Preparing For a US Debt Crisis!
Kotegawa Warns of Imminent Financial Collapse
The Russian weekly Zavtra of October 10 published a Q&A with Japanese economist Daisuke Kotegawa in its front-page “Off the Cuff” column. The question was, “What is your evaluation of the current global financial situation?” Kotegawa’s reply, as published in Zavtra:
“My experience and research indicate that a financial catastrophe, accompanied by a global collapse, could happen in the immediate weeks ahead, unless the leaders of the major economic powers adopt certain specific, tough measures. The crisis is linked with the situation in the United States, where political disputes have led to a freeze-up of the budget process and a rejection of attempts to raise the debt ceiling. Because of this, my view of the overall situation is extremely skeptical.”
Zavtra identified Kotegawa as former Executive Director for Japan at the IMF (2007-2009) and current Research Director at the Canon Institute for Global Studies. The newspaper has a print circulation of 100,000 copies and is read throughout the Russian political establishment.
JP Morgan’s Earnings Confirm That The US Housing Recovery Is In Danger
All the hullabaloo about Jaime Dimon’s first loss aside, there was also some worrisome information about the U.S. housing market (and thus, recovery) in JP Morgan’s earnings announced this morning.
Check out this bit from the bank’s earnings report:
Mortgage origination were $40.5 billion, down 14% from the prior year and 17% from the prior quarter, including purchase originations of $20.0 billion, up 57% from the prior year and 15% from the prior quarter.
Additionally, mortgage application volume was down 45% from the prior year and 38% from the prior quarter.
The bank’s mortgage production pretax income came in at $9o million, down $997 million year over year. JPM said that this is “reflecting lower volumes and lower margins, partially offset by lower repurchase losses.”
BofAML Warns Hope For The Best; Prepare For The Worst
A plausible debt ceiling agreement is finally on the table, but BofAML doesn’tt expect a deal until next week or later.
Hope springs eternal
After a long period of inaction in Washington, politicians are finally coming out of their stupor. Yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner met with members of the House Republican Conference to propose a six-week extension of the debt ceiling. While the text of the legislation is not yet available as we go to print, the bill would reportedly suspend the debt ceiling until November 22 and prohibit the Treasury Department from using extraordinary measures to extend debt payments beyond that time. It also would create a process for budget negotiations between the two parties. Separately, the president is also in the process of meeting with groups from both the Senate and the House. While these meetings raise hopes of a quick deal — and caused a 2% jump in the stock market — we believe a deal is more likely next week (or later) than this week.
The devil’s in the details
As in past budget negotiations, there are usually a number of false starts before an actual deal is done. With these bills, the devil is always in the details. The president is unlikely to quickly agree to a short-term extension, in our view, and will likely instead hold out for a 6- or 12-month extension. He is also unlikely to support a bill that creates a new deadline and thereby by another potential brinkmanship moment.
Americans Have Never Been More Dissastisfied With Government
If We Are In An Economic Recovery, Why Are Major Corporations Firing Thousands?
Planned job cuts in the third quarter rose 25% from a year ago. With September jobs cuts up 19% from last year, it represented the fourth month in a row in which job cuts were higher than the same month last year. Despite the current trend, employers are on pace to cut roughly the same number of jobs that were cut last year. We already have declining real wages. Small businesses are geting wiped out by taxes, regulations, and Obamacare. These mega-corporations are firing thousands. Retail and restaurant sales are plunging. Consumers are scared straight and are reducing credit card debt. Government spending in states and localities is declining because they are required to balance their budgets. The Boomers are old, with no savings. They can no longer live in a delusionary credit bubble. Sounds like a reason to buy stocks.
U.S. GOVERNMENT DEBT IS THE BIGGEST PONZI SCHEME IN HISTORY
First, let me just say up front that anyone who is worried that the U.S. will default on its Treasury obligations because of this grand Vegas stage-show going in DC is a complete idiot. To begin with, I fully expect Boehner to cave in and come to an agreement that at least temporarily lifts the debt ceiling so that Jack Lew and Obama can continue spending our money at a far greater rate than the incoming revenues. Second, for all you folks with your head in the sand about what has happened to our Constitution over the last 13 years, the Patriot Act/Homeland Security Acts give Obama the authority to unilaterally print the money needed to service the Government’s Treasury Ponzi scheme in case the stage actors don’t blink by October 17th – Jack “Yes I’m A Thief” Lew’s drop-dead date for cash in the Treasuries drawer.
Ultimately the debt ceiling will be raised by at least $1 trillion and Government spending will not be reduced. But rest assured that the massive graft and kick-back payments that flow freely all around Capitol Hill will continue unabated.