Record low birth rate worries officials

12-02-21 02:06:00,

Record low birth rate worries officials

Thailand’s lowest ever total fertility rate (TFR) has prompted the Public Health Ministry to come up with activities aimed at promoting dating among singles and fertility health among married couples who still don’t have any children.

The TFR is the average number of children born to a woman over her lifetime.

Thailand’s birth rate last year dropped below 600,000 for the first time and took the country’s TFR down to 1.51, which is “extremely low”, said Dr Kamthorn Pruksananonda, chairman of a sub-committee on reproductive medicine at the Royal Thai College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

The World Health Organization and World Bank have said that if a country’s TFR goes under 2.1, its proportion of elderly will surge and problems associated with migrant workers will rise.

These two problems are now clearly evident in Thailand, he said.

“When Japan’s TFR hit 1.6, the Japanese leader at the time announced that a disaster was on the way if the country didn’t do anything about it.

“Thailand’s TFR used to be 5.1 and it has declined all the way down to 1.5. Worse still, the country has still not done anything about it and, without any intervention, the rate is forecast to fall further to 1.3 in less than a decade.”

Aside from the alarmingly low birth rate, the number of health problems experienced by babies born to older-than-usual mothers, such as Down Syndrome, is also rising, said Prof Kamthorn.

In Japan and Europe, for instance, the average rate of women seeking medical assistance for infertility problems is 32, while in Thailand the average age of women when they first consult doctors about suspected infertility problems is 38, he said.

By that age it is rather late to start having babies and the risk of a baby being born with Down Syndrome is high, said Prof Kamthorn.

Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha said the government was now getting behind family planning promotions, the aim being to raise the country’s birth rate voluntarily.

Families ready to have a baby will be provided with all the help they need in order to ensure the baby’s good health from birth to adulthood,

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Record Numbers Of Companies Drown In Debt To Pay Dividends To Their Private Equity Owners

21-09-20 08:59:00,

One week ago we used Bloomberg data to report that in the latest Fed-fuelled bubble to sweep the market, now with Powell buying corporate bonds and ETFs, private equity firms were instructing their junk-rated portfolio companies to get even deeper in debt and issue secured loans, using the proceeds to pay dividends to owners: the same private equity companies. Specifically, we focused on five deals marketed at the start of the month to fund shareholder dividends, which accounting for half of the week’s volume, and the most in a week since 2017, according to Bloomberg.

Now, a little over a week late, the FT is also looking at these dividend recap deals which have become all the rage in the loan market in recent weeks, among other reasons because they are “ringing alarm bells since they come on top of already high leverage and weak investor protections and against a backdrop of economic uncertainty.”

Having updated our calculation, the FT finds that in September a quarter (24% to be exact) of all new money raised in the US loan market has been used to fund dividends to private equity owners, up from an average of less than 4% over the past two years: that would be the highest proportion since the beginning of 2015, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

As we wrote a little over a week ago, while the loan market — where PE firms fund the companies they own by selling secured first, second, third and so on lien debt — had until recently not seen the same volume of issuance as other parts of the financial markets. That changed after the Fed stepped into the corporate bond market sending yields crashing to record lows, and forcing US investors into the last corner of the fixed income world to still offer some modest yields: leveraged loans. And since this is the domain of PE firms which desperately need to extract as much cash as they can from their melting ice cubes (another names for single-B and lower rated portfolio companies which will likely all be broke in the next 3-5 years), everyone is rushing to market with dividend recaps to pay as much to their equity sponsor as they can before the window is shut again.

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Amazon posts record profits as Apple thanks stimulus aid for forecast-beating earnings, despite worst US quarter on record

31-07-20 07:38:00,

Amazon and Apple have reported major quarterly gains, with Jeff Bezos’ brainchild posting its biggest-ever profit and Apple seeing strong earnings, even as Covid-19 drives the US economy into its worst contraction on record.

The two tech giants announced their second quarter results on Thursday, both topping expectations on Wall Street as online sales and virtual products see a surge amid the ongoing health crisis.

Amazon revenue jumped to $88.9 billion, up 40 percent from 2019, and the company brought on some 175,000 new employees in recent months. Though it had predicted it would lose money after dropping billions on coronavirus-related measures, Amazon’s net income nonetheless doubled compared to the year prior, from $2.6 billion to $5.2 billion, in what CEO Jeff Bezos deemed “another highly unusual quarter.”

“I couldn’t be more proud of and grateful to our employees around the globe. As expected, we spent over $4 billion on incremental Covid-19-related costs in the quarter to help keep employees safe and deliver products to customers in this time of high demand,” Bezos said in a press release.

Despite the big spending, Amazon has come under fire for its handling of the pandemic, with employees repeatedly complaining of major shortages of protective gear and unsafe working conditions, some even saying they were fired after speaking out about the lack of equipment. The e-commerce king also took heat after slashing a meager $2 hazard pay boost for workers, even as Bezos and other company executives see their fortunes swell.

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WORST DROP EVER for US economy as GDP crashes 33% due to Covid pandemic lockdowns

Despite a massive US economic contraction due to lingering business closures driven by the pandemic – declining nearly 33 percent between April and June alone, the worst drop on record, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis – Apple also reported blowout earnings for the second quarter, noting revenue gains in every category.

The pandemic has been something of a boon for Apple, as consumers are forced to work and learn from home and increasingly look to its devices and apps. CEO Tim Cook also credited emergency relief spending in the US and elsewhere for the company’s performance.

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A Tragic Record: For The First Time Ever, More Than Half Of The US Population Is Not Working – Activist Post

08-05-20 08:53:00,

By Tyler Durden

Today’s jobs report was, as expected and as previously discussed, absolutely horrific; although as Bank of America points out, there was one silver lining which Larry Kudlow quickly latched onto: with 72% of jobs lost being reflected as temporary layoffs, workers should be able to be more seamlessly rehired as the economy reopens. However, the longer this pandemic goes on, the more likely that what was temporary becomes permanent, and as we pointed out in a previous post, even baseline cases see unemployment not returning back to normal until 2022 or later.

Offsetting this “good news”, however, there was one especially scary aspect of today’s jobs report that has not gotten enough publicity, namely that as BofA writes, the employment-to-population ratio plunged to a record low, with only 51.3% of the population working. Inversely, this means that in April, 49% of the US population was not working.

It gets worse.

As a reminder, the BLS said that if the workers who were recorded as employed but absent from work due to “other reasons” had been classified as unemployed on temporary layoff, the overall unemployment rate would have been almost 5 percentage points higher than reported, meaning that the true unemployment rate as of this moment is 20%

See: 177 Different Ways to Generate Extra Income

White House economic advisor Kevin Hassett laid the groundwork for shocking the US population for this devastating reality, when he said in a CNN interview that next month’s jobs report “should be around 20%,” adding that the U-6, or the underemployment rate, will probably hit around 25% in the next report.

This means that the employment-to-population ratio is also undercounted by about 4-5%, and that as of this moment (we will get the May jobs data in 1 month), the employment-to-population ratio is below 50%, indicating that for the first time in history, more than half of the US population is unemployed!

Which is great news for stocks: think of all the people who have nothing better to do than buy the f—ing dip all day with all that helicopter money the Fed will be showering on them for the coming years.

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Bill Gates: A Record of Death and Mayhem in the Third World –

14-04-20 03:41:00,

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