Deadbeat Nation: A Shocking 77 Million Americans Face Debt Collectors

Obama’s America In 2014. Wow this is pretty shocking-Lou

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Deadbeat Nation: A Shocking 77 Million Americans Face Debt Collectors

From: ZeroHedge

We have been warning for years that as a result of the Fed’s disastrous policies, America’s middle class is being disintegrated and US adults are surviving only thanks to insurmountable debtloads. But not even we had an appreciation of how serious the problem truly was. We now know, and it is a shocker: according to new research by the Urban Institute, about 77 million Americans have a debt in collections.

The breakdown by region:

As the Washington Post reports, that amounts to 35 percent of consumers with credit files or data reported to a major credit bureau, according to the study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute and Encore Capital Group’s Consumer Credit Research Institute. “It’s a stunning number,” said Caroline Ratcliffe, senior fellow at the Urban Institute and author of the report. “And it threads through nearly all communities.”

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The report analyzed 2013 credit data from TransUnion to calculate how many Americans were falling behind on their bills. It looked at how many people had non-mortgage bills, such as credit card bills, child support payments and medical bills, that are so past due that the account has since been closed and placed in collections.

 

Researchers relied on a random sample of 7 million people with data reported to the credit bureaus in 2013 to estimate what share of the 220 million Americans with credit files have debts in collection. About 22 million low-income adults who did not have credit files were not represented in the study.

While we understand why someone owing tens if not hundreds of thousands can just do what the US government does so well, and simply decide to stop paying their debt (if unlike the government, without the option to roll it), what is scary is that there are people who are in collection on amount as tiny as $25.

The debts sent to collections ranged from $25 on the low end and to more than $125,000 on the high end. Many consumers were burned for relatively small amounts — about 10 percent of the debts were smaller than $125, Ratcliffe says. But the median debt, $1,350, is still pretty substantial, she adds.

The geographic breakdown is not surprising, headed by the state that hosts Las Vegas, where an unprecedented 47% of all consumers have debt in some stage of collection.

Nevada was hit the hardest, with 47 percent of consumers with a credit file showing a debt in collections — a mark researchers said may stem from the housing crisis when people struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments may have fallen behind on other financial obligations.

It’s not just Nevada. It’s, well, everywhere else too:

In 12 states, including the District of Columbia, more than 40 percent of residents with a credit file have a bill in collections. That includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.

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Stock trader who called three crashes sees 20% collapse

Stock trader who called three crashes sees 20% collapse

By Michael Sincere

Shutterstock

MIAMI (MarketWatch) — Mark Cook, a veteran investor included in Jack Schwager’s best-selling book, “Stock Market Wizards,” and the winner of the 1992 U.S. Investing Championship with a 563% return, believes the U.S. market is in trouble.

The primary indicator that Cook uses is the “Cook Cumulative Tick,” a proprietary measure he created in 1986 that uses the NYSE Tick in conjunction with stock prices. His indicator alerted him to the 1987, 2000, and 2007 crashes. The indicator also helped to identify the beginning of a bull market in the first quarter of April 2009, when the CCT unexpectedly went up, turning Cook into a bull.

What does Cook see now?

“There have been only two instances when the NYSE Tick and stock prices diverged radically, and that was in the first quarter of 2000 and the third quarter of 2007. The third time was April of 2014,” Cook says.

In simple terms, as stock prices have gone higher, the NYSE Tick has moved lower. This divergence is an extremely negative signal, which is why Cook believes the market is losing energy.

In fact, the Tick is showing a bear market, which seems impossible considering how high the market is rising.

“The Tick readings I am seeing (-1100 and -1200) is like an accelerator on the floor that is pressed for an indefinite amount of time,” Cook says. “Eventually the motor will run out of gas. Now, anything that comes out of left field will create a strain on the market.” Since the CCT is a leading indicator, prices have to catch up with the negative Tick readings.

“Think of a dam that has small cracks that are imperceptible to the eye,” he says. “Finally, the dam gives way. Eventually, prices will go south, and the Tick numbers will be horrific.”

Cook is also concerned that the market is acting abnormally. “It’s like being in the Twilight Zone, he says. “Imagine going outside when it’s raining and getting sunburned. That’s the environment we’re in right now.”

Unfortunately, Cook can’t say when this vulnerable market will crack. “The CCT is similar to the new-high, new-low indicator,” he explains. “As the market goes higher, fewer stocks make new highs. Some people might say it’s ‘different this time,’ but it’s never is. Could the market go higher? Yes, it could, but the extension of time will create an even greater divergence that has to be snapped back together.”

SPX 1,978.34, -9.64, -0.48%

Cook predicts that within 12 months, the market will suffer a 20% or greater pullback. Says Cook: “It may take months and months for the correction to develop. I don’t look at how low the market drops, but how it rallies. I will look for lower highs and lower lows. Every rally aborts before the previous high, and every decline penetrates and accelerates below the previous low.”

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Listen To This Week’s Radio Show (7/25/14)

This week’s radio show is now available.-Lou Listen Here 120809_radio_mic_istock_photo_328

Food Inflation Is Here To Stay

China signs currency swap worth 150 billion yuan with Switzerland

The dollar is losing it’s world currency reserve status. Here is today’s deal to trade around the greenback.-Lou

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China signs currency swap worth 150 billion yuan with Switzerland

(Reuters) – China signed a bilateral currency swap agreement worth 150 billion yuan ($24.17 billion) with the Swiss central bank, which can invest up to 15 billion yuan in China’s bond market.

The three-year swap, signed on Monday, will “provide liquidity support for bilateral economic and trade exchanges and help maintain financial stability,” the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said in a statement on its website, www.pbc.gov.cn.

The swap deal will provide liquidity support for development of the offshore yuan market in Switzerland and will be extended if needed, the PBOC said.

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) is allowed to invest up to 15 billion yuan in China’s interbank bond market under a quota given by the PBOC. “The SNB’s foreign exchange reserves can thereby be diversified even further,” the Swiss central bank said in a statement.

In June, senior Swiss officials touted the SNB’s qualifications to be a hub of renminbi trading during a meeting with China’s central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan.

Competition is fierce among Europe’s major financial centers to trade in China’s currency. Frankfurt and Luxembourg are vying with London, the favorite of many analysts, and Switzerland is trying to muscle into the competition.

Analysts say London looks best placed to become Europe’s main offshore yuan CNH= center, given its role as the world’s biggest foreign-exchange hub.

In the past five years, China has promoted use of the yuan CNY=CFXS for trade and investment, and also as a reserve currency to help lower currency risks for Chinese companies and challenge the dollar’s global dominance over the long term.

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U.S. Poised to Label MetLife a Potential Threat to the Financial System

The next AIG? This time MetLife will not be bailed out by the taxpayer. I would be a little nervous if I had money invested with MetLife or if I owned the stock.-Lou

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U.S. Poised to Label MetLife a Potential Threat to the Financial System

A U.S. council of regulators is poised to label MetLife Inc. a potential threat to the financial system, subjecting the insurer to oversight by the Federal Reserve, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

A decision by the Financial Stability Oversight Council may come as early as July 31, when the panel is tentatively planning to meet, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process isn’t public. The vote could be delayed briefly because the council hasn’t formally closed its review of the company, the people said.

MetLife, the biggest U.S. life insurer, could be subjected to stricter capital, leverage and liquidity requirements as a result of Fed supervision. The company has been under consideration as systemically important for more than a year, and its executives have met more than 10 times with council staff members to argue it doesn’t pose a risk.

John Calagna, a spokesman for New York-based MetLife, and Suzanne Elio, a Treasury spokeswoman, declined to comment. The council’s rules prohibit it from disclosing the names of companies unless a designation is made.

MetLife shares were little changed at $55.50 yesterday, after earlier falling as much as 1.8 percent.

The council vote would be a proposed designation, and MetLife would have 30 days to request a hearing before the FSOC to contest the decision. After a hearing, the regulators would hold a final vote on whether to designate MetLife. The company reports earnings after the market closing July 30 and will hold an investor call July 31, the same day the FSOC is planning to meet.

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Price of Beef and Bacon Reach All-Time High

The food inflation genie is out of the bottle. This time cover is from 1973 .-Lou

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Price of Beef and Bacon Reach All-Time High

July 22, 2014

(CNSNews.com) – The price of beef and bacon hit its all-time high in the United States in June, according to data released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).In January 1980, when BLS started tracking the price of these commodities, ground chuck cost $1.82 per pound and bacon cost $1.45 per pound. By this June 2014, ground chuck cost $3.91 per pound and bacon cost $6.11 per pound.

A decade ago, in June 2004, a pound of ground chuck cost $2.49, which means that the commodity has increased by 57 percent since then. Bacon has increased by 78.7 percent from the $3.42 it cost in June 2004 to the $6.11 it costs now.

In one month, beef increased from $3.85 in May 2014 to $3.91 in June 2014. Bacon increased from $6.05 in May 2014 to $6.11 in June 2014.

Each month, the BLS employs data collectors to visit thousands of retail stores all over the United States to obtain information on the prices of thousands of items to measure changes for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI is simply the average change over time in prices paid by consumers for a market basket of goods and services.

The BLS found that there was a 0.1 percent change in the food index in June, which tracks foods like meats, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy, as well as many others. “The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increased in June, though its 0.2 percent increase was its smallest since December,” stated BLS.

“The index for food at home has increased 2.4 percent over the past year, with the index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs up 7.5 percent,” BLS stated.

“Buying The Car Was The Worst Decision I Ever Made” – The Subprime Auto Loan Bubble Bursts

Cars and Homes are the reasons most Americans have little or no net worth.-Lou

From: Zero Hedge

“Buying The Car Was The Worst Decision I Ever Made” – The Subprime Auto Loan Bubble Bursts

It has been over six months since we first highlighted the growing deterioration in the quality of auto loans and mentioned the ‘s’ word (subprime) as indicative that we learned nothing from the financial crisis. Since then, auto loans (and especially subprime in the last few months) have surged to record highs; and most concerning, recently has seen delinquencies and late payments spike. The reason we provide this background is that, thanks to The NY Times, this story is now hitting the mainstream media as subprime-quality car buyers (new and used) realize the burden they have placed on themselves thanks toexorbitantly high interest rates (and a rapidly depreciating ‘asset’). As one car ‘owner’ exclaimed, “buying the car was the worst decision I have ever made.”

As The NY Times reports, Auto loans to people with tarnished credit have risen more than 130 percent in the five years since the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis, with roughly one in four new auto loans last year going to borrowers considered subprime — people with credit scores at or below 640.

Deja vu all over again…

And, like subprime mortgages before the financial crisis, many subprime auto loans are bundled into complex bonds and sold as securities by banks to insurance companies, mutual funds and public pension funds — a process that creates ever-greater demand for loans.

Exorbitant interest rates… (but still demand?)

The New York Times examined more than 100 bankruptcy court cases, dozens of civil lawsuits against lenders and hundreds of loan documents and found that subprime auto loans can come with interest rates that can exceed 23 percent.

The loans were typically at least twice the size of the value of the used cars purchased, including dozens of battered vehicles with mechanical defects hidden from borrowers. Such loans can thrust already vulnerable borrowers further into debt, even propelling some into bankruptcy, according to the court records, as well as interviews with borrowers and lawyers in 19 states.

Will we never learn…?

In another echo of the mortgage boom, The Times investigation alsofound dozens of loans that included incorrect information about borrowers’ income and employment, leading people who had lost their jobs, were in bankruptcy or were living on Social Security to qualify for loans that they could never afford.

“It appears that investors have not learned the lessons of Lehman Brothers and continue to chase risky subprime-backed bonds,” said Mark T. Williams, a former bank examiner with the Federal Reserve.

One painful example…

Rodney Durham stopped working in 1991, declared bankruptcy and lives on Social Security. Nonetheless, Wells Fargo lent him $15,197 to buy a used Mitsubishi sedan.

“I am not sure how I got the loan,” Mr. Durham, age 60, said.

Mr. Durham’s application said that he made $35,000 as a technician at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton, N.Y., according to a copy of the loan document. But he says he told the dealer he hadn’t worked at the hospital for more than three decades. Now, after months of Wells Fargo pressing him over missed payments, the bank has repossessed his car.

 

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Geopolitical Risk To Financial Markets Is Off The Charts

Gold Manipulators are Desparate

Gold Manipulators are Desparate

From Egon von Greyerz

With virtually empty gold vaults, the central banks and bullion banks are now becoming desperate.

The action we are seeing in the paper gold market with the recent $50 takedown is yet more proof of the corner that the gold manipulators have put themselves into by having virtually no physical gold left.

A rising gold price is dangerous for the manipulators. This would inevitably lead to more physical demand, something that would be disastrous for the manipulators. As the holders of paper gold begin to realise that neither Comex nor the bullion banks or the Central banks have a fraction of the gold required to satisfy the gold paper claims, they will demand delivery. With the paper gold market being up to 100 times the physical market, there will of course be nowhere near the gold available at current prices to satisfy the outstanding paper claims.

The gold manipulators are going to lose this game. This is a certainty. The only question is when. They have managed to frighten investors by manipulating the price down substantially in the last few years. In spite of that gold has gone from $250 in 1999 to $1,300 today.

The reason why the manipulators now are desperate and that we are getting nearer to a cataclysm is that physical demand has been at very high levels in the last few years mainly due to substantial buying from Asia and in particular China. This has led to the physical gold in the vaults of the bullion banks and central banks migrating from the West to the East.

As both the world economic and geopolitical situation deteriorates this autumn, we are likely to see major changes in markets. As the dollar comes under pressure, the precious metals will be major beneficiaries. This will lead to the beginning of the end of the manipulation in the paper gold and silver markets and strongly rising gold and silver prices.

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