Almost Half Of US States Are Officially Broke

Last month, we documented the case of Louisiana State University, the large, well-known public institution whose 2014 enrollment totaled nearly 31,000 students. LSU, it turns out, is facing funding cuts of as much as 82% which, if realized, would likely force the school into financial exigency, the college equivalent of bankruptcy. The reason for the cuts: the sharp decline in oil prices and fiscal mismanagement have conspired to blow a $1.6 billion hole in the state’s budget. Continue reading

Oil fall could lead to capex collapse: DoubleLine’s Gundlach

(Reuters) – DoubleLine Capital’s Jeffrey Gundlach said on Tuesday there is a possibility of a “true collapse” in U.S. capital expenditures and hiring if the price of oil stays at its current level.

Gundlach, who correctly predicted government bond yields would plunge in 2014, said on his annual outlook webcast that 35 percent of Standard & Poor’s capital expenditures comes from the energy sector and if oil remains around the $45-plus level or drops further, growth in capital expenditures could likely “fall to zero.”

Gundlach, the co-founder of Los Angeles-based DoubleLine, which oversees $64 billion in assets, noted that “all of the job growth in the (economic) recovery can be attributed to the shale renaissance.” He added that if low oil prices remain, the U.S. could see a wave of bankruptcies from some leveraged energy companies. Continue reading

Swiss vote provokes ‘6,000-year gold bubble’ attack

‘Save Our Swiss Gold’ referendum is a primordial scream against a world of quantitative easing but would paralyze the Swiss National bank

Five million Swiss voters will decide on Sunday whether to force the Swiss National Bank to repatriate all its gold from vaults in Britain and Canada, boost its holdings of bullion to 20pc of foreign reserves and then keep the metal forever.

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Billionaires Dumping Stocks, Economist Knows Why

Despite the 6.5% stock market rally over the last three months, a handful of billionaires are quietly dumping their American stocks . . . and fast.

Warren Buffett, who has been a cheerleader for U.S. stocks for quite some time, is dumping shares at an alarming rate. He recently complained of “disappointing performance” in dyed-in-the-wool American companies like Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, and Kraft Foods. Continue reading