Canadian existing home sales crash in June. Sear Canada pays out huge bonuses while laying off workers. Millennials are leaving Illinois in droves. Auto defaults soar and so do delinquencies. Companies complain they can’t find qualify employees but wages continue to drop. NY Fed Manufacturing tumbles. Banks are pulling the plug, credit is shifting and loans origination’s are stalling. Trump cuts the White House budget and the central bankers are getting very worried about what Trump is doing in regards to the banking sector. Clinton’s ally Paul Begala wants Trump to bomb Russia for 2016 election meddling. The interpreter in the Trump Jr. meeting was linked to the Hillary Clinton and her state department. CNN faked news with the Russian hacking of Qatar, actually the Washington Post is now reporting it was UAE.South Korea and North Korea might work together militarily. Finland is preparing for war with Russia. Russia moving troops into Southern Syria, Israel says it will not go along with the ceasefire in Syria. Turkey is preparing to attack the Kurds. Putin is using Turkey to keep the deep state from establishing a Kurd state.
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Current News – 07.17.2017
- The Canadian Real Estate Association says home sales in June posted their largest monthly drop since 2010, with the Greater Toronto market leading the decline.
- This is the third monthly decline in a row…
- Toronto existing home sales drop 37.7% y/y
- Average Toronto existing home price fell 5.8% m/m
- Average Toronto existing home price up 6.3% y/y
- Vancouver existing home sales drop 12.2% y/y
- Average Vancouver existing home price fell 3.2% m/m
- Average Vancouver existing home price up 2.7% y/y
- And as US homebuyers from the time period 2004-2006 remember all too vividly, there is nothing that will burst a housing bubble faster than a spike in mortgage rates.
- Sears Canada said Friday that it plans to dole out big bonuses to senior management while thousands of laid-off workers aren’t being paid promised severance.
- According to court documents, Sears – which promised to close 59 stores and eliminate 2,900 jobs across the country as part of a court-supervised restructuring process – will pay up to $7.6 million in retention bonuses to 43 executives and senior managers at the company’s head office in Toronto – the same management team that lead the company as sales plummeted and it spiraled into insolvency. that works out to an average of $176,744 per employee, although it’s unlikely the money will be divided up so evenly.
- Meanwhile, the company said it won’t be paying lower-level employees a severance, which could equate to a loss of tens of thousands of dollars per person.
Sears also plans to pay retention bonuses of up to $1.6 million to 116 senior store employees who will oversee liquidation sales at locations that are closing. That amount works out to an average of $13,793 each and will be contingent on certain sales targets.”
- Illinois loses more millennial taxpayers and dependents to other states than any state except New York; this means Illinois’ distressed housing market is losing a big contingent of first-time homebuyers.
- Illinois had the nation’s third-highest share of seriously underwater properties as of March 2017, according to a May 2017 report by RealtyTrac.
- Nearly eight years after the Great Recession’s end, 16.5 percent of Illinois’ home mortgages were still seriously underwater as of March 2017,
- But Illinois is losing millennials to other states, and their exodus represents a loss of thousands of potential first-time homebuyers – which could slow down the state’s housing recovery.
- Illinois lost 80,700 millennial taxpayers and their dependents to other states, on net, over tax years 2011-2012 through 2014-2015, according to the most recent Internal Revenue Service data.
- Illinois’ net loss of millennial taxpayers and their dependents over that four-year period ranked second-worst in the nation to New York’s 136,800 net loss.
- Illinois’ mass millennial departure will have far-reaching ramifications.
- For a two-year stretch between summer of 2011 and summer of 2013 wage increases less than 2% were the norm.
- Yet, firms complain about labor costs while simultaneously complaining about the lack of workers.
- Bloomberg reports Firms Under Pressure as Labor Drought Grows, U.S. Survey Shows.
A growing number of companies are finding it difficult to recruit skilled workers, which threatens to curtail profits and growth, according to a quarterly survey conducted by the Washington-based National Association for Business Economics.
- Year-Over-Year Wage Growth
- What’s Going On?
- It’s not just salaries. Obamacare and benefits are hurting many companies.
- Cheap money from the Fed keeps zombie companies alive.
- Empire State Manufacturing survey tumbled in July with ‘hope’ plunging to its lowest since Nov 2016.
- new orders, employment, inventories, shipments, and average workweek all plunged in July.
- As a reminder, soft data had been picking up recently (even as hard data crashed)…
- – Bank of England warn that “bigger systemic risk” now than in 2008
– BOE, Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) concerns re financial system
– Banks accused of “balance sheet trickery” -undermining spirit of post-08 rules
– EU & UK corporate bond markets may be bigger source of instability than ’08
– Credit card debt and car loan surge could cause another financial crisis
– PRA warn banks returning to similar practices to those that sparked 08 crisis
- The credit cycle is turning for the worse.
- Delinquency rates are creeping up in the consumer loan and commercial/industrial loan space. This is a clear signal that both the consumer and the corporate sectors of the economy are beginning to run out of steam.
- In response to this, banks are pulling back on lending.
- The economy is showing signs of stalling, so banks are “pulling the plug.”
- The last time both of these issues came to rise was in 2007 as the last major credit cycle turned.
- We all remember what happened next, particularly given that stocks were in a massive bubble at the time (just like today). But don’t worry everyone will tell you that everything is ok.
- the Trump administration is actually cutting down their own budget by $22 million! This is a huge deal, especially because they had set a careful budget for themselves to begin with.
- The savings come from a cut in the amount spent on Michelle Obama’s budget as First Lady, an end to the large number of “czars” and so-called “fellowships” that Obama employed, and a smaller White House workforce, Forbes magazine reported.
- After the White House released its annual budget report last week, the president of government watchdog group OpenTheBooks.com, compared the newly reported budget to the last two years of the Obama administration.
- he noted that there are now 110 fewer White House employees since Obama left office, saving nearly $5 million alone. Also, the First Lady’s staff has been cut from 24 staffers to only five. Michelle Obama entered the White House with a staff of 22 costing nearly $2 million annually, up from the $1.4 million spent during the George W. Bush era.
- Another area of savings was the elimination of the so-called policy “czars” with which Obama stocked the White House staff. The Trump budget shows not a single “czar” employed for 2017.
- Trump also seems to have ended Obama’s shady “fellowship” positions,Some of these “fellowship” candidates in Obama’s administration made up to $158,000 annually.
- First it was free trade, then the Paris climate agreement. Now, European lawmakers are warning that President Donald Trump’s anti-globalist agenda threatens to erode years of cooperation on financial regulations forged after the 2008 crisis.
- European Parliament members are traveling to Washington this week to meet with top lawmakers and other officials, where they can air their concerns about the U.S. commitment to international rules. The meetings come amid moves by the Trump administration and Congress to roll back bank regulations.
- In a July 12 speech, the Governor of France’s central bank,
- “Such changes would be completely different and would be a source of great concern for all,” he said. “Any temptation of competitive deregulation would be a lose-lose game, which would increase the risk of a new financial crisis. International cooperation on financial-sector regulation is our common good.”
- A Russian translator who worked on behalf of the State Department, including during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, was reportedly present at the June meeting at Trump Tower with President Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr.
- The Times did not provide any background on Samachornov beyond reporting his name and that he was a “translator.”
- Samachornov is more than that. Samochornov was a project manager at the Meridian International Center, which describes itself as a “nonprofit, global leadership organization headquartered in Washington, DC.”
- Meridian is a principal partner of the U.S. State Department.
- he worked on behalf of the State Department, purportedly while he was at Meridian. The timeline of his work at Meridian includes the period when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.
- Samochornov’s did the following
- Represented the U.S. Government in securing cooperation of key U.S. resources in the corporate, governmental and NGO community.
- Collaborated with the U.S. and international aid agencies and stakeholders on devising business plans and training workshops on a variety of different topics.
- Samochornov was listed as the program administrator for the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program, which is implemented by Meridian.
- , Carl Bernstein, who is best known for his investigative reporting for the Washington Post that shed light on the Watergate scandal, appeared on CNN, of all places, this weekend to discuss the media’s credibility issue which he argued has largely developed in the “cable news era” as media outlets have become increasingly politicized in their race for ratings.
- Among other things, Bernstein said that media outlets in this country are engaged in a “cold civil war” and that, as a result, “fact-based debate is becoming impossible.”
In a statement released in Washington by its ambassador, Yousef al-Otaiba, the UAE said the Post story was “false.” “The UAE had no role whatsoever in the alleged hacking described in the article,
- Just over a month ago, we expressed amazement at just how sophisticated, efficient and pervasive the ‘Russian hacking’ community had become after CNN reported – citing unnamed government officials of course – that they had managed to hack into a Qatari News Agency and post a ‘fake’ news story all in an attempt to drive a wedge between the U.S., Qatar and some of it’s Gulf Arab neighbors,
- The CNN headline made it quite clear: ignore the Arab conflict and please focus on the only thing that matters these days: Russia.The FBI recently sent a team of investigators to Doha to help the Qatari government investigate the alleged hacking incident,
Intelligence gathered by the US security agencies indicates that Russian hackers were behind the intrusion first reported by the Qatari government
- As it turns out, it’s somewhat ironic that CNN accused Russia of spreading “fake news stories” WaPo blasted moments ago, it wasn’t Russia at all (now that the hacking narrative has found a renewed vigor in the US, courtesy of the leaked Trump Jr. emails) but – wait for it – the UAE, i.e. not Russia.The United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of Qatari government news and social media sites in order to post incendiary false quotes attributed to Qatar’s emir, in late May that sparked the ongoing upheaval between Qatar and its neighbors, according to U.S. intelligence officials.
- But… wait: didn’t US intelligence agencies just one month ago say it was all Russia’s fault? Looks like it took just one month for the CIA to change its mind
- South Korea on Monday invited North Korea to participate in military talks, the first formal overture by newly elected President Moon Jae-in who promised an increased diplomatic outreach to the reclusive and volatile nuclear-armed regime to the north.
- Mr. Moon proposed opening the talks with North Korea on July 21 in the border town of Tongilgak.
- “We request military talks with the North on July 21 at Tongilgak to stop all hostile activities that raise military tension at the military demarcation line,” South Korea’s Vice Defence Minister Suh Choo-suk said at a press briefing.
- In September, Russia will conduct its 2017 military exercise, the largest since the end of the Cold War, and one which is already sending shivers down the spine of NATO, which not only has “serious doubts Moscow is revealing the true extent of its military exercises” Finnish soldiers routinely train here, with a mission to keep Finland’s government running and city residents safe in a network that features more than 124 miles of tunnels, passageways and shelters” the WSJ reports.
- The “extensive underground network” has been adapted over recent decades with one thing in mind: to become an impregnable defensive redoubt which provides most of the amenities of regular, above the surface existence: blast doors seal entrances…
- Less than a week we heard confirmations that Islamic State head Aby Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed during an airstrike in Syria, conflicting reports have emerged about Baghdadi’s death, with the Iraqi interior ministry first cited by Al-Arabiya that the terrorist group head is “likely still alive and hiding near Raqqa“,
- “Baghdadi is definitely alive. He is not dead. We have information that he is alive. We believe 99 percent he is alive,” Lahur Talabany
- The Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) Tiger Forces have rolled on to the provincial borders between Raqqa and Homs, securing a number of key gas fields along the way.
- The Russian military has deployed to the Dara’a Governorate today to begin their indefinite operation to monitor the ceasefire in southern Syria,
- the Russian military will be specifically headquartered in the Dara’a Governorate city of Izra’a, as they serve as the primary force observing the de-escalation zones in the southern part of Syria.
- Leaders of the opposition factions, operating in the south of Syria, will reportedly hold a meeting with the United States Special Envoy for Syria, Michael Ratney, in the Jordanian capital city of Amman.
- One month after the WSJ reported that Israel had been secretly funding the Syrian rebel opposition to Assad’s regime for years in hopes of keeping the Syrian political situation unstable and preventing the Syrian – and Iranian – regime’s military from becoming a substantial threat, overnight Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters after his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday that Israel opposes the cease-fire agreement in southern Syria that the United States and Russia reached “because it perpetuates the Iranian presence in the country.”
- It started two weeks ago, when Turkey warned publicly it was preparing for military intervention in Syria, while accusing the US of creating a “terrorist army” . As a reminder, YPG forms a major part of the U.S.-backed campaign to capture Islamic State’s stronghold of Raqqa, and whose forces are seen as a terrorist organization by Turkey. The group currently controls a pocket of territory in Afrin, about 200 km (125 miles) west of Raqqa.
- Tensions between Turkish forces and the YPG have been mounting in the Afrin region in recent weeks: Turkey’s military, which launched an incursion last August into part of northern Syria which lies between Afrin and a larger Kurdish-controlled area further east, has said that it has returned fire against members of YPG militia near Afrin several times in the last few weeks.
- Turkey does not have immediate plans to enter Afrin but Turkey feels that sooner or later we have to do something. This buildup is necessary. And the president said that we are not going give a date or anything, but suddenly one night we may do something there.”