Last week, the House passed its version of “tax reform,” along party lines. The final vote came in at 227-205, with the entire Democratic caucus opposing the bill. Thirteen Republicans joined the Democrats in voting no.
The debate now shifts to the Senate where things will likely become more contentious. Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson has already announced he opposes the current Senate plan. And the Senate bill differs from the House version – significantly putting off corporate tax cuts for a year. If the Senate can get something passed, the two chambers will have to figure out a compromise plan.
Peter Schiff has been saying the Republicans aren’t even really attempting to reform the tax system. He called the GOP plans “tax cuts masquerading as reform.” Peter is not alone in this thinking.
Last summer, US Global Investors CEO Frank Holmes called debt “the mother of all bubbles.” That bubble continues to blow up.
US consumer debt increased even more than expected in September. According to data released by the Federal Reserve, total credit rose by $20.8 billion, an annualized rate of 6.6%. Analysts had expected an increase in the neighborhood of $18 billion. It was the largest increase in overall consumer indebtedness since last year’s holiday season.
We live in a world full of bubbles. We’ve reported extensively on the stock market bubble, the student loan bubble, and the auto bubble. We even told you about a shoe bubble. Last summer, US Global Investors CEO Frank Holmes called global debt “the mother of all bubbles.”
So what happens when these bubbles start to burst?
In a recent interview, outgoing German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble warned about bubbles and said global debt could set off the next financial crisis.
What happens when government officials spend with virtually no restraint and they don’t have a printing press that can crank out more money?
Last week, both S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Hartford’s credit rating deeper into junk status. According to a Reuters report, the downgrade puts Hartford near the bottom of the credit scale. This means the agencies view the city as essentially in default with little prospect for a full bondholder recovery.
When we reported on the Toys R Us bankruptcy, we argued that it wasn’t just about shifting shopping patterns away from brick and mortar to online companies. A recent article on TechCo complaining that millennials are broke backs up our assertion.
Remember back when mortgage lenders loosened credit standards making it easier to get a loan and blew up a giant housing bubble?
That’s happening again.
According to a report released by Fannie Mae, lenders facing lower profit margins are trying to expand the borrower pool.
Facing constrained mortgage demand and a negative profit margin outlook, more lenders say they have eased rather than tightened home mortgage credit standards, according to Fannie Mae’s third quarter 2017 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey. Across all loan types – GSE Eligible, Non-GSE Eligible, and Government – the net share of lenders who reported easing credit standards over the prior three months reached a new high since the survey’s inception in March 2014, after climbing each quarter since Q4 2016.”
The US national debt was in the news last week as Pres. Trump signed a spending bill that raised the debt ceiling limit for the next three months and added approximately $318 billion to the national debt. Officially, the US debt surged to to $20.16 trillion. Of course, the actual figure for government unfunded liabilities runs even higher. And Trump wants to do away with the debt ceiling altogether.
The US debt makes up just one part of a rapidly growing worldwide debt problem. Earlier this summer, US Global Investors CEO Frank Holmes called global debt “the mother of all bubbles.” Now we have a report from the Bank of International Settlements saying worldwide debt may actually be understated by $13 trillion. Reuters reports the understatement is because “traditional accounting practices exclude foreign exchange derivatives used to hedge international trade and foreign currency bonds.”
Gold hit its highest price in over a year Friday, breaking through the $1,350 barrier.
Friday morning, the spot price of gold was over $1,352, its strongest level since Aug. 2016. The yellow metal was up 2% on the week and was set for its third consecutive weekly gain.
American household debt hit an all-time high in the second quarter of 2017, with increases in every major category, from credit cards, to student loans, to mortgages.
An Australian economist who predicted the 2008 financial crisis now says another crash is “almost inevitable.”
Steve Keen heads the economics department at Kingston University in London. He was one of the few academics to anticipate the subprime housing crisis. On his advice, French investment bank BNP Paribas announced it was shutting down three investment funds specializing in the US subprime market in 2007. At the time, the bank said it was struggling to calculate their values against a backdrop of growing concerns over liquidity.
In an interview on RT’s Keiser Report, Keen said another crisis is around the corner, and the problem this time is debt.