Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday roundup (11-28-14)

Eurozone unemployment a persistent headache: The fight by governments against alarmingly high unemployment in the eurozone has so far failed to yield tangible results. The latest figures showed sluggish growth in the bloc had been a curse for the labor market. (Deutsche Welle)

Eurozone Inflation Hits 5-Year Low as European Commission Calls for Austerity (International Business Times) Eurozone Inflation Rate Dips, Stirring Deflation Fears (The New York Times)

Tens of thousands march against austerity measures in Greece: Greece has come to a standstill after tens of thousands of workers took to the streets in a 24-hour nationwide strike. New austerity policies and tax raids have ignited further discontent among the Greek population. (Deutsche Welle)

Italian Unemployment Rate Rises to Record, Above Forecasts (Bloomberg)

Why Italy's stay-home shoppers terrify the euro zone [= think "deflation"] (Reuters)

European Commission endorses Irish budget but warns on debt: Brussels approves plan but says economic dividend should be used to run down debt (The Irish Times)

So banks [in the UK] are too big to fail. Are they also too big to regulate?: Despite scandal after scandal in the financial sector, the absence of personal accountability persists (The Guardian)

Japan's inflation slows, highlighting difficulties in vanquishing deflation, other data mixed (The Associated Press) Japan: Inflation Slows for Third Straight Month in October: Analysts remain doubtful of BoJ's view that inflation will accelerate to 2% next fiscal. (International Business Times)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thursday roundup (11-27-14)

ECB's Draghi warns countries to reform as clouds gather over euro zone (Reuters) Draghi Highlights the Eurozone’s Unfinished Business (The Wall Street Journal blogs) Europe's economy faces three major risks: Draghi (CNBC)

France, Italy, Belgium may break budget rules, EU to revisit in March (Reuters)

Swiss vote provokes '6,000-year gold bubble' attack: 'Save Our Swiss Gold' referendum is a primordial scream against a world of quantitative easing but would paralyze the Swiss National bank by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

After zero rates, Sweden ponders next steps to avoid deflation (Reuters)

After bailout talks hit fresh delays, Greece says under pressure for new austerity measures (The Associated Press) Greeks Go On Strike Over New Austerity Measures (The New York Times)

Rostelecom to Cut Thousands of Jobs Over Next Four Years: Huge Job Cuts at Russia’s State-Controlled Telecom Firm Could Weigh on Embattled Economy (The Wall Street Journal)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday roundup (11-26-14)

Another recession may be devastating for heavily indebted countries, report shows ["Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan and Portugal were most vulnerable."] (The Sydney Morning Herald)

ECB could start full-blown QE in early 2015: Constancio [The Wall Street Journal via] (Marketwatch)

Juncker investment plan a first step but more needed: France (Reuters)

Greece fails to reach deal in Paris over bailout exit (Reuters)

Growth in U.S. Off to Slow Start in Fourth Quarter: Economy (Bloomberg)

Pending Sales of U.S. Homes Unexpectedly Fell 1.1% in October (Bloomberg)

Consumers Stay Within Means as U.S. Spending Matches Income (Bloomberg)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 11-26-14)

A recovery would be indicated by weekly initial jobless claims holding below 500,000. (See this post.)

IT'S A RECOVERY! (And it has been a recovery for every week since the Nov. 25, 2009 report, with the exception of the Aug. 19, 2010 report.)

"Initial jobless claims leaped by 21,000 to 313,000 in the week ended Nov. 22, the Labor Department said." (Marketwatch)

Jobless Claims in U.S. Increase to Almost Three-Month High (Bloomberg)

SEE LAST WEEK'S POST HERE.

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tuesday roundup (11-25-14)

Eurozone Stagnation Poses Major Risk to Global Growth, OECD Warns: Currency Bloc Needs Monetary Stimulus, Softening of Fiscal Discipline to Avoid Persistent Low Growth (The Wall Street Journal) Euro area ‘major risk to world growth’: OECD (CNBC) Eurozone area may be in 'persistent stagnation trap' says OECD (The BBC) O.E.C.D. Calls for Fiscal and Monetary Measures to Spur E.U. Growth (The New York Times)

Jean-Claude Juncker's €315bn New Deal dismissed as a subprime gimmick: 'It's unbelievable. The private sector will take governments to the cleaners,' said Professor Charles Wyplosz by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

Euro zone torpor hits German, French, Italian firms (CNBC)

Stalled Greek bailout talks to resume in Paris on Tuesday (Reuters)

OECD warns Ireland over ‘premature’ shift from austerity: Paris-based think-tank says Irish economy ‘very vulnerable’ to external shocks (The Irish Times)

Bank of Japan's Kuroda resolute in fight against deflation, says ready to ease more (Reuters)

Falling apart: America's neglected infrastructure: Steve Kroft reports on why our roads, bridges, airports and rail are outdated and need to be fixed. (CBSNews Sixty Minutes)



The Fed has boxed U.S. into a tough easy-money corner by Satyajit Das (Marketwatch)

How we’re going from bad to worse on Wall Street (Marketwatch)

HSBC admits fault, is fined [$12.5 million] by SEC over Swiss bank (Reuters)

ING cuts 1,700 jobs as part of digital push (Reuters)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday roundup (11-24-14)

Quote of the Day:

"Just before the close of our civil war he [President Abraham Lincoln] penned the following prophetic utterances: 'Yes, we may congratulate ourselves that this cruel war is nearly to a close. It has cost a vast amount of treasure and blood. The best blood of the flower of American youth has been freely offered upon our country's altar that the nation might live. It has been indeed a trying hour for the republic; but I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me, and causes me to tremble for the safety of our country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of the war. God grant that my impressions may be groundless.'

"If there was ground for such fears and apprehensions nearly a quarter of a century ago, how much greater reason have we now to apprehend danger from these causes, when corporations have multiplied and combined their power and influence, and wealth has been aggregating in the hands of a few with such unexampled rapidity, until it overshadows and controls all the important industrial interests of the country, and has become the most potent factor in every election of legislative, executive, and ministerial offices. Can this power be controlled by legislation or counteracted by other controlling influences, and the impending danger which so impressed and agitated the mind of the patriot Lincoln be averted? Surely no more momentous question was ever propounded to an enlightened people, living under a government emanating from themselves and theoretically based upon and controlled by their freely-expressed will. Are we now about to discover that, under the guise of freedom, and the encouragement of trade, commerce, and manufactures, we have created and fostered in the money power a tyranny as potent and as destructive of liberty and equality as that of the most absolute ruler in the world?" -- Sanford Moon Green, Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, in Crime: Its Nature, Causes, Treatment, and Prevention (1889), pp. 312-313 (Google Books)[Biography] (Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society)

New Abnormal Means Relying on Central Banks for Growth (Bloomberg)

Is the Eurozone falling into a lost decade? (Forbes)

Euro zone yields hit record lows: Is ECB trumping reality? (CNBC) German bond yields to trump Japan as ECB battles deflation: "Be very bullish. The huge elephant in the room is ready to roar again," RBS advises clients by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph) Now It’s Core Europe’s Turn for a Crisis: Greece and Spain had rising bond yields. For France and Germany it’s falling growth. (The Wall Street Journal)

Britain's EU retreat means German hegemony warns Prodi: The EU is either a treaty club of democracies and equals, or it is nothing by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

Bundesbank head: Need reforms for eurozone growth (Marketwatch)

Slow economic growth to be 'prolonged', says BoE economist [includes video that can't be embedded] (The BBC) Bank of England: 'People are seeking safety at any price' (The BBC)



Stalled Greek bailout talks to resume in Paris on Tuesday (Reuters)

China likely to ease further soon, analysts say (Marketwatch)

Russia faces recession as oil crash and sanctions cost economy £90bn: Anton Siluanov, Russia's finance minister, has warned that the economy could face a hit from falling oil prices, weeks after Vladimir Putin claimed that they had been manipulated by political forces (The Telegraph)

[In the United States,] Dudley Leaves Senators Unimpressed as Fed Scrutiny Rises (Bloomberg) Why the New York Fed Annoys Republicans and Democrats Alike (Bloomberg) The Week That Shook the Fed (The New York Times)

Syngenta [which develops genetically modified seeds] announces restructuring plan, including 1,800 global layoffs (Triangle Business Journal blogs)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday roundup (11-23-14)

Bailouts, bail-ins and the banks: why we can’t afford another financial crisis: Governments are not flush enough to contemplate a second wave of bailouts, which leaves the problem of too ‘big to fail’ unsolved, writes Larry Elliott (The Guardian blogs)

Falling inflation a worry for Europe but also the world (Reuters)

Radical left is right about Europe’s debt: It is logically inconsistent for the eurozone to enter secular stagnation and not restructure by Wolfgang M√ľnchau (The Financial Times)

Debt issued by European companies heads for post-crisis high (The Financial Times)

Countdown to missed opportunity for EU economy (Reuters)

China ready to cut rates again on fears of deflation - sources (Reuters)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.