Unlike mortgage-backed securities, supranational political entities simply cannot have this many sub-prime components and expect to keep its triple-A rating, according to S&P’s flawless debt-rating system. Read more »
Would Arnold Schwarzenegger Make A Convincing Kentucky Derby-Winning Horse Breeder Turned Hedge Fund Trader?By Bess Levin
We’ll soon find out because a movie involving all that and more (depression, Mexico, murder) is actually being produced. Read more »
Obama’s State Of The Union China Mentions, Lack Of Appreciation For A Magnificent Ballroom Enraged Donald TrumpBy Bess Levin
As you may have heard, last night President Obama gave his State of the Union address, in which he mentioned China a couple of times. This, legendary businessman Donald Trump says, “was the low point of the speech.” While Trump pretty much hated the entire thing (there was “no substance whatsoever” and he “didn’t hear anything about all these states that are going to go bankrupt”), it was the China stuff that really grinded his gears. “Totally inappropriate,” the bankruptcy expert told Joe Kernan and Becky Quick this morning on Squawk Box. “What’s up with you and China? What got your dander up,” Joe asked, hoping to lighten the mood. “Did they tell you you couldn’t build a golf course over there or something?” Unfortunately, Donald was in no mood for jokes. Not when it comes to China, or the suggestion anyone tells him where he can and cannot build golf courses. Read more »
One sort of expects the phrases “smuggling” “drug cartel” “corruption” to include the word “Mexico” as well. Until now the addition of “oil smuggling” wasn’t really the sort of thing you expected. Until now.
The U.S. government is investigating whether several U.S. companies took part in a cross-border scheme to siphon oil products from Mexico’s state oil company and smuggle them across the border.
The probe is part of a broader two-year joint U.S.-Mexican investigation into a network of Mexican oil smugglers supported by the Gulf drug cartel, one of Mexico’s most powerful and brutal criminal organizations.
What really interests us, however, is how many U.S. based drug smuggling operations may have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act while dealing with crooked executives at Petroleos Mexicanos.
U.S. Firms Probed in Mexico Oil Scam [The Wall Street Journal]
The United States openly violated the NAFTA treaty last week. True, there’s a mess of a gang war along Mexico’s border with the United States, but closing the southern border to truck traffic (long a goal of unions in the United States) is a no-no under the terms of the treaty and Mexico has fired a return volley, smacking a number of U.S. exports with tariffs up to 45%. Ouch.
You’d think these people never heard of the Great Depression. Smoot-Hawley here we come!
Mexico Puts Tariffs on U.S. Goods in Truck Dispute [Bloomberg]
The tariff list (in the original Spanish)