Today and Monday, individual investors have a unique opportunity to “benefit” from the greatest bond bubble in history, even before institutional investors get to jump in, and buy sewer bonds – yup, that’s where they belong – issued by a county that landed in bankruptcy court because it defaulted on its prior sewer bonds. The money will go to the existing bondholders who’ll get a fashionable haircut as part of the deal – a deal made in bond-bubble heaven.
Jefferson County, which includes Alabama’s largest city, Birmingham, filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in 2011 when it defaulted on $3.1 billion in sewer bonds. At the time, it was the largest municipal bankruptcy. That record was crushed when Detroit filed in July.
Rating agency Fitch on Tuesday put the United States on warning for a downgrade after Congress failed to reach a deal on raising the country’s debt ceiling.Fitch placed the United States’s top-grade AAA rating on a “negative watch”, citing the possibility the Treasury could default on its obligations after October 17 if the ceiling is not raised.
The last week has seen quite dramatic drops in the prices of a little-discussed but oh-so-critical asset-class in the last housing bubble’s ‘pop’. Having just crossed above ‘Lehman’ levels, ABX (residential) and CMBX (commercial) credit indices have seen their biggest weekly drop in 20 months as both rates and credit concerns appear to be on the rise. Perhaps it is this price action that has spooked Fitch’s structured products team, or simply the un-sustainability (as we discussed here, here and here most recently) that has the ratings agency on the defensive, noting that, “the recent home price gains recorded in several residential markets are outpacing improvements in fundamentals and could stall or possibly reverse.” Simply put, “demand is artificially high… and supply is artificially low.” Continue reading »
With precisely one month left until the early bound of the debt ceiling crunch and a possible US government shut down and/or technical default, and with M.A.D. warnings from the president and treasury secretary doing nothing to precipitate a sense of urgency (which will not arrive until there is a 20% market drop, so far consistently delayed but which will eventually happen), here comes the most toothless of rating agencies, French Fitch which somehow kept its mouth shut over the past 18 months, when US debt rose by over $2.1 trillion and debt to GDP hit 103%, shaking a little stick furiously, no doubt under guidance by its corporate HoldCo owners: French Fimilac SA.
One-by-one, the highest quality collateral in the world (according to ratings that is) is disappearing. To wit, Fitch warns that a downgrade of the UK’s AAA rating is increasingly likely: “weaker than expected growth and fiscal outturns in 2012 have increased pressure on the UK’s ‘AAA’ rating, which has been on Negative Outlook since March 2012.” The Negative Outlook on the UK rating reflects the very limited fiscal space, at the ‘AAA’ level, to absorb further adverse economic shocks in light of the UK’s elevated debt levels and uncertain growth outlook. Global economic headwinds, including those emanating from the on-going eurozone crisis, have compounded the drag on UK growth from private sector deleveraging and fiscal consolidation as well as from depressed business and consumer confidence, weak investment, and constrained credit growth. But no mention of unlimited QE? Continue reading »
Spain’s borrowing costs soared to their highest levels since the introduction of the single currency in 1999 today, as any confidence investors might have taken from Madrid’s weekend pledge to seek a bailout for its toxic banking sector drained away.
Yields on the country’s 10 year bonds shot up to 6.8 per cent this afternoon as investors frantically dumped their holdings of Spanish debt, before falling back to 6.72 per cent.
The credit rating agency Fitch added fuel to the flames of alarm by downgrading 18 Spanish banks, following its downgrade of Madrid’s sovereign debt to BBB last month. Among the Spanish lenders cut were Bankia, CaixaBank, and Banco Popular Espanol, with Fitch blaming the weakening Spanish economy, which is forecast to contract by 1.7 per cent this year and to remain in recession well into next year.
Greece’s credit rating was downgraded one level by Fitch Ratings on concerns the country won’t be able to muster the political support needed to sustain its membership in the euro area as leaders began campaigning ahead of the second national vote in six weeks.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The closing bell brought no relief for JPMorgan Chase on Friday, as a major credit rating agency moved to downgrade its debt almost exactly 24 hours after the bank revealed a $2 billion trading loss.
Fitch Ratings downgraded both JPMorgan’s short-term and long-term debt, with the latter falling to A+ from AA-. The bank, the country’s largest by assets, was also placed on ratings watch negative.
Fitch said it views the $2 billion loss as “manageable” but added that “the magnitude of the loss and ongoing nature of these positions implies a lack of liquidity.”
Update: now S&P is also one month behind Egan Jones: JPMorgan Chase & Co. Outlook to Negative From Stable by S&P. Only NRSRO in pristinely good standing is Moodys, and then the $2.1 billion margin call will be complete.
So it begins, even as it explains why the Dimon announcement was on Thursday – why to give the rating agencies the benefit of the Friday 5 o’clock bomb of course:
JPMorgan Cut by Fitch to A+/F1; L-T IDR on Watch Negative
What was the one notch collateral call again? And when is the Morgan Stanley 3 notch cut coming? Ah yes:
So… another $2.1 billion just got Corzined? Little by little, these are adding up.
Oh and guess who it was that downgraded JPM exactly a month ago. Who else but SEC public enemy number one: Egan-Jones:
Synopsis: Reliance on prop trading and inv bkg income remain. LLR declines (down $1.7B QoQ and $3.87B YoY) offset DVA losses in the investment bank. Wholesale loans were up 23% YoY and 2% QoQ. Middle Mkt, Cmml Term, Corp Client and Cmml Real Estate lending increased by 9%, 2%, 16% and 19% YoY. Middle Mkt and Corp lending was up 2% and 3% QoQ respectively, while Cmml Term, and Cmml Real Estate lending were down 2%, and 9% respectively. Card and consumer loans were down 2% and 5% YoY respectively (down 5% and 1% QoQ respectively). Non accruals are up 14% QoQ due to weakness in JPM’s student loan portfolio. Reserve coverage is good and capital is adequate. We believe JPM will experience further weakness in its retail portfolio due to a softening economy. We are downgrading.
… but not from us: after all we are known for being biased, which in the mainstream media parlance means calling it like it is. No – instead we leave it to none other than Bloomberg’s Jonathan Weil who does as good a job of being “biased” as we ever could: “Egan-Jones, which has been in business since 1992, could have continued operating as an independent publisher of ratings and analysis, not subject to government oversight or control. Instead it chose to play within the Big Three’s system, exposing itself to regulation and the whims of the SEC in exchange for the government’s imprimatur. Now it’s paying the price.” And not only that: as the most recent example of Spain just shows, where Egan Jones downgraded Spain 9 days ago and was ignored, but well ahead of everyone else, only to be piggybacked by S&P, and the whole world flipping out, it has become clear: calling out reality, and the fools that populate it, is becoming not only a dangerous game, but increasingly more illegal. Then again – this is not the first time we have seen just this happen in broad daylight, with nobody daring to say anything about it. In fact, this phenomenon tends to be a rather traditional side-effect of every declining superpower. Such as the case is right now…
The first time I wrote about Sean Egan and his small, independent credit-research firm, Egan-Jones Ratings Co., was in December 2007 for a column about the bond insurer MBIA Inc. (MBI) And man, did he nail it.
The three big credit raters — Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch Ratings — all had AAA ratings on MBIA’s insurance unit, their highest grade. Egan said it deserved much lower. Anyone reading MBIA’s financial reports could see the company was losing money and needed billions of dollars of fresh capital.
By mid-2008, the Big Three had cut their ratings. Once again, Egan, a lonely voice of reason who saw the financial crisis coming, had shown his larger competitors to be incompetent or compromised. It was one of many great calls to come for Egan-Jones. As for MBIA, which had no revenue last quarter, it’s still struggling.
So if you had told me back then that the Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement division more than four years later would be accusing Egan, and his firm, of securities-law violations — but not any of the big rating companies — there’s no way I would have believed you. That’s what happened this week, though. Continue reading »
“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have” - Thomas Jefferson
Something odd and not quite as planned happened as America grew from its “City on a Hill” origins, on its way to becoming the world’s superpower: government grew. A lot. In fact, the government, which by definition does not create any wealth but merely reallocates it based on the whims of a select few, has transformed from a virtually invisible bystander in the economy, to the largest single employer, and a spending behemoth whose annual cash needs alone are nearly $4 trillion a year, and where tax revenues no longer cover even half the outflows. One can debate why this happened until one is blue in the face: the allures of encroaching central planning, the law of large numbers, and the corollary of corruption, inefficiency and greed, cheap credit, the transition to a welfare nanny state as America’s population grew older, sicker and lazier, you name it. The reality is that the reasons for government’s growth do not matter as much as realizing where we are, and deciding what has to be done: will America’s central planners be afforded ever more power to decide the fates of not only America’s population, but that of the world, or will the people reclaim the ideals that the founders of this once great country had when they set off on an experiment, which is now failing with every passing year?
As the following video created by New America Now, using content by Brandon Smith whose work has been featured extensively on the pages of Zero Hedge, notes, “we tend to view government as an inevitability of life, but the fact is government is not a force of nature. It is an imperfect creation of man and it can be dismantled by man just as easily as it can be established.” Unfortunately, the realization that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and absolute central planning leads to epic catastrophes without fail, seems a long way away: most seem content with their lot in life, with lies that their welfare money is safe, even as the future is plundered with greater fury and aggression every passing year, until one day the ability to transfer wealth (benefiting primarily the uber rich, to the detriment of the middle class which is pillaged on an hourly basis), from the future to the present is gone, manifesting in either a failed bond auction or hyperinflation. The timing or shape of the transition itself is irrelevant, what is certain is that America is now on collision course with certain collapse unless something changes. And one of the things that has to change for hope in the great American dream to be restored, is the role, composition and motivations of government, all of which have mutated to far beyond what anyone envisioned back in 1776. Because America is now saddled with a Government Out Of Control.
Watch the two clips below to understand just how and why we have gotten to where we are. Also watch it to, as rhetorically asked by the narrator, prompt us to question whether the government we now have is still useful to us and what kind of powers it should be allowed to wield.
NEW YORK (AP) — Fitch Ratings on Thursday downgraded its viability ratings on eight of the world’s biggest banks, citing increased challenges facing the banking sector due to weak economic growth and heightened regulation.
The firm lowered its viability ratings for Bank of America Corp., Barclays PLC, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse AG, Deutsche Bank AG, The Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and Societe Generale.
On the Tuesday, November 29 edition of the Alex Jones Show, Alex talks about moves by the globalists to attack Syria as France trains “rebels” in Turkey and the Russians deny they have dispatched war ships to guard their interests in the Middle Eastern country. Historian and author Webster Tarpley talks with Alex about Syria, Iran and Pakistan.
Hungary’s sovereign credit grade may be cut to junk this month after Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services placed the country’s lowest investment grade on “CreditWatch with negative implications.”
S&P is likely to make a decision this month on Hungary’s credit grade, currently at BBB-, the rating company said in a statement today. Fitch Ratings yesterday cut the outlook on Hungary’s lowest investment grade to negative from stable, joining S&P and Moody’s Investors Service.
Hungary is now the closest possible to junk grade at Fitch Ratings as the credit rating agency has revised the Outlooks on the country’s Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) to Negative from Stable and affirmed the ratings at ‘BBB-’ and ‘BBB’, respectively. Hungary is now a single step away from non-investment status with a negative outlook at all three major rating agencies (Fitch, S&P and Moody’s).
WELLINGTON — Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings both downgraded New Zealand’s sovereign rating, in a move the government said was “ugly” but reflected wider turmoil in world debt markets.
Analysts on Friday said the downgrade made New Zealand only the second Asia Pacific country after Japan to have its rating cut amid the sovereign debt crisis centred on Europe.
Fitch cut New Zealand’s long-term foreign currency rating one notch to “AA” from “AA+” and the long-term local currency rating to “AA+” from “AAA”, with S&P following suit several hours later.
Both Fitch and S&P blamed New Zealand’s soaring external debt, which hit 70 percent of annual gross domestic product (GDP) in June, for the rating cut, with S&P also citing the huge cost of rebuilding earthquake-hit Christchurch.
While the CDS market for various insolvent European names whose credit default swaps are trading 10 or more points upfront has become more or less nothing but noise, and the only true way to hedge risk exposure, courtesy of ISDA’s advance warning that no matter what a CDS will never be triggered, is to sell cash bonds, the market for default risk is quite active for those names which still trade in a reasonable range: such as between 50 bps and 200 bps. And while the Bloomberg chart below demonstrates on an absolute basis the US is due for a two notch downgrade by S&P based on the recently observed spike in US default risk, it is DTCC data that is more troubling.
As the first chart below shows, of the Top 25 CDS outstanding net notional names tracked by DTCC, there is one name that is a big outlier on both a month over month and year over year basis: the United States of America. The first thing to note is that in the past week, US net notional CDS outstanding just hit $4.8 billion, an increase from $4.5 billion in the past month, a 5.4% increase (the biggest over all top 25 names), pushing the net risk on the US above that of Greece for the first time (Greece declined from $5 billion to $4.6 billion). More disturbing is that on a percentage basis, the year over year change in US net CDS outstanding is the biggest of all, more than doubling at 108.6%, followed only by China and Japan, at 96.7% and 80.9% respectively. Yes: the CDS itself has not blown out yet, but the stealthy increase in the net notional in the troika of “most stable countries” means that the smart money is already quietly positioning itself for the biggest and most significant blow out ever. It also means that the spreads of such countries of Greece and Portugal (a major drop in net notional M/M and Y/Y) not to mention Italy, are yesterday’s news. As most revel in the latest nonsensical Group of 6 plan, the bond vigilantes are already quietly setting the trap.
Below is the biggest percentage change in net CDS notional on a monthly and annual basis:
And here is Bloomberg’s take on where the US rating should be based on its CDS spread:
A Bloomberg Brief CDS implied credit rating model, which compares composite credit ratings against the cost of CDS, shows that investors may be expecting a downgrade to as low as ‘AA’ for the U.S. The world’s largest economy has already been placed on credit watch by both Moody’s and S&P. The cost of protecting against a U.S. default rose to 54.4 basis points yesterday from less than 40 in April.
The composite credit rating — on the y-axis — is calculated by quantifying the three primary ratings agencies’ (S&P, Moody’s, and Fitch) ratings, where available, and averaging the results. A score of one indicates the highest rating ‘AAA’; a score of 10 or better indicates that a country is investment-grade. The cost of fiveyear CDS — on the x-axis — is the amount traders are willing to pay to protect against a debt default.
The current implied credit rating for the U.S. is 2.7, compared to 2.2 back in March, equivalent to approximate ly ‘AA’ on S&P’s scale. That is two levels below the U.S.’s current rating. March was the last time Bloomberg Brief looked at these implied credit ratings. At that time, the three most likely candidates to be downgraded were Portugal, Belgium and Spain.
Both Portugal and Spain have been downgraded. Spain is also the most likely candidate for a downgrade at present, with a composite rating of 2.7 versus a CDS implied rating of 9.1, equivalent to ‘BBB’ on S&P’s rating scale.
Russia and members of the Eurasian Economic Community, a grouping of former Soviet republics, are seeking to loosen the dominance of U.S. credit-rating companies and may set up an independent rival next year.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has said he’s an “ardent supporter” of the plan because Russia’s debt grade is an “outrage” that lifts corporate borrowing costs and increases risks. The nation’s sovereign credit rating was last raised by New York-based Moody’s Investors Service in 2008 to Baa1, the third-lowest investment grade, one step above Brazil and four below China.
“It’s madness to trust American rating agencies,” Sergei Glazyev, the group’s deputy general secretary, said in an interview in Moscow yesterday. “The market is objectively interested in new reference points.”
Russia is championing a new ratings company after Poland said last week it may use its six-month term holding the rotating presidency of the European Union to campaign for an independent European credit evaluator. Dagong Global Credit Rating Co., the first domestic rating company set up in China, began issuing sovereign ratings a year ago.
Russia is rated A by Dagong, one level below the U.S. Moody’s ranks Russia seven steps lower and Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings eight levels below the United States’ AAA grade, their highest.
The BP Plc company logo is displayed on a sign at a BP gas station in Romford, U.K. (Bloomberg)
June 15 (Bloomberg) — BP Plc’s credit rating was cut to two levels above “junk” by Fitch Ratings on concern over the potential cost of cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and meeting future liabilities.
BP’s long-term issuer default and senior unsecured ratings were lowered six levels to BBB from AA, Fitch said in a statement today. That follows a reduction from AA+ on June 3. Continue reading »
May 29 (Bloomberg) — Spain lost its AAA credit grade at Fitch Ratings as Europe battles a debt crisis that’s prompted policy makers to forge an almost $1 trillion bailout package for the region’s weakest economies.
The ratings company cut the grade one step yesterday to AA+ and assigned it a “stable” outlook, according to a statement from London. Spain has held the top rating at Fitch since 2003. Standard & Poor’s lowered Spain’s ratings to AA on April 28.
“The process of adjustment to a lower level of private sector and external indebtedness will materially reduce the rate of growth of the Spanish economy over the medium-term,” Brian Coulton, Fitch’s head of Europe, Middle East and Africa sovereign ratings in London, said in the statement. Continue reading »
The entire financial crisis is an engineered crisis. It’s a controlled demolition.
The elite is looting and bankrupting the people everywhere, and when the people will finally beg in total despair for a solution, then the elite will present to them the New World Order (world government, a new world reserve currency etc.) as only possible solution to all the problems that the elite has created in the first place.
The elite controls/owns/runs governments, central banks, Wall Street, the mass media and of course useless rating agencies (that gave AAA ratings to bundled junk).
Credit Rating Agencies Playing Big Roll In European Debt Crisis
NEW YORK — The downgrading of European debt is turning up the heat on the firms that issue the ratings.
Some European officials are calling for curbs on rating agencies like Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Corp. and Fitch Ratings. They argue that conflicts of interest and bad information make the agencies’ assessments unreliable, even dangerous.
Germany’s foreign minister went so far Thursday as to suggest that the European Union should create its own rating agency. He spoke after downgrades of Greece and Portugal roiled financial markets and stoked fears that Europe’s debt crisis was spreading.
How ratings agencies are paid is also coming under scrutiny. The money they earn comes from the institutions whose products and debt they rate – a point of contention in the U.S. and Europe. At a hearing last week on the agencies’ role in the financial crisis, U.S. Sen. Carl Levin called that pay system an “inherent conflict of interest.”
Legislation in Congress to overhaul the financial regulatory system could change how the rating agencies do business. Critics (= Analysts, economists, investors that are not bought and paid for by the elite.) note that the agencies gave safe ratings to high-risk U.S. mortgage investments that later imploded, triggering the financial crisis and a deep recession.Continue reading »
The government’s tough budget went unopposed by other parties
Portugal’s credit rating has been downgraded from AA to AA- by leading credit rating agency Fitch over concerns about its high levels of debt.
Earlier this month, Portugal passed an austerity budget aimed at cutting its budget deficit.
The downgrade heightened concerns about the health of some of Europe’s heavily indebted economies, forcing the euro lower against the dollar and the pound.
The euro slid against the dollar to its lowest point since May 2009.
It dropped 1.5 cents, or 1.1%, to $1.3346. Against the pound, the euro fell 0.2 pence to 89.55p.
The downgrade also sent major European stock markets into negative territory.
“A sizeable fiscal shock against a backdrop of relative macroeconomic and structural weaknesses has reduced Portugal’s creditworthiness,” said Douglas Renwick from Fitch Ratings.
Although the agency said Portugal’s austerity budget was “credible”, it said the government would need “to implement sizeable consolidation measures from next year”, as well as reverse stimulus measures this year, in order to get its debt levels under control.
The Portuguese Minister of Finance, Teixeira dos Santos, said it was key to maintain efforts to cut the budget deficit in order to differentiate the country from Greece.
“I am worried because we know that markets overshoot sometimes in their reactions,” he said. “The risk exists, I cannot ignore that.”
The downgrade could mean Portugal has to pay higher yields on government bonds to attract investors, making it more expensive for the country to borrow money – even though other leading ratings agencies may not necessarily follow Fitch’s lead.
Analysts stressed the wider European impact the downgrade could have.
“The downgrade has more impact on the wider sovereign debt crisis, rather than on Portugal at the moment,” said Peter Chatwell at Credit Agricole.
There have been widespread concerns about the high levels of debt of a number of European countries, most notably Greece.
At the end of last year, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s, the second of the three major international credit ratings agencies, downgraded Greek government debt.
European leaders are currently discussing how best to deal with Greece’s debt crisis.
Page last updated at 16:47 GMT, Wednesday, 24 March 2010
Fitch Ratings has delivered a serious blow to the credibility of the Government’s budget plans, warning that Britain risks a loss of investor confidence and erosion of its AAA rating unless it maps out clear austerity measures.
Fitch warns Britain and questions Greek rescue as sovereign risks grow
Brian Coulton, the agency’s head of sovereign ratings, said the UK has seen “the most rapid rise in the ratio of public debt to GDP of any AAA-rated country” and is courting fate with its leisurely plan to halve the deficit by the middle of the decade.
“It is frankly too slow, a pedestrian pace. Why the UK thinks it has more time than other countries , we’re not sure. This needs to be reoriented,” he told the Fitch forum on sovereign hotspots.
A string of European states are stepping up the pace of retrenchment, aiming to cut deficits to 3pc of GDP within three years. The risk is that Britain will soon stick out like a sore thumb, left behind with a shockingly large deficit long after such loose fiscal policy can be justified as a crisis measure. The UK deficit this year is 12.6pc of GDP, the highest among G10 states. Continue reading »
And just as Greece was about to launch its 10 year bond offering… Where is Papandreou to claim that Fitch was bought by all the accounts (who may or may not invest in the €5 billion issue) to make the price even better.
Because the spread to Bunds just jumped by about 10 bps to 325 following the news. Fitch notes: “The rating actions reflect Fitch’s view that the banks’ already weakening asset quality and profitability will come under further pressure due to anticipated considerable fiscal adjustments in Greece.
In particular, Fitch believes the required fiscal tightening that needs to be made by the Greek government will have a significant effect on the real economy, affecting loan demand and putting additional pressure on asset quality.
The latter could result in higher credit costs, ultimately weakening underlying profitability.” In the US, where any news is good news, equities jump following the headline.
Fitch Ratings-Barcelona/London-23 February 2010: Fitch Ratings has today downgraded the Long-term and Short-term Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) of Greece’s four largest banks, National Bank of Greece (NBG), Alpha Bank (Alpha), Efg Eurobank Ergasias (Eurobank) and Piraeus Bank (Piraeus) to ‘BBB’ from ‘BBB+’ and ‘F3′ from ‘F2′ respectively. The Outlook on the Long-term IDRs is Negative.
At the same time, the agency has downgraded the banks’ Individual Ratings to ‘C’ from ‘B/C’, whilst the ratings of the banks’ senior, subordinated and hybrid capital instruments have all been downgraded by one notch. The Support Ratings and Support Rating Floors (SRF) of all four banks have been affirmed.
A full rating breakdown is provided at the end of this comment. Separately, Fitch has also affirmed Agricultural Bank of Greece’s (ATEbank) Long-term IDR at ‘BBB-’, which is on its SRF, and Short-term IDR at ‘F3′. The Outlook on the Long-term IDR is Negative. ATEbank’s IDRs, Support Rating and SRF are based on sovereign support as the bank is majority-owned by the Greek state (rated ‘BBB+’/Negative Outlook). Continue reading »
The US government has looted the taxpayer through bailouts for Wall Steet banksters and stimulus packages like there is no tomorrow.
Here is what Obama had to say about deficit spending:
“Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren,” Obama said in a 2006 floor speech that preceded a Senate vote to extend the debt limit. “America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.” - Barack Obama
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The U.S. government posted a deficit of $91.9 billion in December, nearly double the shortfall of a year earlier and marking the government’s 15th straight month in the red, the Treasury Department reported Wednesday.
The shortfall brings the total deficit for the first quarter of fiscal year 2010 to $388.5 billion, up from $332 billion during the same period last year.
It was the second consecutive December the government spent more than it took in. In December 2008, the deficit was $51.8 billion.
Obviously Obama is much, much worse than Bush. A task that I thought was almost impossible to achieve.
This is Obamanomics, looting the US taxpayer until there is nothing left:
Many Americans still think that Obama is on ‘their’ side. Here is the truth about Obamanomics:
“When a country embarks on deficit financing and inflationism you wipe out the middle class and wealth is transferred from the middle class and the poor to the rich.” - Ron Paul
“Deficits mean future tax increases, pure and simple. Deficit spending should be viewed as a tax on future generations, and politicians who create deficits should be exposed as tax hikers.”
- Ron Paul
Fitch Ratings has issued the starkest warning to date that the US will lose its AAA credit rating unless acts to bring the budget deficit under control, citing a spiral in debt service costs and dependence on foreign lenders.
Fitch warns the US must cut spending and raise taxes to cut its deficit to save its AAA rating. Despite better-than-expected retail sales in December, consumers are struggling and the deficit is out of control. Photo: AFP
Brian Coulton, the agency’s head of sovereign ratings, said the US is shielded for now by its pivotal role in global finance and the dollar’s status as the key reserve currency, but the picture is deteriorating fast enough to ring alarm bells.
“Difficult decisions will have to be made regarding spending and tax to underpin market confidence in the long-run sustainability of public finances. In the absence of measures to reduce the budget deficit over the next three to five years, government indebtedness will approach levels by the latter half of the decade that will bring pressure to bear on the US’s ‘AAA’ status”, he said.
The rating alert is a reminder that fiscal stimulus and bank rescues across the world have merely shifted private debt on to public shoulders. The bail-outs looked deceptively ‘costless’ at the time, but the damage to sovereign states may take years to repair. The US Treasury says interest payments as a share of GDP will rise to 3.6pc by 2016, the highest since data began in 1940 – when it was 0.8pc. Continue reading »
Fitch Ratings has given its bluntest warning to date that Britain and France risk losing their AAA status unless they map out a clear path to budget discipline over the next year.
Highlighting the “unpleasant fiscal arithmetic” facing states across the Old World, Fitch said that none of the “arguably” benchmark AAA states can safely rely on their top rating for much longer.
Public debt in both Britain and France will reach 90pc of GDP by 2011, higher than the 80pc (net) level when Japan lost its AAA rating earlier this decade.
Japan’s error at the time was the failure to set out any serious plan to rein in spending, a lesson that the Europeans need to study closely. “The UK, Spain, and France must articulate credible fiscal consolidation programmes over the coming year, given the budgetary challenges they face in stabilising public debt. Failure to do so will greatly intensify pressure on their sovereign ratings,” it said.
Brian Coulton, Fitch’s global strategist, said Labour had fallen well short in the pre-Budget report. “They did not articulate fully what needs to be done,” he said.
Greece is a member of the European Union since 1981, which makes all the difference.
The EU: ‘Only ‘EUnited’ we fail!’
(Click on image to enlarge.)
ATHENS, Dec 8 (Reuters) – Ratings agency Fitch cut Greece’s debt to BBB+ on Tuesday with a negative outlook, the latest blow to the troubled euro zone country, driving its bonds, bank shares and the euro itself lower.
The cut was the first time in 10 years a major ratings agency has dropped Greece below an A grade. Fitch cited fiscal deterioration in one of the 16-member currency bloc’s most indebted member states.
“The downgrade reflects concerns over the medium-term outlook for public finances given the weak credibility of fiscal institutions and the policy framework in Greece,” Fitch said in a statement, calling for austere fiscal policies.
“The lack of substantive structural policy measures reduces confidence that medium term consolidation efforts will be aggressive enough to ensure public debt ratios are stabilised and then reduced over the next three to five years,” it said.