Ryan's Feed
Jan 13, 2014
via Counterparties

Rent tier society

Welcome to the Counterparties email. The sign-up page is here, it’s just a matter of checking a box if you’re already registered on the Reuters website. Send suggestions, story tips and complaints to Counterparties.Reuters@gmail.com.

Unless you’re a landlord, the economics of the US rental market aren’t pretty: renters’ real median income fell by 7.6% from 2007 to 2012, while the number of renters rose by roughly 11% from 2007 to 2011, Bloomberg reports.

Jan 8, 2014
via Counterparties

Too big to regulate

JPMorgan has agreed to pay $2.6 billion to the Department of Justice and various victims of Bernie Madoff’s $18 billion ponzi scheme, Reuters writes. That amount includes a $1.7 billion fine for violating money laundering rules and is “the largest forfeiture a bank has ever had to pay to resolve anti-money laundering violations.” It also includes a $350 million payment to the Office of the Comptroller of Currency. The bank is also paying $218 million to settle a private class action lawsuit over Madoff, and $325 million to settle a case with the Madoff bankruptcy trustee.

The remarkable part of this agreement, Sheelah Kolhatkar says, is that it’s a deferred prosecution agreement, which is reserved for “cases in which the facts underlying the case are severe but a criminal indictment might destroy the company.”

Jan 7, 2014
via Data Dive

The improving state of US trade

The US is beginning to become less reliant on imports, as the trade deficit fell in November to the lowest level since October 2009.  The trade deficit is the difference between how much a country imports and how much it exports.

Here’s the state of US trade in chart form, relative to China, one of its primary trading partners :

Jan 6, 2014
via Counterparties

Nobody saw the 2014 crisis coming

Welcome to the Counterparties email. The sign-up page is here, it’s just a matter of checking a box if you’re already registered on the Reuters website. Send suggestions, story tips and complaints to Counterparties.Reuters@gmail.com.

Predictions are a mug’s game. That’s the standard disclaimer on almost every story, column, or post that somehow ends up making predictions anyway.

Jan 2, 2014
via Counterparties

Long-term disregard

Welcome to the Counterparties email. The sign-up page is here, it’s just a matter of checking a box if you’re already registered on the Reuters website. Send suggestions, story tips and complaints to Counterparties.Reuters@gmail.com.

On December 29, with long-term unemployment still elevated, unemployment benefits expired for some 1.3 million jobless Americans. Congress decided not to renew funding for the program, which was created in 2008 to give aid to unemployed Americans who have exhausted the usual 26 weeks of state jobless benefits. Democrats say they will revisit the issue when Congress reconvenes on January 6.

Dec 19, 2013
via Data Dive

Worrisome — but possibly noisy — jobless claims data

The Department of Labor reported a surprise increase in initial claims for unemployment benefits today. Jobless claims hit a nine-month high, but a DOL analyst told Reuters that unemployment data can be noisy at this time of year. Here’s Reuters’s graphic with all the pertinent details:

Here’s more:

Economists polled by Reuters had expected first-time applications to fall to 334,000 last week.

Dec 18, 2013
via Data Dive

The death penalty and executions in the U.S.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that Arkansas executed Johnny Dale Black, 48, who was convicted of murder in a 1998 killing. Black was executed by lethal injection.

Here’s more from Reuters on the death penalty in America:

Black was the sixth person executed in Oklahoma and the 39th in the United States this year, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. That is down from 43 executions in each of the past two years.

Dec 17, 2013
via Counterparties

Cashing out

Welcome to the Counterparties email. The sign-up page is here, it’s just a matter of checking a box if you’re already registered on the Reuters website. Send suggestions, story tips and complaints to Counterparties.Reuters@gmail.com.

How are big US multinationals spending their near-record cash hoards at time of low rates? Instead of hiring or investing in R&D, they’re increasingly buying back stock, Jia Lynn Yang reports:

Dec 12, 2013
via Data Dive

The good news/tentative bad news on the U.S. economy

First, the good news, per Reuters:

The Commerce Department said retail sales increased 0.7 percent last month as Americans bought automobiles and a range of other goods. November’s retail sales increase was the largest in five months and followed a 0.6 percent rise in October.

Business inventories are on the rise as well. Here’s more from Reuters:

The unusually strong pace of inventory accumulation in the face of sluggish domestic demand left many economists anticipating that businesses would need to pull back. That would undercut fourth-quarter GDP growth.

Dec 11, 2013
via Counterparties

The Volcker Kludge

Welcome to the Counterparties email. The sign-up page is here, it’s just a matter of checking a box if you’re already registered on the Reuters website. Send suggestions, story tips and complaints to Counterparties.Reuters@gmail.com.

The Volcker Rule is here. At 978 pages including a preamble, it’s nearly as long as any of the books in the Game of Thrones series — and possibly more complicated. The rule has been dubbed a modest win for banks, which are now apparently exhaling at the prospect of continuing market-making activities that pull in $40 billion per year in revenue. Paul Volcker, meanwhile, is “gratified to see that the rule itself is shorter than my own home insurance policy.”

    • About Ryan

      "Ryan McCarthy is a Deputy Editor of Reuters.com and edits Counterparties.com with Felix Salmon. Previously, he was the Business Editor of the Huffington Post."
    • Follow Ryan