(BN) Pemex May Need to Invest More Than $25 Billion for Output Gains

A New Page – In the Media cmartenson – When I was out in San Francisco in January, Janaia Donaldson interviewed me for Peak Moment Television and, with Robyn’s excellent technical abilities, turned out a very nice product.  I’d like to direct you both this video clip in particular and to Peak Moment’s excellent content in general: The Crash Course – Exponential Growth Meets Reality

Warning Signal on U.K. Debt? – Investors bought a net $443 million of credit-default swaps to insure against a U.K. default last week, according to data compiled by the Depository Trust and Clearing Corp., taking the total outstanding to $8.2 billion. That was easily the biggest gain among sovereign borrowers. The size of protection on the U.K. has roughly doubled since the year began, a move that far outpaces the run-up in Greek CDS last fall. That was easily the biggest gain among sovereign borrowers. The size of protection on the U.K. has roughly doubled since the year began, a move that far outpaces the run-up in Greek CDS last fall.

Greece: Moody’s holds off on rating revision – Ratings agency Moody’s says it will wait to see details of an EU-IMF rescue package before a possible revision of Greece’s credit rating, but warns a "multi-notch downgrade" remains likely. Moody’s said Thursday it will maintain its A3 sovereign bond rating for Greece — well within investment grade — until it considers details of the package currently being negotiated in Athens. Greek officials say the talks are likely to be concluded by the end of the week. On Tuesday, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded Greek bonds to junk status, jolting world markets on renewed fears of a Greek default

Fed Authorizes Tool to Drain Liquidity – The Federal Reserve authorized a tool that could be used to drain some of the liquidity it injected into the economy to fight the financial crisis.The Fed on Friday said it approved the offering of term deposits for lenders who are eligible to collect earnings on their balances at the Fed’s Reserve Banks. The tool could be used by the Fed if needed to sop up money built up in the banking system before the money excites inflation. The Fed’s total portfolio of loans and securities expanded after the financial crisis struck. The central bank proposed the term deposits in December and asked for public comment. Term deposits have specified maturity dates and are held by eligible institutions at Reserve Banks. The deposits will be offered through a term deposit facility.

 Malaysia To Promote Cross-border Investments With Gulf Countries (Bernama) — Malaysia is examining ways to promote more cross-border investments among Gulf states, a move that will boost Islamic finance growth. The Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, said Malaysia was looking at possibilities of talking to regulatory, supervisory and enforcement agencies in the Gulf region to allow investment activities with minimal intervention and in a harmonised manner. "Gulf countries offer a lot of potential. We feel there’s a lot of scope of expansion in terms of trade and investment between these two regions but of course we may look further," he told BERNAMA in an interview. Raja Dr Nazrin is currently leading a delegation to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia roadshow organised by the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre
 Greeks face tax, pensions and pay misery in austerity plan – An increase in the retirement age from 53 to 67, a three-year wage freeze and cuts in public sector pay are understood to be among the austerity measures agreed to by the Greek Government in exchange for a €24 billion (£21 billion) rescue package. The measures include severe cuts in Civil Service wages, with public servants losing their “13th and 14th” months’ salary and pension entitlements, a reduction of state benefits and tax increases on alcohol and tobacco to help cut the deficit. Final details were still being decided last night with officials from the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, and the European Central Bank. A final draft should be ready for approval by the Greek Parliament next week.
(BN) Pemex May Need to Invest More Than $25 Billion for Output Gains (Bloomberg) — Petroleos Mexicanos, Latin America’s largest crude producer, may need to boost spending by about a third to more than $25 billion a year as it seeks to meet long-term output targets, Mexico’s Energy Minister said. Higher investment in the state-owned company will help ensure "gradual growth" in production to a goal of 3.3 million barrels a day by 2024, Energy Minister Georgina Kessel said yesterday in an interview at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York. She’s also chairwoman of the Mexico City-based company, which currently produces about 2.6 million barrels a day.

Income Tax Must Be Raised By 6p To Return Britain’s Economy To Health, NIESR Warns – In a bombshell report with less than a week to go until the general election, the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) warned that all three political parties were not ambitious enough with their plans to slash the deficit. It advised that, on top of their radical plans to slash spending and reduce the shortfall in the government accounts, the election winner should "gradually raise income tax by 6p in the pound."  The advice is unlikely to be welcomed by the parties, which have already committed to spending cuts which are as deep as any since the 1970s and, in the Tories’ case, since the 1920s. However, Ray Barrell, director of macroeconomic research at NIESR, said that if they intended to bring the deficit down to levels which would leave the country equipped to deal with a "future crisis or war", much more ambitious plans would be necessary.

The Fed’s Hollowing Out Of U.S. Banks -Have the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented market and banking interventions fundamentally weakened America’s banks?   In this article, we will illustrate how the Federal Reserve has been hollowing out the US banking system.  We will show how the Fed has been creating a banking industry shell that looks strong on the surface, but is increasingly empty beneath that facade, with less and less economic strength, and an ever greater reliance on the Federal Reserve’s monetary creation ability. Using a single loan as an example, we will explore in step by step detail how almost 10 percent  of US bank assets have been hollowed out, with former investments in the economy being replaced by excess reserve balances at the Federal Reserve. On paper, these balances are the highest quality assets which a bank can own, yet in economic reality, they represent an investment in nothing at all.  

Fraudonomics  – Because in the 21st century, fraud is as American as baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet Volts—fraud’s all we got left, Doc. Scare off the fraud with Obama’s “scrutiny,” and the entire pyramid scheme collapses in a heap of smoldering savings accounts. That’s how an acquaintance of mine, a partner in a private equity firm, put it: “Whoever pops this fraud bubble is going to have to escape on the next flight out, faster than the Bin Laden Bunch fled Kentucky in their chartered jets after 9/11.”And that’s why this SEC suit accusing Goldman Sachs of fraud is really just a negotiating bluff to give Obama’s people some leverage—or it’s supposed to be, anyway—according to the PE guy. He dismissed all the speculation that the fraud investigations would turn on other obvious villains like Deutsche, Merrill, Paulson & Co., the Rahm Emmanuel-linked Magnetar and so on. “You don’t get it, Ames. Even Khuzami, the SEC guy in charge of the Goldman case, is a fraud; the fucker was Deutsche’s general counsel when they pulled the same CDO scam as Goldman. You have no idea how deep this goes.”
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