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Chinese Politician Given Suspended Death Sentence After 200 Million Yuan In Cash Was Found In His Apartment
When corrupt Chinese oligarchs and politicians are unable to transfer millions in illegally obtained funds offshore they resort to the next best option: storing the money in the form of cold, hard cash stashed away inside their apartments. However, thi…
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WSJ’s message to the FOMC meeting next week: You have one job
The Federal Open Market Committee meet on November 1 and 2
Markets have put a very low probability of a rate hike at the November meeting, citing the election the following week as a constraint
Pathetic: Wells Fargo Steps Up Scandal Control With TV Ad Over Bogus Accounts
Wells Fargo Steps Up Scandal Damage Control With TV Ad Push
Reminds me of the GMAC videos when they changed their name to Ally after they got busted stealing the homes of millions of people…
If you haven’t seen them, I embedded a few below.
Wells Fargo & Co., trying to quell a scandal that has engulfed its consumer bank, will start broadcasting nationwide television commercials Monday night, outlining steps it has taken to halt abuses.
The spot — featuring a stagecoach in slow motion, and a narrator talking over piano music — escalates a public-relations campaign that already includes Internet and newspaper advertisements, as the firm tries to convince customers it’s putting their interests first. Authorities fined the bank $185 million last month, saying branch workers may have opened more than 2 million unauthorized deposit accounts and credit cards over half a decade.
“The advertising reiterates Wells Fargo’s commitment to customers and the steps we are taking to move forward and make things right,” Mark Folk, a company spokesman, said in an interview. Some ads will air during Sunday morning talk shows, and the push will include networks Univision and Telemundo, he said.
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More on the politics of rage – outlook for currencies
I posted earlier on:
Barclays on the “Politics of Rage” – will slow economic growth
If you are after more on this, Bloomberg have this piece up:
FelonsVotesMatter – Florida Dems Allege Racism Behind Restrictions On Felon Voters
The rights of felons to vote have become a hot topic in the 2016 election. We recently wrote about the efforts of Virginia’s Governor, and long-time Clinton confidant, Terry McAuliffe, to restore voting rights to 200,000 ex-felons (see “FelonsVotesMatter (To Hillary) – Clinton’s Election Fate In Virginia Lies With 200,000 Unregistered Offenders“). As we pointed out, 200,000 is over 5% of the 3.8mm Virginians who voted in the Presidential race in 2012 and is larger than Obama’s margin of victory over Mitt Romney of 149,298. But we certainly don’t mean to imply that McAuliffe’s efforts were in any way motivated by a desire to help Clinton win the state of Virginia in November…we’re sure this problem is just an issue that has tugged at McAuliffe’s heart for a long time. But we digress.
Another state that denies convicted felons the right to vote is the key swing state of Florida. As Reuters points out, felons in the state of Florida have been “disenfranchised” in since 1868 and a newly elected republican governor, Rick Scott, took steps in 2011 that made it even harder to restore felons’ voting rights.
Felons have been disenfranchised in Florida since 1868, although they can seek clemency to restore their voting rights.
Since 2011, however, when Republican state leaders toughened the restrictions on felon voting rights, just 2,339 ex-felons have had that right restored, the lowest annual numbers in nearly two decades, according to state data reviewed by Reuters.
That compares with more than 155,000 in the prior four years under reforms introduced by Governor Rick Scott’s predecessor, moderate Republican governor Charlie Crist, the data shows. Crist, who was governor from 2007 to 2011, made it much easier to restore ex-felons’ voting rights.
“When I tried to be an effective member of the community, I saw that I was voiceless,” said Newton, whose expectations of getting his rights restored were dashed when the rules changed under a new administration. “I’m 45, and I have never voted.”
Florida is the largest of four remaining states that strip all former felons of voting rights, accounting for nearly half of those barred from voting nationally. Along with Virginia, the others are Kentucky and Iowa.
Of course, according to Reuters, efforts to restrict felons from voting is just another effort of racist “millionaire” republicans to “disenfranchise” minority voters. Per data from the Sentencing Project, one in five voting-age black voters has a felony record compared to only 8.6% of non-black potential voters…a statistic that democrats argues confirms that republican efforts are racially motivated.
In March 2011, two months after he became governor, Scott reversed Crist’s reforms, which had allowed many non-violent felons to automatically get their voting rights reinstated after they had completed their sentences. Crist had also simplified the process for felons convicted of more serious crimes to regain their votes.
Scott, a millionaire former health care executive, put in place new restrictions, requiring ex-felons to wait for five to seven years before applying to regain the right to vote, serve on a jury or hold elected office. He said the new rules ensured ex-felons had proven they were unlikely to offend.
Florida has disenfranchised about one in five voting-age black voters, according to research collected by the Sentencing Project, a Washington-based advocacy group.
That compares with about 8.6 percent of the state’s non-black potential voters. Data on the Hispanic voting-age population who can’t vote because of the law was unavailable, although Hispanics make up 12.5 percent of Florida’s inmates.
Meanwhile, republicans argue that the execution of justice has nothing to do with race with Governor Scott’s office saying that felons have an obligation to demonstrate to society a genuine interest in living a “life free of crime” before their voting rights should be reinstated.
“For those who may suggest that these rule changes have anything to do with race, these assertions are completely unfounded. Justice has nothing to do with race,” Bondi wrote in a 2011 newspaper editorial.
Scott’s office, in a statement to Reuters, said former felons need to “demonstrate that they can live a life free of crime, show a willingness to request to have their rights restored and show restitution to the victims of their crimes” in order to have their voting rights restored.
As the state with the largest population of non-voting felons, something tells us this battle in Florida is just getting started.
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PBOC sets USD/CNY central rate at 6.7744 (vs. yesterday at 6.7690)
Earlier from the People’s Bank of China:
More on PBOC’s Yi and his ‘no basis for a persistent yuan devaluation’ comment
And, in OMOs today:
– PBOC Inject 115bn yuan through 7-day reverse repos
Twitter Planning To Fire Another 8% Of Workforce, “Losing Talent” Fast
Just days ahead of its Q3 earnings report, Twitter is reportedly planning widespread job cuts following the demise of the deal-scheme. As Bloomberg reports, the company may cut about another 8% of the workforce, or around 300 people leaving its headcount the smallest since Q3 2014.
As Bloomberg reports, according to people familiar with the matter, the company may cut about 8 percent of the workforce, or about 300 people, the same percentage it did last year when co-founder Jack Dorsey took over as chief executive officer, the people said.
Planning for the cuts is still fluid and the number could change, they added. The people asked not to be identified talking about private company plans.
Twitter’s losses and 40 percent fall in its share price the past 12 months have made it more difficult for the company to pay its engineers with stock. That has made it harder for Twitter to compete for talent with giant rivals like Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. Reducing employee numbers would relieve some of this pressure.
Twitter, which loses money, is trying to control spending as sales growth slows.
The company recently hired bankers to explore a sale, but the companies that had expressed interest in bidding — Salesforce.com Inc., The Walt Disney Co. and Alphabet Inc. — later backed out from the process.
With the stock back at pre-deal-hype levels, the big question is whether a collapsing headcount is the last straw on this camel’s back…
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USD/CNY daily mid point coming up soon. Citi looking for it higher in coming weeks
The mid-point, reference rate, central rate … call it what you like, its coming up at just after 0115GMT
Ahead of that, a piece from Citi:
– See potential for USD/CNY to rise toward 6.8900 in 3 to 4 weeks
Hmmm. I do wonder what the People’s Bank…
Credit Card Delinquencies Creep Up To Highest Levels Since 2012 As Subprime Issuance Soars
As Obama’s “recovery” rolls along, the Wall Street Journal points out that the delinquency rates of subprime credit cards has surged to the highest levels recorded since 2012. Moreover, per TransUnion data, delinquency rates on cards issued in 2015 are close to 3%, or roughly double the overall rate, indicating that consumers have grown increasingly dependent on credit cards over the past couple of years to fund daily expenses.
Credit-card lending to subprime borrowers is starting to backfire.
Missed payments on credit cards that lenders issued recently are higher than on older cards, according to new data from credit bureau TransUnion. Nearly 3% of outstanding balances on credit cards issued in 2015 were at least 90 days behind on payments six months after they were originated. That compares with 2.2% for cards that were given out in 2014 and 1.5% for cards in 2013.
The poorer performance on newer cards pushed up the 90-day or more delinquency rate for all credit cards to 1.53% on average nationwide in the third quarter. That’s the highest level since 2012.
Meanwhile, FRED data reveals that while overall credit card delinquency rates remain at 10-year lows, the trends has been higher over the past several quarters.
Of course, as we’ve noted before, part of the problem is that credit card companies have been forced to compete with the “peer-to-peer” loan providers whose volume has grown exponentially since tapping into the Wall Street securitization machine in 2015. Unfortunately, this latest wall street ponzi scheme only serves to ruin the long-term credit quality of borrowers as most people use proceeds to repay credit cards then simply max them out all over again.
We first noted Wall Street’s misguided plan to feed its securitization machine with peer-to-peer (P2P) loans back in May 2015 (see “What Bubble? Wall Street To Turn P2P Loans Into CDOs“). Obviously we warned then that the voracious demand for P2P loans was a direct product of central bank policies that had sent investors searching far and wide for yield leaving them so desperate they were willing to gamble on the payment streams generated by loans made on peer-to-peer platforms.
In addition to the pure lunacy of using unsecured, low/no-doc, micro-loans as collateral for a CDO, we pointed out that the very nature of P2P loans meant that borrower creditworthiness likely deteriorated as soon as loans were issued. The credit deterioration stemmed from the fact that many borrowers were simply using P2P loan proceeds to repay higher-interest credit card debt. That said, after paying off that credit card, many people simply proceeded to max it out again leaving them with twice the original amount of debt.
And, sure enough, it only took about a year before the first signs started to emerge that the P2P lending bubble was bursting. The first such sign came in May 2016 when Lending Club’s stock collapsed 25% in a single day after reporting that their write-off rates were trending at 7%-8% or roughly double the forecasted rate (we wrote about it here “P2P Bubble Bursts? LendingClub Stock Plummets 25% After CEO Resigns On Internal Loan Review“).
As the WSJ points out, the credit quality of borrowers has declined materially over the past couple of years. In fact, the volume of subprime card issuance was up 20% year-over-year in 2015 and 56% compared to 2013. Meanwhile, declining household income related to the oil bust has also led to higher delinquencies.
The recent increase in subprime lending is one of the big contributors. Lenders ramped up subprime card lending in 2014 and have been doling out more of these cards recently. They issued just over 20 million credit cards to subprime borrowers in 2015, up some 20% from 2014 and up 56% from 2013, according to Equifax.
Separately, missed payments in states with large oil or energy sectors continue to worsen. The share of card balances that were at least 90 days past due increased 12% in Oklahoma, 10% in Texas and 20% in Wyoming in the third quarter from a year prior, according to TransUnion. The Wall Street Journal reported in April that rising unemployment in the energy sector was pushing up delinquencies on credit cards and auto loans, raising the risk of new losses for banks.
Why do we suddenly have a sinking suspicion that victims of “predatory credit card lending practices” will be the next bailout target of democrats after taxpayers are forced to pick up the tab for outstanding student loan debts?
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More on PBOC’s Yi and his ‘no basis for a persistent yuan devaluation’ comment
The headline crossed a little earlier, leaving befuddlement in its wake
As we all asked why the PBOC keeps on devaluing then?
Anyway, more from Yi Gang, a deputy governor of the PBOC, who was writing in the People’s Daily. More via MNI: