Rickards: Here’s Where the Next Crisis Starts

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So many credit crises are brewing, it’s hard to keep track without a scorecard.

The mother of all credit crises is coming to China with over a quarter-trillion dollars owed by insolvent banks and state-owned enterprises, not to mention off-the-books liabilities of provincial governments, wealth management products and developers of white elephant infrastructure projects.

Then there’s the emerging-markets credit crisis, with Turkey and Argentina leading a parade of potentially bankrupt borrowers vulnerable to hot money capital outflows and a slowdown of growth in developing economies.

Close on their heels is the U.S. student loan debacle, with over $1.5 trillion in outstanding debts and default rates approaching 20%. Continue reading

Is Deutsche Bank Kaputt?

It looks like Deutsche Bank is heading toward failure. Why might we be concerned?

The problem is that Deutsche is too big to fail — more precisely, that the new Basel III bank resolution procedures now in place are unlikely to be adequate if it defaults.

Let’s review recent developments. In June 2013 FDIC Vice Chairman Thomas M. Hoenig lambasted Deutsche in a Reuters interview. “Its horrible, I mean they’re horribly undercapitalized,” he said. They have no margin of error.” A little over a year later, it was revealed that the New York Fed had issued a stiff letter to Deutsche’s U.S. arm warning that the bank was suffering from a litany of problems that amounted to a “systemic breakdown” in its risk controls and reporting. Deutsche’s operational problems led it to fail the next CCAR — the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review aka the Fed’s stress tests – in March 2015. Continue reading

Did World War III Start on the Precise Day of the ECM?

 

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Russia began bombing CIA trained rebels in Syria precisely on the day of the turn in the Economic Confidence Model. This bombing has continued as CNN pointed out. Now, hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria to also join a major ground offensive in support of President Bashar al-Assad’s government. Continue reading

Interest rate rise: turning point looms for US debt binge

With a $4tn mountain of debt maturing over the next five years, corporate America’s reliance on cheap cash is about to get tested.

With the prospect of steadily higher interest rates in the coming years as the Federal Reserve gradually tightens policy, US companies that tapped global markets for inexpensive finance over the past four years will soon face a different environment.

But as rates turn higher, investors may see the flip side of cheap financing. Analysts warn companies will begin defaulting in greater numbers, particularly in the energy sector, which has found itself in the line of fire as commodity prices languish. Continue reading

OPEC Boasts About Pain In U.S. Shale

Oil prices continue to fluctuate in a relatively narrow band around $50 for WTI and $60 for Brent. On March 6, Baker Hughes reported another round of declining rig counts. Only this week the pace of cutbacks accelerated. An estimated 75 rigs were removed from the oil patch for the week ending on March 6, a big jump from a week earlier. It is important to remember that week-to-week numbers are largely statistical noise; the long-term trend line is more important. Still, after several weeks in which the rig count collapse appeared to be slowing, last week’s figures are a reminder that the rout is not over yet. After all, production has not dropped off – U.S. production surpassed 9.3 million barrels of oil per day in February, the highest level in decades. Continue reading