Economics and Investing:

World Going into Nasty Depression-Hugo Salinas Price – B.B.

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Hard times if you’re a business owner (or an employee) and part of your business relies on the State of Illinois. State of IL is $10B past due paying vendors – P.S.

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Items from Professor Preponomics:

US News

How Free Electricity Helped Dig $9B Hole in Puerto Rico (New York Times) Excerpt: “Now, however, the island’s government is running out of cash, facing a total debt of $72 billion and already defaulting on some bonds — and an effort is underway to limit the free electricity, which is estimated to cost the power authority hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Moody’s: Junk Bond Stress is Spreading Beyond Energy (Market Watch) Excerpt: “A measure of stress in the high-yield, or “junk-bond” sector, hit a six-year high in January, and is starting to spread beyond the energy sector….”

International News

Germany Considers $5,450 Limit (5,000 Euros) on Cash Transactions (New York Times) Please do not misread what I am about to say. Terrorism is a terrible threat, much greater in my view than is understood by most people and many governments. However, it is my view that the press for digital currency is far less related to terrorism than it is to an attempt to manage severe systemic risk to economies around the world. Excerpt: “Germans tend to use cash more than many other Europeans. Opposition Green Party lawmaker Konstantin von Notz tweeted that trying to limit cash payments “is a new fundamental attack on data protection and privacy.”

The Rot in China’s Banking System is Surging: $1.8T in Shadow Loans (Contra Corner) Folks, does this sound at all familiar? Excerpt: “Mid-tier Chinese banks are increasingly using complex instruments to make new loans and restructure existing loans that are then shown as low-risk investments on their balance sheets, masking the scale and risks of their lending to China’s slowing economy.”

Will China Rescue Venezuela? (Forbes) Excerpt: “Venezuela is expected to be the first nation to default on its dollar-denominated debt this year. But not if China can help it.”

Welcome to AUSTERITY Saudi Arabia: Crashing Oil Prices Sends Economy Into Meltdown (Express) Excerpt: “SAUDI Arabia faces financial ruin if it fails to undergo severe austerity measures in the coming years, as the oil price crash continues to rage, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).”

Personal Economics and Household Finance

This Facebook Meme is Actually a Scam that Could Steal Your Info (Clark Howard) I find it strange that so many people play mindless games on social media sites and all too many for hours on end. This one comes with the potential cost of identity theft and financial loss. Don’t fall for this. Excerpt: “Those fun apps and games on Facebook may look innocent enough, but did you know that many of them can take over your Facebook profile and even gain access to your computer and sensitive financial data?”

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