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BofA CEO says leveraged-loan stress could ripple through economy – BNNBloomberg.ca

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Bank of America Corp., which tops the league table for U.S. leveraged-loan issuance, is watching that market closely for signs of stress.

“The real concern is: Is there too much leverage in the system in certain companies, and if they have trouble, will that impact the economy?” Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “We get concerned about that because it usually reverberates back” to banks.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender manages that risk by focusing on debt-underwriting terms, client selection and diversifying its loan book, Moynihan said. In June, he warned that potential “carnage” could ensue in the market that his bank has dominated for a decade.

Bank of America’s market share in U.S. leveraged-loan issuance has remained broadly stable at nearly 11%, even as issuance fell 33% on year. That comes at a time when commentators such as Fitch Ratings have flagged more loans of concern and the potential for an uptick in defaults going forward.

Direct lenders such as hedge funds and buyout firms are snatching business away from syndicated-debt players. Alternative asset managers have made inroads into the US$1.2 trillion leveraged-loan market by often offering speedier financing and more comprehensive structures than the public markets.

As private credit shops have also amassed massive amounts of capital — with US$296 billion of dry powder globally, according to London-based research firm Preqin — they’ve been able to finance larger and larger deals.

“For a given deal that they might do a structure, that might be a competitor, but they’re major clients of ours too,” Moynihan said. “On a given deal they may do a tranche of financing that we’d have done, but typically they’re doing a different tranche, honestly, and so we’re more focused on the shorter-term revolvers.”

Here are other takeaways from the interview:

  • Moynihan is pleased with the bank’s trading performance, alongside its efforts to revamp the investment bank.
  • The company plans to boost its ranks of relationship managers by 2%-3%.
  • He’s still optimistic about the U.S. economy, driven by strong consumer spending and a robust labor market.

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China’s Economy Grew 2.3% in 2020, Accelerating Global Rise – Yahoo Canada Finance

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The Canadian Press

Heavily fortified statehouses around US see small protests

Small groups of right-wing protesters — some of them carrying rifles — gathered outside heavily fortified statehouses around the country Sunday, outnumbered by National Guard troops and police brought in to prevent a repeat of the violence that erupted at the U.S. Capitol. As darkness fell, there were no reports of any clashes. Security was stepped up in recent days after the FBI warned of the potential for armed protests in Washington and at all 50 state capitol buildings ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday. Crowds of only a dozen or two demonstrated at some boarded-up, cordoned-off statehouses, while the streets in many other capital cities remained empty. Some protesters said they were there to back President Donald Trump. Others said they had instead come to voice their support for gun rights or decry government overreach. “I don’t trust the results of the election,” said Michigan protester Martin Szelag, a 67-year-old semi-retired window salesman from Dearborn Heights. He wore a sign around his neck that read, in part, “We will support Joe Biden as our President if you can convince us he won legally. Show us the proof! Then the healing can begin.” As the day wore on with no bloodshed around the U.S., a sense of relief spread among officials, though they were not ready to let their guard down. The heavy law enforcement presence may have kept turnout down. In the past few days, some extremists had warned others against falling into what they called a law enforcement trap. Washington State Patrol spokesman Chris Loftis said he hoped the apparently peaceful day reflected some soul-searching among Americans. “I would love to say that it’s because we’ve all taken a sober look in the mirror and have decided that we are a more unified people than certain moments in time would indicate,” he said. The security measures were intended to safeguard seats of government from the type of violence that broke out at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, when far-right Trump supporters galvanized by his false claims that the election had been stolen from him overran the police and bashed their way into the building while Congress was certifying the Electoral College vote. The attack left a Capitol police officer and four others dead. More than 125 people have been arrested over the insurrection. Dozens of courts, election officials and Trump’s own attorney general have all said there was no evidence of widespread fraud in the presidential race. On Sunday, some statehouses were surrounded by new security fences, their windows were boarded up, and extra officers were on patrol. Legislatures generally were not in session over the weekend. Tall fences also surrounded the U.S. Capitol. The National Mall was closed to the public, and the mayor of Washington asked people not to visit. Some 25,000 National Guard troops from around the country are expected to arrive in the city in the coming days. U.S. defence officials told The Associated Press those troops would be vetted by the FBI to ward off any threat of an insider attack on the inauguration. The roughly 20 protesters who showed up at Michigan’s Capitol, including some who were armed, were significantly outnumbered by law enforcement officers and members of the media. Tensions have been running high in the state since authorities foiled a plot to kidnap Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last year. At the Ohio Statehouse, about two dozen people, including several carrying long guns, protested outside under the watchful eyes of state troopers before dispersing as it began to snow. Kathy Sherman, who was wearing a visor with “Trump” printed on it, said she supports the president but distanced herself from the mob that breached the U.S. Capitol. “I’m here to support the right to voice a political view or opinion without fear of censorship, harassment or the threat of losing my job or being physically assaulted,” she said. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, said he was pleased with the outcome but stressed that authorities “continue to have concerns for potential violence in the coming days, which is why I intend to maintain security levels at the Statehouse as we approach the presidential inauguration.” Utah’s new governor, Republican Spencer Cox, shared photos on his Twitter account showing him with what appeared to be hundreds of National Guard troops and law enforcement officers standing behind him, all wearing masks. Cox called the quiet protests a best-case scenario and said many ”agitating groups” had cancelled their plans for the day. At Oregon’s Capitol, fewer than a dozen men wearing military-style outfits, black ski masks and helmets stood nearby with semiautomatic weapons slung across their bodies. Some had upside-down American flags and signs reading such things as “Disarm the government.” At the Texas Capitol, Ben Hawk walked with about a dozen demonstrators up to the locked gates carrying a bullhorn and an AR-15 rifle hanging at the side of his camouflage pants. He condemned the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and said he did not support Trump. “All we came down here to do today was to discuss, gather, network and hang out. And it got blown and twisted completely out of proportion,” Hawk said. At Nevada’s Capitol, where demonstrators supporting Trump have flocked most weekends in recent months, all was quiet except for a lone protester with a sign. “Trump Lost. Be Adults. Go Home,” it read. More than a third of governors had called out the National Guard to help protect their capitols and assist local law enforcement. Several governors declared states of emergency, and others closed their capitols to the public until after Biden’s inauguration. Some legislatures also cancelled sessions or pared back their work for the coming week. Even before the violence at the Capitol, some statehouses had been the target of vandals and angry protesters during the past year. Last spring, armed protesters entered the Michigan Capitol to object to coronavirus lockdowns. People angry over the death of George Floyd under a Minneapolis police officer’s knee vandalized capitols in several states, including Colorado, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. Last last month, crowds in Oregon forced their way into the Capitol in Salem to protest its closure to the public during a special legislative session on coronavirus measures. Amid the potential for violence in the coming days, the building’s first-floor windows were boarded up and the National Guard was brought in. “The state capitol has become a fortress,” said Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney, a Democrat. “I never thought I’d see that. It breaks my heart.” ___ Associated Press writers Farnoush Amiri in Columbus, Ohio; Gillian Flaccus in Salem, Oregon; Mike Householder and David Eggert in Lansing, Michigan; Meg Kinnard in Columbia, South Carolina; Rachel La Corte in Olympia, Washington; Sam Metz in Carson City, Nevada; Marc Scolforo in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Paul Weber in Austin, Texas, contributed to this report. David A. Lieb And Adam Geller, The Associated Press

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Economy Spiraling, Vexed Central Banks, Rich Get Richer: Eco Day – Bloomberg

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Economy Spiraling, Vexed Central Banks, Rich Get Richer: Eco Day – Bloomberg

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relates to Economy Spiraling, Vexed Central Banks, Rich Get Richer: Eco Day

Welcome to Monday, Asia. Here’s the latest news and analysis from Bloomberg Economics to help you start the week.

  • A top economic adviser to President-elect Joe Biden warned the U.S. economy is “spiraling downward” and called for a swift response
  • Resurgent coronavirus outbreaks will vex central bankers on five continents this week as they weigh the threat of more damage to growth against a hope that mass vaccinations will reopen economies
  • Some Americans have become, by some measures, richer during the pandemic than ever before
  • Joe Biden ascends to the presidency on Wednesday with an inaugural speech outlining how he’ll tackle the health and economic crises he inherits while attempting to knit the country back together after riots. Here’s why Biden’s stimulus hopes might actually depend on ‘reconciliation.’ Meantime, U.S economist Nouriel Roubini fears Biden’s presidency will be marked by unrest and cyber attacks
  • Goldman Sachs economists raised their growth forecasts for the U.S. this year and beyond after Biden unveiled a sweeping revival plan
  • Hong Kong’s unemployment rate for the three months through December is likely to exceed the highest level in 16 years
  • Robert Hormats, ex-vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International and adviser to five U.S. administrations, predicted tariffs on China will remain under Biden during the “What Goes Up” podcast
  • A surge in coronavirus cases in Japan has dealt a blow to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s once strong public support, raising the risk he gets replaced ahead of an election due by October
  • Germany’s dominant party voted for continuity by electing Armin Laschet as leader, opting for the candidate who most resembles outgoing chancellor Angela Merkel in policy and style
  • The EU has set out plans to strengthen the international role of the euro, as its seeks to erode the dominance on the dollar and lessen risks like U.S. sanctions. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is calling for a moratorium on tariffs between the EU and the U.S. to allow time for the “poisonous” issue to be resolved
  • Italy expects debt to rise more than expected this year, as it gets ready to boost fiscal stimulus to support a battered economy
  • The Dawei Special Economic Zone, Myanmar’s largest industrial project backed by Thailand, is headed for further delay and possible litigation following sudden termination of development contracts
  • The world’s biggest shipping company demanded a more effective military response to surging pirate attacks off West Africa’s coast
  • More than three months a hundred Thai resorts reopened to extended-stay travelers in an attempt to revive a battered economy, foreign arrivals have failed to meet even rock-bottom expectations

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