August 28 – Wall Street Journal (Paul Kiernan): “Brazil has entered its deepest economic downturn since the global financial meltdown of 2008-09, official data confirmed Friday. Perhaps not many, or at least not as many as before the 2008 meltdown. The central bank has held interest rates near zero since 2008 and carried out three massive asset purchase programs to boost the economy. 17, 2008 exodus during the week Lehman Brothers went under. August 27 – Financial Times (Geoff Dyer): “Brazil’s swirling political crisis gained momentum this week with new signs of friction between President Dilma Rousseff and her vice-president Michel Temer, who has been a crucial stabilising force within the government. Need more proof? American publicly traded companies are selling for 3 1/2 times their book value. Emerging-market downgrades are 4 times the amount of upgrades at S&P — the worst ratio since 2009 – as a record $5.2 trillion of bonds comes due for the debtors this year… The move from the state-controlled company comes as crude prices trade near the lowest in a decade and after Brazil’s currency tumbled 27% this year, pushing up the cost of its debt.
Many Venezuelans have to carry wads of cash in bags instead of wallets as soaring inflation and a declining currency increase the number of bills needed for everyday purchases. August 26 – Bloomberg (Peter Millard): “Petroleo Brasileiro SA is seeking refuge in Brazil’s domestic bond market as overseas borrowing costs surge amid a plunge in the local currency has exposed a mismatch between its real-based revenues and dollar debt payments. August 27 – Bloomberg (Noris Soto and Nathan Crooks): “Venezuela is preparing to issue bank notes in higher denominations next year as rampant inflation reduces the value of a 100-bolivar bill to just 14 cents on the black market. The credit assessor reduced its grade on Chinese developer Greenland Holding Group Co. as leverage expands, and on Russian Standard Bank last month as the nation’s worsening economy pressures its capital. I have posited that this “peg on steroids” has incentivized an enormous flood of “hot money” into China and, more specifically, into high-yield Chinese debt instruments.
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Brazil’s gross domestic product shrank 1.9% between April and June from the previous three months in seasonally adjusted terms, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics said on Friday. Ukraine agreed to a restructuring deal with creditors after five months of talks, Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko said. We stand with Ukraine! Some lenders, including Bank of America Corp., are issuing margin calls to clients after the global market drubbing of the past week, forcing investors to choose between either putting up more money or selling some of the securities underlying the loans. The retreat from risky assets, triggered by concern over a slowdown in China and higher interest rates in the U.S., has taken money outflows from emerging markets to an estimated $4.5 billion in August, compared with inflows of $6.7 billion in July… Kuroda said he’s watching risks from volatility in global financial markets and that the central bank has ‘many options’ should it need to increase easing. August 26 – Bloomberg (Ye Xie and Liz McCormick): “The Bank of Japan can achieve its 2% inflation target with the current level of monetary stimulus, even as it stands ready to adjust policy if needed, said Governor Haruhiko Kuroda.