Here's the CSPAN video of President Obama at the 2012 White House Correspondents' Dinner. He ripped on Huffington Post's business model.
|Spain Unemployment Rate 24.44% (source: INE)|
Spain's unemployment rate rose to 24.44% in the first quarter of 2012, which is near the multi-decade high of 24.5% in 1994 (Reuters chart via @pdacosta). And the youth unemployment (ages 16-25) rate hit 52% during the quarter (MarkitEconomics chart).
From Spain's Instituto Nacional de Estadística's (National Statistics Institute) data release on April 27, 2012:
VICE founder Shane Smith went on a "highly orchestrated" tour of North Korea and even saw one of their labor camps in Siberia, Russia. I also embedded Google Tech Talk and National Geographic videos on North Korea, which provide more detail on the country. You'll learn more about the regime's prison camps and nuclear program, as well as hear a defector's story. But, since this is a financial blog, Siegfried Hecker, of Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation, briefly talked about North Korea's private market activity during his Google presentation. But, unfortunately, the government prevents technical breakouts.
"There are signs of market activity all over North Korea. And the markets have gone up and down over the years because as soon as they become successful, then the government becomes scared and tries to shut them down. Soon as it shuts them down, the people try to figure out, you know, where they can actually get something so they build them back up. And so it sort of oscillates over time. What the Chinese would really like to do, they say look what we did thirty years ago and sort of let the strings out on the free market. But the North Korean regime is much too scared of that, so it is very careful." (see last video)
- We believe that the Kingdom of Spain's budget trajectory will likely deteriorate against a background of economic contraction in contrast with our previous projections.
- At the same time, we see an increasing likelihood that Spain's government will need to provide further fiscal support to the banking sector.
- As a consequence, we believe there are heightened risks that Spain's net general government debt could rise further.
- We are therefore lowering our long- and short-term sovereign credit ratings on Spain to 'BBB+/A-2' from 'A/A-1'.
- The negative outlook on the long-term rating reflects our view of the significant risks to Spain's economic growth and budgetary performance, and the impact we believe this will likely have on the sovereign's creditworthiness.
Visit this post I did three days ago to keep abreast of the situation in Spain: Spanish Bank and Sovereign Debt Risk Monitor (Maturity Schedule, Yields, CDS) 4/23/2012.
Fitch's Quarterly Report on U.S. High Yield Bonds, Leveraged Loans and CLOs (BofA Merrill 'CCC' Yield Chart)
I couldn't find Fitch's U.S. High Yield Chart Book (there was a European Chart Book released), but today Fitch released its Q1 2012 U.S. Leveraged Market Quarterly, which is packed with charts showing trends in the U.S. high yield bond, leveraged loan, and CLO (collateralized loan obligation) markets. Fitch mentioned that $86.9 billion of high yield bonds were issued in Q1 2012, a new record high. From the press release:
"The U.S. high yield bond market set a new quarterly issuance record with $86.9 billion in the first quarter. The previous quarterly record was $80.6 billion, set in the fourth quarter of 2010. February's issuance total of $34.4 billion, was the second busiest month on record. Nearly 52% of total issuance during the quarter was directed toward refinancing or redeeming other bonds or notes. High yield retail funds took in strong inflows totalling more than $15 billion during the quarter.
Fitch's April 2012 European High Yield Chart Book is available for free with a login. Below is the press release and charts of European high yield bond spreads by credit category and spread differentials from the Fitch report. From the spread differentials chart: "CCC vs BB spread rallied the most in Q112, coming within range of 2011 pre-summer levels, reflecting the return of risk appetite. Widening BBB vs BB spread since end March 2012 shows demand for safer assets in view of recent market volatility." I'm going to search for the U.S. high yield chart book.
"Fitch: European High Yield Is Principal Alternative As Loan Issuance Subsides
Image source: Fitch
26 Apr 2012 8:08 AM (EDT)
Link to Fitch Ratings' Report: European High Yield Chart Book April 2012
Fitch Ratings-London/Frankfurt-26 April 2012: Fitch Ratings has published the first edition of its new quarterly European High Yield (EHY) chart book, which illustrates recent trends in high yield bond issuance, maturities, default rates, fund flows and relative performance, as well as secondary market risk-adjusted pricing.
The "central tendency" of the Fed's real GDP projection for 2012 rose to 2.4-2.9 from 2.2-2.7 in January, but for 2013 its projection declined to 2.7-3.1 from 2.8-3.2 in January. The central tendency "excludes the three highest and three lowest projections." Click the image for further review. Jim Rogers recently told Fox Business that the U.S. is due for a recession in 2013. They occur every 4-6 years.
|Jim Rogers on Fox Business|
Frontline (PBS) is out with a two part documentary on the 2008 financial crisis titled "Money, Power and Wall Street". Watch the first episode of parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 below.
From Chapter 1:
FIN 501 #FAIL!
|Bear Stearns documents (source: Frontline/PBS, click for the video)|
"In 1994, a team of young, 20-something JPMorgan bankers on a retreat in Boca Raton, Fla. dreamed up the “credit default swap” — a complicated derivative they hoped would help manage risk and stabilize the financial system. Fourteen years later, they watched in horror as that global system — weighed down by the risk of credit default swaps tied to morgtage loans — collapsed." (PBS.org)
FIN 501 #FAIL!
|Chart source: Tesoro.es|
FYI: Letras del Tesoro = 3-18 months; Bonos del Estado = 3-5 years; Obligaciones del Estado = 10-30 years. More info here: http://www.tesoro.es/en/deuda/index_deuda.asp.
|Kim Jong-Un, Flickr/PetersSnoopy|
- North Korea threatens to attack South Korea: [Statement as released by the North Korean military through the country's state-run KCNA news agency]." (BNO News)
On KCNA's site (says April 20):
- Pyongyang City Army-People Rally Vows to Wipe out Lee Myung Bak Group (KCNA.co.jp) *Update: Watch the YouTube video of the rally below.
- DPRK People Vow to Wipe out S. Korean Regime (KCNA.co.jp)
I'm not sure what Lil' Kim is up to here, but definitely something to keep an eye on. ES (e-mini S&P) and GC (gold) are down 0.20% and 0.04%, respectively.