Economics and Investing:

The Fed Wants to Test How Banks Would Handle Negative Rates

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Items from Mr. Econocobas:

Oilpocalypse Wow! Stocks, Bond Yields Plunge As Bank Risk Soars

Negative Interest Rates Already In Fed’s Official Scenario – This is a little wordy….

BP to Cut 7,000 Jobs after Posting Huge Loss

Items from Professor Preponomics:

US News

National Debt Hits $19T (Washington Examiner) Excerpt: “Under current law, the debt ceiling is suspended until March, 2017, meaning the government can borrow without limit until then. Obama is expected to leave office with a total national debt of nearly $20 trillion by the time he leaves office.”

Dallas Fed Responds to Zero Hedge FOIA Request (Zero Hedge) What is the real exposure of U.S. banks to the oil and gas industry? This story continues to unfold. Zero Hedge stands by its reporting and is not letting go, and they’re asking incisive questions. Excerpt: “Two weeks ago, Zero Hedge reported an exclusive story corroborated by at least two independent sources, in which we informed our readers that members of the Dallas Federal Reserve had met with bank lenders with distressed loan exposure to the US oil and gas sector…” Warning: The commentary for this article may contain bad language or inappropriate avatar images.

International News

Time Running Out for China on Capital Flight, Warns Bank Chief (The Telegraph) Excerpt: “A big drop in the yuan would send a deflationary shockwave through a fragile world economy already on the cusp of a debt-deflation trap, and do so at a time when the eurozone and Japan are actively driving down their currencies. It would risk a pan-Asian currency storm along the lines of 1998, but on a much bigger scale.”

Oil Falls on China Data and Fading Prospects of OPEC Action (Reuters) Excerpt: “Oil fell nearly four percent on Monday as weak economic data from China, the world’s largest energy consumer, weighed on prices and an OPEC source played down talk of an emergency meeting to stem the decline.”

Plunge in South Korea’s Exports Rings Alarm Bells (Market Watch) Excerpt: “South Korean data are viewed as a proxy for the global trade picture because of the Asian nation’s heavy dependence on imports of raw materials and exports of goods such as cars and phones. The Korean data also give a reading of the health of the Chinese economy because around a quarter of South Korea’s exports are sent to China.”

Negative Interest Rates Arrive in Japan (The Economist) Excerpt: “HARUHIKO KURODA, the governor of the Bank of Japan, surprised his audience at the World Economic Forum’s recent gathering in Davos, Switzerland, when he called upon China to impose tighter capital controls to stabilise its currency—a breach of central-banking orthodoxy. Upon his return to Japan he swiftly unleashed yet another unorthodox measure….”

Nigeria Seeking $3.5B in Emergency Loans (Market Watch) Excerpt: “Nigeria’s government is expected to seek loans worth $3.5 billion from the World Bank and the African Development Bank as it tries to finance a budget gap worsened by a collapse in oil prices….”

Personal Economics and Household Finance

9 Powerful Questions That Will Change Your Financial Life (Lifehack) Excerpt: “You’ve probably heard it said that to get to the “right” information, you have to ask the correct question. Makes sense, but when it comes to money, what exactly are the questions?”

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