happen? More of this,” Connor said, referring to unusually violent moves across markets…

““Uncertainty is here, and that means deleveraging into a market with reduced liquidity,” Connors said. “Expect more of these exacerbated moves.””

“The value of the City’s leading companies fell by more than £56bn on Thursday during waves of selling on stock markets in Asia, Europe and North America prompted by heightened fears of a trade war between the US and China.

“The FTSE 100 index suffered its biggest percentage fall since the day after the EU referendum in June 2016 – closing almost 218 points lower at 6,704.”

“More families are struggling to keep up with their mortgage bills today than at the height of the financial crash, the UK’s financial watchdog has revealed… the Financial Conduct Authority found that there are 14,000 more households in serious arrears of more than 12 months than there was in 2008. That comes despite mortgage rates being near record lows and the regulator has warned that banks will start to repossess more homes if interest rates rise.”

“An investor who predicted the 2008 financial crisis has revealed he is betting against the UK banking system.

“Steve Eisman, known for appearing in The Big Short, said he had bets against three UK banks, though he declined to name them… Mr Eisman said he expected UK markets to fall as a result of Brexit.”

“German industrial output fell unexpectedly in October, data showed on Friday, adding to signs that a cooling trend in Europe’s largest economy will continue in the fourth quarter. Data from the Statistics Office showed industrial output fell by 0.5 percent, confounding a Reuters forecast for an increase of 0.3 percent.”

“An economic downturn in Turkey is deepening after a slump in the value of the lira.

“The currency has fallen by more than a quarter against the dollar this year, prompting consumers to cut back on spending and pushing up costs for businesses as wholesale price inflation surged to almost 50 percent.”

“China’s yuan will breach the 7 per dollar rate within the next six months, according to about 60 percent of FX strategists polled by Reuters, who also said authorities would continue to exert control over the currency in 2019…

“The most pessimistic call was for it to weaken to 7.85 per dollar in a year, the weakest view ever in about eight years of Reuters polls on the yuan, and a rate not reached in a dozen years. That negative call was driven by worries over increased capital outflows and lower foreign exchange reserves as Chinese authorities are slowly stepping up interventions…”

“The Australian dollar hasn’t been this undervalued against the greenback since the depths of the global financial crisis, with fears over a potential escalation in the US-China trade conflict largely to blame.

According to Joseph Capurso, Senior Currency Strategist at the Commonwealth Bank, the AUD/USD is now extremely cheap based on the bank’s fair value model.”

“Homebuilder stocks were under pressure this week after Toll Brothers issued a warning about a slowdown in the [US] housing market, and an analysis of short interest in the sector suggests there is more pain ahead…

“Rising interest rates have weighed heavily on the group this year…”

““When credit starts looking dicey, investors quickly pay attention and for good reason,” says Michael Mackenzie in the Financial Times. In 2008, US subprime mortgage loans triggered the financial crisis. Now, eyes are turning to record high corporate debt, with investors fearful that we are heading into a “typical late-cycle period where the excesses of corporate borrowing come home to roost”. Already, 2018 is proving to be the worst year for investors in both investment-grade and high-yield (“junk”) debt since 2008, with total returns negative for the year.”

“As a longtime market observer, what I find most interesting about the latest correction in equities has the feeling of inevitability that it will turn into something worse. It wasn’t this way in late January, when everyone wanted to buy that dip. It certainly wasn’t this way in 2007, when the magnitude of the recession was grossly underestimated.

“Even the Federal Reserve is getting into the pessimism. Chairman Jerome Powell signaled last week that a pause in interest-rate hikes might be forthcoming.”

“Only a globally co-ordinated debt “bonfire” can save the world’s leading economies from depression now that monetary and fiscal armouries are exhausted, a leading economics consultancy has warned.

“Public and private debt levels are so high in the developed world and traditional policy levers are so overextended that the next recession will turn into a depression unless radical measures are taken, Erik Britton, managing director at Fathom Consulting, said.”

Read the previous ‘Economy’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here.