Showing posts from November 3, 2015

Corporate shocks show shift in credit risk

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[For five years now, corporations have been getting a free ride on cheap money without actually doing anything to increase the real value of their corporations. Now it is becoming clear, through the protracted sputtering in the economy, that corporations are, in fact, unable to give real returns based on real sales of goods and services. Even without the central banks raising rates, markets themselves are now demanding higher interest to reflect this risk in their investment, and the weaker companies are starting to fail as a consequence. *RON*]

Dan McCrum and Eric Platt, Financial Times, 3 November 2015

Investors have been reminded in the past two months that market shocks can engulf even the biggest and — as judged by credit rating agencies — least risky of corporate borrowers.
Petrobras has been hurt by the falling oil price and a Brazilian political scandal. Trading house and miner Glencore found its business model out of favour. Volkswagen ad…

Syria conflict: Russia says keeping Assad 'not crucial'

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[Is Assad now left dangling in the breeze? A startling 180-degree turn-around in Russia's position, which they are, of course, denying is such! If the world reaches some consensus on the matter of Assad, then the real question becomes If Not Assad, Then Who? For some insight into the options, see also: Syria crisis: Where key countries stand. *RON*]

BBC World News, 3 November 2015
Russia says it is not crucial for Syria's President Bashar al-Assad to stay in power, saying it is up to the Syrian people to decide, the Russian foreign ministry has said.

When asked if saving the Syrian leader was a matter of principle for Russia, spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said: "Absolutely not, we never said that."

"We are not saying that Assad should leave or stay," she added.

Russia is supporting the Syrian government with air strikes on rebels.

Everything in the market is more dangerous than it used to be

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["Traditional structures have disappeared, including: specialists who actually made orderly markets, standing ready to buy and sell to keep markets flowing; the big financial firms as partnerships, where executives' net worth was tied to the stability as well as profitability of the firms; the primacy and universality of margin requirements; and 'the house' not playing alongside its customers. In every case, these legacy structures have been replaced by less safe, less sound alternatives, enabling in general more trading with less capital and less responsibility for the stability of individual firms, let alone entire markets." *RON*]

Julia La Roche, Business Insider, 3 November 2015

Paul Singer, the billionaire founder of $27 billion hedge fund Elliott Management, went off on the structure of financial markets in his fund's latest letter.

Technology and financial engineering have altered the way the markets work in a way …

Death Rates Rising for Middle-Aged White Americans, Study Finds

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[They found that the increase it attributable to suicide and alcoholic liver disease and drug overdoses. They also found that it was associated with a 19 percent decrease in household income. What's the cause? Job loss? Austerity? The US has among the highest rates of income inequality in the world. See also: “Stunning” Rise in Death Rate, Pain Levels for Middle-Aged, Less Educated Whites. *RON*]

By Gina Kolata, New York Times, 2 November 2015
Something startling is happening to middle-aged white Americans. Unlike every other age group, unlike every other racial and ethnic group, unlike their counterparts in other rich countries, death rates in this group have been rising, not falling.

That finding was reported Monday by two Princeton economists, Angus Deaton, who last month won the 2015 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science, and Anne Case. Analyzing health and mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from ot…

Wild salmon fraud a widespread problem, says new report

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["43 per cent of salmon samples collected and tested were mislabelled." Farmed salmon sold as wild salmon is a common scam, most often in restaurants. Simple enough to regulate and control. It goes to show you that: a) the market clearly recognizes the inferiority of the farmed product, and b) the Harper government wouldn't lift a finger to stop such scamming. *RON*]

By Karin Larsen, CBC News, 2 November 2015 External Links
Oceana report on mislabelled salmon

(Note: CBC does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of external links.)

DNA testing has proven that the sale of farmed Atlantic salmon fraudulently labelled as wild salmon is a widespread problem, according to a new report.

The study by conservation group Oceana used 82 samples gathered in grocery stores and restaurants in the United States to uncover widespread salmon mislabelling.

A whopping 43 per cent of the samples were found to be mislabelled, and more than two-…

Ezra Levant’s “Harper Airport” proposal sparks petition war

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[Also from ThinkPol: "opponents of Stephen Harper have created a petition of their own to counter Levant’s one, demanding the City of Calgary to rename the East Calgary Landfill as the Stephen J. Harper Landfill." The funniest thing is to read the comments in the Twitter feed under #HarperAirport. *RON*]
ThinkPol, 27 October 27, 2015

A petition by Ezra Levant, the controversial conservative politician and right wing media personality, demanding that the Calgary International Airport be named after outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper has prompted a similar proposal to name a landfill after the former Conservative party leader.
“Toronto’s main airport is named after a Liberal Prime Minister, Lester Pearson,” Levant wrote on a petitionpage on his The Rebel dedicated to the cause. “Montreal’s main airport is named a Liberal Prime Minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau. And Saskatoon’s airport is named after Conservative Prime Minister, John Di…

Canada electing Trudeau caused the whale-watching tragedy, US evangelist claims

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[From the "Truth Is Always Stranger Than Fiction" Department. Check out the reader comment from Realbertan, "Truer words have never been spoken, Anita. The lord protected us when Mr. Harper ruled over us. The Conservative government was a true kingdom. Canada was heaven on Earth under Mr. Harper. Then people listened to the snake (liberal media) and [bit?] at the apple (election). God has expelled us from eden for electing Justin Trudeau, who is quite literally the spawn of the devil. All he cares about is abortion and homosexual sin. I fear for my grandchildren as I watch Trudeau turn the once holy land of Canada under Mr. Harper into a land of sin and vice, because that’s all he understands." *RON*]
ThinkPol, 28 October 2015

God caused the sinking of the a whale-watching vessel killing five Britons and an Australian off the coast of Tofino, BC, because Canada elected Justin Trudeau as the nation’s new Prime Minister, a popul…

Money is flooding out of Canada at the fastest pace in the developed world

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[This is a result of Harper (who is now moving back to Alberta, surprise, surprise) having put all of Canada's economic eggs in a single basket. The IMF estimated that Harper was pumping $34 billion in taxpayer dollars into the oil and gas industry per year. Now that the big downturn has hit, what has the oil and gas industry done? Fired Canadians and asked for more handouts from Rachael Notley. *RON*]

Ari Altstedter, Bloomberg News, 2 November 2015
Money is flooding out of Canada at the fastest pace in the developed world as the nation’s decade-long oil boom comes to an end and little else looks ready to take the industry’s place as an economic driver.

Canada’s basic balance — a measure of national accounts that spans everything from trade to financial-market flows — swung from a surplus of 4.2 per cent of gross domestic product to a deficit of 7.9 per cent in the 12 months ending in June, according to analysis from Kamal Sharma, a foreign-ex…