China bank panic. Customers at a small bank north of Shanghai rushed to withdraw their funds after rumours spread about its solvency. “The case highlights the urgency of plans to implement a deposit insurance system to protect investors’ deposits in case of bank insolvency, given that Chinese are growing increasingly nervous about the impact that slowing economic growth will have on the viability of financial institutions,” Reuters said.
Bond fraud? The SEC is investigating whether a spate of new, complicated bond deals are creating new opportunities for fraud, the Wall Street Journal’s Jean Eaglesham and Katy Burne report. “SEC investigators are now homing in on a postcrisis resurgence in a similar type of deal called a collateralized loan obligation, or CLO. This is an investment based on pools of loans that financial firms make to companies with lower credit ratings that are sliced up, packaged and sold to deep-pocketed investors.”
UK inflation falls. Prices hit grew at the slowest rate since 2009, mainly due to a decline in gas prices. Headline yearly inflation last month slipped to 1.7% from 1.9% in January, broadly in line with analyst expectations but below the BOE’s target of 2%. But home prices jumped most since 2010.
Busy day in housing data. First up at 9 a.m. are both FHFA and Case-Shiller home prices. Growth in both are expected to have slowed a bit to 0.6% versus 0.8% prior. At 10 a.m. we get new home sales, also expected to have come down a bit, to 445,000 from 468,000.
Consumer confidence. Expectations are for a slight uptick to 78.5 from 78.1 prior. The data hits at 10 a.m.
Richmond Fed. Finally at 10 a.m. we also get the Richmond Fed’s latest survey of business activity, expected to have improved to 4 from -6.
Markets. Asian stocks fell, while European stocks climbed. U.S. futures were up.
Earnings. Walgreen’s and Carnival Cruise Lines report this morning.
Obama to end NSA bulk data collection. In the wake of a meeting with tech honchos including Mark Zuckerberg, President Obama is calling for the winding down of the NSA’s bulk data collection program. “The bulk records would stay in the hands of phone companies, which would not be required to retain the data for any longer than they normally would,” the New York Times’ Charlie Savage reports. “And the N.S.A. could obtain specific records only with permission from a judge, using a new kind of court order.”
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