32 million people would lose coverage if Obamacare was repealed

Republican senators are skittish enough that their health care bill would leave 22 million people more without health insurance by 2026, compared to Obamacare. They likely won’t be too keen on President Trump’s suggestion to just repeal Obamacare immediately and replace it later if they can’t get enough support to pass their bill. That move would probably leave 18 million more people without coverage in the first year after its enactment and 32 million more by 2026, according to a Congressional Budget Office report that looked at an earlier GOP bill to repeal Obamacare. It would also cause premiums on individual market policies to increase by up to 25% the first year and to nearly double by 2026. All this would happen mainly because the individual mandate — which requires nearly all Americans to get coverage or pay a penalty — would be repealed. But some insurers would also likely pull out of the market, the CBO said. The remaining carriers would likely raise rates dramatically because the remaining enrollees would tend to be older and sicker. Continue reading “32 million people would lose coverage if Obamacare was repealed”

Trump: US patience with the North Korean regime ‘is over’

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump, speaking alongside South Korean President Moon Jae-in, declared Friday US patience with the North Korean regime “is over.” “The era of strategic patience with the North Korean regime has failed,” Trump said in a statement from the Rose Garden. “And, frankly, that patience is over.” The remarks were the latest sign that Trump is growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress in curbing North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, which top US officials have eyed with increasing concern in recent months. The South Korean President’s visit to the White House came after Trump approved a series of measures designed to ratchet up pressure on North Korea — while also sending signals to China about the US’ shrinking patience.US, China share concerns over North Korea. The Treasury Department on Thursday imposed new sanctions on a Chinese bank and several Chinese nationals while the State Department approved a $1 billion arms deal with Taiwan. Both moves appeared aimed at unsettling China, which the US has repeatedly urged to pressure North Korea into changing its behavior, with little success. Trump on Friday warned that the US is facing “the threat of the reckless and brutal regime in North Korea” that “has no regard for the safety and security of its people or its neighbors” and vowed the US would continue to act to defend US interests and allies in the region.

First on CNN: House panel to interview former Trump adviser in Russia probe

(CNN)The House intelligence committee, moving rapidly to interview a series of major witnesses in July, plans to bring forward another former Trump adviser to question as its investigation into Russia meddling reaches a new phase. Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign communications adviser, has agreed to come before the committee next month, his lawyer told CNN on Friday. Caputo, who once worked in Moscow and has connections to Russia, has strongly denied he was involved in any collusion with Russian officials. Dennis Vacco, Caputo’s attorney, said the former Trump adviser will appear before the House committee and that he has provided records in response to the panel’s request for information. “We have agreed to appear voluntarily, without subpoeana, before the committee in closed session on Friday, July 14,” Vacco, a former New York attorney general, told CNN.

Longtime Trump attorney hires lawyer in Russia probe

 Longtime Trump attorney hires lawyer in Russia probe
Caputo is a long-time ally of Trump adviser Roger Stone, who also plans to voluntarily be interviewed by the House panel about communications Stone acknowledged having with WikiLeaks and the Russian hacking operation that went under the name Guciffer 2.0. Stone, who will talk to the committee on July 24, has denied any wrongdoing, and has called for his testimony to be held in a public setting.
Stone has since denied speaking with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange directly or colluding with the Russians. But the leaders of the investigation — Reps. Mike Conaway, R-Texas and Adam Schiff, D-California — have denied that request, with Schiff saying that all “percipient witnesses” will be interviewed in a classified setting. A Conaway spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment, and a Schiff spokesman declined to comment on Caputo’s appearance before the panel.

Big U.S. banks pack results into one day, overwhelming analysts

For the fourth straight quarter, several of the biggest U.S. banks are reporting earnings on the same day, setting up a situation that overwhelms analysts covering the industry. In a report on Friday, Barclays analyst Jason Goldberg noted that 10 of the 19 largest banks by market value are reporting results on just two days next month, on July 14 and 21st. “Seems excessive,” he wrote. Big bank earnings days can be a hectic and frazzled experience for analysts, who must interpret thick documents packed with financial arcana, juggle multiple conference calls with management teams, investor relations departments and clients, and meet hard deadlines to distribute a final take on whether stocks remain a buy, hold or sell. They arrive at work before 7 a.m. to prepare for the news and often stay late into the evening working on their reports and financial models. On July 14, analysts expect to pore through more than 200 pages of press releases, slide decks and financial supplements released by JPMorgan Chase & Co, Citigroup Inc, Wells Fargo & Co, PNC Financial Services Group and First Republic Bank before the market opens. “It can be maddening and frenetic, particularly when all these firms are reporting in the morning before the bell,” said Tyler Ventura, a research analyst with investment management firm Diamond Hill. “We’re going back and forth and saying, ‘What did he say on this call versus that call?'” Until recently, it was rare to see more than two of the six biggest lenders report results on the same day. According to a Reuters analysis, that only happened twice in the 22 quarters leading up to the middle of 2016. It is not clear what changed. Nick Bit: i have been analyzing banks earnings reports for over 30 years. The truth is by design its  impossible to understand what is really going on. I can tell you they are hiding massive derivative positions. Their Balance sheets are made impossible to analyze. This will come all come out in the wash. The next mega bank wipe out is on the near horizon.

 

Just one-third of U.S. homes have recovered to pre-recession levels

Most American homes are worth less now than they were before the recession, according to a report out Wednesday. Fresh data from real-estate website Trulia show that just 34.2% of homes have returned to the peak levels registered before the onset of the recession in 2008. What’s more, Trulia estimates it could take until 2025 for a true national recovery in home prices. “We are absolutely not out of the woods as far as home-value recovery is concerned,” Trulia’s chief economist, Ralph McLaughlin, told MarketWatch. “The housing-market crash was pretty monumental. The scarring of the housing market has not gone away and will be visible for the indefinite future.” Trulia’s data are derived from actual home sales, and they are compared to the earlier peak price for the property. In contrast, the better-known Case-Shiller index is based on repeat-sales data for the same property to deduce how much prices are rising or falling. That data are then aggregated into a metro-level index and compared with earlier periods. McLaughlin likened home-price trackers to the stock market: Saying that Case-Shiller is up or down is a little like saying the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.29% or the S&P 500 SPX, +0.15% is up or down — whereas considering Trulia’s data on individual properties is more like looking at single stocks. As he put it, “Aggregate measures really mask a lot of idiosyncrasies that are going on in the market.” Nick Bit: Not only are their home values NOT going to recover to 2007 levels. They are about to drop again to new lower lows.

Killing Obamacare without a replacement doesn’t appeal to McConnell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks during a media briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.Joshua Roberts | Reuters Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks during a media briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Senate Republican leaders know that chances of passing their health bill are slim, that they depend on preserving some Obamacare tax hikes, and that they probably require flipping the vote of vulnerable Nevada Sen. Dean Heller. Those assessments, from a GOP strategist familiar with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s thinking, show how narrow a path awaits Senate Republicans when they return July 10 after a holiday week off. McConnell hasn’t given up, the strategist said, but is unlikely to allow debate to extend past July 21. “The odds for them getting 51 votes might be at best one in five,” the strategist said, even allowing for McConnell’s tactical skills. “There are limits to what he can do. He is not turning water into wine.” The leadership can afford to lose just two of the GOP caucus’ 52 members, which would then allow Vice President Mike Pence to cast the tie-breaking 51st vote in favor. Calculations begin with the assumption that Rand Paul, the leader’s Kentucky colleague, is virtually certain to vote no. The libertarian-minded Paul, echoing Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse and President Donald Trump, suggested Friday that lawmakers first pass a simple repeal of Obamacare, then, after that, legislation to replace it. Senate leaders reject that option out of hand. “For better or worse, that ship has sailed,” the strategist familiar with McConnell’s thinking said. A repeal-first strategy was considered and rejected by GOP leaders and Trump himself early this year. Among other things, returning to it now would probably preclude action on tax reform until 2019.

All-clear for big banks raises fears of a return to risk

It took a decade — and $200 billion in fines — but the big banks are back. The Federal Reserve’s passing grade for all 34 of the institutions it checks annually for financial soundness — the first all-clear since the Fed tests began in 2011 — is a watershed moment. While some of the consequences will be felt sooner than others, they will be far-reaching. The immediate winners include investors as well as bank executives, who could see their already ample pay packages expand further. Looking out further, many big institutions might have more flexibility to lend, a major factor in promoting the long-term growth of businesses. And at least in theory, the more capital the banks now hold and less stringent oversight of the financial sector by Washington could give the economy a shot in the arm after years of caution. On the other hand, critics fear the easing of regulatory pressure and a more laissez-faire-oriented White House could set the stage for a return to the bad old days of enormous leverage and freewheeling deals until the music inevitably stops.
“This isn’t the time to put the brakes on regulation,” said Mark T. Williams, a banking expert at Boston University and a former bank examiner for the Federal Reserve. He noted that with the 10 largest American banks holding 80 percent of all banking assets, “this concentrated financial power residing at the top banks should be carefully monitored.” “Without regulators and cops in the corner, you will have incentives for banks to take excessive risks,” Mr. Williams added. It was exactly 10 years ago this month, as the housing bubble collapsed, that the first cracks in what would nearly bring down the country’s economic edifice appeared. Within 18 months, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers were gone, and once invincible names like Citigroup and Bank of America teetered on the edge, necessitating a federal bailout. Nick Bit: They made the same mistake in 2007 that bought us the last banking wiepout. They just got done rigging the stress test so ALL the banks could pass. In a economic slowdown they are letting the banks reduce their capital. This will go down in history as the greatest mistake any central bank ever made. And we have Steve Munchin of Treasury, Janet Yellon of the Federal Reserve and Goldman Sacks to blame. Did i mention to you that over the past month Yellon and Munchin have had almost daily meetings. These issue are far far above President Trumps experiences. He has been hoodwinked.

Trump reportedly ‘hell-bent’ on imposing steel tariff despite objections from most advisors

President Donald Trump’s White House is “hell-bent” on imposing tariffs on steel and other imports, Axios reported Friday The plan — which was pushed by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and was supported by National Trade Council Peter Navarro, and policy adviser Stephen Miller — would potentially impose tariffs in the 20 percent range, according to the report. During a “tense” meeting Monday, the president made it clear he favors tariffs, yet the plan was met with heavy opposition by most officials in the room, with one telling Axios about 22 were against it and only three in favor, including Trump. The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment. Shares of U.S. Steel rose on the report, trading about 1.7 percent higher in the premarket. Nucor was also higher by about 1 percent. The stocks have been rising this week on expectations the administration was leaning toward a tariff.

Trump urges GOP to repeal Obama law now, replace later

President Donald Trump urged divided congressional Republicans on Friday to break their logjam over dismantling President Barack Obama’s health care law by “immediately” repealing it and replacing it later, a formula that GOP leaders dismissed months ago as politically unwise. Trump’s early morning tweet embraced a viewpoint shared by only a handful of conservatives eager to take quick action on one of the party’s foremost priorities — repealing Obamacare, something Republicans have long promised to do. But his suggestion threatened to sharpen divisions between conservatives and moderates, who are leery of stripping coverage from millions of constituents without something to substitute for it. “If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!” Trump wrote. House and Senate leaders long ago abandoned initial thoughts of first erasing Obama’s law, and then replacing it.click here to read more about this Soap Opera

Consumer attitudes soured in June as U.S. consumer sentiment slid to a seven-month low

U.S. consumer sentiment fell to 95.1 in June, sinking 2.1 percent from May and hitting the lowest level since November 2016. Economists expected the measure of consumer attitudes to fall further to 94.5, according to a survey from Thomson Reuters. Consumer sentiment remained relatively stagnant in May at 97.1, a 0.1 point increase from April. A Thomson Reuters survey of economists expected the index to grow to 97.5 in May. While uncertainty in the economy remains high, Curtin said, it “has thus far been offset by the resurgent strength in the personal financial situation of consumers.” The monthly survey by the University of Michigan measures 500 consumers’ attitudes toward topics such as personal finances, inflation, unemployment, government policies and interest rates.