The amount of debt globally has soared more than 40 percent to $100 trillion since the first signs of the financial crisis as governments borrowed to spend their economies out of recession and companies took advantage of record low interest rates. A $30-trillion debt increase from $70 trillion between mid-2007 and mid-2013 compares with a $3.86 trillion decline in the value of equities to $53.8 trillion, according to the Bank for International Settlements and data compiled by Bloomberg. The jump in debt, as measured by the Basel, Switzerland-based BIS in its quarterly review, is almost twice the U.S. economy. Borrowing has soared as central banks suppress benchmark interest rates to spur growth after the U.S. subprime mortgage market collapsed and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s bankruptcy sent the world into its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Yields on all types of bonds, from governments to corporates and mortgages, average about 2 percent, down from more than 4.8 percent in 2007, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Broad Market Index.
It was a positive week overall for markets, with the Dow Jones up 0.80% and the S&P 500 rising an even 1.00%, hitting yet another record high. Notwithstanding the crisis in Ukraine, the MCSI Emerging Markets Index ended the week essentially flat. Big gainers in your Bull Market Alert portfolio included last week's recommendation, Micron Technology Inc. (MU), up 2.35%; Grifols SA (GRFS), which gained 1.76%; and Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. (TMO), which rose 1.71
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