Today, the Commerce department reported that housing starts rose 20.2% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.135, million units, up from March’s revised rate of 944,000, which was originally reported at 1.04 million units. The department also said the tally of building permits are important as an indicator of possible future construction. Activity increased by 10.1% last month to an annualized rate of 1.14 million.
Housing starts for single family homes also saw a dramatic rise last month, increasing 16.7% to an annualized rate of 733,000 units, compared to March’s revised rate of 628,000.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is coming under pressure as opposition from lawmakers continues to grow against funding a bankrupt Greek government. Merkel is warning groups of dissenters that Greece leaving the euro area may risk causing geopolitical instability in the region.
One German official stated, “any substantial changes to the conditions for Greece’s 240 billion euro aid program need approval by the full German lower house. There may be as many as 100 of Merkel’s lawmakers who may still be holdouts.” Several weeks ago, German officials were reported as saying, Greece wasn’t “that” important to the EU from an economic standpoint. What a difference a few days makes.
While this may or may not be the case, there are tens of trillions in derivatives at stake that could cripple big banks if we see a Greek exit. It’s not coincidental that European banks ushered in bank bail-ins in 2013 placing investor deposits at risk.
While Athens reports that, “we are very close to making a deal” and shows Nazi war crime videos on city buses, 613 jobs are destroyed every day. Greece has lost investor confidence and is suffering with a 26 percent unemployment rate. More than one third of all bank loans are now classified as non-performing or bad.
The EU will either carry Greece on its shoulders or let it go and face the consequences of unprecedented market turmoil.
The “Red Sea parted” yesterday and Wall Street hit record numbers, again. No comment needed.
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