Economics and Investing:

The International War On Cash – Sent in by G.G.

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Reader H.L. sent in this depressing link: This is how much the average American investor made last year

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Items from Professor Preponomics:

US News

Oil Plunge Sparks Bankruptcy Concerns – Energy Journal (Wall Street Journal Money Beat) Excerpt: “As many as a third of American oil-and-gas producers could flirt with bankruptcy and restructuring by the middle of next year unless oil prices stage a big rebound…”

Is the Auto Loan Bubble Ready to Pop? (Mises Institute) Excerpt: “While the media claims that this record has been reached because of drastic improvements to the US economy, they are once again failing to account for the central factor: credit expansion.”

Fasten Your Seatbelts! UBS Warns of Record Spikes in Volatility if this Level Breaks (Zero Hedge) Excerpt: “If we look into the macro world we are obviously living in a world of extremes. We have record debt in the Emerging Market complex, in Europe, in Japan and in the US; with margin debt in the US at record levels, M&A hitting record levels, record ETF holdings in corporate bonds, record auto loans in the US, and the list continues.”

The Fed Paid $97.7B to Treasury in 2015 (Washington Examiner) Excerpt: “The profits were earned on the Fed’s massive portfolio of bonds. The Fed’s $4.5 trillion holdings, are mostly in U.S. Treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities backed by the government. That portfolio earned $113.6 billion in interest income in 2015…”

International News

BP to Cut 4,000 Jobs in Exploration and Production as Oil Price Bites (The Telegraph) Excerpt: “But BP also warned that there could be additional job losses in the downstream business – the part of the company that deals in oil refining and marketing – for which it said it ‘does not yet have estimates for’.”

Australia Bet the House on the Red Ponzi — Now Comes the Reckoning (Contra Corner) Excerpt: “Australia’s long-term bet on China was and still is conceptually simple – an incredibly flawed assumption that the country would never cease to consume increasingly more iron ore.”

Personal Economics and Household Finance

Four New Scams You Want to Avoid in 2016 (Clark Howard) Be on the lookout! Government imposters, a new type of political scam, data breaches, and mobile wallet hacks.

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