Moody’s Ponders Credit Downgrades for 120 Energy Companies

Oil prices received a jolt on January 21 and 22, as a cavalcade of bullish news conspired to push oil prices back into the $30s per barrel. The markets got excited at the possibility of more aggressive action from the European Central Bank on Thursday after comments from Mario Draghi, the bank’s president.Also, several voices weighed on oil prices, raising the questions about the unreasonable decline below $30 per barrel. The head of state-owned Saudi Aramco said that oil prices below $30 per barrel was “irrational,” and that he expected prices to rebound this year. Separately, Citigroup said that oil could be “the trade of the year,” because a price increase is nearly assured. After all, prices cannot go much lower, can they? Continue reading

World heading for financial crisis worse than in 2008 — China’s Dagong rating agency head

BEIJING, February 4. /TASS/. The world economy may slip into a new global financial crisis in the next few years, China’s Dagong Rating Agency Head Guan Jianzhong said in an interview with TASS news agency on Wednesday.

“I believe we’ll have to face a new world financial crisis in the next few years. It is difficult to give the exact time but all the signs are present, such as the growing volume of debts and the unsteady development of the economies of the US, the EU, China and some other developing countries,” he said, adding the situation is even worse than ahead of 2008.” Continue reading

Russia and China plan own rating agency to rival western players

Russia and China have agreed to set up a joint rating agency as Moscow’s stand-off with the west over Ukraine has made it more eager to establish institutions that would reduce its dependence on the U.S. and Europe.

“In the beginning, the agency will assess Russian-Chinese investment projects with a view to attracting of [investors from] a number of Asian countries,” Anton Siluanov, Russia’s finance minister, said in Beijing, according to his ministry. “Gradually, based on the progress and authority of such an agency, we believe it will rise to a level where its opinions will attract other countries.” Continue reading

Fitch says China credit bubble unprecedented in modern world history

China’s shadow banking system is out of control and under mounting stress as borrowers struggle to roll over short-term debts, Fitch Ratings has warned.

The agency said the scale of credit was so extreme that the country would find it very hard to grow its way out of the excesses as in past episodes, implying tougher times ahead.

“The credit-driven growth model is clearly falling apart. This could feed into a massive over-capacity problem, and potentially into a Japanese-style deflation,” said Charlene Chu, the agency’s senior director in Beijing.

There is no transparency in the shadow banking system, and systemic risk is rising. We have no idea who the borrowers are, who the lenders are, and what the quality of assets is, and this undermines signalling,” she told The Daily Telegraph. Continue reading

Spanish unemployment hits record 5.64 million

Believe that’s bad? America itself is not far off. In the United States we’re looking at 14.5% total unemployment. This also doesn’t account for “99%’ers” and various other factors after a revision of what statistics are taken into account.

The number of unemployed people reached 5,639,500 at the end of March, with the unemployment rate hitting 24.4%, the national statistics agency said.

The figures came hours after rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded Spanish sovereign debt.

Full article: Spanish unemployment hits record 5.64 million (BBC News)