Remember the mass layoffs of 2008-2009? The US economy shed millions of jobs quickly and relentlessly, as companies died and the rest fought for survival.
Then the Fed and the US government flooded the banks and the corporate sector with bailouts and handouts. With those giga-tons of liquidity sloshing around, as well as taking on massive amounts of new cheap debt, companies were able to finance their working capital needs, hire workers back, and even buy-back their shares en mass to make themselves look deceptively profitable. The nightmare of 2008 soon became a golden era of ‘recovery’.
Well, 2016 is showing us that that era is over. And as stock prices cease to rise, and in fact fall within many industries, layoffs are beginning to make a return as companies jettison costs in attempt to reduce losses. Continue reading
It was almost three years ago to the day when Zero Hedge first explained the biggest problem facing Europe when it comes to unconventional monetary policy: the lack, not scarcity, but outright shortage of collateral.
Initially, our focus was on private-sector collateral, and if one had to summarize the key difference between the US and Europe in one chart, it would be this one, showing that while in the US the split between secured and unsecured funding was roughly even, in Europe, some 90% of corporate funding was on bank loan books, with only 10% in the form of (unsecured) corporate bonds (which also explains why in Europe NPLs, aka bad bank debt is by far the biggest problem facing the financial industry). Continue reading