Radio Show Newsletter
CHARTS OF THE WEEK-QUOTES-QUICK HITS
-CHART OF THE WEEK: Savers Rejoice: Your Interest Rate Is About to Climb. First banks widened the gap between what they pay you and what borrowers pay them. Now they will fight for your money. Hold your horses, savers. The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark lending rate a few weeks ago, the sixth such increase since 2015. So far, banks have been quick to pass on those hikes to borrowers though without offering anything extra to long-suffering depositors.
Watchful consumers might see headlines about the Fed raising rates, then look at their bank statement and wonder, “What about me?” There is indeed a disconnect between the Fed’s rate hikes and the interest on your savings. Years of stubbornly low rates have made U.S. banks reluctant when it comes to boosting offers on deposit accounts. First, they want to benefit from a fatter margin between what they charge for loans and what they pay to you, the consumer, who provides the funds. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2Ji0bCz
-CHART OF THE WEEK: Rising Rates Sounding Alarm Bells for Debt-Laden U.S. Consumers. A healthy economy can be a dangerous thing. Americans have a history of loading up on debt in good times, then paying dearly when the bills come due. Adding to the pain: A booming economy is often accompanied by rising interest rates, which make mortgages, credit cards and other debt much more expensive. As the U.S. Federal Reserve raises rates, there are signs that consumers could be putting themselves in peril. “When consumers are confident, or over-confident, is when they get into credit-card trouble,” said Todd Christensen, education manager at Debt Reduction Services Inc. in Boise, Idaho.
The nonprofit credit counseling service has seen a noticeable uptick in people looking for help with their debt, he said. Spending on U.S. general purpose credit cards surged 9.4 percent last year, to $3.5 trillion, according to industry newsletter Nilson Report. Card delinquencies are also rising. U.S. household debt climbed in the fourth quarter at the fastest pace since 2007, according to the Federal Reserve. “There are warning signs out there,” said Kevin Morrison, senior analyst at the Aite Group. Especially concerning is a surge in student and auto loans over the past decade, he said. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2GwlC10
-CHART OF THE WEEK: Stocks Are About to Get a $400 Billion Dividend Boost. Here’s a fresh reason to celebrate the end of a lousy quarter in global equities: the new one kicks off with the potential adrenaline boost of as much as $400 billion in dividends. “We think it is no coincidence that spring is also a seasonally strong period for equities,” Morgan Stanley strategists including Andrew Sheets wrote in a note to clients Wednesday. Up to $400 billion is set to be paid into investor accounts between March and May, they calculated.
“April in particular tends to be a strong month for global equity returns.” Stocks in Hong Kong and emerging markets show particularly strong returns in April, according to the analysis. In the world of bonds, high yield and emerging market debt also show a “spring uplift,” though a less pronounced one than in equities, the strategists wrote. Spring is seasonally the worst time to be long Treasuries, the strategists wrote. U.S. government bonds show below-average returns from April to May, then see a better performance into the third quarter, the study showed. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2pZPjBy
-CHART OF THE WEEK: Quarter Begins as Investors Ask One Thing, Is Nowhere Safe? The question facing investors as they enter the new quarter probably isn’t where to find the biggest gains. It’s more likely how to avoid the worst losses. Both the American benchmark stock gauge and the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. aggregate bond index just posted a three-month loss for the first time since mid 2016. Emerging-market dollar debt slid, as did an index of commodities. Of major global assets, developing-nation stocks stood out as gaining but even they fell in both February and March. The gloomy outlook is a sea change from recent years, when stocks, bonds and other assets rallied in unison against the backdrop of easy money and synchronized global growth.
But markets have been roiled in recent weeks by concerns over tighter monetary policy, talk of a potential trade war and a sell-off in technology stocks. “There isn’t always somewhere to hide,” David Schawel, chief investment officer at advisory firm Family Management Corp., wrote in a blog post. “To some degree, investors have become accustomed to a heuristic of ‘if stocks sell off, then bonds go up.’ While the flight-to-quality narrative does play out from time to time, it’s clearly not always true.” As U.S. stock declines deepen on Monday, here’s a look at how seemingly all the biggest assets disappointed in the first quarter. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2q8EcX5
-CHART OF THE WEEK: Home sales in Manhattan plunged by the most since the recession as buyers at all price levels drove hard bargains and were in no rush to close deals. Sales of all condos and co-ops fell 25 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier to 2,180, according to a report Tuesday by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. It was the biggest annual decline since the second quarter of 2009, when Manhattan’s property market froze in the wake of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s bankruptcy filing and the global financial crisis that followed. The drop in sales spanned from the highest reaches of the luxury market to workaday studios and one-bedrooms.
Buyers, who have noticed that home prices are no longer climbing as sharply as they have been, are realizing they can afford to be picky. Rising borrowing costs and new federal limits on tax deductions for mortgage interest and state and local levies also are making homeownership more expensive, giving shoppers even more reasons to push back on a listing’s price or walk away. While just a few years ago, bidding wars were the norm, “there’s nothing out there today that points to prices going up, and in many buyers’ minds, they point to being flat,” said Pamela Liebman, chief executive officer of brokerage Corcoran Group. “They’re now aggressive in the opposite way: putting in very low offers and seeing what concessions they can get from the sellers.” Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2GyMgGq
-Canadians don’t plan on letting new mortgage stress tests derail their plans to be homeowners. According to a new RBC poll, the number of Canadians planning to purchase a home in the next couple of years is at its highest level since 2010. Increased confidence in the economy and stronger employment prospects are driving the renewed optimism, particularly among millennials. BNN
-David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital lost money across the board in the first three months of the year, marking one of the worst quarters for the legendary manager. Einhorn told his investors Tuesday that the market went against his largest wagers, with his long positions losing money despite posting positive earnings, and his short bets climbing while missing earnings. In an analysis of his largest stock wagers, Einhorn said his 20 biggest long positions fell 5.6 percent, and his 20 largest shorts fell 5.5 percent. Greenlight’s flagship fund dropped about 14 percent in the first quarter, Bloomberg reported Friday.
“It is difficult to explain what caused the results,” he said in the letter. “Despite recent results, our portfolio should perform well over time. To some extent, this quarter’s result stems from the continued extreme outperformance of growth over value.” Einhorn, 49, said on a conference call last month that his hedge fund was experiencing its worst underperformance ever. Greenlight has posted lackluster returns in recent years as markets, especially for growth stocks, have risen while the hedge fund has stuck to its value-investing strategy. Bloomberg
-Of all the wild, head-scratching moves in financial markets this year, there are few that have surprised investors quite as much as the rally in defaulted Puerto Rico bonds. “It just blows my mind,” says Matt Dalton, chief executive officer of Belle Haven Investments. Since sinking to a mere 20.8 cents on the dollar in December, prices on the island’s most frequently traded securities have climbed steadily and reached a high of 45 cents last week before paring gains during the past few days. Not only are Puerto Rico’s bonds the top performer in the $3.9 trillion municipal market, they’ve gained more than any other dollar-denominated debt in the world, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The rally started inconspicuously enough back in late December, with a penny gain here and there that analysts chalked up to bottom fishing after prices collapsed in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Bloomberg
-Yesterday, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative published a (very long) proposed list of products imported from China that would be targeted for additional 25 percent tariffs. This morning, authorities in Beijing retaliated with their own protectionist plans on some $50 billion of U.S. goods. The agricultural sector, a key voting demographic for President Donald Trump, seems to have been hit hardest, with additional duties on aircraft also announced. At a press conference, Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao says there is room for negotiation to avoid an all-out trade war. Bloomberg
-Bahrain said it discovered its biggest oil field since the island kingdom started producing crude in 1932. The smallest energy producer in the Persian Gulf said it found the offshore Khaleej Al Bahrain Basin during the expansion of another field. The discovery comes just days after Bahrain was said to have reined in plans for more bond sales after the sale of $1bn in Islamic debt caused a spike in spreads on its existing debt. Bloomberg
–Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has found himself with few defenders in the technology industry. Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook, Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk and Salesforce.com Inc.’s Marc Benioff have criticized the social media network in the wake of its user data scandal involving political-advertising firm Cambridge Analytica. Other tech leaders have remained quiet in the ensuing backlash against Facebook, in contrast to Silicon Valley’s usual practice of rallying around its own during major crises.
Facebook has sought to repair its public image and trust with more than 2 billion users after reports surfaced that Cambridge Analytica obtained data on as many 50 million of those U.S. accounts. As Zuckerberg, 33, faces calls to testify before Congress and lawmakers raise the idea of new regulations on tech, his peers have either stayed quiet or publicly criticized his company. In times of crisis, tech companies have sometimes huddled together to defend the industry, such as when Apple fought the FBI to protect an encrypted iPhone and during President Donald Trump’s proposed immigration ban last year against mostly Muslim countries. Bloomberg
-Jeffrey Gundlach of DoubleLine Capital said bitcoin is proving to be a new stock market indicator. Gundlach added that bitcoin carries so much predictive power “because it was the poster child of the speculative mood late last year.” Gundlach does not own bitcoin. Businessinsider
-Consumer sentiment in March reached the highest level since 2004 as a solid labor market and growth expectations offset concerns about tariffs and stock-market volatility, a University of Michigan survey showed Thursday. Bloomberg
-Canada’s gross domestic product unexpectedly shrank in January, as the economy faces a broad slowdown after surging last year. GDP contracted 0.1 percent during the month, Statistics Canada reported Thursday in Ottawa, weighed down by sharp declines in oil production and real estate. Economists anticipated a 0.1 percent gain. After leading the Group of Seven in economic growth in 2017, Canada is widely expected to slow this year as highly indebted households pare spending. That should keep some pressure off the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates. Bloomberg
-Foreign buyers of real estate in Quebec are putting “marginal” pressure on prices while still accounting for a tiny sliver of the market relative to Vancouver and Toronto, according to new data released by the French-speaking province. Non-Canadian residents generated 1,307 property transactions in Quebec last year, representing 1 percent of all deals, finance ministry documents show. That’s little changed from 2008, when they made up 0.8 percent of the total.
Foreigners mostly purchased high-end properties, averaging C$559,000 ($434,343) apiece, the finance ministry said Tuesday. U.S.-based buyers made up the biggest share of foreign acquirers with 32 percent of all transactions. French buyers were next with 20 percent, followed by Chinese nationals at 16 percent. That’s a marked contrast from 2006, when Chinese residents accounted for just 1.3 percent of all foreign home transactions in Quebec. Quebec recently began tracking and releasing data on the country of residence of home buyers following a decision by Ontario and British Columbia to impose taxes on foreign buyers. Bloomberg
–Barclays Plc agreed to pay $2 billion to settle a probe into how it sold the sort of mortgage bonds that fueled the financial crisis, securing a penalty less than half of what U.S. authorities originally demanded. The British lender was the only bank to push back against the size of the settlement demanded by the Justice Department, prompting the prosecutor to file a lawsuit in the waning days of the Obama administration in 2016. The DOJ wanted a fine of about $5 billion, but the bank refused to pay any more than $2 billion, Bloomberg news reported in 2016. Bloomberg
-The world’s biggest cryptocurrency by market value dropped below the $7,000 mark Friday (March 30) morning in Asia, the first time it’s breached that level since early February, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It fell as low as $6,912 before rebounding, trading at $7,094 as of 7:50 a.m in Hong Kong. The moves took the token’s losses in 2018 to a whopping 50 percent, and other digital assets, including rivals Ripple and Litecoin, slumped more. Bloomberg
-Even in a cryptocurrency industry teeming with overnight success stories, Zhao Changpeng stands out. In less than eight months, the founder of Binance has grown his company from an idea into the world’s largest digital-asset exchange by traded value. He has vaulted from obscurity to the cover of Forbes magazine, steered Binance to a $200 million profit in its second quarter of existence, and amassed a personal fortune that he claims is worth as much as $2 billion. But after a meteoric rise that defied financial orthodoxy (Binance doesn’t have a bank account or a public address), the 41-year-old coder-turned-exchange kingpin is now facing headwinds that threaten to send him and a big swathe of the cryptocurrency trading complex back down to Earth. Bloomberg
-Carmakers that used zero-percent financing offers to juice sales at the height of the American auto boom are starting to abandon them as rising interest rates lift their own borrowing costs. The average interest rate on consumers’ new-car loans climbed to 5.7 percent in March, the highest since 2009 and up from 5 percent a year ago, according to Edmunds. Zero-percent offers fell to 7.4 percent of auto loans last month, down from more than 11 percent the prior year and the lowest share in more than two years, the car-market researcher said.
“Nobody wants to be the first one to go from zero to 0.9 percent, or from 0.9 percent to 1.9 percent, but you’re going to see zero no longer be the norm,” Jim Lentz, the chief executive officer of Toyota Motor Corp.’s North American operations, said in an interview at the New York auto show last week. “That has to be pushed along. That will impact, marginally, some people getting pushed out of the market.” Bloomberg
-Growing optimism that a preliminary Nafta deal is within reach hasn’t spilled over into expectations for faster Bank of Canada interest rate hikes, particularly with rising U.S-China tension roiling global markets. Investors wager there is about a 20 percent chance of a rate increase at the central bank’s policy meeting on April 18, swaps trading suggest, down from 40 percent two weeks ago. A hike isn’t fully priced in until July. The thinking is that even if a tentative deal emerges from the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, policy makers led by Governor Stephen Poloz are looking for reasons to be confident the nation can withstand higher borrowing costs and will want to wait for more concrete signs of a pick up in exports, investment and inflationary pressures before moving again after three increases since last July. Not to mention more stable financial markets. Bloomberg
–Energy Absolute Pcl‘s Chief Executive Officer Somphote Ahunai has seen almost half of his fortune erased after shares of the renewable energy company he founded turned into the industry’s worst performer the past month. Somphote, whose family owns about 40 percent of the Bangkok-based company, saw his fortune slump to as low as $1.6 billion as the bio-fuel and solar-power producer slid 46 percent in a month, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index. That was the biggest drop among the 456 energy companies with market values exceeding $1 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Bloomberg
-President Donald Trump said he plans to deploy the U.S. military to guard the border with Mexico and has told Mexican leaders he would abandon Nafta without assurances of help on securing the boundary. “We are preparing for the military to secure our border between Mexico and the United States,” Trump said Tuesday in a joint press conference with the leaders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. “We have a meeting on it in a little while with General Mattis and everybody and I think it’s something we have to do,” he said, referring to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
Trump has previously suggested that he could use money allocated for the U.S. military to construct the border wall for which he has so far been unable to secure congressional funding. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to say how Trump would re-direct the funding, which likely would require additional congressional approval. “We’re going to be doing things militarily until we can have a wall and proper security,” Trump said earlier Tuesday during a meeting with the Baltic leaders. Bloomberg
-Kim Jong Un is set to become the first North Korean leader to enter the South when he meets with President Moon Jae-in on April 27 for a summit between the premiers of the two states, which are still technically at war. The finalization of the date, ahead of a proposed meeting between Kim and President Donald Trump in May, follows a flurry of diplomatic activity including a visit by the North Korean leader to Beijing earlier this week. Businessinsider
-The US government has detected rogue devices that foreign spies and criminals could be using to track cellphones and intercept calls and messages in Washington, DC. The Department of Homeland Security revealed this information in a letter it sent to Sen. Ron Wyden last month, according to the Associated Press. Experts warn Washington is awash in unauthorized interception devices. In addition to federal agencies, police departments use them in at least 25 states. Businessinsider
-New York City subway car interiors are cleaned by hand. The New York Times found that it takes a single worker three and a half hours to clean a subway car interior, and it’s done every eight to ten weeks. The New York subways serve a massive population that presents numerous operational challenges, and are generally much-maligned. Businessinsider
-The Masters is an expensive ticket to get, but once fans are at Augusta National, prices are relatively reasonable, especially for those looking to eat. At Augusta National, fan favorites like pimento cheese and egg salad sandwiches go for just $1.50 each, and fans can get a beer for only $4. That said, three items had their prices raised this year, with chips, peanuts, and blueberry muffins all now costing patrons $1.50 each. Businessinsider
-Tiger Woods’ recent run of success has ticket prices for the Masters surging on secondary markets. Golf fans can purchase a four-day pass for $6,000, or get into the grounds for a single day for the comparatively reasonable price of $1,500. Augusta National prohibits scalping within 2,700 feet of the course and has already taken action to get some tickets off of ticket resale sites. Businessinsider
-The condom challenge is a dangerous, years-old dare that involves sticking an unwrapped condom up one nostril and inhaling until it (hopefully) re-emerges into a person’s mouth. It’s a super-dangerous idea. Not only is it an immediate choking hazard, but condoms can also get stuck and cause more long-term damage. One woman who accidentally inhaled a condom and got it stuck inside her suffered through six months with a nasty, mucous-heavy cough and fever until doctors realized that the condom was trapped in her lung. Businessinsider
-Albertans would be hardest hit by interest rate hikes, Royal Bank says. Mortgage debt in Alberta rose almost 30 per cent on average from 2010 to 2016. Households in Alberta will feel the most pressure from rising interest rates because residents in the province carry the highest debt loads in the country, according to a new report from the Royal Bank of Canada. Alberta residents would see the biggest increase in debt-service payments in Canada more than $1,200 a year on average if interest rates rose by one percentage point, Robert Hogue, a senior economist at RBC Economic Research, said in a report on Tuesday. That’s the amount of money needed to make payments on the principal and interest on outstanding loans. The Bank of Canada has already hiked interest rates three times since mid last year, raising the key lending rate by a total of 75 basis points to 1.25 per cent.
“Households in B.C. and Ontario are also more indebted than the national average, but Albertans carry the heaviest debt loads,” Hogue said. “A booming provincial economy and strong income gains between 2011 and 2014 emboldened households in Alberta to buy homes (sales growth averaged over 10 per cent per year in that period) and accumulate significant debt, leaving them with high debt loads when incomes dropped following the plunge in global oil prices.” Hogue added that Alberta residents are also holding more shorter-term mortgage debt than other Canadian households, but higher-than-average incomes offer them “some breathing room.” Higher incomes in the province are a “mitigating” factor, Hogue said as debt service payments accounted for over 15 per cent of disposable income in 2016, which is just a bit more than in B.C.
But on average, household debt in the province rose from $164,000 in 2010 to $192,000 in 2016, according to the report. “These numbers include households who are debt-free, so actual outstanding balances for those carrying debt are even higher,” Hogue said. Mortgages accounted for the majority of debt that Alberta households carried, with the average going up to $124,000 in 2016 from $96,000 six years earlier. That’s a nearly 30 per cent jump. Meanwhile, debt-service payments in the province are already the highest among all Canadians at an average of $15,300 per household in 2016. That compares to $13,700 paid by B.C. residents, and $12,600 paid by Ontario households on average. The overall average for Canadians in 2016 was $11,600. “These amounts aren’t pocket change.
In Alberta, for example, the $1,200 no longer available for spending on everyday goods and services or saved for future consumption. It would exceed what households spend on entertainment ($1,000) or furniture ($800) each year,” said Hogue. “Their debt-service bills will get bigger, and possibly sooner than elsewhere in the country, when interest rates rise. It’s bound to cause many households to spend more cautiously on other goods and services.” This could potentially hold back economic growth more in Alberta, B.C. and Ontario than in other provinces, Hogue said. Meanwhile, markets are pricing in a nearly 70 per cent chance that the Bank of Canada will raise interest rates again in July. Read more here-http://bit.ly/2H6TR06 and https://bloom.bg/2InePav
-Toronto Luxury Home Sales Plunge 46% From Last Year’s High. The high-end of Toronto’s housing market is bearing the brunt of declines from last year’s dizzying growth, with prices falling and unit sales slumping by almost half. Sales of detached homes in and around Canada’s biggest city fell 46 percent in March from the same month a year ago, while the average price fell 17 percent to C$1.01 million ($786,871), according to data released Wednesday by the Toronto Real Estate Board.
That dragged down the average selling prices for all housing types by 14 percent from a year earlier to C$784,558, the biggest drop since 1991. “Detached home sales, which generally represent the highest price points in a given area, declined much more than other home types,” the board said in its monthly report. “In addition, the share of high-end detached homes selling for over C$2 million in March 2018 was half of what was reported in March 2017, further impacting the average selling price.” Still, prices continued their stabilization of the past few months as home owners get ready for the traditionally hectic spring season. Benchmark prices rose 1.2 percent in March from February, including a 1.1 percent gain for detached homes and a 1.8 percent increase in condos.
Average prices also rose month on month. Benchmark prices fell 1.5 percent year-over-year, the first decline since 2009, led by a 6.7 percent drop for detached homes. Benchmark prices compare essentially the same set of houses from one period to the next, removing distortions from big swings in one category or another. Sales for the market as a whole, including condos, townhouses, and semi-detached homes, fell 40 percent to 7,228 units in March from a year ago but were up from February. That’s the lowest sales figure for March since 2009. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2q23KEe
-Toronto’s Tale of Two Markets Is Hot Condos and Cold Houses. It’s a tale of two housing markets in the Toronto area as Canada’s biggest city gears up for the crucial spring selling season: sales of big detached homes are slow, while condo deals are booming. On one side are people like Karen Berends, who put her C$1.5 million ($1.2 million) house back on the market in nearby Oakville this month after two failed attempts to sell in the past year. She reduced her asking price by about C$51,000, but still there are no takers, and she’s kicking herself for not cashing out last spring when the market was in a frenzy. “We could’ve walked away with a really good amount of money in our bank account if we had taken the money last year, but our head wasn’t in it at that point,” Berends said in a phone interview.
“It’s been a complete 360 this time around it’s absolutely dead.” Then there’s Beth O’Donoghue, a sales representative at Brad J. Lamb Realty Inc., who says the market is as hot as it’s ever been. Her clients recently lost out in three separate condo bidding wars in a week, including one with 11 offers. That’s convinced O’Donoghue, who’s invested in four new condos herself in the city in the past four years, to hold onto her assets for now. One she bought in pre-construction for C$420,000 and figures she could sell for close to C$700,000. “If you would have told me three years ago when I bought this place that I would’ve made this much money on it already, I would have said you’re crazy,” she said. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2uJzyDn
-The most affordable cities to buy a home in Canada on one income. Buying a home in Canada can be a costly proposition, especially in some cities where those with modest incomes are almost completely priced out of the market. That can be especially true if said buyer isn’t able to combine their salary with a spouse or partner, giving them more purchasing power, or have a parent willing to help with the down payment. A recent report from Zoocasa shows that even the least expensive cities in the country can require a major financial commitment for solo buyers.
Experts say individuals shouldn’t be spending more than three times their annual income on a home. But according to Zoocasa’s report, the average buyer would have little choice but to break that rule. “Overall, even in the least housing expensive markets, home ownership is a significant expense for single people in Canada,” Zoocasa CEO Lauren Haw said. “Our report found that a single homebuyer would need to spend a minimum of four times their annual income to be able to afford a home on in their own.”
Zoocasa’s report examines various Canadian cities’ price-to-income ratio, an affordability measure that looks at how long it would take a homeowner to pay off their home if they contributed 100 per cent of their income to it. The longer the payment timeline, the higher the ratio. According to the report, the best place to buy a home on a single income is Saint John, New Brunswick, where the average home costs $171,596 and the median income is $39,163, which gives the city a price-to-earnings ratio of four.
The 5 Most Affordable Home Markets
Saint John: 4 (average home price: $171,596, median one-person income: $39,163)
Greater Moncton: 4 (average home price: $174,800, median one-person income: $39,456)
Trois Riviers: 4 (average home price: $153,591, median one-person income: $34,745)
Fredericton: 5 (average home price: $179,981, median one-person income: $34,724)
Saguenay: 6 (average home price: $161,587, median one-person income: $29,125)
Not surprisingly, the cities with the hottest markets were the ones most out of reach for single income buyers. And four out of the top five least affordable cities are located in British Columbia. Greater Vancouver leads the way with average home costing $1,071,800 and a median income of $38,164, giving the city a price-to-earnings ratio of 28, the highest in the country.
The 5 Least Affordable Home Markets
Greater Vancouver: 28 (average home price: $1,071,800, median one-person income: $38,164)
Fraser Valley: 25 (average home price: $795,100, median one-person income: $31,568)
Greater Toronto: 19 (average home price: $751,700, median one-person income: $39,560)
Okanagan Mainline: 18 (average home price: $509,545, median one-person income: $28,900)
Victoria: 17 (average home price: $642,800, median one-person income: $37,793)
“Though we expected to see Vancouver and Toronto up at the top of the most unaffordable regions list, we were surprised to see just how high the price-to-income ratio was in these cities,” said Haw. “This demonstrates that home ownership in Canada’s major urban areas on a single income would be very difficult, if not impossible by measures of affordability.” Read more here-http://bit.ly/2Gwkizh
-Wynne Sends Ontario Back Into Deficits With Pre-Election Budget. Ontario plans to run budget deficits for the next six years, breaking a pledge to keep its books balanced as it boosts spending on everything from child care to mental health ahead of a provincial election in June. After generating a surplus of C$642 million ($497 million) in 2017-18 the first in a decade the government of Canada’s most populous province is forecasting a budget gap of C$6.7 billion in the fiscal year starting April 1. Deficits will soar to a combined C$32 billion over six years, before reaching balance again in 2024-25, according to the budget released in Toronto on Wednesday. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2GvPb71
-‘Being cash-free puts us at risk of attack’: Swedes turn against cashless. Sweden’s central bank governor has called for public control over its payment system. Others say a fully digital system is vulnerable to fraud and attack. It is hard to argue that you cannot trust the government when the government isn’t really all that bad. This is the problem facing the small but growing number of Swedes anxious about their country’s rush to embrace a cash-free society. Most consumers already say they manage without cash altogether, while shops and cafes increasingly refuse to accept notes and coins because of the costs and risk involved. Until recently, however, it has been hard for critics to find a hearing.
“The Swedish government is a rather nice one, we have been lucky enough to have mostly nice ones for the past 100 years,” says Christian Engström, a former MEP for the Pirate Party and an early opponent of the cashless economy. “In other countries there is much more awareness that you cannot trust the government all the time. In Sweden it is hard to get people mobilised.” There are signs this might be changing. In February, the head of Sweden’s central bank warned that Sweden could soon face a situation where all payments were controlled by private sector banks.
The Riksbank governor, Stefan Ingves, called for new legislation to secure public control over the payments system, arguing that being able to make and receive payments is a “collective good” like defence, the courts, or public statistics. “Most citizens would feel uncomfortable to surrender these social functions to private companies,” he said. “It should be obvious that Sweden’s preparedness would be weakened if, in a serious crisis or war, we had not decided in advance how households and companies would pay for fuel, supplies and other necessities.”
The central bank governor’s remarks are helping to bring other concerns about a cash-free society into the mainstream, says Björn Eriksson, 72, a former national police commissioner and the leader of a group called the Cash Rebellion, or Kontantupproret. Until now, Kontantupproret has been dismissed as the voice of the elderly and the technologically backward, Eriksson says. “When you have a fully digital system you have no weapon to defend yourself if someone turns it off,” he says. “If Putin invades Gotland [Sweden’s largest island] it will be enough for him to turn off the payments system. No other country would even think about taking these sorts of risks, they would demand some sort of analogue system.” Read more here-http://bit.ly/2Gx1ZtV
-Australia’s biggest diamond mine is running out of diamonds. Sometime in the next few years Argyle Diamonds, Australia’s biggest diamond mine and the source of rare and prized fancy pink gems, will come to the end of its life. The shutdown, and the loss of Argyle’s output of 14 million carats of diamonds a year, will cut world production by around 10% and is expected to create upward pressure on prices. Argyle has been in operation since 1983, first as an open pit and then from 2013 as an underground operation, producing more than 95% of Australia’s diamonds. At the end of 2017, the estimated ore reserve was 16 million tonnes, down from 29 million tonnes, a drop of 45% from a year earlier.
That translates to 38.5 million recoverable carats, at a grade of 2.4 carats per tonne of ore. At what point the mine becomes unprofitable depends on prices and costs. “Shut-off criteria will be reviewed regularly against price, cost performance and demonstrated operational performance,” says owner Rio Tinto in its latest report. “The remaining reserves underpin the operation until 2020.” The coming shutdown, and the subsequent impact on world supply and prices, hasn’t gone unnoticed. Many prospectors are looking for a new source. Read more here-http://bit.ly/2Eks758
-Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Auction, April 3 2018, Hong Kong China. Auction Results Here-http://bit.ly/2q5th09
-Lot 1659: An Impressive Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond and Diamond Ring. Claw-set with a cut-cornered rectangular step-cut fancy vivid yellow diamond weighing 30.16 carats, the mount decorated with two shield-shaped diamonds and brilliant-cut diamonds of pink and near colourless tint, mounted in platinum and 18 karat yellow gold, size 6½. Accompanied by GIA report numbered 1142327629, dated 13 March 2012, stating that the 30.16 carat diamond is Fancy Vivid Yellow, Natural Colour, VS1 Clarity. Estimate 2,420,790-3,185,250 USD. Lot Sold 2,843,791 USD. See more here-http://bit.ly/2q5tzEh
-Lot 1782: An Attractive Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink Diamond and Diamond Ring. Set with a cushion-shaped fancy vivid purplish pink diamond weighing 5.01 carats, between shield-shaped diamond shoulders, mounted in platinum, size 5¾. Accompanied by GIA report numbered 2185976808, dated 2 January 2018, stating that the diamond is Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink, Natural Colour.
An everlasting symbol of romance and love, pink diamonds exude an intriguing beauty appealing to many gem connoisseurs. Occasionally found with a secondary blush of purple, these purple-pink gems are wonderfully reminiscent of a summer bloom. Productions of pink diamonds have been diminutive, although historically mined across the globe. It is in the Argyle mine in Australia which is known for its pink diamond supply. In an article by leave in the GIA they stated that the Argyle mine in Australia produces 25-30 million carats of rough diamonds annually, however pink diamonds only account for 0.03% of the total production. Of all fancy coloured pink diamonds, those graded ‘Fancy Vivid’ have the strongest saturation and are highly desirable. Estimate 2,038,560-2,548,200 USD. Lot Sold 2,461,561 USD. See more here-http://bit.ly/2uI3y2o
-Lot 1645: An Important Fancy Vivid Orangy Yellow Diamond and Diamond Ring. Set with a square emerald-cut fancy vivid orangy yellow diamond weighing 10.30 carats, between two tapered baguette diamonds, mounted in platinum, size 6½. Accompanied by GIA report numbered 2171402144, dated 23 December 2015, stating that the diamond is Fancy Vivid Orangy Yellow, Natural Colour, Internally Flawless, with Excellent Polish and Symmetry. Estimate 1,146,690-1,401,510 USD. Lot Sold 1,391,317 USD. See more here-http://bit.ly/2uMB7R9
-Lot 1618: Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond and Diamond Ring. The cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant-cut fancy vivid yellow diamond weighing 15.69 carats, set between two heart-shaped diamonds each weighing 1.01 carats, mounted in platinum and 18 karat yellow gold, size 6¼. Accompanied by GIA report numbered 2173834650, dated 30 August 2016, stating that the 15.69 carat diamond is Fancy Vivid Yellow, Natural Colour, Internally Flawless; also accompanied by two GIA reports numbered 2236102091, dated 4 July 2016 and 6231008074, dated 27 June 2016, stating that the diamonds each weighing 1.01 carats are both D Colour, VS1 Clarity. Estimate 662,532-764,460 USD. Lot Sold 871,484 USD. See more here-http://bit.ly/2GwTEGB
-Lot 1762: A Historic Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond Ring “Cullinan Vivid.” Set with a step-cut fancy vivid yellow diamond weighing 5.29 carats, mounted in 18 karat white and yellow gold, size 6. Accompanied by GIA report numbered 6187293461, dated 10 April 2017, stating that the diamond is Fancy Vivid Yellow, Natural Colour, VS1 Clarity, with Excellent Polish and Symmetry. Originally in the collection of Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, then General Pierre de Villers and subsequently in the collection of the family of R.V. Cullinan. Estimate 535,122-764,460 USD. Lot Sold 657,436 USD. See more here-http://bit.ly/2IwQv6i
-Lot 1631: A Rare Fancy Intense Green Diamond and Diamond Ring. Set with a brilliant-cut fancy intense green diamond weighing 1.97 carats, the surround and shoulders set with brilliant-cut diamonds of pink tint, mounted in 18 karat pink gold, size 6¾. Accompanied by GIA report numbered 1102996391, dated 17 May 2017, stating that the diamond is Fancy Intense Green, Natural Colour, VS1 Clarity; also accompanied by a letter from GIA. Please note that the diamonds of pink tint have not been tested for natural colour origin.
A true gemmological rarity, the unique appearance of greenin a diamond is caused by millions of years of exposure to a source of natural irradiation in the earth, which changes its specific absorption of light. The natural radiation would likely come from uranium in the rocks or percolating groundwater.
Often displaying secondary colours of yellow, blue or grey, it is extremely uncommon to find a gem that exhibits an even true green colour, and rarer to be polished into a circular-cut, as is the case with Lot 1631. In a special letter dated March 1, 2012, the GIA commented that “It is very unusual for coloured diamonds in general and even more so for Fancy Intense greens, to be cut as round brilliants. Indeed GIA has rarely come across the combination of Fancy Intense Green colour in a round brilliant. The combination of its natural origin, saturated colour and cutting style makes this diamond an extremely unusual occurrence.” Estimate 509,640-700,755 USD. Lot Sold 596,279 USD. See more here-http://bit.ly/2JjNJSZ
-Lot 1643: Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond Ring, Tiffany & Co., Early 20th Century. Set with an old European-cut fancy vivid yellow diamond weighing 6.32 carats, size 5¾, signed Tiffany & Co. Accompanied by GIA report numbered 2135586041, dated 6 February 2012, stating that the diamond is Fancy Vivid Yellow, Natural Colour, VVS1 Clarity. Estimate 324,896-445,935 USD. Lot Sold 350,378 USD. See more here-http://bit.ly/2GxSlmF
-1724: An Attractive Pair of Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond and Diamond Pendent Earrings. Each suspending a pear-shaped fancy intense yellow diamond weighing 6.58 and 6.16 carats respectively, the reverse embellished with brilliant-cut diamonds of yellow tint, the surmounts set with a pear-shaped diamond weighing 2.03 and 2.02 carats respectively, linked by marquise-shaped diamonds, post and butterfly fittings.
Accompanied by two GIA reports numbered 2185634706, dated 6 November 2017 and numbered 2185767348, dated 28 September 2017, stating that the 6.58 and 6.16 carat diamonds are Fancy Intense Yellow, Natural Colour, VS1 and Internally Flawless respectively. Also accompanied by two GIA reports numbered 6241509484, dated 1 January 2017 and numbered 5246692906, dated 24 January 2017, stating that the 2.03 and 2.02 carat diamonds are both G Colour, VS1 and VVS1 Clarity respectively. The diamond weighing 2.03 carats with Excellent Polish and Symmetry. Please note that the brilliant-cut diamonds of yellow tint have not been tested for natural colour origin. Estimate 305,784-407,712 USD. Lot Sold 334,451 USD. See more here-http://bit.ly/2IvQRdj
-Lot 1761: Pair of Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond Ear Studs. Each set with a cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant-cut fancy intense yellow diamond weighing 4.18 and 4.04 carats respectively, post and butterfly fittings. Accompanied by GIA reports numbered 1182596415, dated 20 July 2017 and numbered 2175699368, dated 11 July 2016, each stating that both diamonds are Fancy Intense Yellow, Natural Colour, VS2 Clarity. Estimate 114,669-140,151 USD. Lot Sold 143,336 USD. See more here-http://bit.ly/2q5OtmO
-Lot 1674: Fancy Deep Yellow Diamond and Diamond Ring. Claw-set with a pear-shaped fancy deep yellow diamond weighing 5.12 carats, between two pear-shaped diamonds, mounted in platinum and 18 karat yellow gold, size 5¼. Accompanied by GIA report numbered 5151417900, dated 17 September 2013, stating that the diamond is Fancy Deep Yellow, Natural Colour, VVS2 Clarity. Estimate 61,157-101,928 USD. Lot Sold 111,484 USD. See more here-http://bit.ly/2q6vwjL
-Lot 1760: Diamond Pendant. Set with a radiant-cut diamond weighing 11.01 carats, between two triangular diamonds of yellow tint, decorated with brilliant-cut diamonds, mounted in 18 karat white gold. Accompanied by GIA report numbered 5191112795, dated 15 February 2018, stating that the diamond is Y to Z Colour, VS1 Clarity. Please note that the triangular diamonds of yellow tint have not been tested for natural origin colour. Estimate 76,446-127,410 USD. Lot Sold 92,372 USD. See more here-http://bit.ly/2GBjKbC
-Lot 1718: Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond and Diamond Ring. Set with a heart-shaped fancy vivid yellow diamond weighing 3.01 carats, the surround and shank embellished with brilliant-cut diamonds, mounted in 18 karat white and yellow gold, size 5½. Accompanied by GIA report numbered 1205359339, dated 14 July 2015, stating that the diamond is Fancy Vivid Yellow, Natural Colour, VS2 Clarity. Estimate 50,964-66,253 USD. Lot Sold 63,705 USD. See more here-http://bit.ly/2H8ISmM
-Lot 1512: Fancy Yellow Diamond and Diamond Ring. Set with a pear-shaped fancy yellow diamond weighing 4.03 carats, flanked by tapered baguette diamonds, mounted in platinum, size 5½, sizing band. Accompanied by GIA report numbered 2185850654, dated 29 November 2017, stating that the diamond is Fancy Yellow, Natural Colour, VVS2 Clarity; together with a working diagram stating that the diamond may be internally flawless after minor re-polishing. Estimate 30,578-40,771 USD. Lot Sold 41,408 USD. See more here-http://bit.ly/2HclMvS
-Lot 1748: Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond and Diamond Ring. Suspending a briolette fancy intense yellow diamond weighing 3.06 carats, suspended from the mount decorated with brilliant-cut diamonds, mounted in 18 karat white gold, size 6. Accompanied by GIA report numbered 5131080323, dated 17 February 2011, stating that the diamond is Fancy Intense Yellow, Natural Colour, VS1 Clarity. Estimate 16,563-21,660 USD. Lot Sold 33,445 USD. See more here-http://bit.ly/2GzkOsf
Gold to silver ratio at 80 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $25.00
Gold to silver ratio at 70 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $28.57
Gold to silver ratio at 60 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $33.33
Gold to silver ratio at 50 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $40.00
Gold to silver ratio at 40 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $50.00
Gold to silver ratio at 30 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $66.67
Gold to silver ratio at 20 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $100.00
Gold to silver ratio at 15 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $133.33
-Gold Is Heading to $1,400 If Trade War Breaks Out, According to Sprott. Gold will surge to the highest level in five years if a global trade war breaks out, according to Rick Rule, chief executive officer of Sprott U.S. Holdings Inc., who’s been involved in the market for four decades. Bullion could top $1,400 an ounce in 2018 as escalating trade tensions drive investors to havens and the three-decade bull market in bonds nears an end, said Rule, who’s due to speak at a conference in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
Spot gold traded at $1,337.50 Tuesday after three straight quarters of gains, while exchange-traded fund holdings are around the highest in half a decade. President Donald Trump has ordered import tariffs on steel and aluminum and sought new restrictions on Chinese investment. Asia’s top economy retaliated by imposing its own levies on Monday, while the U.S. is expected to release this week a new list of Chinese products to be slapped with duties. A trade war could crimp demand for U.S. assets just as the budget deficit swells, with the dollar vulnerable should international buyers shun American debt.
“In the 40 years I’ve been involved in the gold market, the most important determinant of the gold price has been international confidence in the U.S. dollar and in particular, the U.S. dollar as expressed by the U.S. 10-year Treasury,” Rule said in an interview March 29. “The fact that the U.S. seems to be bound to engage in a zero-sum trade war has begun to strike people as something that’s bad for everybody in the world, not just the U.S. The potential for a winnerless trade war certainly gives cause to some concern.”
The aggregate federal, state and local debt in the U.S., both on balance sheet and entitlements, relative to levels of savings and investments in the economy, will contribute to worries over the longer-term purchasing power of the dollar, particularly in view of low current yields, Rule said. Rising income and savings in Asia, a region with a disposition for gold buying, could also lead to more demand, he said. Sprott U.S. Holdings is a subsidiary of Toronto-based Sprott Inc., which had C$11.5 billion ($8.9 billion) under management as of Dec. 31.
An easing of the China-U.S. trade row may damp bulls’ enthusiasm. China on Monday urged talks to prevent greater damage to relations, and repeated its position that disputes should be resolved with dialogue. Plus, the biggest U.S. tax overhaul in years signed into law by Trump in December will provide more stimulus to the U.S. economy and may curb the impact on the budget deficit. BNP Paribas SA predicted at end-February bullion will probably be lower by the end of the year than the start, with four Federal Reserve rate hikes expected in 2018, while IHS Markit sees gold dropping to $1,200 by the year-end. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2Gz4iZe
-Gold Forges Its Best Run Since 2011. Gold bulls are finding 2018 offers plenty of reasons to be cheerful. Bullion’s wrapping up a third quarterly gain, a feat not seen since 2011, and exchange-traded fund holdings are near the highest in a half-decade. Haven demand may also get a boost with foreign-policy hawks in the ascendant in Washington.
While spot bullion was little changed at $1,325.17 an ounce on Thursday, the metal is up 1.7 percent this quarter, following a 1.8 percent gain in the final three months of last year. The rise comes even as the Federal Reserve has been pulling the trigger consistently on U.S. interest rates and despite Wednesday falling by the most since July. Gold’s haven qualities have come back in focus this year as President Donald Trump’s administration picks a series of trade fights with friends and foes, and investors fret about equity market wobbles that started on Wall Street and echoed around the world.
At the same time, although geopolitical tensions with North Korea may be easing, Trump’s pick of John Bolton as his new national security adviser has spurred speculation of a potentially harder line against Iran. “The new appointees bring a significantly more hawkish stance on foreign affairs,” Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. said in a note on Thursday, referring to Bolton as well as Trump’s choice of CIA Director Mike Pompeo to head the State Department. “While the obvious impact will be increasing safe-haven buying in gold, we see growing geopolitical risks raising concerns of supply-side issues in the oil market, too.”
Holdings in bullion-backed ETFs hit 2,268.6 metric tons last week, the most since 2013, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The hoard has risen about 43 tons this year, the eighth quarterly rise in the past nine. The dollar has weakened and global equities are set for the first quarterly fall since early 2016. Meanwhile, trading activity in the metal has also soared. Volume on the Comex exchange, the biggest futures market, hit a record 23 million contracts in the first quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
-Greg Hunter: Rob Kirby Interview, Global Gold Supplies Getting Tighter. Forensic macroeconomic analyst Rob Kirby says big money knows “gold supplies are tight” and getting tighter by the day. Kirby, who also arranges gold sales by the ton on a global scale, explains, “There are reports of people trying to buy institutional amounts of physical gold bullion in the Asian market, and there is none available even if they are paying a premium. I’m not talking about availability at the coin shop where you would buy two American Gold Eagles or a Gold Panda. I am talking about institutions wanting to buy serious amounts of physical gold bullion in bar form.” Read and watch more here-http://bit.ly/2GBCbJ4
-KWN: James Turk Says Silver May Hit $22 Next Month, This Is Why You Should Ignore The COT. Read more here-http://bit.ly/2EkJxi1
-Spot silver rose 0.4 percent to $16.3635 an ounce on Thursday; the metal is down 3.4 percent this quarter. Platinum is heading for a second quarterly gain. Palladium has dropped 10 percent this year, set for the biggest quarterly loss since late 2015. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2uJnnqo
-Sooner or later, the last silver contracts that could possibly be sold by the managed money traders will be sold and at that point silver prices will begin to move higher. The whole purpose behind noting when record historical positions have been bought or sold by the managed money traders, is the likelihood that the price tide is about to reverse and move the other way. That’s where we are right now in silver. It is the record managed money short position in silver that means the price tide is about to turn upward, because once the technical funds are done selling, all they can do is buy.
At that precise and certain point, once the technical funds start to buy, a special dynamic may kick in, the same dynamic I have referenced frequently in the past and which has yet to occur. The dynamic of which I speak is whether JPMorgan, specifically, chooses to add new short positions on the next silver rally. Although this extremely corrupt financial institution has always chosen to add to its COMEX short positions on every stinking and failed silver rally over the past ten years, past is not always prologue. One of these days, the crooks at JPMorgan may not add to its COMEX paper short position and the resulting silver rally will be unlike any rally any of us has experienced.
Admittedly, I have foretold this story on countless times in the past, only to see the crooks at JPMorgan add to its COMEX short positions and kill every subsequent rally. Yet I also know that the time has never been better than it is now for JPM to abandon its old and crooked ways. By virtue of its massive and ever-larger physical silver position and its relative very small COMEX paper short position, JPMorgan stands to make the most ever should it decide not to sell aggressively short on the next silver rally. Silver analyst Ted Butler March 31 2018 via Ed Steer edsteergoldandsilver.com subscribe here-http://bit.ly/1fdAByN