Some afternoon reading for your pleasure weekend:
• Corporate bond defaults hit record (FT) The number of companies defaulting on their debts has risen to record levels this year, according to Standard & Poor’s, while investment returns for risky corporate debt have skyrocketed since January. S&P said 201 borrowers with $453.1bn in debt have defaulted this year, exceeding the 126 defaults for all of 2008, which comprised debt worth $433bn
• The Zero Hedge backlash begins: BLOGGER MAY HAVE A PAST My assumption was that everyone had a past — and a present and future too, but my bias is due to my existence in 4 dimensions.
• Rise of the Super-Rich Hits a Sobering Wall: (NYT) The rich have been getting richer for so long that the trend has come to seem almost permanent. They began to pull away from everyone else in the 1970s. By 2006, income was more concentrated at the top than it had been since the late 1920s. But economists say — and data is beginning to show — that a significant change may in fact be under way. The rich, as a group, are no longer getting richer.
• Back-to-school looks weak for apparel retailers (Reuters)
• Big banks still hold FDIC captive Sheila Bair has moved with impressive alacrity to shutter failed small and medium-sized banks. But she is still held hostage by the too-big-to-fail four. (Rolfe Winkler)
• Bankers Craving Bonuses Fudge Loan-Loss Reality (Bloomberg) Bankers apply a light touch to loan-loss reserves, allowing them to reap profits — and bonuses — even though a day of reckoning may result. This means that the collapsed banks hadn’t created adequate reserves for possible losses, leading their loans to be wildly overvalued. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is left to clean up the mess.
• In New Phase of Crisis, Securities Sink Banks (WSJ) U.S. banks have been dying at the fastest rate since 1992, mainly because of bad loans they made. Now the banking crisis is entering a new stage, as lenders succumb to large amounts of toxic loans and securities they bought from other banks.
• AAR Rail Time Indicators Association of American Railroads, combines rail traffic data with more than 15 key economic indicators (such as consumer confidence, housing starts, and industrial production) in a non-technical snapshot of the U.S. economy.
• The 50 Funniest Internet Infographics Warning: Giant time suck
• Since the summer is coming to an end, The Science of BBQing
Anything else clickworthy? Use comments.
Enjoy your weekend!