FIG Topics of Interest

 

06/14/17

If a single ship can capture the current state of the global oil market, it’s the supertanker Saiq, floating idly about 850 kilometers (530 miles) south of the Canary Islands.

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06/13/17

The Trump administration has a backup plan to keep the government from defaulting on its financial obligations even if Congress misses an August deadline to raise the debt limit, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a congressional panel Monday.

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06/12/17

On the surface, China's insurers seem to be enjoying a golden age. Over the past two years, premium revenue has risen by 88 percent and total assets by 49 percent, while claims are up only 43 percent. The industry now manages some $2.4 trillion in assets. 
In a country with an aging population and high savings rate, it's a good business. The continual inflow of premium income along with predictable claims appeal to China's many aspiring investment moguls. It's no coincidence that the face of Warren Buffett -- who of course made his fortune in insurance -- adorns Cherry Coke cans in China. 
Look beneath the surface, though, and dangers are lurking everywhere. In a business where risk management is fundamental, China's insurers lack the basic actuarial manpower and data tools necessary to make informed decisions. A recent survey found that 47 percent of Chinese insurance firms "haven't developed any methods at all" to conduct risk and solvency analysis. Many lack even rudimentary internal controls.

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06/09/17

The MBA analysis looks at commercial/multifamily delinquency rates for five of the largest investor-groups: commercial banks and thrifts, commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), life insurance companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Together the MBA said these groups hold more than 80% of commercial/multifamily mortgage debt outstanding.
Based on its analysis of the unpaid principal balance of loans, the MBA reported delinquency rates for each group at the end of the first quarter were as follows: 
Banks and thrifts: a decrease of 0.04 percentage points from the fourth quarter of 2016, (90 or more days delinquent or in non-accrual); 
Life company portfolios: a decrease of 0.02 percentage points from the fourth quarter of 2016; (60 or more days delinquent) 
Fannie Mae (60 or more days delinquent): 0.05%, unchanged from the fourth quarter of 2016. 
Freddie Mac: unchanged from third quarter of 2016; (60 or more days delinquent), and 
CMBS: a decrease of 0.08 percentage points from the fourth quarter of 2016, (30 or more days delinquent or in REO).

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06/08/17

The occupation expected to grow the most over the next several years isn’t for the faint of heart. Jobs for wind turbine technicians—the people who install, maintain and repair wind turbines—are expected to increase 108 percent by 2024, more than any other profession. But it’s still a small industry overall. Hundreds of thousands of new health care jobs dominate the list of 25 occupations with the biggest expected employment growth.

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06/07/17

Americans’ spending on residential construction projects -- from the pouring of foundations to home improvement -- just hammered out its strongest three-month period since 1994.

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06/06/17

Barely an hour after a news organization published an article about a Top Secret National Security Agency document on Russian hacking, the Justice Department announced charges against a 25-year-old government contractor who a senior federal official says was the leaker of the document.

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06/05/17

Why tiny Qatar andgers Saudi Arabia and its allies.
Induction furnaces typically make rebar and as those furncaces are closed down in China, its created a shortage of rebar and the prices have gone up.
The European Commission is proposing a plan for a new sovereign back bond.
London's Metropolitan police arrested 12 related the the attack at London Bridge.
China labled US Defense Secretary Mattis' comment about the south China Sea.
A handful of oil towns seem impervious to bankruptcy.

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06/05/17

Saudi Arabia and three of its Arab allies cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday, furious with what they see as the tiny emirate’s tolerant attitude toward Iran and Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. The moves by the Saudis, Bahrain, the U.A.E. and Egypt came barely a week after U.S. President Donald Trump visited the region and joined Saudi Arabia in lambasting Iran for sponsoring terrorism from Syria to Yemen.

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06/02/17

Month-to-month CRE lending that was growing at an annualized pace of more than 10% through most of last year dipped to 8.9% in the first quarter, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) data released this past week. In fact, total bank lending across all categories -- not just CRE -- declined by $8.1 billion (0.1%) during the three months ended March 31. This is the first quarterly decline in loan balances since first quarter 2013. Martin J. Gruenberg, chairman of the FDIC, framed the lending slowdown as an appropriate reaction on lenders' part. 

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