Even as the world’s biggest fast food chain moves its headquarters to a $250 million 608,000-square-foot complex in Chicago’s West Side in the spring of 2018, McDonald’s intends to close about 500 weaker-performing, company-operated locations worldwide in 2016 to bolster profits.McDonald’s spokeswoman Becca Hary confirmed the announcement, released just days after it withdrew its branches from Middle Eastern and three Latin American countries, in an email to The Street:
“It’s important to note that while we will have a net reduction in restaurants [in the US], the impact is minimal in comparison to the 14,000 restaurants we operate across the US. We consistently review our restaurant portfolio and make strategic decisions to better position our business for the future.”Continue reading »
When less stuff is being bought, sold and shipped around the country with each passing month, how in the world can the U.S. economy be in “good shape”? Unlike official government statistics which are often based largely on projections, assumptions and numbers seemingly made up out of thin air, the Cass Freight index is based on real transactions conducted by real shipping companies. And what the Cass Freight Index is telling us about the state of the U.S. economy in 2016 lines up perfectly with all of the other statistics that are clearly indicating that we have now shifted into recession mode.
Early this morning we laid out the thoughts of RCB’s Charlie McElligott on today’s dramatic market action, which discussed not the blow up of “fat tail” quant stategies (something we touched upon later and which is likely to unleash even more quant-driven selling next week) and the “forced out” liquidations across the curve coupled with a rush into safety, but also the biggest question of all for today’s trades – which macro funds are quietly blowing up? Now, we follow it up with a second piece by the RBC trader, one which those worried about being caught long risk over the weekend, are urged to read. Continue reading »
For European banks, today is worse than Lehman with a 13%-plus collapse in the broad index. The major banks – like Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank – have crashed over 15% to record lows as “Lehman moments” loom. This crisis prompted massive demand for USDollars, sending basis swaps (and other funding vehicles) spiking which it appears is why The Fed said it was ready to provide liquidity.
My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs) … the most improper job of any man, even saints (who at any rate were at least unwilling to take it on), is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.
– J. R. R. Tolkien
What transpired last night in the United Kingdom represented one of the most extraordinary expressions of democracy in my lifetime. When faced with an event of such monumental significance, it’s difficult to pick any particular direction for a post like this. I have so many thoughts running through my mind and so many angles I could potentially address, it’s simply impossible to do them all justice. As such, I’ve decided to focus on one very meaningful implication of Brexit: death of the technocrats. Continue reading »
When we reported that California tax revenues had missed projections by nearly $1 billion in the first four months of the year, we pointed out that one key driver was that over 250,000 residents left the state between 2013-2014 alone, taking that tax base with them.
It turns out that it’s going to get worse before it gets better for California, because as Mercury News reports, state Finance Department statistics show that 61,000 more people have exited California than have moved to the state during a twelve month period ending June 30. The net outward migration was the largest since a net 63,000 people left the state in 2011. “The main factors are housing costs in may parts of the state, including coastal regions of California such as the Bay Area. California has seen negative outward migration to other states for 22 of the last 25 years.” Dan Hamilton, director of economics with the Economic Forecasting Center at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. Continue reading »
In the back kitchen of Mountain View’s newest pizzeria, Marta works tirelessly, spreading marinara sauce on uncooked pies. She doesn’t complain, takes no breaks, and has never needed a sick day. She works for free.
Marta is one of two robots working at Zume Pizza, a secretive food delivery startup trying to make a more profitable pizza through machines. It’s also created special delivery trucks that will finish cooking pizzas during the journey to hungry customers if approved by the Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health. Right now Zume is only feeding people in Mountain View, California, but it has ambitions to dominate the $9.7 billion pizza delivery industry. Continue reading »
The SEC announced on Thursday that Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch unit admitted wrongdoing and has agreed to pay $415 million to settle charges that it “misused customer cash to generate profits for the firm.”
According to the statement, Merrill violated the SEC’s Consumer Protection Rule by misusing customer cash that rightfully should have been deposited in a reserve account, freeing up billions to finance its own trading activities as a result. Continue reading »
Chinese bankruptcies have surged this year “as the government uses the legal system to deal with “zombie” companies and reduce industrial overcapacity as part of a broader effort to restructure the economy.” In just the first quarter of 2016, Chinese courts have accepted 1,028 bankruptcy cases, up a whopping 52.5% from a year earlier, according to the Supreme People’s Court.
Despite exuberance in existing home sales, new home sales just printed 551k SAAR – missing expectations for the first time since Oct 2015 – sliding by the most since Sept 2015. With the last 3 months of exuberant increases – to 8 year highs – now revised drastically lower; and median prices tumbling to the lowest since June 2015, the picture of the US housing recovery is considerably less rosy than before… time for a rate-hike?
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US dollar has been overvalued by up to 20 percent, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a report on Wednesday.
“At today’s levels of the real effective exchange rate, the current account deficit is expected to rise above 4 percent of GDP by 2020, pointing to the US dollar being overvalued by 10-20 percent,” the IMF stated.Continue reading »
Bank layoffs are now coming at a rapid pace in what is a clear sign of desperation by the firms to cut costs enough to keep shareholders happy as NIRP continues to hammer bank profits.
On the heels of Bank of America announcing that 8,000 employees would be fired last week, we now learn that RBS will be cutting 900 jobs as well, in areas such as IT and other back office positions that support the commercial, retail and private bank will be cut in Britain. The latest round of cuts takes the total number of layoffs in the last four months to roughly 5% of the bank’s british workforce, as at least 2,700 staff across the country have been let go since the beginning of March according to Reuters. Continue reading »
Just yesterday, we recounted the story of “Black Wednesday” when on September 16, 1992, the UK was forced out of the EU’s exchange-rate mechanism, or ERM, when the BOE tapped out and allowed the British pound to float freely, leading to 15% losses in the sterling. As we noted, this was George Soros’ infamous trade which “broke the Bank of England” and made the Hungarian richer by over $1.5 bilion.
24 years later Soros is back, and this time he is warning against the kind of devaluation that made him a billionaire and which he believes will be unleashed by Brexit, when in a Guardian Op-Ed he wrote that U.K. voters are “grossly underestimating” the true costs of a vote to leave the EU, saying that there would be an “immediate and dramatic impact on financial markets, investment, prices and jobs.” Continue reading »
I’ve made a short film with my friend Roger Bowles about why I’ll be voting Leave on 23 June and why I think you should, too. We’ve focused exclusively on the sovereignty argument, which we think is the most persuasive one. If you’re on the same side as us, please share this with as many people as possible.
We’ve called it ‘Brexit: Facts Not Fear’ because we think it’s important that people should be acquainted with as many facts as possible when they cast their vote. Below is a transcript of the film, with links corroborating the facts referred to.Continue reading »
“Abenomics needs to be reloaded... The government can introduce a ‘comply or explain’ mechanism for profitable companies to ensure that they raise base wages by at least 3% and back this up by stronger tax incentives or — as a last resort — penalties,”
For those confused as to whether or not Abenomics was working, all one has to do is glance at the recent export data released by the Ministry of Finance for confirmation that it’s been a complete disaster.
Japan’s exports fell 11.3% in May on a y/y basis, the eighth consecutive month that exports have fallen according to Bloomberg. Exports to the US fell 10.7% from a year earlier, and exports to China, Japan’s largest trading partner plummeted 14.9% y/y.
However, do not be alarmed, as the IMF is all over the matter. In a statement released on Monday, the IMF had a lot of sage advice to provide Prime Minister Abe about his Abenomics policies that have failed to produce literally any of the intended results. Continue reading »
Ahead of next week’s visit by the UN decolonization committee and buried in economic debt, some 500 activists with the Puerto Rico independence movement took to the streets of Old San Juan to demand freedom from US rule.
There were two purposes to the Saturday march, according to Liliana Laboy, one of the members of the Independentista Roundtable, speaking to EFE: “To insist that it’s time to start the decolonization process that will bring us independence, and to support the hearings this Monday.”Continue reading »
Brazil’s troubled telephone company Oi SA on Monday filed the largest bankruptcy protection request in the country’s history just days after debt restructuring talks with creditors collapsed. The filing of Oi and six subsidiaries lists 65.4 billion reais ($19.26 billion) in debt.
The City of London and the pound would both benefit from the U.K. leaving the EU, says billionaire Peter Hargreaves. Brexit may knock the pound initially, but it would rebound, the co-founder of Hargreaves Lansdown — the largest U.K. retail broker, with more than $84.1 billion equivalent in assets — told Bloomberg Briefs’ Geoff King in a June 17 interview.
Q: Why do you support “Leave”?
A: Every year in the EU it gets more political, it gets more legislative, more regulative; we don’t seem to get very much benefit from it. We will be far better out.The EU as an economic mark is declining in the world, when there were only nine countries in it was 30 percent of the world’s GDP, now there are 28 it is only 17 percent. That’s some serious decline. Other countries that are growing — India, parts of Africa, Brazil, China and even Russia — are the places we should be trading with.
Sweden’s largest bank is under pressure today after Svenska Dagbladet reported an internal document from Sweden’s Financial Supervisory Authority indicates that Nordea bank had a capital shortfall of $9.7 billion at the end of last year. Newspaper Svenska Dagbladet published an article that alleges an analyst at Sweden’s FSA had discovered that internal bank models used to assess risk of loss on its loan portfolio had understated risk by as much as half at the end of last year
Shocking Bestseller: The original version of this astonishing tell-all book spent 73 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, has sold more than 1.25 million copies, and has been translated into 32 languages.
New Revelations: Featuring 15 explosive new chapters, this expanded edition of Perkins’s classic bestseller brings the story of economic hit men (EHMs) up to date and, chillingly, home to the US. Over 40 percent of the book is new, including chapters identifying today’s EHMs and a detailed chronology extensively documenting EHM activity since the first edition was published in 2004. Continue reading »
Last week, we reported on the historic insider trading bust that took place at the soon to be sold Visium Capital, in which, among other accusations, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan charged Sanjay Valvani of fraudulently making $25 million by gaining advance word about U.S. Food and Drug Administration approvals of generic drug applications. Moments ago, Dow Jones reported that the same Sanjay Valvani, charged in the Visiuam insider trading case, was found dead this morning in an apparent suicide.…