Thursday, May 26, 2016

Friday May 27 2016 Housing and Economic stories


Bernie Sanders Slams the US Bailout of Puerto Rico - (www.fortune.com) Ryan, R-Wis., has said the bill would avoid an eventual taxpayer bailout and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has called it a “tough bipartisan compromise.” House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi also supports the agreement. Puerto Rico, which has struggled to overcome a lengthy recession, has missed several payments to creditors and faces a $2 billion installment, the largest yet, on July 1. The island has been under a state of emergency and many businesses have closed, schools have lacked sufficient resources like electricity and some hospitals are limiting treatment.

‘Massive Bailout’ Needed in Debt-Saddled China, Analyst Chu Says - (www.bloomberg.com)  Charlene Chu, a banking analyst who made her name warning of the risks from China’s credit binge, said a bailout in the trillions of dollars is needed to tackle the bad-debt burden dragging down the nation’s economy. Speaking eight days after a Communist Party newspaper highlighted dangers from the build-up of debt, Chu, a partner at Autonomous Research, said she was yet to be convinced the government is serious about deleveraging and eliminating industry overcapacity. She also argued that lenders’ off-balance-sheet portfolios of wealth-management products are the biggest immediate threat to the nation’s financial system, with similarities to Western bank exposures in 2008 that helped to trigger a global meltdown.

Brazil’s Budget Minister Takes Leave of Absence During Probe - (www.bloomberg.com) Brazil’s newly-appointed Budget Minister Romero Juca said he will take a leave of absence after allegations surfaced that he wanted to obstruct the sweeping corruption probe known as Carwash. Juca, the leader of Acting President Michel Temer’s political party, will return to his former job as senator and make room for Dyogo Oliveira to take the helm of the Budget Ministry on Tuesday. The surprise announcement on Monday afternoon capped a day of speculation about Juca’s future in the cabinet after he initially refused to step down. The dramatic departure highlights the challenges facing Temer, who with less than two weeks on the job was forced into damage-control mode as the corruption scandal encroached on his government. The allegations emboldened Temer’s critics, who heckled the acting president and allies when they visited Congress, accusing them of orchestrating a coup against Dilma Rousseff.

Iron Ore’s Pivot From Boom to Gloom Puts $50 Level Back in View - (www.bloomberg.com) Iron ore has pivoted from boom to gloom in a few short weeks. Benchmark prices are near $50 a metric ton as spectacular losses this month driven by rising supplies and a more cautious approach from mills in China have eviscerated April’s speculation-driven rally. “Seaborne supply is rising while the Chinese steel mills will reduce purchases,” Ren Jiaojiao, an analyst at Maike Futures Co., said by phone from Xi’an on Tuesday before the price data. Inventories at China’s ports -- which topped 100 million tons last week -- may increase further, according to Ren. The raw material has been on a tumultuous ride this year after tentative signs of a demand revival in China, including widening profit margins for steelmakers in the top producer, ignited a firestorm of speculation. The frenzy led to a clampdown from regulators and exchanges, weakening prices once more, including iron ore and steel. Brazil’s Vale SA, the largest iron ore producer, warned last week there was a need to prepare for tougher times.

ECB Warns Against Rise of Populism – (online.wsj.com) The European Central Bank warned Tuesday that the rise of populist political forces in Europe could slow the implementation of needed economic reforms, leading to market pressure on vulnerable countries. The comments in the ECB’s Financial Stability Review, which it issues twice a year, come as Europe faces a wave of populist revolts that threaten to undermine much of the political order established on the continent since the end of the World War II. In the report, the ECB said that rising political risks “as well as the increasing support for populist political parties which are seen to be less reform-oriented, may potentially lead to the delay of much needed fiscal and structural reforms and cause renewed pressures on more vulnerable sovereigns.”


Chinese State Fund Taps WMPs in Financing Shift, Merchants Says - (www.bloomberg.com)
Investment banks suffer worst first quarter since financial crisis: survey
- (www.reuters.com)
Emerging Markets-Brazil currency drops on local political woes
- (www.reuters.com)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Thursday May 26 2016 Housing and Economic stories


Lost Seals And Other Excuses Used By Defaulting Chinese Firms - (www.bloomberg.com) Missing corporate stamps, shuffled assets and disappearing executives have become the hallmarks of debt distress in China. Investors are starting to lose patience. China Shanshui Cement Group Ltd. said this month it couldn’t distribute interest without its company seal, only for the underwriter to report payment later saying the stamp isn’t needed. Shenyang City Utility Group Co. said it couldn’t publish a repayment statement as the holder of its chop was traveling. China City Construction Holding Group Co.’s bonds slumped to 79 yuan out of 100 yuan face value on May 6 after its controlling shareholder changed. Fosun International Ltd. was among issuers to report lost contact with executives. A lack of transparency and protections in bond documentation are adding to the angst among investors in China, where a record 10 companies have failed to make payments this year amid the weakest economic growth in a quarter century. This has prompted authorities to tighten regulation and scrutinize underwriters’ due diligence work.  

Liquid alternative mutual funds leave investors disappointed - (www.ft.com) The asset management industry’s hopes of bringing hedge fund strategies to the American mass market have stalled in the face of miserable returns and scepticism from investors. Assets in so-called liquid alternative mutual funds in the US, which doubled between 2011 and 2014, have stagnated for two years, and new data show that the average fund lost money, regardless of whether the sector is measured over one, three, five or 10 years. The scale of the disappointment has become apparent because Morningstar, the research group tracking mutual funds, began categorising liquid alts funds separately from some bond funds this month.

The High Cost of Ultralow Interest Rates - (online.wsj.com) These policies are toxic for financial stability. They force retired people to curtail spending and discourage the young from saving for retirement. They force people into making risky investments and don’t stimulate economic growth. Worse, they gradually undermine personal responsibility and ensure that future generations are more dependent on government programs. The Fed has kept interest rates near zero for more than seven years. Experts generally recommend that U.S. households accumulate savings sufficient for 25 years of spending at 80% of earnings the year before retirement. Some savings will be in the form of Social Security benefits. But unconventional monetary policies are making it nearly impossible for most households to achieve the rest.

Abu Dhabi Stocks in Worst Run Since October as Gulf Markets Drop - (www.bloomberg.com) Abu Dhabi stocks posted their longest losing streak since October amid a slump in trading across Gulf Arab equity markets as investors held out for more than a $1 billion worth of rights issues. The ADX General Index fell 1.1 percent, declining for the sixth straight day. Emirates Telecommunications Group Co., or Etisalat, the largest phone company in the Middle East, led the retreat with a 2.6 percent drop. Traders exchanged shares in about a third of companies on the gauge. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index slipped for a third day, with volumes on the main gauges in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council languishing at less than half the 20-day average.

Hedge Funds Are Betting Record Amounts on Meltdown of Australian Banks and Housing Bubble - (www.wolfstreet.com)  It has been called the “widow maker trade,” based on how short sellers have been dealt with over the past few years. The fundamentals have been inviting: Australia has been in a fully blooming housing bubble. Households are the most indebted in the world, based on debt to disposable income. To maintain the housing bubble, the central bank slashed interest rates to record lows (1.75%). The government wants to keep the bubble going for as long as possible. So regulators close their eyes, according to media reports, to questionable or even illegal lending practices. Home prices, after soaring for years, are clearly unsustainable. But just because it’s a bubble doesn’t mean it has to implode on schedule. It will implode, as all bubbles do, but on its own time. If short sellers get the timing wrong, they’ll get run over by market euphoria. Hence, “widow maker trade” for betting against the housing bubble by shorting the banks.




Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Wednesday May 25 2016 Housing and Economic stories


Valeant Gets Notice of Default From Bondholders on Delayed 10-Q - (www.bloomberg.com) Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. received a notice of default from some of its bondholders because of a delay in filing its first-quarter financial results, the company said Thursday. The notice from holders of the company’s $1 billion of 5.5 percent notes that mature in 2023 started the clock on a 60-day grace period, giving Valeant until July 18 before the bondholders can demand immediate repayment if the company hasn’t filed the statement, according to a regulatory filing Friday. The default notice also triggers a provision in its credit agreement that allows its most senior lenders to demand repayment if the financials aren’t filed by July 3, bringing forward the July 31 extension previously worked out with lenders. There is no grace period under the amended agreement, meaning loan investors will be able to demand accelerated repayment on $12.7 billion of loans if the new deadline isn’t met.

Shipbuilding Industry Collapses, Hits China and South Korea - (www.wolfstreet.com) In the first quarter, South Korean shipbuilders saw their orders collapse by 94.1% to 170,000 compensated gross tons (CGT), compared to the prior year. In terms of dollars, orders collapsed 94% from $6.5 billion in Q1 2015 in to just $390 million. Global orders for new vessels in Q1 have collapsed too, but slightly less, according to the Export-Import Bank of Korea, cited by IHS Fairplay: down 71% year-over-year to 2.32 CGT. “Their business slump may continue throughout this year, and demand for oil tankers may improve slightly during the second half of the year,” Korea Eximbank said in the report. Current order backlog will provide work for about two years. For all of 2016, orders are expected to plunge by 85%, from $23.7 billion in 2015 to just $3.5 billion. Chinese shipyards are in even deeper trouble.

Chicago Pension Liabilities Jump 168%, Understated By $11.5 Billion - (www.zerohedge.com) New accounting rules show Chicago has understated its pension liabilities by $11.5 billion. At the end of 2015 the stated liability was $7.1 billion. Today it’s $18.6 billion. That’s a jump in net liabilities of 168%. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has hopes pinned on union concessions and help from the state legislature. Neither is likely. Let’s stop pretending there is another solution, because there isn’t.

Balance Due: Credit-Card Debt Nears $1 Trillion as Banks Push Plastic - (www.online.wsj.com) U.S. credit-card balances are on track to hit $1 trillion this year, as banks aggressively push their plastic and consumers grow more comfortable carrying debt. That sum would come close to the all-time peak of $1.02 trillion set in July 2008, just before the financial crisis intensified, and could signal an easing of frugal habits ingrained by the recession. The boom has been driven by steady economic conditions and an improving job market that have made creditworthy consumers less reluctant to take on debt. In addition, lenders have signed up millions of subprime consumers who previously weren’t able to get credit. Consumers are taking on other forms of debt, too. Auto-loan balances surpassed $1 trillion in the first quarter, a record for the industry, according to a report Thursday from credit bureau Experian.

The Iron Mountain on China’s Doorstep Tops 100 Million Tons – (www.bloomberg.comThere’s a mountain of iron ore sat right on China’s doorstep. Stockpiles at ports have climbed above 100 million metric tons, offering fresh evidence of increased supplies in the world’s top user that may hurt prices. The inventories swelled 1.6 percent to 100.45 million tons this week, the highest level since March 2015, according to data from Shanghai Steelhome Information Technology Co. The holdings, which feed the world’s largest steel industry, have expanded 7.9 percent this year, and are now large enough to cover more than five weeks’ of imports.




Monday, May 23, 2016

Tuesday May 24 2016 Housing and Economic stories


Republicans, Democrats Agree On A Bill To Bailout Puerto Rico - (www.zerohedge.com) It turns out that Puerto Rico's plan to default on its debt and beg congress for help is working out as planned. After a slight delay, House Republicans have reached an agreement with the Obama administration to provide a path to restructure Puerto Rico's $70 billion debt load. The bill would offer the island a legal out similar to bankruptcy and wouldn't commit any federal money according to the WSJ. All of the political talking heads are supportive of the bill, with House Speaker Paul Ryan saying that "the stability of the territory is in danger. Today, Republicans and Democrats came together to fulfill Congress's constitutional and fiscal responsibility to address the crisis", and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew called the proposal "a fair, but tough bipartisan compromise."

Silicon Valley Housing Market Hit as Chinese Money “Dried up” - (www.wolfstreet.com) Money from Chinese investors “has dried up,” a residential real-estate broker in San Francisco told me a few days ago, as he was fretting about the local housing market. It’s a result of the crackdown by the Chinese government on capital flight, he said. Chinese investors have been buying about 5% to 7% of residential properties in San Francisco, possibly more in parts of Silicon Valley. And other brokers are now publicly chiming in about money from China drying up. “We’ve recently noticed a slowdown,” Jack Woodson at Alain Pinel Realtors in Menlo Park in Silicon Valley, told Bloomberg. “Buyers are taking more time to decide about making offers.” He fingered Chinese investors who’ve suddenly curtailed their purchases after they had “really been driving the market.” Data coming out of China appear to support the thesis of a sudden money vacuum in some of the toniest West Cost Housing markets.

Petrobras Pays Record Yield in $6.75 Billion Bond Sale - (www.bloomberg.com) The company’s stocks and bonds have rallied this year on speculation that a new government in Brazil will be better able to restore growth in Latin America’s largest economy. They had tumbled since 2014 as an investigation began into kickback schemes in which Petrobras executives demanded bribes for handing out billions of dollars of work contracts. The probe has led to more than 150 arrests in Brazil and thrown the country’s politics into disarray, fueling efforts to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, who was Petrobras’s chairman when the alleged graft took place…. Petrobras has $126 billion of debt outstanding, making it the most heavily indebted company in emerging markets. Yields on its $5.25 billion of existing notes due in 2021 fell 0.4 percentage point to 8.3 percent Tuesday as of 12:41 p.m. in New York. Bonds due in 2025 from Argentina’s state oil company YPF SA yield 8.12 percent.

Lauded Wunderkind Medical Testing Startup Theranos Turns Out To Be One Big Fraud  - (www.zerohedge.com)  Just when you thought that the biggest ever "multi-billion" private company that also happens to be an utter fraud, would quietly disappear before it risked attracting even more unwarranted attention from regulators, enforcers, and criminal investigators which could potentially lead to prison time for "billionaire" Elizabeth Holmes, here she comes again reminding everyone of her fallen from grace presence, in this case with what should be the terminal news for this company, namely that as the WSJ reports (and as the company confirms) Theranos has told federal health regulators that the company voided and revised two years of results from its Edison blood-testing devices and has issued tens of thousands of corrected reports to doctors and patients.

US heavy equipment maker faces 'steeply depressed' demand - (www.cnbc.com) Even with crop prices trending higher, the worst of the agricultural downturn may be far from over for Deere. Continued weakness in the domestic market along with softness inSouth America are affecting the company's farm machinery business. The slump is being felt hard, particularly on high-horsepower tractors and combines. "Global demand for farm equipment remains steeply depressed," Longbow Research analyst Eli Lustgarten said in a note Friday. "Our 34 contacts across four different countries reported sequentially lower demand and steep year-over-year double-digit declines across all markets. North American and international markets seem to be worsening as crop prices stay low and farmers struggle to break even."





Sunday, May 22, 2016

Monday May 23 2016 Housing and Economic stories


Mall Owners Begin to Feel the Pain of Brick & Mortar Retailers - (www.wolfstreet.com) Retail landlords are on edge. Their tenants in malls across America are reporting awful revenues and earnings, and they’re shuttering stores, and some are going bankrupt. And they’re all getting their clocks cleaned by ecommerce. Ecommerce sales in the first quarter jumped 15% from a year ago to $86.3 billion, not seasonally adjusted, or $92.8 billion seasonally adjusted, the Census Bureau reported today. They accounted for 7.7% of total retail sales. Over the last four quarters, ecommerce also jumped 15%, to 354.3 billion. Meanwhile, much of brick-and-mortar retail is stuck in a quagmire. Total retail sales inched up 3.3% year-over-year. A third of that “growth” was inflation as measured by CPI. Another third was the impact of ecommerce.

Mexico’s ICA Says Debt Threatens Its Future as a ‘Going Concern’ - (www.bloomberg.com) Empresas ICA SAB, the Mexican construction company that defaulted on $1.35 billion in bonds last year, said its debt woes may prevent it from continuing as a “going concern.” The builder said it may be forced to seek court protection from creditors if restructuring talks are unsuccessful. Creditors could also pursue involuntary reorganization proceedings, ICA said in a U.S. regulatory filing Tuesday. “Our insufficient liquidity could severely impact our ability to continue as a going concern,” it said, using language that didn’t appear in a similar document last year. ICA’s future “could also be affected by our overall inability to pay our debt and other payment obligations, such as taxes and secured credit arrangements,” according to the filing.

Why oil and gas companies are barely scraping by - (finance.yahoo.com) The U.S. energy sector (XLE) is facing $370 billion of debt, a number that has more than doubled in the past decade. But even as oil rebounds off 13-year lows, many energy companies are struggling to stay afloat. To simply make the interest payments on the debt, energy companies shelled out $16.7 billion last year—about half of their total operating profit, according to data compiled by FactSet and Yahoo Finance. The figures from the past quarter are increasingly grim: over 86% of energy sector operating profits were used to cover the interest payments on debt. “Servicing debt is a huge component right now, which is why they need a higher oil price,” said Dan Dicker, President of MercBloc. “But even if they were able to service…the question becomes how will they be able to raise capital when these notes come due?”

LendingClub Shares Fall After Investors Suspend Debt Purchases - (www.bloomberg.com) LendingClub Corp. shares resumed their slide in New York trading Tuesday amid a scandal that cost the chief executive officer his job, prompted investors to suspend debt purchases and spurred a U.S. Justice Department probe. The stock tumbled 11 percent to $3.52 at 1:23 p.m. following a regulatory filing from the company late Monday that said strategies to restore investor confidence and obtain new capital for loans might include equity or debt sales, fee changes or other moves that could be “costly or dilutive” to shareholders. The shares, which traded as high as $11.25 in January, plunged 51 percent last week after the surprise departure of Chairman and CEO Renaud Laplanche and the disclosure of faulty internal controls.

Trump and Sanders Shift Mood in Congress Against Trade Deals - (www.bloomberg.com) The first casualty may be the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was already facing a skeptical Congress. A European trade pact in the works may also be in trouble... "The gravity has shifted," said Representative Marcy Kaptur, an Ohio Democrat. She said it could give new traction to proposals like one she's put forth that would reopen trade deals with nations that have a trade deficit of $10 billion with the U.S. for three years in a row. The success of Trump and Sanders in Rust Belt states and elsewhere will make it even harder, if not impossible, for Congress to back TPP, even in a lame-duck session after the election. Lawmakers say it could also hamper a looming agreement between the U.S. and the European Union if it looks like the next president would change course.



Thursday, May 19, 2016

Friday May 20 2016 Housing and Economic stories


Shopping pall trashes NYC commercial real estate - (www.nypost.com) The fall-off in sales at US brick-and-mortar stores is starting to hit Manhattan’s pricey commercial real estate. Building owners across town are being forced to cut their rents as sales slow and retailers become cautious, a report due out Monday reveals. Retail rents in 10 of 17 top Manhattan shopping corridors are getting marked down — some by as much as 16 percent, the report shows. Rents first showed signs of weakness last fall after a building spree created an apparent glut of available ground floor spaces — but the discounting has accelerated as vacancies multiplied, according to the Real Estate Board of New York Spring Retail Report.

These Charts Show the Truly Dismal State of Young People in Bailed-Out EU Countries - (www.wolfstreet.com) The human aspects of the European crisis, such as the effects of horrific youth unemployment in some countries, have largely receded from the headlines that ECB potentate Mario Draghi rules with his beautifully concocted negative-interest-rate absurdity and his efforts to manipulate the financial markets. Lesser ECB figures also try to get into the headlines edgewise, including German Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann, but no one listens to him anymore. Yet, and despite Draghi’s bluster, the real problems in the EU, particularly in Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, and Spain, have not been solved – and I mean, not at all – as shown by the results of the big poll about young people in the EU. The survey, commissioned by the European Parliament and conducted by TNS opinion, led to an evocatively-titled report, “Most young Europeans feel marginalized by the crisis, says Eurobarometer poll.”

Bull Market Losing Biggest Ally as Buybacks Fall Most Since 2009 - (www.bloomberg.com) Corporate America has its eye on a new target as executives look to tighten their belts amid a slump in profits -- and this time shareholders won’t like it. After snapping up trillions of dollars of their own stock in a five-year shopping binge that dwarfed every other buyer, U.S. companies from Apple Inc. to IBM Corp. just put on the brakes. Announced repurchases dropped 38 percent to $244 billion in the last four months, the biggest decline since 2009, data compiled by Birinyi Associates and Bloomberg show. Coming amid the worst profit slump since the financial crisis, the slowdown may signal companies are preserving cash as economic and political uncertainty whips up from Europe to China and in the U.S. At stake is the primary source of buoyancy for the second-longest bull market in history, at a time when individuals and money managers are bailing out and valuations sit near 14-year highs.

Shadow Banks Make Diciest Loans While Wall Street Retains Risk - (www.bloomberg.com) Wall Street has cut its lending to the riskiest companies, shifting its financing to nonbanks that make the loans instead, according to a team of analysts at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. “Since those policies reach beyond individual banks and target risk in the entire banking system, they are more likely to trigger significant responses that may have unintended consequences,” said the report by Sooji Kim, Matthew Plosser and João Santos. Nonbanks, part of what’s called the shadow banking system, are financial institutions that don’t take deposits and fall outside the purview of banking regulators. 

Central Bankers’ Wisdom Faulted as Gold Holdings Surge 25% - (www.bloomberg.com) The great gold rush of 2016 is gathering pace. Holdings in exchange-traded funds have now surged by a quarter, with investors taking advantage of lower prices over the past two weeks to enlarge stakes on rising concern about central bank policy making worldwide. The holdings have increased to 1,822.3 metric tons, the most since December 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, after bottoming at a seven-year low in January. In the past two weeks, as prices lost 1.6 percent, ETFs swelled 63.2 tons, rising every day. Gold is the best-performing major metal this year after silver amid rising concern over negative rates in Europe and Japan and whether the Federal Reserve will be able to tighten further. 



Emerging Currencies Fall Toward Lowest Since March on China Data - (www.bloomberg.com)
Two-Minute Plunge Roils China H Shares as Futures Volume Soars - (www.bloomberg.com)
Deutsche Bank’s Problems May Be ‘Insurmountable,’ Berenberg Says - (www.bloomberg.com)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Thursday May 19 2016 Housing and Economic stories


China Shipbuilder Evergreen Defaults on Bond Amid Cash Shortage - (www.bloomberg.com) A Chinese shipbuilder defaulted on bonds, becoming at least the 10th company to miss local debt payments in the world’s third-biggest note market this year. Evergreen Holding Group Co. said it can’t make full payment due Monday on a one-year notes because of a cash flow shortage, according to a statement on Shanghai Clearing House’s website. The company, based in the eastern province of Zhejiang, sold the 400 million yuan ($61.3 million) of bonds with a coupon rate of 7.95 percent in May 2015. Credit woes are spreading in China as both privately held and state-owned firms struggle with record debt repayments this year amid the worst economic slowdown in a quarter century. Nanjing Yurun Foods Co., a sausage maker, recently missed a payment for a second time in two months before saying Monday it had later made the payment.

SandRidge Energy files for bankruptcy protection - (www.reuters.com) SandRidge Energy Inc (SDOC.PK) and Breitburn Energy Partners LP (BBEP.O) filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, the latest in a surge of Chapter 11 filings among U.S. energy producers. The biggest U.S. energy price crash in a generation has now pushed more than 60 North American oil and gas producers to seek protection from creditors since early 2015, regulatory filings show. As of March 31, SandRidge estimated it had total assets of $7.0 billion and total debt of $4.0 billion, and Breitburn listed assets of $4.7 billion and liabilities of $3.4 billion.

"We Should Be Concerned" - Stock Buybacks Plunge Most Since 2009 – (www.zerohedge.com) After snapping up trillions of dollars of their own stock in a five-year shopping binge that dwarfed every other buyer, U.S. companies from Apple Inc. to IBM Corp. just put on the brakes. Announced repurchases dropped 38 percent to $244 billion in the last four months, the biggest decline since 2009, data compiled by Birinyi Associates and Bloomberg show. “If the only meaningful source of demand in the market is companies buying their own shares back, then what happens if that goes away?” asked Brad McMillan, CIO of Commonwealth “We should be concerned.”

China debtor calls on central bank to provide debt guarantee - (www.ft.com) Implicit guarantees are ubiquitous in China, but one company went a step further when it appealed to the central bank to give an explicit reassurance to creditors that the government will not permit any default. China City Construction Holding Group Co saw yields on its Hong Kong-traded “dim sum” bonds spike recently after a surprise privatisation, highlighting the ways moral hazard distorts capital allocation in the world’s largest economy. CCCC was previously owned by a unit of the housing ministry, but a private equity fund took control late last month following a complex asset restructuring. In response to the market jitters, CCCC sent a letter to the People’s Bank of China’s financial stability department titled ‘Urgent request to stabilise the enterprise’s financial situation and avoid creditor turmoil’.

Johnson Invokes Hitler as Brexit Debate Rhetoric Intensifies  - (www.bloomberg.com) Brexit campaigners invoked Adolf Hitler as a parallel with the European Union and criticized the Bank of England governor, evidence of the debate becoming increasingly caustic six weeks before Britain’s referendum. The two-pronged offensive began with former Mayor of London Boris Johnson making the historical analogy in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, saying attempts to unify the region tend to end “tragically.” Allies backed him in that analysis and also used media appearances to criticize Mark Carney for the BOE’s warning of the economic consequences of a vote to leave, forcing the governor to defend his actions.