US debt default would be like Lehman crash

Raising the debt ceiling

A U.S. debt default would create significant confusion and uncertainty in financial markets and could prove as catastrophic as the failure of Lehman Brothers in 2008, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said in a new report.

Lawmakers in the U.S. side-stepped a debt default at the 11th eleventh hour in October and brought an end to prolonged negotiations over raising the debt ceiling. But talks are set to resume in the new year with the debt ceiling extended until February 7 and funding approved until January 15.

“An outright default would have extremely severe effects” the OECD said in the report, released on Tuesday.

http://www.cnbc.com…  Mon.,  12  June 2017

How will the General Election result affect Brexit?

Hung Parliament

The prospect of a hung Parliament would throw serious doubt over Brexit negotiations, due to begin in earnest in just 10 days.

The BBC/Sky/ITV poll put the Conservatives on 314 seats, Labour on 266, the Scottish National Party on 34, Liberal Democrats on 14, Plaid Cymru on three and Greens on one.

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has set June 19 as his favoured date for the start of talks, due to last around 14-18 months.

http://www.thetelegraph.co.uk…  Fri.,  09  June 2017

U.S. Oil Exports Double

The pace of exports hit 1 million barrels a day

American oil exports are emerging as a disruptive new force in global markets.

The U.S. exported 1 million barrels of oil a day during some months so far this year—double the pace of 2016—and is on track to average that amount for all of 2017, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data from the U.S. Energy Department and the International Trade Commission.

http://www.wsj.com…  Thu.,  08  June 2017

Female comic book superhero works

Wonder Woman for Hollywood

They said a female comic book superhero movie couldn’t work. They said women couldn’t direct big-budget action blockbusters. They said audiences overseas wouldn’t go for a big-budget spectacular not centered around a white guy. They said a lot of things over the last few decades.

Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman just outgrossed the entire global total of Green Lantern ($219m) this weekend. Oh, and by tomorrow, it will probably be the biggest DC Comics movie ever not based around Batman or Superman. Sorry, Constantine ($230m in 2005 and sans 3D), I still think you’re pretty cool.

http://www.forbes.com…  Wed.,  07  June 2017

A thousand US CEOs and mayors: ‘we will continue to fight climate change’

The Paris Agreement is a blueprint for job creation, stability and global prosperity

Over a thousand mayors, businesses, investors, and academic institutions have signed a pact to continue fighting climate change in the US despite Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.

Last week, Mr Trump pulled out of the Paris accord, stressing that it puts American workers at an “economic disadvantage” and that it is “unfair” for the US economy.

The “We Are Still In” initiative represents $6.2 trillion of the US economy – composed of bipartisan “drivers of the real economy,” Lou Leonard, World Wildlife Fund’s Senior Vice President of Climate Change and Energy, told The Independent.

http://www.independent.co.uk…  Tue.,  06  June 2017

Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain break diplomatic ties with Qatar over ‘terrorism’

Is Quatar really supporting terrorism?

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain have broken off diplomatic relations and all land, sea and air contacts with fellow Gulf Arab state Qatar, in the region’s most serious diplomatic crisis in years. Saudi Arabia on Monday said the move was necessary to protect the kingdom from what it described as terrorism and extremism. The kingdom also pulled all Qatari troops from the coalition fighting the ongoing war in Yemen.

The official state news agency, citing an official source, said Saudi Arabia had decided to sever diplomatic and consular relations with Qatar“proceeding from the exercise of its sovereign right guaranteed by international law and the protection of national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism”.

http://www.theguardian.com…  Mon.,  05  June 2017

Climate change: 30 US mayors negociate directly with UN against Trump

Representatives of American cities, states and companies are preparing to submit a plan to the United Nations pledging to meet the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions targets under the Paris climate accord

Representatives of American cities, states and companies are preparing to submit a plan to the United Nations pledging to meet the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions targets under the Paris climate accord, despite President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement.

The unnamed group — which, so far, includes 30 mayors, three governors, more than 80 university presidents and more than 100 businesses — is negotiating with the United Nations to have its submission accepted alongside contributions to the Paris climate deal by other nations.

http://www.nytimes.com…  Fri.,  02  June 2017

Trump wants to exit the Climate Change Paris Agreement

New York Mayor to Uphold Paris Agreement on Global Climate Effort

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio promised Wednesday that his city would uphold the Paris climate agreement even if President Trump moves forward with his campaign promise to withdraw from the accord.

In a series of tweets, de Blasio ripped Trump’s reported decision to exit the deal as “horribly destructive” and called climate change “a dagger aimed straight at the heart of New York City.”

http://www.efficientgov.com…  Thu.,  01  June 2017

The Pound weakness

It’s ‘time to get bearish’ on the pound again

Deutsche Bank has turned bearish on the pound once again, saying that any possible upside for the currency from next week’s election has already been priced into the market.
Writing on Tuesday, Deutsche Bank strategists Alan Ruskin and George Saravelos used their latest FX Blueprint note to warn investors it is “time to get bearish on GBP again,” after just over one and a half months of a positive outlook on the UK’s currency.

http://www.businessinsider.com…  Wed.,  31  May 2017

Machine-learning promises to shake Finance

Trading, credit, fraud: machine-learning is in progress

MACHINE-LEARNING is beginning to shake up finance. A subset of artificial intelligence (AI) that excels at finding patterns and making predictions, it used to be the preserve of technology firms. The financial industry has jumped on the bandwagon. To cite just a few examples, “heads of machine-learning” can be found at PwC, a consultancy and auditing firm, at JP Morgan Chase, a large bank, and at Man GLG, a hedge-fund manager. From 2019, anyone seeking to become a “chartered financial analyst”, a sought-after distinction in the industry, will need AI expertise to pass his exams.

Despite the scepticism of many, including, surprisingly, some “quant” hedge funds that specialise in algorithm-based trading, machine-learning is poised to have a big impact. Innovative fintech firms and a few nimble incumbents have started applying the technique to everything from fraud protection to finding new trading strategies—promising to up-end not just the humdrum drudgery of the back-office, but the more glamorous stuff up-front.

http://www.economist.com…  Tue.,  30  May 2017