27 July 2020

1) Another indication of the contraction of the oil business is the oil services company Schlumberger who cut 21,000 jobs or about one fifth of its 105,000 global employees. This is a direct result of an expected 25% drop in the number of oil wells drilled worldwide. Revenues fell 58% from last year for north American operations. The world wide cornavirus crisis caused a massive drop in oil demand, which collapsed the price of oil.

2) Boeing aircraft is facing another trouble, this time with their older Boeing 737 jets. The FAA was warned of corrosion which could cause dual-engine failure, and has ordered inspections. The corrosion problem is a result of hundreds of aircraft now in storage that have been idled because of the drop in air travel from the virus. The order requires aircraft that have not been operated for a week or more must be inspected which will impact about 2,000 aircraft. The corrosion is in engine valves, which has caused single-engine shutdowns which resulted from engine bleed air valves being stuck open.

3) Junk bonds are back again, but are packaged in a format met to appeal to investors, avoiding their seamy 1980s era reputation. Low interest rates driven by the Federal reserve is encouraging companies to borrow, which has lead to a record $51.5 billion dollars worth of junk bonds issued in June. Junk bonds are bonds with high yields (interest rates) but having a lot higher risk. The high risk comes from companies fiscal ability to pay out the bond on maturity or dividends. In a recessionary environment awash in cheap money, a troubled company can collapse under the weight of their debt. But extensive use of junk bonds pose the same dangers of the mortgage backed securities in 2008 with massive failing of businesses pulling the already fragile economy down.

4) Stock market closings for – 24 JUL 20:

Dow 26,469.89 down 182.44
Nasdaq 10,363.18 down 98.24
S&P 500 3,215.63 down 20.03

10 Year Yield: up at 0.59%

Oil: up at $41.34

26 November 2019

1) America’s largest manufacturer of truck engines plans to lay off 2,000 workers. Orders for heavy duty trucks is down last year by 51%. This market dip is forcing Cummins Diesel to cut back on its production, reducing its 62,610 workforce by the 2,000. The company is forced to do a more aggressively cost cutting program because the down turn is happening faster than anticipated. Other manufactures of parts and assemblies, such as drivetrains, braking and axles used in large trucks are also forced into layoffs and bankruptcies.

2) The national debt has just passed $23 trillion dollars the first of November. This is a record high for the amount of money owed by the Federal government brought on by the growing budget deficits and is roughly equal to the Chinese, Japanese and German economies combined. Both parties have abandoned fiscal conservative spending and are intent on spending more on the domestic and military fronts, a contest over promises of who will spend more while cutting taxes.

3) The Ford Motor Company has $37 billion dollars in cash and short term assets on its balance sheet , but is strapped for cash. This makes Ford one of the top ten U. S. companies flush with cash. But Ford faces so many future challenges, it must hold onto every penny it can. First is a major multi-year restructuring, principally in Europe and South America. Also, Ford is overdue to refresh its key vehicles, including the company’s best selling F series pickup trucks, which will cost several billion dollars. Finally, Ford’s efforts to join the rush into electric vehicles, with seven new electric models due by the end of 2020.

4) Stock market closings for – 25 NOV 19:

Dow               28,066.47    up    190.85
Nasdaq           8,632.49     up    112.60
S&P 500          3,133.64     up       23.35

10 Year Yield:    down   at    1.76%

Oil:    down   at   $57.91

24 April 2019

1) The stock market rallied in a big way yesterday, recovering the losses from last year, pushed up by the tech stocks and the release of their positive quarterly earnings reports. Furthermore, confidence that the interest rate will not increase further drove the markets up. Both the Nasdaq and S&P broke their record highs too.

2) The government released a report today detailing the dire straights which the Social Security and Medicare programs are in financially. Medicare is forecast to be insolvent by 2026 resulting in doctors, nurses, hospitals and nursing homes not getting fully compensated for services. Even worst, for Social Security their cost will exceed their income in 2020. The fiscal situations come in part from increasing number of obligations because baby boomers are retiring in increasing numbers and the Affordable Care Act. Many politicians wish to extend Medicare to the uninsured.

3) Problems of air bags not deploying in accidents is prompting a recall for as many as 70 million inflaters in America and 100 million world wide by the end of the year. This will involve about 12.3 million automobiles.

4) 23 APR 19 Stock market closings:

Dow               26,656.39   up   145.34
Nasdaq            8,120.82   up   105.56
S&P 500           2,933.68   up      25.71

10 Year Yield:    down   at    2.57%

Oil:    down   at    $66.18

PREZ of RICHMOND FED RESERVE BANK RESIGNS AFTER SCANDAL EMERGENCE……………..

By: Economic & Finance Report

 Former Fed President of Richmond’s Federal Reserve Bank, Jeffrey Lacker has resigned today; effective immediately. Richmond’s Federal Reserve Bank  had issued a statement about the resignation of Lacker.  The head of Richmond’s Federal Reserve, Mr. Jeffrey Lacker had improper discussions with a financial analyst from Medley Global Advisors, on “confidential information” relating to Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy.

There was an ongoing investigation that the Federal Reserve Inspector General, Mark Bialek just concluded. No charges will be brought on Mr. Lacker, but he has lost his job as Richmond’s Federal Reserve point man.  Mr. Bialek’s investigation started in 2012, when information of  private Federal Reserve information had leaked.

Many members of the US Congress have been critical on the prudence of the  US Federal Reserve, and this episode certainly adds fuel to the fire, members in Congress have stated on numerous occasions that there is a lack of transparency; within the Federal Reserve’s fiscal policies and initiatives. -SB