Liquidity is suddenly drying up. Early warning indicators from US ‘flow of funds’ data point to an incipent squeeze, the long-feared capitulation after five successive quarters of declining corporate profits. Yet the Fed is methodically draining money through ‘reverse repos’ regardless. It has set the course for a rise in interest rates in December and seems to be on automatic pilot. “We are seeing a serious deterioration on a monthly basis,” said Michael Howell from CrossBorder Capital, specialists in global liquidity. The signals lead the economic cycle by six to nine months. “We think the US is heading for recession by the Spring of 2017. It is absolutely bonkers for the Fed to even think about raising rates right now,” he said.
Last year, the Irish government passed a law which placed a 0.6% levy on assets held in private pensions for each of the next 4 years. The Irish tax on private pensions was made in response to a larger financial crisis and the need to increase government revenues. Ireland isn’t the only country in recent history to seize private investments. Hungary, Argentina and France have all overhauled their private and public pension plans in recent years, in some cases seizing them in their entirety, and in others, taxing them to oblivion. There have been recent discussions of something similar in the United States, which brings up a good question – are private pensions and retirement plans in the US also at risk?
WASHINGTON The government ran a $587 billion budget deficit for the just-completed fiscal year, a 34 percent spike over last year after significant improvement from the record deficits of President Barack Obama’s first years in office. Friday’s deficit news, while sobering, does not appear bad enough to jolt a gridlocked Washington into action to stem the flow of red ink. It came in an annual report by the Treasury Department and the White House budget office. In the presidential campaign, intractable budget deficits and growing debt have been mostly neglected by Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. The latest figures show that the government is borrowing 15 cents of every dollar it spends. Government spending went up almost 5 percent to $3.9 trillion in fiscal 2016, but revenues stayed flat at $3.3 trillion.
The federal government collected $3.27 trillion in taxes in fiscal year 2016, according to the latest monthly Treasury Department statement. The federal government ran a deficit of $587 billion despite the record revenue. Treasury receipts include tax revenue from individual income taxes, corporate income taxes, social insurance and retirement taxes, unemployment insurance taxes, excise taxes, estate and gift taxes, customs duties, and other miscellaneous items. After adjusting for inflation, the amount of taxes collected by the federal government in fiscal year 2016 is slightly lower than the $3.3 trillion the government collected in fiscal year 2015. The 2016 fiscal year begins on Oct. 1, 2015, and runs through Sept. 30, 2016. The federal government collected $3,266,688,000,000 from October through September in fiscal year 2016. Most of the $3.27 trillion came from individual income taxes, which comprised almost half of that total at $1.55 trillion.
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A growing number of people in Obamacare are finding out their health insurance plans will disappear from the program next year, forcing them to find new coverage even as options shrink and prices rise.At least 1.4 million people in 32 states will lose the Obamacare plan they have now, according to state officials contacted by Bloomberg. That’s largely caused by Aetna Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc. and some state or regional insurers quitting the law’s markets for individual coverage.Sign-ups for Obamacare coverage begin next month. Fallout from the quitting insurers has emerged as the latest threat to the law, which is also a major focal point in the U.S. presidential election. While it’s not clear what all the consequences of the departing insurers will be, interviews with regulators and insurance customers suggest that plans will be fewer and more expensive, and may not include the same doctors and hospitals.It may also mean that instead of growing in 2017, Obamacare could shrink. As of March 31, the law covered 11.1 million people; an Oct. 13 S&P Global Ratings report predicted that enrollment next year will range from an 8 percent decline to a 4 percent gain.
Worldwide PC shipments in the third quarter of this year totaled 68.9 million units in a 5.7 percent decline from the same period a year earlier, according to preliminary estimates by Gartner. It was the eighth quarter in a row that PC shipments have dropped, marking the longest duration of decline